“Do you love me?”
He has heard that question numerous times that he has lost track of the count. He has heard it from the girls, whose name he never remembered, in the back of his car, sweat dripping on their bare backs and cum on their pink tongue. He has heard it from girls who he drove around town, their curls drooping and their hands hastened on his pants.
But now as he hears the four words turn into a question again, he struggles with the response. He wishes he could say the flat NO. Instead he takes a cigarette from his left pocket, out of impulse, and places it in his mouth. Lightening it he responds, “Later,” and he pats her brown messy -- once flat and tightened into a bun -- curls.
"Its only a yes or no question," she tells him, "its not that difficult."
He looks at her momentarily, digesting her question. "Brenda darling," he draws out of his mouth musically asfter a few moments of awkward silence. Even after thirteen years of marriage he feels the vast space between the two although they are just a few feet away.
"I need an answer." Her eyes are blodshot red from all the crying she has been doing. After all those years of being married to him, she still feels little and insecure. "Please," she begs.
"Your my wife," he replies.
"In paper that's all I am. Your wife," she swallows. Tears stream down her cheeks once again. There goes her mascara and her self control.
He walks toward her but stops midstop. "Brenda," he says.
She looks up at him and he notices her wonderful, psychadelic blue eyes. He notices her creamy skin. How it goes so well with her.
She sighs and tells him, "I know the answer, already. I know it but I don't want to."
"To what?" He asks, bewildered.
"The question," she says after awhile, "but would you lie to me,anyway?"
Realization dawns on him. He wishes for that second, that he'd loved her-- at least a little. But, he doesn't and he can't. "Honesty is beautiful," he answers.
"I'm afraid neither are true," she sobs.
He moves foreward so that he could smell her breath and breathe her nostalgia. Her aroma travels to his nostrils and he can smell dampness and honey suckle mingled together. "My Brenda," he murmurs as he smells her brown chaotic curls.
"How I wish I could say the same to you," she tells him."My."
Her shoulders slightly tremble as he holds them.
"But you can," he says.
"But it won't mean a thing."
"You're an incredible woman," he confides.
"Say 'yes' one last time. Only once."
"It won't make a difference." He bends over and kisses her wet cheek. His hands stay on her shoulders for brief moments before he releases her.