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Do You Love Me?

She stood in the doorway leaning against the jamb. A smoldering cigarette hung from her pale lips, the lipstick having been eaten off in their kissing. The slender strap of her white slip hung off of her freckled shoulder exposing the top of her perky, altered breast. He could see the nail dust flying from her emery board in the filtered sunlight illuminating her silhouette.

"Do you love me?" she asked, inhaling the burning tobacco deep into her lungs. Her chest heaved a sigh as she blew it out, intentionally sending the cloud towards him. She pulled the cigarette from her mouth, scanning the bedroom for the overflowing ashtray. Small bits of the paper stuck to her now dried and sticky lips. There were also bits of tobacco behind her teeth. She urged the small bits forward with her tongue, carefully pulling them out with her chipped fingernails, playfully flicking them towards him.

He looked at her a long time before answering her question. He felt awkward letting it slip into the quiet.

"Yes," he panted, in truth, to his dismay. Silently he wished he had never come.

Story by:

Carol Anne Perini

13 January 2018