Christian stood in front of the mirror again. He tightened his robe and looked down at his mediocre figure. Jessica came up behind him and kissed his neck.
"Are you okay?"
Christian didn't change his expression. Disappointment was all he could feel and show. "No, I'm not."
"You look incredibly sad."
"I'm actually pretty angry," his voice was soft but somehow guilty.
"Why are you angry?"
Christian wrapped his arms around his keg of a stomach to hide his shame. "I'm mad at myself. I'm mad at my genetic code. I'm just angry at my entire appearance."
Jessica stood next to him like they did the first night they made love. Her skin had gained some elasticity, but it wasn't fully recovered yet. "I don't look very appealing either."
They glanced at each other's figure through the mirror.
"It's more than my appearance, though."
"What's really on your mind?"
"I have prostate cancer."
Jessica didn't know how to react to that. She was deeply saddened at how this was effecting him. It was treatable, but it effected him on so many emotional levels. "You're worried about me?"
Christian hated to admit it, but she had hit the nail on the head. "It's why I can't satisfy you."
Jessica took his hand and kissed his fingers. "We can get through this."
"I appreciate that you've stuck with me this far, but I don't expect you to stay."
Jessica took his other hand and made him face her. "Stop it. I love you. That isn't going to change because your body doesn't work the way you want it to."
"It doesn't work the way you want it to," Christian was quick to respond. "You have needs and I can't fulfill them."
"You have held me every night. You have hugged me when I was sad. You kissed me when I needed attention. You listen when I need to talk and you look at me when I need to know you see me and not just another conquest. Not to mention you can finger me like a god. Your body works in all the ways I need it to and then some."
Christian sat on the bed and gazed up at her with sad eyes. "You deserve a fully functioning man. Not a broken mediocre boob."
Jessica placed a hand on his shoulder and the other on his cheek. "You are my man, Christian. You are. Now tell me the truth. Why would it even come to mind for me to walk away just because of this? Do you not trust me? Haven't I proven that I'm not going anywhere?"
Christian closed his eyes and let his head drop. He couldn't answer her. He couldn't find the words.
She brought her hand from his shoulder to the top of his thinning hair. He was twenty-seven and she could spot gray hairs. It had to be stress related.
"You're stressed, Chris. You need to relax."
"I don't think you'll understand if I tell you."
"I'll try my best to understand you. You know that."
Chris didn't look up. He felt so much shame. "I can't let myself trust that you'll stay with me forever. Every time I do, I lose. But when I keep that much of a distance and prepare myself for the loneliness, it's like waiting for a train to leave that just won't leave. It's tiring and damned frightening."
Jessica kissed the top of his head and held him tight to her lower chest until he held her back. She had felt that before meeting him all the time. And it all made sense. This could be the source of his stress.
She placed her fingers under his jaw and brought his head up to look at her. "I am not going anywhere, Chris. Do you get me? I love you!" She sat next to him and they leaned on each other and watched each other in the mirror. "I love you, Chris."
Created: Mar 18, 2014chrisinthekeys Document Media