I smile at your hand; too big for your champagne glass, next to mine curving delicately – about the right size.

I love how your thumb joint is wider, squarer, stronger-looking.

I adore the veins standing proud like steel cables; running back and forth, joining hand to wrist; bold ridges so unlike my own smooth wrists.

I marvel at our differences: the thickness at your shoulder and your neck, your hand speckled with hairs – which I know thicken as they run up your sleeve.

I delight in the knowledge that I was the last one who mapped out your arms before they became hidden by shirt and by suit. No one but I saw those veins spreading life around your body on the morning of our wedding day.

I touch your left hand with my left hand, press my forefinger onto your wedding ring and feel the cool glass of the photo frame.

I stroke those veins now smoothed into a visual likeness and remember how heat touched my body and how we contrasted: soft and cool against hot and strong.

I see my own hands, now no longer smooth. The finger retracing its well-worn path has ridges and veins, freckles and liver spots.

I withdraw my hand in horror – an old woman touching a young man.

I pick up my duster and continue cleaning.

22 thoughts on “Hands

  1. I love the depth in this Rachel. Hands are the first thing I notice about a man, about anyone for that matter. They must be “strong-working” hands to satisfy my possibly demanding needs…’nough said. 🙂

    Well done!


  2. I love the way you played with time in this. At first I thought this was a woman talking on her wedding day but once you introduce the photo frame, it’s obviously years later and becomes a much sadder, more poignant piece. I’m not sure about her withdrawing her hand in disgust – is it disgust or shock that she’s aged and he, seemingly, hasn’t or that she’s thrown out of the moment of remembering when she sees her old hand against his young one?


    • Yes. I think she is shocked into being brought back from her fantasising by her own hand and disgusted at what it must look like. Only a momentary, small amount of disgust though 😉 *Gets out Thesuarus to look up ways of saying ‘momentary, small amount of disgust’*
      A snippet of disgust? ;). Perhaps briefly repelled by the sight of an old hand caressing a young one in a sexual way…


  3. Hi Rachel, I saw you were part of the Deathmatch at ShadowCastAudio (OMG, exciting!) so popped by for a read.

    Love your story. I look forward to reading your flashes every time now. I love your writing style.



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