(Had written this for the Writer's Group a while ago. One of my first attempts at fiction.)
There are 50 ways to leave your lover
Yell at her, curse her, just don’t shove her
And when she looks at you with aching eyes
Tell her the reason for saying goodbye.
“You’re doing it again, dammit,” shouted Lawrence.
Lorraine looked at him, eyes brimming. Her lips parted but no words came out.
“Don’t look at me that way, Lorraine,” said Lawrence. “You knew this was coming.”
Knew it was coming?
Not in a million years
Hadn’t we shared more
Than dreams, hopes and fears?
The muscle in Lawrence’s jaw twitched and his eyes narrowed. Lorraine looked away. Eighteen months together, and he could read her mind, it seemed.
“You can’t help it, can you?” he said, with a bitter laugh.
Lorraine was trapped. Saying anything would prove him right. Maybe if she didn’t say a word, he’d change his mind about leaving.
“If you’ve got nothing to say, I’ll leave,” said Lawrence.
The words flew out of Lorraine’s mouth before she could register them,
“Please I beg you, please don’t go.
You must know I love you so.
If you leave I’d be so lost
My heart would be in permafrost."
Lawrence pounded the table sending the cutlery flying. Lorraine started, and the tears she'd been holding back, spilled down her cheeks.
“Tell me Lorraine,” roared Lawrence, “can you utter one sentence without making it into bloody poetry?"
Lorraine was sobbing now. Lawrence was right; she just couldn't help it. Call it a gift or a curse, but ever since she'd learned to speak, the words had tumbled out in rhymes. Her parents had taken her to several doctors and therapists, but they could offer no explanations, nor prescribe a cure for her quirk. Eventually, her parents accepted that her brain was just wired differently.
But outside home, acceptance wasn't so easy. In second grade, her teacher made her stand outside class for an hour for 'being cheeky'. All Lorraine had said was,
"I did my homework, I really did slog
But then it got ate up by Billy my dog."
There were times when her 'habit' as she called it went into remission. And for months at a time she spoke normally, but it only took one harmless little verse to set her off again.
The last time it had happened, she was on her way home after her first date with Lawrence. She was so happy and radiant, the words wrote themselves in her head.
I think we'll be together
Come sunshine or rain.
Lovers now and forever
Lawrence and Lorraine!
Initially, Lawrence thought it charming and funny, and even encouraged her to write a book of verse. But when she broke into rhyme during intimate moments, he wasn't as amused.
And right now, he was livid.
"I can't take it anymore, Lorraine," said Lawrence, clutching his hair. You're a nice girl, but this rhyme thing you do... it's driving me out of my mind."
Lorraine wiped her tears with, and said in a quavering voice,
"I love you, is all I can say
And maybe this is the price I pay
Someday you'll come to see
The beauty in my poetry"
Lawrence strode out, slamming the door. By the time he had reached the road he was breathing heavily. He needed a smoke and he needed to get away. He walked fast, his hands jammed into the pockets of his denim. He'd get over her, he knew he would.
He walked into the petrol station and barked at the attendant behind the counter,
“One Marlboro, one espresso. And some chewing gum, to go.”
The attendant paused before ringing in the bill and said, "Hey you know what mister that rhymes". He didn't notice the colour draining from Lawrence’s face.