Walking Back

For some reason, when he asked me to walk on his back, my first thought was that he’d be able to see up my skirt. Of course, this was impossible – his eyes would be facing the ground. But upon his question, I was suddenly conscious of the way my legs touched underneath my skirt. I had borrowed it from my roommate, and I was still not used to the way it sat on my hips.

He tilted his head, still looking at me, but I said nothing, so he lay down on the floor with his arms out towards his sides, allowing his cheek to press against the shiny wooden slats. Seeing him like that, spread across my floor like a bear skin rug, I was no longer concerned about my skirt.

I put one foot on his back, and then another, shifting my weight onto his body. His flesh moved under my feet, and my ankles adjusted, like I was walking on loose cobblestones. Still unstable, I put my arms out for balance, and we mirrored each other at a ninety-degree angle.

Balanced now, I looked down to make sure that I didn’t walk on his spine. My toenails were painted dark red, and underneath them, I could feel the bumps of his ribs as his flesh spread out beneath me.

I picked up my left foot, and something crackled. My cheeks flushed. What if I had hurt him? But he only sighed in response, so I made my way up to his shoulder blades until there was nothing left to crack.

Afraid to turn around, I put one foot on the cold wooden floor, and then I followed it with the other. His body decompressed as I relieved it of my weight.

Laura Michael is a rising senior in Yale College. She’s a Statistics and Data Science major but loves to write in her free time. Each week, she shares her work with her friends through her newsletter, “Weekly Themes.” You can subscribe at https://tinyletter.com/Weekly_Themes.

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