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Flexible (short fiction)

He loved her to death, beating her up with analogue intensity. Her shy, defeated attitude made him do it. He considered her insincere and suspected she had big secrets and plans. All of them conspired. It was their age. Obviously, forgot about painted masterpieces gasping gloom in museums, during their conservative, pretty mysterious honeymoon. Then he was comparing her with beautiful melancholic graces and swore to her eternal adoration. She never felt beautiful or adorable. What was beauty, anyhow? Expensive clothes, outrageous make up, decadence. Happiness was important; love, too; him talking pleasant nonsense- that was wonderful. She'd have done anything for him. So, he asked for everything and left her soul bare. Wish deserted her and so did will to live. That really annoyed him.

“I deserve better than this!” roared a bitter ball in him, whenever rolling back home, to the perfect ambiance, the dead ambiance. “You're just silent, boring an ugly and never say anything!” He ate though every delicious bite offered as dinner, exactly like his father did, back in time, while looking out the window to see the women burning their corsets for the first time in history.

When reaching climax, he called her a fake: “Snails have orgasms! As I can believe that! Why do you lie to me? That's not an ecstatic cry, it's simply a whimper of a rubber doll deflating because pricked by a needle! Are you fed up with me and my love?”

And crashed her nose with a Tiffany lamp, set on the night table. She did not cry. Only spent the night into the emergency room, at the hospital. In the morning, he thought he heard her getting busy into the kitchen. Some of the following Saturdays she was supposed to host a party for her husband's co-workers.

Everybody admired her new figure. She looked great, traces of a brutal change had been disappearing under quality, professional colors. His boss couldn't help on congratulating him for such an asset and his generosity in paying for such an expensive makeover.

“Excuse me, my friend. She is stunning. She was ok before, but now... can't take eyes off her! My wife will want that, as well! Wow... how much was it?”

They say beauty builds up confidence; that's why all people looking modest act discouraged. She wasn't any more. She owed herself, her new face or success to at least try to be more flexible and improve her moods. The yoga classes strengthened her capacity of escaping material body, when her husband got jealous and hit with lamps.

These days he was really confused; figured out that the more abusive he got, the prettier she'd end up. The thinner his account. Of course, every man likes his woman to look nice, but when she gets all applauses... He imagined her being a new superwoman, one he feared and secretly admired, walking through all kind of institutions, like Miss Universe teaching about self worthiness and need to be independent. There were no more reasons for her to stay with him and one night she'd announce: “Dear, I feel beautified enough, inside and out. I can succeed in life by myself. Not that you hadn't had your share in that and I really shan't forget about it. Just tell me, how can I repay you? I wish everyone knew how great you've been! I mean, look at me. Time when I was ugly insecure duckling falsely judging beauty as something superficial, that is so gone! Beauty means we can't just live for ourselves any longer, darling! Beauty needs sharing on a larger scale...”

Things had to change. It was unavoidable. So, he started mission impossible: erasing out of his mind ferocious Lilith, first lady of the world, conquering males, forcing corsets on them, manipulating them as puppets. He threw away all lamps into the garbage. Behaved, worked, spoiled her with his home cooked dinners and gave her evening feet massages. His assiduous campaign touched a sensitive cord. She didn't leave him, after all. She never intended to. Almost discovered a new inner well of sympathy. Her body, though knew otherwise. It was frail and tired of being composed over and over again, like a puzzle game.

Night crept in and he glanced at her long, white limbs preparing for rest. She smiled, it seemed, awaiting. The man stretched his arms to embrace what he believed loving the most. When touched, she collapsed onto the floor, breaking up in thousand of glowing pieces.

Copyright © Katiusha Cuculescu, 2004