Calgon's got it all wrong. Bubble baths are greatly overrated.
I realized this evening that, if you cry in the shower instead, you won't notice the flow of tears as long as you keep your face nice and wet under the spigot. Besides, the streaming watersounds and screaming old pipes hide those pesky sobbing noises so well.
Water washes over me, ignoring the boundaries between the beige and the blue-green, swollen skin. Needling trickles delicately sensitize my flesh, making the sore spots tenderer, bringing blood to the surface. I rub my arms and legs gingerly, massaging the bruises and bumps. "Supposedly they'll go away faster if you rub 'em a lot. Increases your circulation or something," my friend Andrea had said last time. Andrea had also said a lot of things about calling the police, or the Noah's Cape Women's Shelter, or a therapist.
I don't think she really understands how much Chris needs me, how we come together so well, usually. Fortunately, only Chris and I need to understand this, the way our needs and strengths mesh so finely, most of the time, anyway.
And sometimes not, like last night. Chris...you left me on the floor in the kitchen, after...I wasn't even sure what the hell I'd done this time. But you'd be back soon enough, lilies in hand, my favorite, their cloying scent corrupting the animal odor of your streetworn leather jacket. You'd be apologetic; I know exactly how you'll run your hands across your eyes, as if tired, subtly wiping away tears. Maybe I'll let you in on the shower trick. I won't let you come back, though. Not again.
Heavy, bootclad footsteps announce your return from your usual post- blowup workout where I know you've been checking out other women. Quickly wrapping myself in a towel, I wonder if you'll threaten me with a replacement tonight when I tell you we're through.
We run through our script the way we normally do, but at the end I'm cold to you, and it's pissing you off that your heartfelt apologies aren't working this time. Ducking behind my icy emotional wall, I let you explain yourself and assert how much you need me, love me, want me, to no avail. I'm quaking ice as I tell you, "It's over, Chris." I can hardly believe I'm saying this, though I can feel my lips move.
Suddenly your rough, bold touch perforates my shield, weakening it to the membranous thinness of cling wrap. You surrround me from behind and I feel your arms encircling me, you pressed hard against my back, my shield gone, your biceps crushed against my mottled, over-handled shoulders.
I can feel your blood-warm breath on my neck, white square teeth harsh against the edge of my ear. I turn away as you threaten to bite, the brutish, ocean-washed familiarity of you, taurine leatherscent and herbal soap hard upon me.
"Get out," I say weakly, barely convincing myself that I mean it.
You stare at me, cobra-gold eyes prying my heart from my chest and I know you've heard what I said, know what I meant. Now, you disregard it, taking my hand and kissing my palm, my fingertips, working to my wrist, to my forearm and back to my hand. It trembles with every emotion I've ever conceived of, and a few I cannot identify. Somehow, they're all based on pain. I can't see straight, let alone think straight.
You glance up from devouring my fingers and notice I'm crying silently. Touching your lips to my tears, you drink of my sadness. The salt water turns cruel in you, vinegared wine. I can't bear your nearness; in the same painful moment, I want to hide in your great embrace. I want you to disappear forever, see you die a violent death, knowing if you did, I'd want to die with you.
Disgusting. I let out a sob and you stop my mouth with yours, softest lips I've ever known. You taste sharp and metallic, blood on a knife's blade plunging down my throat. I should bite your tongue as it ravishes my mouth, resist as you coax off the towel, kissing me slow and deep.
But I don't. You don't seem to care that I've gone completely passive, motionless except for tears. Silence. Your lips are on me, kissing every inch of me and tonguebathing my breasts. Touching fingers to my tear- wet face, you paint salt around my nipples, then suck it off vigorously.
You kiss all over my skin, even the bruises, which you outline lightly with your snaking tongue, looking up at me to savor my hurt and embarrassed reaction. Your very touch taints my soul.
Grinning mischievously, you keep outlining, tracing the dark, sore spots on my arms, my legs, my breasts and shoulders. I'm trying to fight back sobs, spasming, and you know it but you won't stop. As the next tear threatens to fall, in a split-second your hand is between my legs, testing to see how wet I am. My body has betrayed me, succumbed to your touch. I'm dripping to my thighs. You discover this with mean-spirited glee and slide your finger into my cunt brusquely, holding it there while I squirm. I gasp with surprise and stifle a sob as I try to get away from your hand, from you. I don't want pleasure now but you hold me tightly to you, wiggling your finger gently until I do want it. The ache of sex eclipses all others, visible and occult.
I'll let you fuck me and then I'll leave you like I should have long ago. You soil me, consume my higher being, and in doing so leave me to bestially crave every part of your body.
I hate you for this, but I hate myself even more.
All is lost. Kissing hard against the paisley fabric of your boxers, I work my tongue through the opening. I taste first silk then you, as wet as I am, your second mouth clenching as I flick at your clit rhythmically.
The rich, hot oceaned musk of you slides through my body, serpentine, wriggling deeply into me and taking a stranglehold on the last fragment of my resolve, gently choking it to death.
We were so happy, for a time.
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