Saturday, 13 December 2014

Day 14: Marilyn's Alter Ego by Glynis Scrivens

It was typical of Jonathan to have a thing about Marilyn Monroe, Lisa thought.
There he was, sitting opposite her at the kitchen table, sipping his morning coffee, raising his mug in a silent salute to his idol, who smiled at him from the calendar, her skirt billowing around her shoulders.
 He should know better at his age. Seventy, for goodness sake. Old enough to have grown out of this
 Old enough to know that women and gravity weren't the best of bedmates over time, as she bore testimony. Was that Marilyn's big attraction? He never had to watch her beauty decline, the wonderful blonde hair become thin and lose its bounce, the famous legs get cellulite. She'd always be young and gorgeous. Timeless.
 "It's her birthday tomorrow," he confided.
 "And it's mine next week. You'd do well to remember that."
Last year he'd actually forgotten. Not Marilyn's special day, of course, but Lisa's. The one who'd put up with his moods and his sometimes tenuous grasp of reality all these years.
For what, she sometimes wondered? Security? A roof over her head? Surely it came at a cheaper price?
     No, she loved him. Silly Jonathan, with his calendars and his hangups. He'd walked into her life one day at the supermarket where she worked, and that was it. Her life changed the moment he approached her checkout.
There was something gentle and appealing about him. He seemed both strong and vulnerable, which intrigued her. She still remembered the contents of his shopping trolley. A double-layered chocolate cake, candles and a magazine. She’d noticed the smiling cover shot of Marilyn. He wasn’t the first man to buy this issue.
“Somebody’s birthday?” she’d said, scanning the barcode on the packet of candles. Noticing that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.
She’d liked the sound of his voice.
They’d started talking, and he’d invited her to coffee during her break. A few months later he’d won her heart.
 Love was blind.
And possibly silly as well.
Was it Marilyn taking him to hospital today? Sitting with him while he waited for the results of his tests? Going to the cafeteria to bring them both a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich, if the wait was too long? Did Marilyn care that he was a diabetic? That he might have a tumour?

About the author:
Glynis Scrivens writes short stories, and has been published in Australia, UK, Ireland, South Africa, US and Scandinavia.  She writes for Writers' Forum (UK). She has had articles in Pets, Steam Railway, Ireland's Own, The New Writer and Writing magazine. Her work has appeared in seven anthologies. She lives in Brisbane with her family and a menagerie of hens, ducks, dogs, lorikeets, and a cat called Myrtle.

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