Saturday, July 26, 2008

The House Blessing

He was panting and perspiring heavily unpacking the last of the boxes. They haven't had lunch at already past 2, and Jay was about to collapse from hunger and exhaustion, his arms numb from lifting Tiny's stuffs, a collapsible bed, a standfan, a small cabinet, her travelling bags, her books and clothes placed inside half a dozen boxes.

She handed him a towel and Jay stripped off his shirt to wipe himself. He slumped on the edge of the bed trying to concentrate on the task at hand, making a mental picture of how everything would have to be arranged to save space and make the most of the four-by-five meter room, which is going to be Tiny's home from this day and through the next remaining four months of the review.

"Delivery will arrive in minutes, then we can eat, I know youre strarving", Tiny mumbled almost incomprehensively, her hand covering her nostrils and mouth as she was reaching at some cobwebs on the ceiling with a broom while standing on a monobloc chair. He refused to turn at her direction but from his peripheral vision, Tiny's legs seemed to glow against the filtered light coming from the lampshade, they were smooth, slender and porcelain-white, complementing her full buttocks and slender waist, which would occasionally show accidentally under her hanging shirt as Tiny reaches for the ceiling with the broom. She too was drenched with sweat and Jay wondered what women do to smell so good and even better the more they perspire. Five years in a relationship, this is their first time to be together alone in a room.

"So who's going to use the shower first?" Jay struggled to break the awkward silence.

"I will. Take a rest and wait for delivery". Tiny refused to meet his eye and Jay wondered if she had been trying to read his mind. Women do that all the time. Before he could speak a word, she was already headed for the bathroom, towel slung across her shoulder. The bathroom door has no locks, which reminded him to report it later to the landlady. The door closed gently and then Jay could hear water running from the faucet, followed by successive almost vigorous splashing sounds, and he wondered if Tiny was drowning herself.

Jay remembered his conversation with Tiny's father last Christmas eve. His promise. They would have been married a long time ago but Tiny pleaded to take the bar first. He know how badly she wanted it, and Jay respected her decision and love her more for that. He wouldn't have the heart to stand between Tiny and her greatest dream. He can always wait.

She stepped out of the shower wrapped in the towel, and again, Jay turned away, refusing to even steal a glimpse for even a split second in the corner of his eyes. Inside the bathroom he instinctively reached for the lock that wasn't there, cursing to himself. He was again besieged by visions, and by the sweet scent that wouldn't go away, he started to splash water at himself, in quick desperate succession, and almost viciously; his turn to drown.

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