I didn’tunderstand it, we’d been dating a year and Raph never touched me in public. He didn’t mind when I rubbed his back in the mall or if I made the effort to lace my fingers through his. When I first pecked him on the cheek in public he blushed bright red.
I asked him one day why he didn’t touch me in public. In private he couldn’t keep his hands off me. He didn’t mind cuddling at home and he often tangled his hand in my hair or massaged the back of my neck while we watched TV. I adored these touches but didn’t understand why he was afraid to initiate small bits of PDA.
I explained to Raph how it was important to me because it made me feel like I was his, that he loved me, and didn’t care what anyone else thought of us. He was angry at first and confused, but the next day as we grocery shopped he linked his pinky through mine while we waited to pay.
Two days later he casually put his arm around my shoulders at his friend’s house. I snuggled into him kissing him when his buddy went to grab more beer. I linked my pinky with his and smiling, Raph returned the kiss as his friend walked into the living room. I was thrilled Raph understood how much these small touches meant to me.
The Poetry 101 prompt is a screen of any kind using enjambment. I’m also incorporating a word from The Daily Post, Darkness.
Behind the screen I keep myself veiled, a Japanese screen with paper too thin and I keep on wondering if he’ll look, wishing Luke wouldn’t because I know I’ll be doing the walk of shame back home. And I don’t know why but I’m so ashamed, the wine went to my head last night; I knew better. Luke was attractive, he was kind; for a moment I thought he cared more about me than a few statistics and few words; but this morning, Luke left his house empty but for his cleaning lady and cook who made me crepes and said, “You need to get ready to go home. Mr. Luke doesn’t like his lady friends to be at his home if he decides to drop by at lunch to take the dog out for a run especially.” I didn’t understand why Luke was screening me, why I awoke from euphoria to a cold empty bed; the hand stroking my cheek in the night wanted only one thing, and didn’t want it from me again though Luke and I had been friends before. There was no text message, no note, and I wondered if I would see Luke again. No doubt, he’d try to avoid my favourite hangouts from now on, he knew most of them. But I didn’t get why I felt so exposed that morning getting dressed. We’d been naked all night but when I woke up and Luke saw me; I felt judged. Judged by the bite marks, the bruising, my careful movements. Luke gazed at me grinning, when I hid behind that Japanese screen to dress after my shower. “It’s no use to hide behind the screen Katie. I can see right through it in the morning light. Come back to bed . . .” So back to Luke I went though sorely overused, and when I fell asleep he was gone and I was alone; Luke’s pillow was cold. I wish I’d screened him better, I wish it was him who was exposed and not me. He hides all his secrets in the dark, he thrives in its opaqueness. The darkness lets him treat women how he does, another notch in a metaphorical bedpost. Walking home, I felt empty, caught in Luke’s darkness, as if I had wasted so much time and conversation, in the end only to be screened, told I wasn’t right for the position.