With a bat of her lashes, she could cause a windstorm; set forth a breeze that could deface the opposite side of the world. With a flip of her hair, she could cause the Earth to stop spinning, and begin to rewind—reverse. The sight of her would make birds sing and the sound of her voice would make the night-before’s moon return just to see where the commotion had come from. She was his world; everything in him rotated around her, and he couldn’t stop his eyes from gravitating toward her.
Through the crowd of bodies and dense air of jolly music, he observed his wife. His leering eyes ran wild across the fairness of her skin so delicate. Even through all the apple cinnamon, he could almost smell the warm vanilla of the lotion she’d rubbed into her skin. She bloomed, blossomed with the elegance of flower pedals. She was the thorns of a rose and the poison of a bloodroot flower. And though he knew she was such, he still couldn’t resist the urge to touch her.
From the frame of his sight, a stranger approached her as she gathered herself a drink; a stranger with an uncomfortably familiar face, to both the husband and wife. The husband sat back, wary as his wife greeted the stranger with a smile—a smile that displayed the silken whites of her teeth. He minded as she bat her eyelashes, and swallowed a cringe as she flipped her air. Between his ears was like a howling cyclone. Such enticing carnage.
He took a sip from the cold glass in his hand, and let the Jack sit on his tongue before swallowing. Then he severed his sight from her.
All around, the atmosphere ironic to that which he held inside. Friends and family drank egg nog by the fireplace and exchanged words beneath the flickering lights of the Christmas tree. He knew the warmth of their holiday cheer flooded the house, but all he could hear were the merciless winds.
When the party was over, the makeshift-home was left vacant, empty, even with the couple inside. The Wife tried warming herself beneath the blankets of her bed to no use. Downstairs, the Husband watched as the remaining flame in the fireplace gradually burned out, then he too retreated beneath his covers—but neither could be warmed in a bed so cold.
There was a tug of war waging inside him. Something similar to a battle between Heaven and Hell. How could he tell her; tell her that he knew about The Stranger? Thoughts kept him rigid, like standing upon a ledge in the dark without a sense of direction. On his hands and knees, he was at the mercy of her.
“Babe?” he said, gentle with his tone.
He sat up—she didn’t. He took in a breath, opened his mouth…but nothing came out.
“Never mind,” he said.
The Husband then stood from the block of ice and left the room in silence. In the hallway, he bumped into a console table that sent a framed portrait of the married couple shattering on the wooden floor below. He stared upon the mess with consideration, then stepped over it and carried himself to the couch without picking up the pieces, leaving their love scattered like the seeds of a dandelion in the unforgiving winds.
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