Jack stood as though paralyzed before the shared vanity mirror, hands poised to slip the knot of his tie firmly into place; though suddenly it already seemed too tight. The cacophony of silence hung between he and his wife. Time ceased to exist and his breath with it. He had tried everything to avoid this question, and now here it lay in the arena of their marriage; a veritable time bomb.
“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”
“Okay,” Jack thought, “silence.”
That he could do.
Jack’s wife continued to turn side to side, smoothing her hands along her ample form, examining her appearance from every angle. She glanced at him oddly, and he realized he was still holding his breath and standing motionless. He feigned checking his chin and neck for any nicks and scrapes, hoping beyond hope she would not ask again.
“Jack.” Her tone was mildly reproachful.
Nope. No such luck.
“Yes Dear?” He squeaked.
Jack longed to feign ignorance, or redirect her question, but “Thou shalt not bear false witness” chorused through his head. He groaned inwardly, closing his eyes briefly before focusing his full attention on his wife.
“Well Jull, do you like the dress?”
“Of course, I love it, but that is not what I asked.”
Jack swallowed hard. “I know,” he whispered, his eyes dropping to the floor, there was no avoiding it, no matter how desperately he wanted to. How could he forge ahead and not hurt his wife? “O Lord, please help me,” Jack prayed silently.
Tears began to well in Jull’s eyes. “So you do. You do think I’m...”
“Jull, honey, stop right there.” Jack closed the distance between them in two steps and gently cradled his wife’s hands in his own. He remembered the scriptures about love and how it is kind and patient, and how a husband is to love his wife as his own body. He placed a tender kiss on the back of her hand. “Jull, I love every inch of you.”
“It’s a lot of inches.” Jull’s quiet voice broke his heart.
“Jull Sprat,” he gently reprimanded. “I love each and every voluptuous curve you have to offer.”
“But I am not thin like the other women.”
“It’s not the other women I am in love with.” Jack pulled her into a warm embrace and held her tenderly.
“I’m not skinny like you,” Jull spoke into his shoulder. The defensive tone in her voice and the rigidity of her form told Jack that he was just not getting through. This issue, this elephant in the room, needed to be dealt with and accepted.
“Jull, you know that the Doctor put us on these diets. You can’t go comparing my low fat diet to yours and expect the same results.”
The bend in Jull’s head and the slump of her posture conceded her acquiescence.
Jack tipped his wife’s head up so that he could look deeply into her eyes. “Ultimately Jull, it doesn’t matter how you look in that dress, as when I see you, you take my breath away.” He sealed his words with a tender, yet passionate kiss.
When Jack Sprat and his lovely wife finally got on their way for supper they proceeded to have a wonderful time, and of course left the platter clean.
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