Skin on skin, she is close enough to hear the thudding of his heart, smell his perspiration but she still senses the distance. Always has. For half the decade they have been together.
Along his tension lines is the scent of his mother absconding and the scars of his father’s brutal whipping.
“Why won’t you love me?” It is a whisper barely off her tongue.
It is not that he doesn’t want to. It is that he simply cannot. His heart is closed for business.
He pretends to be asleep. Her request is not wrong, he muses. It is only asked of the wrong person.