Laugh Lines

April 7, 2013
I set the mug down on the counter for a moment, listening to the music coming from the adjoining room. A smile comes over my face, ever since she had been diagnosed with cancer a month ago Esme had been too sick to play the piano. The tin of herbal tea lays open as I ponder over which flavor she’ll like best, perhaps peppermint I think as I pull it from the end. As the tea steeps, I find a small chocolate bar to put on the plate with it, maybe she’ll have an appetite today. The notes drift into Reverie by Debussy, one of her favorite pieces. I gently enter the room so as to not disturb her but Esme breaks off playing when she sees me.

“Is that for me?” Esme asks surprised.

“Of course dear, you don’t expect me to drink tea do you? You know I don’t like it,” I laugh, “Look I even brought you some chocolate! You seem to be feeling especially well today, whatever caused you to start playing again?” An expression of delight suffuses her face at the thought of chocolate, maybe today she’ll be able to keep it down.

“Oh I don’t know I was just daydreaming, do you remember the love letters you used to write to me in our textbooks in college? I woke up early this morning and was going through some boxes of old things and I came across one of them,” she says.

“Well you were never much for studying, I knew you never read your textbooks so I thought you might like something more interesting to read during study hours. I’d almost forgotten those,” I reply picking up the letter in question. My distinctive scrawl was faded but still bold with affection against the uninteresting essay underneath.

“You used to write about how beautiful I was,” Esme murmurs, subconsciously pulling at the blue silk hat covering her bald head. Unexpectedly, I caress her cheeks etched with laugh lines with my rough hands and kiss her.

“Ma chérie, that never changed,” I whisper.

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Tabitha1233 said...
Apr. 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm
Verry sweet! This is a heartwarming piece! I would have loved to have read more though.
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