[9 minutes]

L is for Love

And Limes. Love and Limes. Sweet and bitter. But which one’s which, she wonders? Or is it variable? Isn’t a lime more sour after you eat sugar, and nearly bearable if you sucked on something more tart than a lime?

She loves him. Or limes him. But they’re both so complicated. Limes less so. Breakable into pieces. Peel. Pith. Meat. Seeds. Mostly meat, of course. Is that even what it’s called when it’s a fruit? Meat?

Love, too: complicated. The morning he came out of the bathroom, clean-shaven everywhere he could reach, even his legs. Only strips up the back of his calves still curled with hair. And those little ones on his shoulders, the ones he worries about, even though she tells him that you can barely see them.

The emails he sends her from work. Tells her what he’ll do to her when he gets home. Tells her that he misses her mouth, her jasmine scent, her knee-high leather boots.

Or the way he does mornings — washes the dishes, trying not to wake her. Washes her favorite coffee cup. How he makes her bacon just the way she likes it — crispy in the middle, fatty on the edges — and he brings her one piece wrapped in a paper towel for her to eat in bed.

How he sings to her from the shower. He has a good voice, soft and lilting, and he sings the songs with the lyrics that he’s made up. About his golden-haired girl with the long legs, about his ever-lasting love for her.

He’s singing now. His computer sits, stupid and staring. On the screen, the thing that popped up as she walked back.

KeyLime29: Baby, are you coming to see me today, or is that bitchy wife of yours keeping you too tied up?

Under the water, he sings. “Sugar-Smacks, Honey Nut, you know that I love you…”

Sweet before the bitter. Her mouth puckers dry.


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