“I will soap your back.”
“Great idea! Keep that open.” He whispered and pointed to the door with his eyes.
We stepped in and he turned the shower on which started with a pleasant noise of water hitting the ground. I held Peter as he held the wall with both hands. If I hold his check from behind, it’s like pressing myself into a very soft object. It isn’t the same as doing it from the front. So, I stayed behind him and started with the chest. I rubbed the soap, and rubbed, rubbed the froth, and so, moving my hands around his shoulders, arms, under-arms, back, belly, legs. Fancy a carefully carved statue made of rare single marble mined from the miles down fire ravaged depths of the earth. The best artists finely chisel each part with utmost attention, and buffed with hands so sensitive to give it the texture of wax, and finally, it comes to life at a touch. My hands ran, somewhere hastily, somewhere slowly, below waist, and between the legs. He stood facing the shower with his head under the cold water, frequently coughing and rinsing his open mouth under the water, swishing it around before spitting on the wall. His both hands remained rested on the opposite wall. I wanted to, if I could, lift him up to turn him around, but not now. I wanted to explore a bit more of receiving passionate warmth from it, but not now. There’s no time today. I noticed I had already lost my excitement, when he spoke.
“Hurry up, it’s not an all-day event.” He spoke silently with a deep tone, and cleaned his nose. He moved forward towards the shower and let the water run on his back. I gave a final rub from the shoulders down to clean the remaining soap. I could perhaps do it all day long, and I knew that he would let me, but I know patience and wait delivers the sweetest fruit. Later, perhaps, after dinner!
“Be quick.” He said and left the cubicle as quickly without turning around. I also had one quickly. Della got ready by the time we were dressed, and we all went out for some fun. We parked the car and walked on the promenade towards the mall. We both held on to Della’s arms on either side. Their domestic conversation made the walk terribly slow for my gaze to attract the rise of the sunset of a profusely bleeding orb, the visage of whom covered with brush strokes of rusty gold paint against long horizontal puffs of grey clouds, touched on the edges for silver lining taking its slow motioned dive into the western horizon. Above my brow the moon played hide and seek in a friendly playful spotty faced toddler gesture. A burning charcoal colour velvet quilt covered a quarter of the sky, and dew droplets sized twinkles of little stars just peeping out under a grey blanket in the east. Birds darted at a bullet speed in and out of trees. A tender breeze, unceasingly replenished the refreshing salt in the eyes, so soothingly combed the hair, and as gently wiped away the moisture from the surface of the skins. Just a teasing taste of salt air to set your mind on some queer game of chance encounter. May be I should make a note of this. My idea of penning a poem if such an agreeable circumstance made permitted with the availability of some writing aperture just formed and unformed as Peter shouted out at the approach of the mall.
“Oh, there is a nice spot. Grab that one. You know, I hadn’t thought how hungry I was. Jack, shall we just attack the kitchen.” Peter pointed to a dining table and rubbed his hands tightly. Della thinks it’s funny.
I know Peter is only speaking figuratively with an air of care in his clear voice. I think Peter makes it sound funnier. It wouldn’t be quarter as good told by anyone else. We sat down for some grilled food, cold drinks, topped with a table game with Peter. Just half way through it, by chance, bumped into another friend with his folks. It always happens as I am about to beat him.
“Hello! Hello there! Oh yeah, we met yesterday. It was great. How are you keeping? How’s work, oh a week off? It will fly by. We all need time off from time to time. Congratulations again by the way. A quick drink on me for a proper celebration. Why not! Gosh what lovely dress, where did you get it? I think my sister brought it over last year from somewhere abroad. How sweet” – such pleasantries being exchanged between my parents and Mr and Mrs Croft. I know congratulations is just an excuse for an extra drink to squarely lay the dice rolling in the middle. Hope not for too long because I had plans for the night. They decided to have a drink together. Damn, I was left with croft to have a cold drink. Girls joined us. Not sure how they managed to dodge their parents. Probably saw croft and immediately deserted everything at hand just to swarm around him. The conversation hit off with exploring each other’s mind. “Hey, fellas, what’s up? Jack, how are you? still exhausted or what? Where are you planning to apply now? Any offers yet? Anywhere will take you. no trouble!” Talking about educational material can be so tiring. You can only keep it going for so long, carefully, laugh it off without becoming the laughing stock. Naturally, their mind wondered to some dance floor accompanied with music. They all proposed in one voice and decided to visit the club for some thrill. It always happens after exhausting out each other’s study plans. What a bore – I was thinking whilst thinking of something else. I wondered if Peter would join us, which seemed unlikely as he boldly refused when I offered to take him with me just so I could stay in his company. He preferred Crofts’ company more than mine. They will force more rounds of drinks and get him to talk about political affairs, or use his commerce skill, without saying much themselves. He doesn’t need my protective advice. Sure he is wise enough to take care of himself.
“We will be staying here for a while. Just join us back here when you are finished with the club.” We ran towards the club as though it would take off if we failed to catch it in time.
“Catch my head Jack or it will stay behind.” On the way back Della drove and Peter craned his head over the passenger seat asking me to massage it. I happily extended my arms over from the back seat and played with Peter’s hair. Della thinks it’s funny again. She has no idea about speaking figuratively. She will be in a fit of giggles if I explained. It was quite late into the night when we arrived back home; Peter slumped on the sofa. Della in the bedroom. I helped him take his shoes off.
