"Then just let me look at you," he said. I thought, well, what would be the harm in that? I began to unbutton my shirt. His gaze was grateful, humble. It wasn’t greedy. Perhaps he didn’t know what to do; while I undid my button-fly, he continued to watch my face. I wished I’d been wearing some nice lingerie, the green silk set or the pretty beige bra with red roses on it. Instead I had on a plain, utilitarian bra, my everyday bra. I unhooked it, feeling as insubstantial as air. I stepped out of my white cotton panties and shivered, even though it was warm in the boathouse. I could hear the murmuring of the river all around us. Without saying a word, I took his hand and placed it over my heart. The man’s chest was shaking. At first I didn’t realize he was crying.


Alethea Black, © 2007-2018
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