Chup by Glen Clyde

By Sean Oliver

     Kaitlin and Ron were, in every sense of the word, complete and utter soul mates. From the beginning a person would not be able to stumble upon one without seeing the other. During the wear and tear of the day it was easy to see they were made for each other, and away from prying eyes at night their bodies would lie entwined, rolled together in a knot during those intimate moments made possible only in the dark.
     Every night of bliss comes with a morning of responsibility, and with a dull sliding click of their dresser’s drawer they would be out—walking the dog, running to the pharmacy, picking the kids up from school—and the list of errands grew with the steady tread of years. Together life wore them out, though the stitching of their love protected them from the holes other couples often found in themselves. Life wasn’t perfect, as both were a little awkward at times: Kaitlin had a habit of putting her foot in her mouth, and she often toed the line in social settings discussing right-wing political ideas; Ron usually felt like a second left foot but loved hitting the dance floor whenever a particularly toe-tapping tune came on, even though his sweaty exertion gave off the faint odour of feet. Fortunately, life outfitted the pair with true, dyed-in-the-wool friends like Hanes, who would give anyone the shirt off his back, and Levi, who really helped Ron get a leg up in his career in podiatry. Overall, Kaitlin and Ron’s pairing helped give some pep in their step as they walked the road of life together, and poetic metaphor kept them head over heels for each other.
     Perhaps it was poetic metaphor, or even irony, that the mundanity of laundry trips would be combined with the gut-wrenching drop of tragedy. It happened while moving a load from the washer to the dryer—something that had been done so many times, perhaps too many times—when Kaitlin fell. Inexplicably, almost like a leaf finally succumbing to the water around it and floating downwards. With a cry Ron reached for her, but inwardly he already knew it was too late. His vision tunnelled as an overpowering deluge of despair flooded over him, and soon he felt like he was drowning, his inner void expanding, and eventual darkness surrounded him as he saw and replayed the image of her limp body, folded on the bland linoleum, a tableau accompanied by rapid flashes of dry heat, engraved in his mind long after darkness enfolded him with the dull sliding click of their dresser’s drawer that signalled the loneliness only a lost sock can bring.

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