how do you tell your lover she has bad breath, he muses as she lays behind him in bed – spooned. her hands clasping him through his hands, as he faces away, planting wet kisses – each a mixture of volatile sulfur compounds – on his back. he cringes with each kiss. she is giggling, mistaking his cringing for erogenous sensitivity. he can virtually feel the bacteria crawling all over his back. he gently removes her hands, and sits up in bed – his back to her, his head in his hands. she sits up behind him and hugs him from behind. she nibbles on his ear lobes and then plants wet kisses on the back of his neck – in between kisses she chatters endlessly. he stops breathing. unable to hold his breath any longer, he gets off the bed – the whole room swirling with a sulfuric haze, the sweltering heat isn’t helping issues. as he walks out of the room – his irritation trails behind him. he walks to the fridge in the living room, and takes out two bottles of water. steeling himself he walks back to the room – she is kneeling on the bed, completely naked. staring through her he says, “something about you is causing me great concern.” she gives him her favorite you’re so sweet’ expression. he hands her a bottle of water – she declines, and pats the space beside her on the bed – he declines. “what i am going to say next is somewhat awkward.” oh not another one, she muses. “i’m worried i might hurt your feelings when i say it. but i have to be truthful to you.” why don’t you just leave and spare me the embarrassment, she muses. her heart pounding violently against her bared breasts. he opens the bottle of water in his hand and takes a huge gulp. “i want you to know i am only doing this because i love you.” this is the third time she has heard that phrase this year – and it’s only april. she moves to the edge of the bed, and swings her lovely long legs off the bed – completely exposed. beautiful. “i know you’ll do the same if you were in my position, because you love me.” awkward pause. he takes another huge gulp of water. looking directly into her doe-like hazel eyes he says, “whenever we’re extremely close, i can smell your breath.” he takes a swig of water, pouts, shuts his eyes, and waits for the ‘leave now’ speech.

with tears in her eyes, she gets off the bed and hugs him tightly. “thanks for letting me know. what do we do about it?”