A Secret Grave 132: Chipping Away

 

According to the author of “A Hidden Grave,” Cynthia’s attitude toward Theo became as worrisome as Josie’s unquestioning devotion to him. To put it bluntly, she hated the guy. He had stolen her girlfriend’s heart, and she couldn’t bear it. Oh, she knew Josie didn’t feel romantic love for Theo, but her dedication to him was just as bad. The girl couldn’t stop quoting him and treating every word he said as gospel.

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green with envy

Jealousy, Ripton Scott, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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Weirdly, Cynthia resented every pound that came off Josie’s body. It wasn’t that she liked her girlfriend fat (she claimed she didn’t care either way), but that each inch Josie lost was testament to Theo’s power over her. In reality, she probably feared losing Josie. The face that had once been swollen with excess fat was now delicately beautiful. The double chin disappeared, there was definition to the cheeks, a swanlike neck emerged like Michelangelo’s “David” springing forth from a block of stone. Cynthia had known Josie thin before, but that thinness had been the result of one of Josie’s many diets, and not of Theo’s making. I suppose that when Cynthia looked at the shrinking Josie she saw Theo’s influence and control, rather than a body coming down to its natural weight.

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weight loss

Vintage Ad #1,312: Turn Your Body Into Text!, Jamie, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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And she was jealous. If Theo said to eat a soft boiled egg and two slices of cantaloupe for breakfast, she wanted to stick a slice of hot buttered toast on Josie’s plate, put heaps of sugar in her tea, and add cream instead of skimmed milk. She wanted to change out Theo’s herbs for vitamins, and find some way of stopping Theo’s hands from performing adjustments on her beloved’s body. And his stupid sayings that Josie was always quoting… “a body in tune has god’s light and love running through it”… Cynthia wanted to take his sayings and twist them: “a body is never in tune with anything but one’s own variable moods and the harsh tyranny of other people’s judgment.” The two women, who for ten years had lived in harmony, truly loving and enjoying one another, began to grumble and argue. They fought over which TV programs to watch and who was taking the dog to the vet and whose turn it was to clean the bathroom and whether to put the A/C at sixty-three or sixty-seven degrees and what to do about the falling down fence in the backyard – stupid stuff that would never merit two words of discussion in the past, but now chipped away at their relationship. In bed at night they were sometimes so angry that they slept on separate sides of the mattress, instead of cuddling up and holding one another close as usual. Theo lay between them, a third unwanted partner. And then the worst happened, and Theo and his machinations came between them forever.

 

To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcIHmLbI6qc

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