Bill’s Teeth: a short story

             His wife’s God-given name had been Rosamund Virginia Winters. She was called Rosie for short. The first time Bill had seen Rosie Winters and heard her name spoken was a moment he never forgot. The sound of her name had struck a chord within his heart, summoning romance and whimsy for the very first time. He had thought it the most interesting name in the world, evocative and strange. His mind constantly searched for an image to match it. Rosie treated him kindly and thought him smarter than he thought himself. She had been his partner for fifty-four years until she died one Wednesday afternoon, while he stood in an unusually long line at the post office.

            As he sat now, at seventy-six years old, he thought of Rosie. They had retired to Ruidoso, New Mexico, where the clear mountain air restored their lungs and lives. His long legs stretched out before him and rested on the cozy green ottoman she had purchased just for him. His heels touched and his feet splayed out in opposite directions, affording him just enough space in between to see the flickering of his TV. His feet looked rotten. They were unkempt, which is something that Rosie would have never let happen. She had always made sure he was lovingly groomed for public display, but after her death, he let himself go.

             Bill’s usual afternoon had been interrupted again by a sharp, cold pain in the back of his mouth. He had been watching Working Girl with Melanie Griffith and was already up to his favorite scene. He owned this movie, but today it was on television. He watched the broadcast version with commercial breaks every fifteen minutes while the worn VHS sat right beneath his feet, in a hefty drawer built into the side of his recliner.
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