He had a stroke at 35. 35.
His wife pretended the sagging of his mouth was normal. She always pretended things were normal. So he pretended not to not notice, woke each day, followed the routine of husband.
But her kisses came with the click-click-click of a practiced bend. Her smiles were painted lines forced upward. He could see her yearning to break out, move on.
He told himself he didn't need her anymore. Maybe he had never needed her. Maybe the last thing she needed was him. Maybe he had denied her the chance to breathe for too many years.
So he woke up one morning, forced his head to turn in a new direction, asked for a divorce.
And then it happened. The plastic molding around her came undone. She stood up, all skin and soul, and walked away.
He took a deep breath, felt the plastic running up his legs, his arms, his face, the click of restrained feelings surrounding him.
7 September 2013