Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong

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Third person

She makes it halfway through the airport ordeal before having a systems crash. She falls asleep on the train; requires a taxi ride rather than the bus, as the bus won't be in for another 40 minutes and she lacks the energy even to read.

He pretends not to worry that she's not speaking, that her infrequent movements are near-glacial in pace.

She doesn't tell him she's short of breath.

He tries to hide surprise when she says quietly that she, who has never entered a Chinese restaurant in her life, would like to order Chinese. He gives her menus and is even more surprised that she decides to go with the Italian restaurant and order, not her customary pasta, but a meatball sub. His near-vegetarian "wife". A meatball sub. She explains, still quietly, that her body needs it.

It takes her three hours after the return to the airport to have enough energy to go downstairs and check her e-mail. He is most likely relieved to see her do so, as it is a normal thing for her to do.

It goes unspoken.

At the airport, her father eyed her critically and told her that she was getting to be near her Vegas weight. No, she said. When you saw me in Vegas, I was 78 pounds.

(When you saw me in Vegas, it was two days after.)

She reminded her mother that she weighed 8 pounds less than she does now when she moved to Georgia. So there is no need to worry.

She feels like a ghost in her house. She is Jack's Total Exhaustion. Moving = one of the Five Big Stressors. And her body tends toward fragility anyway. It is primarily physical, this lassitude.

It remains unspoken. Five years he's been with her on this day, and he's still not sure what he ought to do - which is fine. What she needs changes from year to year. What she needs most, always, is his presence.

It doesn't need to be spoken between them.

It is acknowledged with a quiet nod.

Ten years, and I'm still here.
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