He wouldn’t let me come up for breath, and while I resisted at first, I gave into it soon after and how couldn’t I? What was the point of drawing in air that didn’t taste like him? I found none.
I was playing a dangerous game here. This vulnerability wouldn’t do me any good. Not with him, not with anyone else and certainly not on my own. Getting used to this treatment was not an option and yet I grasped it by both hands, refusing to let go like it was one. If these little encounters infiltrated their way into the crevices of my heart, I would be in trouble. Laughable; I was already knee deep.
His fingers threaded through my hair. It was an inescapable feeling I reveled in. He knew exactly how to touch me. He’d move his fingers inwards and outwards, only lightly massaging my scalp, careful not to put too much pressure. He continued doing so until even the fluttering of my lashes was too much. My eyes shut of their own accord, basking in the subtle intricacies of human touch.
I was starved of human touch. Even then, it would’ve been unfair and simplistic of me to attribute my reaction to his close proximity to that depravity. Our culture didn’t allow for us to feel. My ambitious expressiveness had been beaten out of me long ago, by another man who had sought to toughen me up, to make me a man worth being called his son.
Here, within the embrace of this man, I could allow the exterior I had embedded into myself with the rods of emotional suppression to slowly detract from my being. So deep were these rods, that as they slowly began to leave, they left me wounded and bleeding.
The blood flowed out of me through my eyes and onto my face. He didn’t utter a single word, only caressed my face before bringing it closer. His tongue worked at my face, licking away the salty tears that seemed unstoppable. The more he did it, the more I gave in, until I was nothing but a heap of flesh and bones in his arms.
He rocked me back and forth, holding me to his chest, softly cooing at me, like I was a child. The little six-year-old boy who had never found love within the people meant to give him just that came unhinged. As the yowling of the boy quietened, so did I.
Pain gave way to healing, as it should’ve done so, years ago. The little boy began to bloom inside the warmth. It was like watching frost melt off the petals of your favorite flower. Mine used to be these soft pink roses until I was firmly reprimanded. Men weren’t supposed to like flowers.
I understood in that moment, that perhaps,his realities weren’t so different from mine. So, I did what any decent man would do. I raised myself up so my tear stained face was level with his. His eyes were just as warm as his embrace and they stared at me with no judgement, probably anticipating what I would do next.
For the first time in my personal eternity, I pulled what I loved closer to me.