By JL Mo
At the dawn of civilization…
The cave was dark. She woke with all the animal skins being thrown on top her. She pushed them off and reached for her mate of thirty summers. He flung her arm off of him, as if it were a snake.
“Grok? What happened?”
“Nothing,” was his terse reply.
“Is it.. .you know?”
“Yes, it’s you know,” he whispered harshly.
“I’m sorry. I’ll leave you alone.”
“Sure, run away. I can’t escape.”
“Do you want me to stay with you?”
“What good would that do, Gyrll?”
“You’re having a moment. I’ll just—”
“I know what I’m having! I’m lying in bed, sleeping soundly, only to wake up and break out into a sweat like I’ve been running from a saber tooth for the last freaking hour! I know what I’m having!”
Gyrll knew nothing good could be said right now. Grok would only give her a nasty remark. She got out of bed, intending to get him something to drink. He said nothing to her as she left the cave.
The stars shimmered in the night sky. The tribe’s starman, Degraasy, said a wishing star would be sailing across the sky, and he was right. A bright light, with a long tail, seemed to hover just above the horizon. Anything wished on it would become so, according to Degraasy, and she hoped it was true. She locked her eyes on the sky light and closed her eyes, thinking of Grok.
They had seen the medicine man, even though this was normal for all men of his years. Each man handled WoManapause differently, but the symptoms were all the same. Hot flashes, mood swings, forgetfulness. Her friend Brock’s mate was a dream according to her. He never woke her once when he went through the hot flash stage. Although, she still occasionally had to listen while he cried about how his mother was crushed by a woolly mammoth. At least he only told the story two or three times a week.
Gyrll had listened to plenty of Grok’s sad stories, but it was the complaining that drove her crazy. She’d suffered childbirth and not griped half as much.
Help me, star. Help Grok.
She jumped at his quiet approach. “Grok, you startled me.”
“I’m sorry for everything I said. You’ve been awesome through this. I know I wouldn’t want to live if a cave bear ate you or something.”
A wave of love washed over her. He seemed so sincere. “Thank you, Grok.” Gyrll looked into his beautiful eyes shining in the star light, and felt her heart race. Maybe the star can help.
“It’s getting late,” she said. “Look, it’s already two stars past the moon. Let’s go back to bed.”
He took her in his arms and hugged her gently.
“Come on, big guy,” Gryll said as she pulled out of his arms. “Let’s get going.”
“Let’s go to bed.”
“No. The big guy comment. What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’re saying I’m fat.”
“No. I’m just – ”
“Oh, forget it, Gyrll. Why don’t you just sleep in the other cave like you wanted to do in the first place?”
“What the—what do you want from me?”
“I want you to take a minute and consider how I feel. What I’m going through.”
“Sure baby. I’ll pause for a minute and try.”
“You’re doing it again!”
“What? Doing what?”
“Talking to me like I’m an idiot! Stop! I can’t change what I’m suffering!”
“I know that! If I could take it all from you, I would!”
“Oh sure. You’d take on the searing heat, the blinding rage? As if a woman could handle it!”
“Blargh! I’m sure we’d do a better job of handling it than you guys! I wish all women could take it from man.”
At that moment, the star flared brilliantly.
And that is how women came to suffer Menopause.
JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.