• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 04
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Sunday Best

He asked me on a Sunday. There are things I want to do before I leave, David said. He’d always made it sound like he was going next door, around the corner to get some milk. There was a list, typed and double-spaced. No bungee jumping? I figured that would be his thing; the air and sun beating down on his skin, the ultimate freedom. He laughed.

I got to item six. Seriously? He smiled, so sincerely that I felt I couldn’t mock him. No time like the present, I said. I took his hand and led him to the bedroom. I went through my wardrobe laying garments out on the bed. He watched, pensive, one hand perched on his bearded chin. He sat on the edge of the bed and started running his fingers down the pleats of my navy skirt. He’d have looked boxy in that but I didn’t dare tell him. He then took a pair of tights and gathered the soft fabric round his fingers. It was strange seeing him lunge into the opaque material as it clung and shaped his hairy calves. You look like you’re going to be in Swan Lake. He did a pirouette. I laughed. He went for my red wrap dress in the end. It was an excellent choice. Of course, he needed my bust to fill it out but after we accessorised with a chunky necklace, it was a very understated look.

He needed help with the make-up. Years of watching you put this stuff on, you’d think I’d have it down. He picked up the magenta lipstick, the one that had been in my make up box since the eighties and applied it to his puckered lips. I shook my head. Christ, David... I don’t know anyone who suits that colour. I tried to wipe it away with my thumb, feeling the grease slick on his soft lip. He put his cheek to my hand. I clawed my way through my make up drawer. This one is perfect: English Rose. He laughed, heartily. It slid along his lips like butter on toast. I helped him tidy the edges so it didn’t bleed.


Sunday Best

When we finished, he went to the mirror to have a look. He stared at himself for a good five minutes. He twirled, pulled faces and stood on his toes. When he was finished, he asked me to lie next to him on the bed. He cradled my head in his hands and gave me a kiss on my forehead, laughing when it left a rosy smudged mark. I left the mark where it was. How do you feel? I asked him. Surprisingly comfortable. We laughed. Our feet touched. I remember thinking it was strange not having his hairy feet rub against mine. I loved that feeling against my skin.