Isabella causes hilarity

Isabella causes hilarity

Thomas couldn’t help himself. It came upon him all of a sudden. So suddenly that he didn’t have time even to catch his breath and he gulped on his own laughter. And in the gulp found himself continuing to laugh while almost falling off his chair in an attempt to look for the breaths he was losing. They were nowhere to be found and he laughed more, now spluttering. Everytime he repeated the words that Isabella had spoken, when he entered the room, he would laugh more, uncontainably. Isabella looked on more distressed than content. Thomas’s whole face contorted and no sign of a quick recovery from his altered state. Isabella spoke, “All I asked you was ‘Foos your doos? When you came in’” That was it, now, Thomas dropped off his chair which could no longer support his rocking frame without tumbling him out on to something more solid. The floor. Isabella sat quietly. Did she assist, did she call for help, thought Isabella. Was it all her fault. Surely not! Would Thomas ever forgive her if permanent damage ensued to his strong body. Would he look to a bruise or a cracked rib and call her accusingly. Afterall, she thought more, it was just words. Rhyming certainly. Mysterious even but still words. ‘Foos your doos, for goodness sake” Yes, she understood the contrariness of her inquiry in asking how he was that day. And, she understood the words would be new to him and perhaps even puzzling. Isabella sat. Thomas cried water not tears. She would wait. Thomas placed his rough hand on the table top pulling himself up and still laughing. Would he drop again, she wondered. If she moved would she be complicit in the drop. She sat with a smile. So small a smile it might not even have been there but at the corners of her lips the self-satisfied happiness danced. Thomas spoke, “Fooooooos your……..” collapsing again into the chair. Why would he do this, Isabella thought, like some form of self-punishment re-telling the story in his head when he could already choose composure. F-f-f-f-f-foo” and off he trotted again hands now catching the water from both eyes and, for Isabella, the first breath that re-assured her he wasn’t going to die in her presence today. “Ooo-o-h,” he spoke, taking a pack of breaths in that didn’t seem to provide even enough breath to fuel speech. “Ooo-oo-oh” he said. Isabella could now tell from his coming composure that he had learned to push away the words for a sufficient time to allow some sort of conversation to take place. As long as he avoided repeating her greeting to him he would soon be fine, thought Isabella. And he was. Coming back to her with a flourish in his cheeks not from some rough-cut shave but a redness of the poppy petal flowering below his eyes. He was very happy in his laughter! Three little words, Isabella thought, was all it took. A surprise greeting filled with the room with happy laughter that she would remember for a long, long time. Thomas sat, still catching a breath and bursting into fresh hiccups of laughter. The sort of hiccups that go away and come back at the very moment you thought they’d sorted themselves out. Thomas laughed. “It’s Scotch,” said Isabella. I got it from a letter I received from an old schooler of mine and she continued in explanation, “I say ‘foos your doos’ and you reply.” but Thomas was already laughed again, “..and you reply aye peckin awa, aye peckin awa”. Isabella was not sure at all if Thomas had even heard her full sentence as in an instant he returned to his stricken state. Isabella decided in a moments rush to explain, if even for her own entertainment. “And the aye peckin awa has to be said twice or it doesn't count”. Isabella decided that any person so contorted with laughter could not posses the ability to listen with their ears. “Very curious”, she thought, “he hasn't even heard me but like a spark of the tinder he had suggested to himself to relight the fire in his hearty belly”. Isabella said, “Foos your doos...aye peckin awa, aye peckin awa” repeated Isabella now contented that she had explained the greeting to herself and the even more suitable response in a manner that made perfect sense. “Very Scotch!” she said and smiled and sat and laughed a little. Thomas took some time to gather himself. Isabella got up to kiss him. She kissed the top of his head through his prodigious dark hair. A kiss that was not too brief that it didn't linger and long enough only to allow it to travel all the way to his heart. And it did. Always a kiss, she thought. Always her kiss that settled Thomas and even in his laughter he had returned to her. Isabella caught herself. “Enough said” she said. “Will we continue our storytelling?” she asked of Thomas. Thomas spoke strongly, “Not today, Isabella. You have placed me in a fragile state from which there is no recovery today.” Isabella smiled and understood. “Shall we go for a walk?” asked the inquiring Thomas still grinning widely with pride at being with her in his laughter. “Only if you pick me a flower. Every journey has to have its purpose, Thomas, and I’d like you to pick a flower for me that makes you laugh and I will remember today fondly. And you.”

Isabella took his hand. Thomas stood up from his chair already apologising for not rising when she lifted herself from her chair. They walked out with Thomas opening each door in each room and outer passage to allow the Isabella to parade through the corridors like a Queen. Thomas was no attendant. He was her Consort. Isabella smiled awaiting her flower which she had already picked herself. Thomas.

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