Hello, folks! Here is chapter 2. To preface, I am switching characters every other chapter, and putting it in the first person narrative. This one, true to the chapter's name, is Zachary's narrative. Enjoy!
The Salt of the Earth
Chapter 2: Zachary
I woke up to the sun on my face. It was warm, almost hot. Thank God for air conditioning, I thought, sighing. I looked down at the woman beside me, hugging her pillow as if it were a teddy bear.
She looked like an angel.
I wanted to touch her, to smooth her long red hair back at least. But she looked so peaceful, I hated to disturb her. Last night, we had come home from the Ethical Society in a Lyft car. My meager apartment in University city was only a one bedroom but it was home to me. Fiona had been amazing about the mess, but I didn’t mind when she cleaned it up. Until I realized her hips were hurting and she had to sit down, short of breath. Then I told her in no uncertain terms that I wanted her to be comfortable, and not push herself.
Somehow, I knew just by her body language that she’d been shamed to the point of feeling like such a squashed bug, I just couldn’t not hold her then and there. She cried again, this time much deeper, with more hysteria attached to it. Occasionally I told her to breathe, just so she wouldn’t pass out.
She shared her world with me, all of it. She hated the weight she carried, and shyly wondered if I minded it. Minded it? Was she serious? She looked like a Goddess to me. A bonafide, Botticelli Venus! Why did people in this world think that thin was so beautiful? Why did they do such horrible things to themselves if they even had an inch of body fat, let alone a yard?
It was so beautiful to see her release her shame and smile at me. GOD, that smile is majestic! I need that smile. I need it for the rest of eternity.
I need, also, to call the hospital about Rachel.
Last night, after Fiona wept, we again made love. Our bodies were achin