Lines

I almost didn’t see it, a thin, blue line peaking out of your shirt sleeve just above your wrist. “What’s this?”

“What? Oh, just a tattoo.” Your voice was nonchalant, but your hand still crept away from mine.

“Can I see it?”

You were tense, reflexively twisting to hide the telltale mark. But you nodded, surrendering your arm to my eager exploration.

I pulled back the cuff of your sleeve to chart the curving path of that blue line and found it joined by several others: blue, green, lavender, orange. “What is this?” I asked again, shoving your sleeve up to the elbow. You didn’t answer, nor did you object to the migration of my fingers across your supple skin. The lines grew bolder, curved, branched, interlaced in a complex pattern that covered your entire arm up to the shoulder and beyond. “Where does it end?” I asked, when I finally managed to pull my eyes away from the mesmerizing lattice of color.

Blushing, eyes shining, you were already unbuttoning your shirt. “I haven’t let anyone see the whole thing yet,” you explained, smiling at my sudden silence. “I’m still nervous, but I’m also glad that you’ll be the first.”

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox

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