Daily Prompt: Frail

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Frail.


She was in the bathroom in her pyjamas, brushing her teeth diligently. She gave another tug on her toothbrush and tasted blood in her mouth.  Sigh.  She gargled, rinsed and spit into the gleaming porcelain bowl. As she wiped her mouth and tried unsuccessfully to smooth down her unruly hair, she heard a knock on the door.

She paused in her ministrations, laid the towel down beside the sink and looked at her reflection in the mirror.  A woman with a slight blemish on her chin, dark circles under her eyes a raccoon would be proud of, and hair standing every which way, peered back. She was nothing special.

The knock sounded again.

She went to the door and looked through the peephole knowing who it would be just from the way the raps sounded.

She lifted the security latch and slid it aside, twisted the lock on the doorknob and turned the handle.  She opened the door only wide enough for her to speak to the person outside.

“James,” she said to her visitor by way of greeting, “we can’t keep doing this. It’s late and you shouldn’t be here.”

He looked at her through the small gap in the doorway, “Can I just come in for a little while?  I don’t want to have this conversation with you out here in the hallway.”

She stared at him, trying to judge his words, his appearance.  Trying to see the future, will this end badly or will it be happy ever after finally.  But no such luck.  Clairvoyance doesn’t run in her blood.

She was frail, he made her so, she recognised this and so she opened the door wider, enough for him to slip in.  When he was inside her room, she closed the door and locked it, taking her time to do both.  She leaned her head against the door, silently asking herself how many times could she go through this again.  Then she felt the warmth from his body at her back and he asked, “Can I at least get a hug, El?  I’ve missed you.”

She sighed, turned and opened her arms. Resignation filled her, it overflowed from her as tears streamed down her cheeks. He walked into her open arms with a smile of relief and victory in his eyes.

She closed her eyes, feeling all her willpower draining and replied “I miss you too.”


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