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Monday, June 10, 2013

Beautiful You

He eased her forward just a few inches so he could replace the freshly puffed pillows propping her up. Despite her protests, he flicked on the light. She reflexively put a hand on her head, which was dotted with wisps of hair but otherwise smooth as a globe. He grabbed her hand, kissed it and placed it back down by her side. He looked her over. Her button-down blouse draped inelegantly in the absence of her once ample breasts. There was a brown stain from this morning. The coffee she’d wanted so desperately hadn’t sat well; on its way back up, some of it sloshed out of the basin. She was too weak to even let him change her shirt.

"You’re so beautiful,” he whispered.

She shook her head. Her eyes moistened. Since the 5th grade, she’d obsessed over her hair. It was never long enough, thick enough, red enough. She coveted her sister’s wavy, voluminous locks. When she found that first gray hair, she became a lifelong hair dye devotee. She’d give anything to have that short, stringy hair today.

The hair bothered her worse than the breasts. She wore a prosthetic bra for the first several months. But it chafed at her incisions. She often joked about not having to lug around those heavy boulders anymore.

She couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t on a diet. Atkins, South Beach, juicing … that goddamned cabbage soup diet. Now her collarbone jutted out, threatening to pierce her skin if she moved too suddenly. She couldn’t gain a pound if her life depended on it.

They used to have fantastic, hot sex. Her friends hated her for it. She bragged about the time they did it in an abandoned warehouse parking lot on the way home from dinner. She’d been worried the sitter would notice their disheveled appearance. Now they only kissed awkwardly like old friends at an unplanned reunion.

"My beautiful bride,” he repeated, wiping a tear from her delicate, shiny cheek.

#

trifecta weekly challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "light" (defined as a source of light: as a.) a celestial body; b) candle; c) an electric light). Mine is 333 words.

22 comments:

  1. Hey lady,
    as much as i wish for you this isnt truth...just know i am there too.. either a cohort in writing...or in disease.
    i hope for you its fiction.
    as i look at my collarbones.
    great, beautiful, perfect.

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    1. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. I am humbled by your comment. It made me question what right I have to write about the very real suffering you and so many others face. For me this is fiction, and I am truly sorry it's your reality. I said a prayer for you. I'm glad you feel I did justice to your situation with my little story. Thank you again for taking the time to comment.

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  2. quite poignant. And I too hope it is fiction.

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    1. Thank you! And, yes, it is fiction for me.

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  3. Love endures even when the body or the style of relationship cannot. True love is something everyone craves, but few actually enjoy. This is a great picture of what a true love would mean.

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    1. Thank you so much! While writing, I imagined how the wonderful man whom I get to call "husband" would not only stick by me, but would convince me I was still beautiful in his eyes. True love, indeed. <3

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  4. The details in this, both the mundane and the heartbreaking really bring this too life. I loved the reshaping of her pride, of herself really, it was true and brutal to read.

    Nice writing.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your reaction. I felt quite conflicted writing this. I found it sad, but reaffirming. I'm glad to know that comes across to the reader.

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  5. Sobering and realistic story. I hope it is not true for you or any one you know. But -- with 1 out of 8 women developing breast cancer, we all know someone.

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    1. Thank you. It's not true for me, but I do know someone going through this right now. I don't live near her, so I haven't seen the suffering up close, but I take solace in the fact that she has a wonderful, supportive husband like my character.

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  6. This is so sad. Just really so sad. And beautiful.

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  7. This is so bittersweet. )':

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    1. Exactly! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Very nicely written indeed. My first thought (because I am one), was she the redhead or was her sister?

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    1. The way I see her, she's a natural brunette but a redhead by choice. :) Thanks for reading!

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  9. The tenderness and love are so evident. Lovely piece.

    Thank you for linking up. Please don't forget to return for the voting.

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  10. Very touching. So thankful that this is fiction for you. Beautiful portrayal.

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You're so sexy when you comment on my blog.