Shelling the Shrimps

The progressions of this, marriage, translated…

He’d left a box of Pacific white shrimps on the table, inside a bag, then, went into the bedroom, without, a second word.

She’d untied the bag, and found, the water from the melted ice, it seemed, that the shrimp had been, defrosted for a little while now, and, she worried, that they will not be fresh again if she’d, put them back into the freezer, and so, she can only, take the shrimps out, one, by one, looking like the diamond pendants, glittering on.

how it’s done, to make the pieces complete…photo from online…

There were, the leftover foods from her two kids, along with the not-yet-cleaned up mess, that sign, of the usual hurriedness of life, that came, once every week, before the kids’ art classes. She’d usually dropped the kids off to their class, then, came back home to share a meal with him, and, the two of them usually ate the leftover and already cold meal together, the kitchen had already been tidied up, and she’d not wanted to, start up the fire again, and decided, to make the simple salt-baked shrimp. She’d cleaned the shrimps up, got the intestines out, and, lain a thick layer of salt at the bottom, then, buried the shrimps in, she’d done it, step, by step, it’s just, that she’d not made this dish a long time, she’d forgotten, the time which the shrimps should be, cooked.

He loved shrimps. When they were in love, they’d gone to that quick stir-fry place, and ordered up an assortment flavored shrimps, with cool beer. She’d never learned, how to take the shells off the shrimps gracefully, and so, the very first time she saw him do it, it felt like, she was watching a magic show; first, he’d, placed the shrimp using the chopsticks onto his tongue, then, turned out the power of his lips and teeth, and, in no more than just a few short moments, the shell had, separated from the flesh, then, the shrimp bounced back out of his lips, and she’d, hollered out in amazement. Then, he’d taken that shrimp with his own saliva, put it next to her lips, without a second thought, she’d, taken the gentleness with her lips away from him, and, after that freshness of the seafood got into her taste buds, she’d, smiled so radiantly, like a, flower in bloom.

the shrimp became “slaughtered”, the pieces too short, not my photograph…

After that, she’d no longer, troubled herself over the shrimps, every time they’d gone out to eat together, even IF it was, with a group of friends, whenever shrimps were served, he’d shell it for her, then, put it into her bowl. And, she’d returned his kindness, with an assortment of shrimp dishes she’d created herself, until after she got pregnant after they married, fearing that the unborn child may become allergic, then, shrimps had, disappeared, from the dinner tables. And, after the child was born, she’d, hurriedly cooked the meals, and, calculated each and every second they took in dining, using the already shelled shrimps to make the dishes, she’d not needed, to find troubles for herself.

tonight, this box of shiny shrimp had, barged into their once-a-week dinner date alone.

The prepared shrimp gave off that aroma, drifted between her and him, but, there’s, NO shared common topics they can discuss, and that, was when she realized, that without the voices of her two kids, how quiet the house became. And, the only interactions they’d shared, was the temperature left, on the chopsticks and spoons for the plates of food, that was, when their kids were young, in order, to prevent cross-contamination, they’d prepared, and, as the kids grew older, the use of the common chopsticks and spoons had, become a sort of a habit.

And, that plate of overly baked up shrimp, couldn’t, seem to, rouse up his taste buds, he’d still, continued, sliding his cell phone, with NO intentions, of start eating. She’d pinched up that shrimp that’s lost the lusters, shaken off the salt on it, and because the flesh was too dried, it’d become, clamped together with the shells, very difficult to take off, she’d, clumsily, taken the shells off, and, the grains of salt remaining on the shells, they’d, pricked her dried up hands, like she was, trying to prove something to him, she’d, continued, taking the shells off the shrimps one, by one, and, by the bowl, there were, the shells of the shrimps everywhere, and the finished products on the plates, either that, they were, all broken down into various pieces, or that, they’d become, the remains of the cooked up pieces of shrimps. She’d still, NEVER learned, how to take the shells off the shrimps elegantly.

the distance between the two people here, not my photo…

She’d suddenly recalled the day after they’d had sex for the first time together, he’d taken her to his favorite all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet, she’d dangled a red cooked shrimp in front of her, smiled and stated, “You know, you really do look like it when you are asleep.” Yup, how come, back then, he could, spoon her all night long, and, they’d, slept, in each other’s arms curled up together, and not felt achy all over in the morn?

The memories of those shrimps which were tossed in the broiling water by him, had fought hard, as a last attempt, to make their ways out of the boiling pot, and still, now, she’d, become, inanimate, not making a single struggle, just, watched the deformed pieces of shrimp, spread, between the two of them, losing the food’s original scent and temperature.

So, you can see, how much had changed, in the short time they’d been, married, and, from before when they were just dating, the man wanted to impress the woman, that, was why, he was so gentle, in taking care of getting rid of the shell of the shrimp for her, and after they married, and had kids, things had, changed, and, with their children being born, things turned to bland, and now, she’d become, the broken pieces of shrimp that she’d created, in making their supper together………………


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