It had been a week since I last heard from John. His cologne still held the room hostage—not that I complained, but the erstwhile enchanting notes of vanilla and grapefruit now bore the funk of neatly weaved lies.

Three years ago, I had accompanied Rose to her friend’s wedding. Rose was probably the prettier of the two of us, which our father never hesitated to point out. She had told me about this wedding, which I really had no intention of attending. For some reason, I changed my mind. It was at this event that I met this handsome man. His perfectly asymmetrical lips caught my eye. They stretched from one side of his oblong face to the other, like a trapeze— delicately flinging candied compliments at me.
“I would be thickheaded to see a woman of such beauty and fail to acknowledge her,” he said, as he held my hands in his and stared into my eyes.
“Oh, please! I’m certain I am not the first benefactor of your charm.”
“That may be true, but it does not diminish your beauty.”

I should have known then, that a man whose lips dripped with passionate words, as the honeycomb spews honey, would one day dribble with ceaseless bile. And when you love a person and wish for them to stop their sinful ways, you must be willing to take severe action.
Pastor Kevin had said many Sundays before: “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you.” What then was I to do?

He had stopped at the house, but only to take his things. I persuaded him to at least have lunch with me—one last time. He agreed.

Now, all is well between us. He is with me whenever I relax on the veranda. He is with me when the bees court my English lavender, which sits in the burnt flower pot he bought me two years ago. Although, he often sits quietly and does not protest whenever the bees hover around him. I enjoy the buzzing sound of the bees, for it lifts my spirit and causes me to sing. I reach into the pot every time and lift him out—caressing those perfectly asymmetrical lips that once gripped my heart many years ago. I trace the purplish flesh, now stiff, and admonish him as I do whenever we are up here together.

“Come on now, darling. You know it is rude to stay silent when the bees sing.”

 

 

Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash