Here’s another poetic prose/vignette piece! The prompt was to take an idiom and bring it to life; I picked “through thick and thin” and then another one wiggled its way into the writing towards the end. I hope you enjoy!
Edit: I just remembered that this is also supposed to be sort of a prequel to a poem a wrote a little while ago, Effervescent Evanescence, y’all should check it out!
Through Thick and Thin
Recently, life had been as thick as porridge. He’d had to wade through it, though it sucked and pulled at his boots, cloying and heavy. It hadn’t always been like this; once, he’d practically floated through life it was so thin, he could hardly breathe through a euphoric filter, and she’d been with him every step of the way, anchoring him when he thought he might float away, and buoying him when he thought he might drown. And through it all she’d never changed, never flinched. He loved that about her – her control of her emotions, and, eventually, his. She wasn’t so much self-possessed, he’d tell others, as self-commanded. He loved a lot of things about her, from the way she hummed and danced around the kitchen while cooking the best damn meatloaf he’d ever had, the way her nose crinkled and crow’s feet appeared at the corners of her eyes when he made her laugh, to the shape of her butt, saggy though the years may have made it. Truthfully, he loved how the years had changed her appearance, for it only accentuated how little she’d changed otherwise.
But could he really call it love? He’d always been told he’d know when he started to love someone, but he never started loving her, he’d loved her all along. He didn’t know that until he met her, of course, but once he did, he knew that he’d always loved her and always would. If it wasn’t love, it was at least as good.
When he stood in front of the world and vowed to be with her through thick and thin, he’d meant it, even if he didn’t expect there to be quite so much thick involved. No, it was never meant to be like this, she, stroking his hand from the hospital bed, smiling up at him as resolute in her positivity as the day they found out she was pregnant, and he, fighting back tears, as terrified of the unknown as the day their daughter wasn’t home at curfew after that party.
That night had been thick. When the officer knocked on the door, he thought he would choke on the thickness; there was no way he could continue to breathe, but she had been there for him, wading effortlessly through the quicksand and pulling him out after her. Life had been muddy ever since, but there were still moments when the mud thinned out.
And then one day she’d started coughing, and never stopped. The doctors said she had lung cancer, and that it was good they’d caught it early. But as the months and years dragged on, the chemicals made her frail, her silver hair fell out in clumps into the mud, and the cough didn’t go away. He knew that she was ready to be with their daughter, but was fighting with her everything to not leave him alone. He needed her, and she knew that. Even now, as he smiled down at her frail form under those paper-thin sheets through blurry eyes, she seemed to glow a silvery light, all around her. At least he had her. For now, he reminded himself, for now. She was never his to keep.
With ragged breathing, she beckoned him closer. He bent to her painfully, but all the pain in the world couldn’t keep him from hearing her labored words: “I’m your silver lining, don’t you dare forget to look for me.” Then she grabbed his face with her still-strong hands, pressed his forehead to hers, and answered the knock at the door with a sad smile.