Their Illicit Lover

ct-1101One of the darker things I’ve posted–for a reason. Read to the end. This is a true story.

He said he would kill them

In his time, in his way

And yet they let him stay

Even before they loved each other

They loved him

Faithfully and steadfastly

And when they married

He moved in with them


Years fell away

They had children

Dreamed dreams

Lost their dreams

Then found them again

Aged a little

And aged a little more


They shared everything with him


Yet he never ceased to whisper,

“One day I will kill you”

By now it seemed a carnal jest

A monkeyshine


And then he killed the man


The woman was gutted, emptied

The man had been everything to her

 “Not you!” she screamed,

“It was never you I loved!”

And yet she let him stay


A generation passed

Before she found the courage

To make him leave

When she did, he said,

“Did you think it would matter?”


Eight more years passed

And then suddenly and without warning

He came to fulfill his promise


“Why did you wait until now?” she whispered


“Wait?” he said

“My dear,

I began killing you

The day we met”


He stayed till the end

Not because he loved her

But because he wanted to watch


Cigarette smoking kills six million people every year. It is the most preventable cause of death in the world. It killed both of my grandfathers. It killed my mother and my father, too. It was they who inspired this story. She was 69. He was 45. I will miss them forever.

I will not miss their illicit lover.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Their Illicit Lover

  1. Lilly says:

    I’ll be honest, I had to skip to the end because the beginning was repellent (which usually you don’t repel me). After I realized it was cigarettes and not an actual man I read the whole thing. But I guess that’s the point, cigarettes are repellent. And dangerous. Very clever story and very effective. I’m only sorry it had to be inspired from personal loss.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I can so relate to this. Though I’ve never smoked myself, both of my parents did and they both died of cancer too young. It makes me so angry when I see young people today smoking. When my parents started smoking in the 40s the effects of cigarettes weren’t as well known. Why anyone would start in this day and age I’ll never understand.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Nice! Cigarettes killed both my grandfathers, as well. Fortunately, my father quit before he was 30 or he might have, as well. It never ceases to amaze me that people still choose to smoke.

    Liked by 4 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      So sorry to hear about your grandfathers, Victoria–and glad to hear that your father skirted the bullet! Yes, most people begin smoking when they’re young and believe (although they won’t admit it) that they’re immortal.


  4. Very well-written & powerful!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. tabitha59reachingout says:

    I lost a grandfather to lung cancer (smoking) another grandfather to alcohol, my Dad is (so far) a colon cancer survivor (can also be caused by smoking which he did a lot of) and my mother and sister had terrible asthma from my Dad’s smoking for years as well. It’s a nasty thing. Good for you for speaking out. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. BelleUnruh says:

    This was very moving. I’m sorry about your parents. I had an uncle die of lung cancer at 42 yrs. old. He smoked non-filtered cigarettes, 3 packs a day. I smoked as a teen. I quit at 19. I started again when I started having mental problems 10 years ago. I wish I’d never started again, but I do believe God will help me quit.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I see any addiction as Satan interfering in a relationship. Powerful!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Sandi Staton says:

    WOW! So, so true. Smoking kills. It killed my dad and his second-hand smoke killed my mother who never smoked yet died of lung cancer. Hubby and I kicked out the killer 40 some years ago. Best parting we ever made! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It would be good if people would think of the consequences and how this would affect their loved ones. Good story.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. goroyboy says:

    Wow what a powerful message

    Liked by 3 people

  11. rothpoetry says:

    What a true story this one is for sure! Dwight

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Like drinking, smoking is a terrible vice. My condolences my friend, God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. sophie says:

    Thank you for this, Mitch. So powerful. Sorry to hear about your loved ones, Thankfully my dad quit before I was born, but there are still so many people I love – so many people in the world – who smoke. My thoughts are always with them.

    Liked by 2 people

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