The Fifteen-Year Marriage Diet – Free Story

The bathroom in the hotel suite has a marble sink top and matching double mirrors. Stan Weldon and his wife are dressing for a sales conference cocktail party and dinner. He’s standing before the “His” mirror, carefully buttoning his shirt. She, in a bra and panties, is looking in the “Her” mirror.

“Oh my God. Where did my waist go?”

He drapes an orange-and-blue silk tie around his neck, assessing how the pattern and color go with his shirt.

She turns this way, then that. “I used to have a waist.”

He’s going to have to get up and introduce Fischetti, the bastard. Fischetti copped the Top Sales Earner award again. That’s three goddamn years in a row.

“Can I ever get it back?” she says to her reflection.

He’s thinking maybe a barbed one-liner, get a laugh at Fischetti’s expense. The jerk will blow his own horn anyway.

“Where did it go?”

He tells himself to look over. “Your waist?”

“Is it gone forever?”

“You could get it back,” he says.

“At forty-four?”

Forty-four’s not that old, he thinks. Staring hard at his own face. Fischetti is going down. Next year, the prize is mine. “It can be done,” he says.

“I’m not optimistic.” She’s still studying the mirror.

“Determination,” he says.

“When did I lose it?”

“When we get back home,” he says. “I’ll put you on a regimen. Better get dressed now. We can walk over if you like.”

“Absolutely not,” she says. “Not in heels.”



David Daniel’s most recent short fiction can be found in Fungi, Sleet, and Insanity Tales II.
He teaches fiction writing at UMass, Lowell. Visit him at Facebook or Macmillan Books.


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