Love and Numbness – Austin L. Wiggins

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Thomas wrapped his clammy hands around Andrea’s. Despite the mounting uneasiness of maintaining eye contact, Thomas gazed into her eyes.

Margaret and James Kellar were coke addicts, so when their first child was born they gave him up for adoption. Margaret and James would never know it, but their child would be called Thomas after a Saint Thomas who supposedly wrote about angels. His coke-inundated birth made Thomas an irritated baby, and he was filled by an incomprehensible resentment towards his adoptive parents.

Andrea and Thomas were under a simple wooden arch and the blooming of spring provided the backdrop to their moment. Spring revived itself from the bleak of winter, and thanks to early rains, the bloom arrived early. Thomas’s smile was incomplete. It looked as if he had to force it to spread across his own face as joy crept on him.

When Thomas was sixteen he fled home seeking nothing in particular. He had been filled with a vision that his life could be better. A few nights into his missing status, Thomas was kidnapped. He never saw the man’s face, but he had taken Thomas as he was sleeping. The remainder of his time with the man was a haze, but the thought of a red light attached to a camera persisted. He was able to force back the details.

“Do you, Andrea Williams, take this man to be your wedded husband?”

“I do.”

“Do you, Thomas Wright, take this woman to be your wedded wife?”

Thomas thought of the immense pain life had brought him first. Then the utter numbness following the pain. The numbness endured for years without capitulation. Then a sparkle of joy entered his life. It wasn’t enough to vanquish the numbness and pain entirely, but it was enough to make him make the effort to smile.

“I do.”

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