Curious Short: A bath of salt

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lady in water. Andrew Gallo

Wrapped in a blanket, she grips the mug between her hands and tucks her knees into her chest. Lowering her face to the cup, she breathes softly on the steaming liquid to cool its temperature, and sniffs as a tear rolls down her cheek and drops into the cup; mixing salt with sweet tea.

He watches, from the doorway, brows knotted in worry. As he walks towards her she refuses to look up, embarrassed at letting him see her cry but nonetheless thankful that there was a presence in the room. Stooping, he loops her arms around his neck and with one hand around her back, scoops another under her knees and lifts her slowly into his arms.

She meets him with no resistance. Tired and weary, she merely fits her face into the crook of his neck, breathing in the smell of his stale aftershave and long work day. He moves softly down the hallway to the bathroom from which a delicate scent of lavender wafts out of the door on a cloud of humid air, passing a collection of family photographs which she deliberately does not see.

There's no light apart from a warm flicker of candles, her favourites. As he stands her down and helps her undress, her eyes adjust and spot a full bath, bubbles to the rim, and she catches the soft tones of Fleetwood Mac drifting over the stereo. Closing her eyes tightly, she grabs onto his hand with a little more pressure than required, and lets him balance her step over the side of the tub.

She gasps a little, a wince on her face, as she lowers her body into the water, noticing the heat which immediately turns her thighs pink. For a while she just sits, ignoring him pouring water over her shoulders and onto her hair, and instead welcomes the distraction of the scalding bathwater taking over her thoughts. She focuses her attention to the way he's still holding her hand, her knuckles turning white as she'd forgotten to release her grip upon sitting.

With a shuddering sigh she begins to sob, her fears being pushed outwards by an overwhelming appreciation for him. He lingers as he kisses her damp forehead and when she feels his breath on her face between shallow gasps, she knows she'll be okay.

A creative short by Laura. Image photo by Andrew Gallo from his Iceland collection. 

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