Fiction Friday: Body Language


Photo via Wiki Commons

His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke. “I’m sorry,” he said. “There’s nothing more we can do.”

Molly placed her hands palm down on her thighs and rubbed down her legs, then crossed her arms and slid her palms up opposite arms. “Well,” she said. “Well. In the end, it comes to us all, doesn’t it?”

“Mrs. Folk?”

She looked up, met his gaze. “I’m all right, doctor. It’s just…it’s so beautiful. I never realized.”

“What’s so beautiful?”

She blinked. “My body.” She held out her hands, opened and closed them. “Look at that. Until today, all I saw was freckles and calluses. But think of the meals these hands have made. The babies they’ve rocked. The rows they’ve hoed.” She shook her head. “It’s just beautiful, that’s all.”

Dr. Wheeler ran his tongue over his lips. “Mrs. Folk, would help if I brought in someone for you to talk to?”

Molly expelled a sound, one part sigh, one part laugh. “You think I’m in shock, don’t you?”

He raised his eyebrows and tilted his head. “Well…”

“What kind of people do you normally see?” she said, exasperated. “You act like you’ve never told a woman she’s going to die before.” Molly fiddled with the sloppy hem of the examining gown, fat and skinny side by side. “At times like this, you look back on your life. You wonder if you’ve done everything worthwhile you could. If you’ve done anything worthwhile at all.”

He clicked his pen three times. His Adam’s apple bobbed. “You’ve done worthwhile things, Mrs. Folk. Think of the library, and the scholarship.”

“Oh, I know.” She waved it all away. “I’ve used my money for good. But I never really did anything. Myself–with my own body. My own hands, my own feet.” She held them up, flexed her toes. “Just marvelous,” she said softly. “I never even paid attention. I could have done so much more with all this.”

He cupped her elbow and ducked his head to meet her gaze. “There’s still time, you know.”

She looked up then, and he was relieved to see at last the shine of tears in her eyes. “You’re right, doctor,” she said. “Six months is long enough to make a difference.” She drew a deep breath and smiled. “I think it’s time I join my boys at the mission in Haiti.”

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood


7 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: Body Language

  1. It took me a moment to figure out what to say. What a powerful and touching scene. It’s clear the doctor has no clue how to handle Mrs. Folk. I’d love to see what happens next.

  2. I think you did a good job of capturing a moment which can be so very awkward and heartfelt and memorable.

    I love the clicking of the pen. I can hear it in my mind.

    I’m confused a bit. She says she’s hoed and held babies. Than, she says she never did things with her hands. Forgive me if I’m a bad reader, but I missed something.

  3. Sandra Tyler

    Fiction Friday, like that….thanks for reading my tale tues. no, that 93 yr old is my mother. I had my Bo’s at 40 and 42. She had me ad 45. So it oes add up:))

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