Pleasure (an amateur short-fiction piece about this intensely personal thing called 'self-love')

She lies back with a sigh, eyes closed. It had been such a long day.  Wandering around Commercial Street, trying to haggle for better bargains, trying to soothe baby.... Thank god, she had that steaming cardamom chai from Bhagatrams. And of course, Ram had to be late picking them up... Men!

Now, it’s 11 pm. She feels as tense as a bow string, ready to snap. She needs a release, but what if baby wakes up. God knows she doesn’t want to rock him back to sleep again. And yet, and yet, she wants, needs, to lose herself for a little while. Retreat to a place where she can let herself feel be free. No thoughts, no worries.

Eyes closed, she does the straps off, slides the elastic down. Gives herself into sensation. Ah, Ram, she breathes, you know exactly where to touch me. So good to feel a supple body, her body. Still toned, even at 38. Yes, the workouts are worth it, she tells herself. All that sweat and pain, waking up extra early every morning, for an hour, no more, no less. To feel this taut skin, I will do anything, she smiles. Exquisite sensation flares deep in her belly. She is lethargic and oddly excited, all at the same time.

Eyes still tightly shut, stop thinking, relax, she scolds herself. There’s all day to to think, to worry.  This is yours alone.

In the dark, everything is always so much more filled with promise. A hand brushes against her nipples, a finger strays deep inside, curling and circling, but moving away. Delving deep within herself, she remembers times past, stolen moments. How urgent they were then, any shady corner had them groping each other. To think, they made out in Cubbon Park, of all places! But then, half the excitement is the knowledge they can be caught. Now, that is something to tell baby when he grows up, she smiles to herself.

Meanwhile, in the here and the now, she knows the tempo must build up. How she loves this slow stroking. Amit? No, Samar, or do I mean Ram? No matter, kiss me here softly, softly, she whispers.   

It’s a slow, familiar dance--a touch here, an ache elsewhere. Threatening to touch her where she most wants it, but moving teasingly elsewhere. Till she cannot stand the waiting and wanting. Till she is maddened with impatience..

Her body is acting out a rhythm it knows so well, breasts thrust out, belly slanting upwards, legs opening out. Is anyone watching. She doesn’t care. Images fill her head, bodies locked in their private dances, licking, sucking. Don’t move, she urges. Go deeper, deeper. Ah yes, right there...she moans. A tide of emotion surges inside. Without being aware of it, her body is arching, tensing, waiting. She shudders, the pleasure is nearly unbearable, but oh so, beautiful.

Spent, she lies back. She doesn’t want to move. She doesn’t want to open her eyes. But already, she can hear Ram, not Amit or Samar, snoring, the baby whimpering. Her life comes crashing back to her.

In the dark, she is in her own private fantasy, a world inside her head. There, she is no longer mother, wife, professional. She is pure sensation, in a place where she alone knows what she wants and how she wants it. A world she can love herself. Where, even if it is only for a sweet, short while, she can lose herself in pleasure.

Sighing, she straightens her clothes, lies back down. Who needs men, anyway?

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