Another Monday, and another Message. Looking forward to reading your responses to:
She kisses her lover again and again, starting at her feet, the oyster pink of her toenails, the arch of her foot, the curve of her heel. She holds her calf in both hands and brushes her lips along the hard ridge of her fibula, from ankle to knee. She loves her knees, their polished smoothness, the ivory scar on one where she fell walking down the hill from the University seven years ago. She didn’t know her then, but she knows the story of how a road sweeping lorry was edging towards her, its brushes spinning close to the kerb, and how the driver had stopped at the sight of a woman looking helplessly around, pressing a hand to her knee apparently unable to stem the flow of blood.
‘Are you alright, love?’ he called from the cab. Then he got out clutching a green plastic First Aid box. ‘Lean back against the wall,’ he told her. ‘And put your foot up here.’ He patted his thigh.
She imagines him kneeling before her, wiping the blood away.
‘You haven’t got Aids have you?’ he asked, smiling up at her, but he didn’t wait for a reply. He cleaned the wound, taped an antiseptic dressing around it, asked her if she’d be okay, and then he was gone.
Her lover jokes about her road-sweeping ‘Prince Charming’ and still feels bad that she never thanked him properly, didn’t try and get in touch with the local council to tell them how he had rescued her.
She digs the tip of her thumbnail into the centre of the scar. Her lover doesn’t respond. She imagines the man’s hands holding the knee, the nerves in the torn flesh already dying. She kisses the scar again and again.
‘You’re all better now,’ she whispers.