I thought you’d never askpublished: 2010-12-23
He puts his arms around her and cradles her. It’s his job to do so. A gentle rocking motion, back and forth. Relax, he thinks.
She has asked whether he minds that she flirts with him? For example when he says, “all right then, take off your top,” she jokes, “I thought you’d never ask”.
He tells her, “oh no, not at all. I mean life would be pretty boring without a bit of fun and games,” and in the same breath he tells her how just the other day one of his regular clients asked how long they knew each other. Twenty years or so? And how that client always wears a thong. And every time he asks that client to lean back – into his arms, her back against his stomach – she sighs deeply. “That’s right dear,” he says to her, “enjoy.” And it’s all good, right?
He explains all this to her. But when she leans back, he feels something different. She does not sigh, neither does her body let go. So he repeats in his mind, “relax.” He can’t bring himself to say it. He is afraid she might cry. Her eyes are closed. She wants to stay there, forever. So does he.
“Oh dear, I think it’s raining,” he says. She opens her eyes and looks up to the window in the ceiling.
“Damn,” she says.
And then he says, “take a deep breath in… And out.”
He could break her neck if he wanted to. He stops after the first crack of her spine.