Missing Rib Half by Alex Clermont

Andrew lifted Kara off the sink’s edge, moved her to the closed toilet seat, worked his way around her cumbersome bridal gown, and continued.
Missing Rib Half
Missing Rib Half by Alex Clermont
Leaning over the sink while carrying Kara’s weight had been cramping Andrew’s butt severely. He had never had an ass cramp before, so his attention shifted as he tried to think of some new position that would allow the flow of blood to continue to his left cheek – stopping the pins and needles numbness that was also spreading to his left thigh. He was grateful for the distraction, however. He needed it to take his mind off the fantastic sex, the stunningly beautiful woman he was having it with, and the impending orgasm he was trying to fight back. Through whatever signals one can judge these things by, he seemed to be satisfying her. If he didn't come up with a new distraction however, it would soon be over. To remove himself, as much as was possible, from the ass numbing sex, Andrew began to tell himself the story of how he got here – how he found himself between a bride’s legs in a church bathroom on a Saturday morning. Kara moaned, “Goddamn it” into Andrew’s ear and he forced his mind to go back in time to the night before. ~~~~~ Andrew’s Friday night was one of those nights that had become one too many in the last three months. Smelling sour and sitting naked in his living room chair, Andrew spent all the hours past sunset reading love emails to and from his ex-girlfriend. The sentences that actually contained the word “love” were read aloud in whispers to no one but himself. He wrote that he "wanted to be with her forever." In reply she said she was "madly in love," and that he was "the most important man in her life." Andrew read these words, and others like them, again and again as he leaned forward on his seat – he chest against the back of the chair, and his eyes too close to the computer monitor. As he scrolled down the list of messages Andrew let old affections stab at him. Each paragraph pierced his heart, but after the adrenaline faded Andrew was left feeling weak, with a little less life in him than before. The jabs summoned memories of him and her lying in bed, her head on his chest. He was the happiest he had ever been as he ran his fingers through her short red hair and told her that he loved her. She playfully hit his stomach and said, “I was going to say that.” To friends who asked, Andrew said he was spending his Friday night with a few co-workers from the restaurant. What he actually did was stay in his too-large apartment in Lenox, Atlanta with his face near a screen until he fell asleep. He woke up dehydrated. "Yo yo yo. What are you up to today?" A phone call at 7:30 am pulled him back into the world. Donald’s voice sounded anxious and his pace was even faster than usual. With morning phlegm in his throat Andrew slowly answered, "Nothing. Why?" "I've got a strange but serious request." "I told you. I like women." Donald gave a light chuckle. "So you say. This is real though. Remember the wedding I told you about? My cousin's? The one I’ve got family coming in from Florida for? That really important thing?" "Yeah." "Well, one of the groomsmen is in jail. Some crazy bachelor party shit. I need you to take his place." "What?" There was a short silence as Andrew waited for more words. He continued, “I only met the man once. Why not an uncle, or another cousin or something?" "None of our uncles, or other cousins, or somethings are six feet four inches, 260 pounds, and can fit in an expensive, already paid for, tuxedo." Andrew sighed. "There'll be an open bar at the reception. Free food too. Better than staying home, making a mess of yourself over Casey." "How...?" "Cause I'm your best fucking friend.” Donald cut him off. “Now can I count on you to come?" "Alright, alright. Just let me know the whens and wheres." "Cool." Donald told him the details and Andrew got out of bed to do a favor for a friend. While brushing his teeth and trimming the edges of his shadow of a beard, Andrew looked at himself in the bathroom mirror. The reflection had dark lines under its eyes. The brown skin on its face sagged slightly and told stories about the sad night of the person looking at it. Andrew wanted to go back to bed and dream of everything that was dead and gone, but Donald was his best friend. And Donald said there'd be free food. Andrew washed up, brushed his low cut hair and beard, and got dressed. He hoped that his reflection stayed where it was and that he’d look halfway decent for the stranger’s wedding.


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