He's taken up the habit of inspecting my body for any sign of, what is it that he calls it? Wear and tear. It all started after one particularly violent fight with my boyfriend that left me with plenty of bumps and bruises to count. If I had known he'd react the way he did, I probably wouldn't have come to him. But ever since, right after her lets me in, he orders me to strip down to my underwear; pulling off my coat, my shirt, my pants. He would get down to his knees, and proceed to shove and poke every part of my body while mumbling incoherently to himself.
And I don't know why, but I fucking love it.
I love the touch of his concern, sweaty and open-palmed. I love the oppressed desire in the pit of his stomach, which he so carefully conceals. And the not-so-concealed, the totem at the front of his slacks, the one he so boldly presses against my thigh once he's done inspecting me. Only today he didn't do that. Instead, he pulled away, pushed himself to his feet, and walked towards the kitchen.
"Should I put something on?"
"No," he turned around, eyes skimming over me, "No, what you're wearing is fine."
"Or not wearing." I quipped, which he completely ignored (as always).
His kitchen has always been impressive to me. Nothing spectacular in design, but so neatly arranged it put mine to absolute shame. His pantry was always meticulously arranged, fridge well-stacked, counters squeaky clean. His kitchen was truly a reflection of his personality, as was mine (dirty, messy, and full of clutter). After burying his head in his fridge, he took out two plates, with a slice of cake on each, and placed them in front of me.
"For me?" I asked and he nodded, "Both?" he nodded again. (I didn't really get it, either.)
I then proceeded to tell him all about my day. How my sister's wedding was coming up, and how I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I told him how my mother has always pressured me to get married, and now with my younger sister married, she'll be pressuring me even more. I told him how my sister and I were never really close; how she was all my parents wanted in a daughter; kind and god-fearing and settled with a decent man, while I completely rejected the notion of being the perfect little housewife (as for god-fearing... well). I told him how I always felt out of place, even as a child. My brother was my father's, my sister was my mother's, the twins were each other's, and I was my own. I told him of my countless arguments with my parents, and the never-ending list of disappointments I left them with.
"I could only imagine what they'd have to say about this," I nervously laughed, "About you."
"Oh?" he echoed, corners of his lips curving into a smile. He had been silent all along, nodding whenever I looked to him for a response. It used to bother me at first, but by now I had gotten used to it. He never shares his opinion, never gives any advice; he simply listens, and occasionally nods.
"Wouldn't they approve?" he added, squinting as I chewed a forkful of cake.
"I don't know. You're some sort of doctor, aren't you? Or are you a teacher? I don't know, maybe they'd approve." I sighed, drawing circles at the kitchen counter. Something about this topic always made me uncomfortable, even after all this time. It's like a wound that never quite healed. "But they definitely wouldn't approve of me."
"Hm." he set aside his glass and tapped his fingers against the counter. He always had the incredible ability of knowing exactly what I was thinking about. I guess after sharing so much of myself with him, he's come to understand me perfectly (and here I was thinking I was too complex to be understood). "Shall we, then?"
"Should I wash up? I've just had cake and I know you don't like—"
"No, no, definitely not." he smiled, his eyes falling to my lips, "Come as you are."