“Oh, that’s a relief.” He rested his head on the back of the sofa and put his arm over his face, as I unlaced and took his tight shoes off. He wriggled his toes in his socks. I took the socks off. If he doesn’t want me to do anything further such as polishing his watch or helping with his cuff links, he usually says; enough of that for now. This he says without looking at me, which I know to mean that I have taken a step further than required. Now he doesn’t even have to move away from me which he did in the beginning, as I have learnt to respect the follow up unspoken command.
“Did you enjoy the evening?” He touched my hair in a way that a hairdresser does when applying the first cross of his scissors.
“Sure sir, you bet I did.” I stayed below the sofa resting my face against his knee. I moved directly against his legs to put my arms under his thighs and held them there. He put his hand on my ear and moved it up and down which made my face sink further into his lap. His thighs felt extremely warm as if my face was pressing against a heated surface. I smelt my own warm breath which had moistened the fabric of his trousers. I felt his upper leg muscles twitching under my face. My hands pressed tighter under his legs. It was even warmer under the legs. I wanted to take him to a secluded place but the present position felt a lot better than any other situation that I could think of. I felt some sweat on my hands. I pulled my hands out and held him from the back around his belt. My back shivered slightly with a cold breeze through the window. I felt his hand massaging my back to smoothen the chill, with a precision in his jab no more and no less than the ideal dose, after which he began to comb my hair with his fingers. Long, long time may have passed in silence as we let it, so that I was just about to doze off, and suddenly my knees felt the hardness of the floor. There, came the Sound of the bedroom door opening and closing, followed by the sound of Della’s footsteps in the corridor.
“Get me a beer from the fridge, will you? Look for the one most chilled.” He put his both hands under his head.
I got up straight away and headed to the kitchen. Della arrived in her night dress with a hair brush in her hand.
“I am going to make myself a tea.” She announced. “Anyone care to join me?”
“I am fine.” Peter’s response, as well as a wave of the hand without looking up to Della. He does this wave of hand when he is busy and doesn’t need a reply to his speech.
“I am fine too Della.”
“I will prepare a warm night drink for you. last night was a bad one. I was so tired. It will help you sleep better. I know you didn’t sleep well last night.” Della said as she entered the kitchen whilst I was searching for the most chilled beer, touching each can to check its temperature.
“I will sleep fine Della. Peter is coming to talk to me.”
“Any talk can be done later tomorrow. He is also tired. It’s been a long day for him.” Della’s tone touched a slightly stronger note at the ending. It was going to be hard to persuade her.
I found Peter asleep on the sofa with head resting on the back and his mouth open, when I brought the beer out. I wanted to just stare at his face without waking him. So I stood opposite him with the open can of beer in my hand.
“No need to wake him, and never mind that.” Della’s hushed voice pointing to the still chilled beer in my hand, as she brought her tea out of the kitchen, and a glass of hot drink for me. Smashing, now he won’t get a chance to appreciate my skill in searching for the most chilled beer for him. Della kept brushing her hair over tea whilst I drank my drink. Neither of us spoke. Maybe, to avoid disturbing Peter. She sent me to my bed straight after finishing my drink.
In the bed; hope he walks in soon. I should ready myself for his arrival. I should keep awake at least in case I hear his footsteps later at night. I kept the lights on to take another look at that smile when he does walk in. This time I will not sleep so quickly. I stared at the ceiling and suddenly found myself blinking hard at the ceiling listening to the noise of the alarm clock. I looked around for Peter. No sign of him. Lights had been switched off and alarm had been turned on. A bright Sun peeped through the window. A night wasted. No matter.
Della and Peter were already up having tea and reading papers as I got out of the room. ‘Good morning’ exchanged.
“Peter is going to spend the day with you today. I have to be at Nan’s. Just as well I had taken this week off.” Della spoke sipping her tea without raising her head from the papers. Peter looked up with such a bright spark in his eyes. I could have just gone over to touch those eyes, but instead I headed to the bathroom for a wash up.
“No worries Della. We will have a great time.” I shouted out whilst washing my face. Some time ago I used to jump up and down on his lap every weekend as these were the only days we had breakfast together. During the weekdays, he is almost out of the door as I begin to wake up, and evenings are too tiring for him. But, I felt a slight hesitation right now of carrying out such an activity. I am not entirely sure why this idea doesn’t come to me, anymore. Anyway, a day with Peter; rightly so, just us together. I craved to be in his company. He is so wonderful to be with. He never gets annoyed with me no matter what I do. I am most at ease with him. Someone I cannot bare to part from. I have been the happiest of all since the first day I met him. Somewhere in my mind, I figured from day one that he was meant to be... has been created.... or sent for me? I had felt that my whole life was going to be different in a way that hadn’t been previous to meeting him, like meeting a long lost loved one which spells an end to a miserable period of searching for something but being unsure as to what it is. Finding a lost treasure, maybe. Yeah, that’s it, I mean. I knew that it was a test for me. If I didn’t look after my treasure, it would be taken away from me. Why should I want that to happen? Only a fool wouldn’t take such a prize seriously. What other news do I want early in the morning? Excellent news! I shall make the most of today. Wow!