Preventative Measures

RR, BG, and WO conspired to begin with the two following short paragraphs and to each offer their own story in this experience group.  We did this for the pleasure of ourselves and each other.  The situations and characters are real, more or less.  

In the dim light of the bulb over the stove, she stood at the sink looking not so much out the kitchen window as at the glass, total darkness on the other side.  Her reflection told her of her years and she stroked her cheek with the back of her right hand, sweeping a large lock of hair from her forehead and over her eye back onto the top of her head.  Yes, a bit of gray was there amid the dark strands.  Look what's become of us, she thought, as she saw his reflection in the glass approaching from behind.  Ever since he'd replaced the old tile floor, that man in bare feet was as silent as a cat.  His arms now around her waist, she felt his lips against her fleshy collarbone, then the gentle bite of his teeth at the base of her neck.  She tilted her head to the left and moaned gently, encouraging him.

Soon it would be morning, and she thought, not of him, with whom she had shared the past 4 1/2 years, but rather of another, with whom she had seen the most brilliant sunrises of her young adulthood.  Then, everything had seemed possible, the entire world at her disposal.  That man and his friends, Steve and Drew, along with her friend, Cherie, were exploring.  The others disapproved.  Now, sunrise meant duty.  Then, sunrise had meant the potential for adventure was only half finished.

His teeth were the most delightful, desirable distraction.  But tonight, they called to mind a rougher touch.  Softer hands, smaller.  They had all been so young !  She inhaled deeply.  There was a low-lying hint of citron, a chemical, artificial hallucination of lemons from the scented dish-liquid.  She didn't really like it.  She bought it because it was the one Rie had liked, and the slightly nauseating smell made her feel closer.  Rie, with her small fingernails- if she thought about it, she could almost feel the neat half-moons of pressure, hear the soft breathing near her ear.

She felt herself back in time, knew her hair felt too short, knew the hands moulding her breasts were too masculine, the pressure against her lower back a presence that only belonged to Rie in her most Puckish moments.  Rie had hated the harness, had hated it so much that she had made them all go down to the sex shop together to buy new toys.  What an odd night that had been !  She could still remember the delicate crispy-bubble fluff of the whites of her fried eggs the next morning.

But there was an insistent tug at her nipple, too gentle for the memory, and she brought herself back to the kitchen, back to the depressing sameness of every single...  She knew she was being unfair.  Obligingly, she shuddered as his mouth moved over her shoulder, but she longed for him to really bite down.  To make her feel something other than delicate.

It had been like this ever since she had gotten sick.  Not desperately sick, not at an end of any rope; only he found her vulnerable and wanted to take care of her, and she had wanted to let him.  It was good, in the early days.  He had been gentle with her when she was in too much pain to function well, had cooked for her when she was too tired to do more than shuffle to the washroom and back to bed.

She had accepted his offer of marriage because she had seen him when he was busy at his work: There had been a consciousness in his gaze, calm over the vibrating needle, his hands sure and steady.  A cruelty dwelled in his eyes, the capacity to observe another creature in pain with a benevolent eye, even the ability to cause that pain, unflinching.

It was an odd thing on which to focus, but she had spent her twenties identifying the difference between needs and wants, and her thirties sublimating those needs for the "greater good,"  to wit, that of someone else.  By the time she turned 41, she felt sure that it was time and past time to feel the rocking gentle surge in her abdomen, to know herself possessed and honoured, marked and owned.

He had offered her a choice: honest marriage in the custom of their parents, or a convenable arrangement of co-habitation that had seemed to come with a looser tether and the possibility of extra-conjugal affairs.  The second appealed to her only on the basis of being not the first, and so she had accepted his ring and told Rie that they were now a pair of hiding doves, lotuses in hibernation.

She told Drew none of this.  He was already married by then, to a woman who seemed to dominate and emasculate by turns.  Even her name rang of ecclesiastical fervor and post-modern unironic feminism, Marie-Bathilde.  Had it been Steve who had chosen to marry her, they would all have nodded in approval and feted his happiness with silly bouquets of inflated condoms.  As it was, they all watched with apprehension as she manhandled him to the altar, and after the first few months, it became clear that Marie-Bathilde would never choose to treat Drew as he needed to be treated, and she had been obliged to look away and see to herself, lest she make herself available to cater to his raw nerves and omnipresent semi-erections.

And so she had settled herself, by dint of will, to miles of laundry yet unhung and acres of lettuce yet unwashed.  He touched her gently, always gently, his precious, fragile flower.  As she got weaker and her joints ached more often, he softened even the way he thought of her, until when he called his voice dropped and swooped like a bird in flight, tone caressing and carefully harmless.

"Am I hurting you ?" came his measured, worried cadence over her shoulder.  I wish, spake her heart.  Instead for an answer she turned in his arms, kissed him roundly.  He pulled back.  She sighed, even her marrow tired of holding it in, and laid a feminine hand on his chest. 

"Do you remember when I first asked you to ink my back?"  The skin of her back remained as it had since first God had stretched it over her frame.  He passed his hand over her face in a blessing, his middle finger gently running down the midline of her nose, pausing to tug gently at her lower lip.  "I do..."  His eyebrows asked the question as his kind voice trailed off.  She leaned into his embrace, tugged his earlobe with her teeth.  "We need to talk."

His eyebrows remained stitched and his body was still hunched, sheltering, but she could see he was listening.  She slid his hand under her shirt, placed it against her ribs.  He felt the twitch of her heartbeat pulsing beneath his fingers.  He bent to kiss her mouth, and she let him, until she felt him relax, complacent and confident, and then she seized his forearm, and her fingernails made neat half-moons of pressure in his flesh.

"I'll make a pot of coffee," she said against his lips.  He looked at her, really looked.  She witnessed the moment he caught on to her gravity.  "I'll open the shop late tomorrow," he replied.
RascallyRabbit RascallyRabbit
31-35, F
1 Response May 16, 2012

Very nice. The imagery works well in that first paragraph and I almost felt I knew her.