From the benign darkness, I picked you out of a line of waiting experts. I called you by your first name- something that placed a few of your peers in distress. Outside a homeless woman was singing her child to sleep. Ang mga bata na natutulog ay mahal ng Diyos. ‘Di kumukupas. Her voice seemed to betray a pain that I could not get my head around. I wondered if she knew what she was singing about.
The moment your hands rested on my back, I knew not to regret my decision to come here. My shoulders tensed a little and then relaxed as if to say Welcome home. You’ve been missed. You were swift with your hands. They were always your greatest weapon. They cut through the tension in my body like a pair of really sharp scissors on onionskin paper.
The oil you used flowed like thick, sweet honey. Okay na po ba yung pressure? you asked. I nodded although I wasn’t really sure if you could see it from the dark room. Under your generous hands, my body felt like butter on a sizzling hot skillet. Your palms on my back, your skin on my skin. I was afraid I would melt away.
Your hands traveled south to the scar that I shield from the light of day. Okay lang po ba ito? Hindi ba masakit? Your thumb ran through its embossed outline. Matagal na ‘yan. ‘Wag ka matakot. You knew everything about my body- each hickey, each bruise, each scar. Suddenly, everything was forgotten. You forgave every insecurity. I forgave every infidelity.
I flinched when your hands were on my legs. They were tired from running away. Running from responsibilities, missed deadlines and dismissed feelings. Dahan-dahan, I begged and your arms eased up. It seemed like you spoke a language only my body could understand. You were lost in conversation. I was no longer in the room. You didn’t even notice when a warm tear fell from my eye.
I closed my eyes so I could understand your secret conversation with my skin. The Muzak played sad contemporary songs from the nineties but your words were still very clear. Shhh… It’s okay. They’re not here anymore. There is no one left to suck the youth out of your fingertips.
I let you travel to all the familiar places. My body responded with a twitch here, a moan there. I didn’t want our time to end but with the fragile ringing of the house bell, I knew it would be over soon. I closed my eyes and allowed the inevitable to come.
Sir, tapos na po. Pwera na lang kung…
The ellipsis- one of the strangest punctuation marks in the English language. Don’t you just love a happy ending?
Photo Credit: fitnesslines
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