She traces over the lines with her slim, gentle fingers, and her countenance is clouded by an ashen pallor.
I don’t move to stop her, though my discomfort is evident in the sudden stiffening of my posture. As much as I had hoped she would not notice, I have known all along that she would find out at some point, and that she would be curious when she did. No doubt she has already known—it is hard to avoid seeing the lines when I am bare and exposed like this, the way I have been with her a number of times now.
She is lying at my side, quiet and pensive; the comforting warmth of her body calms my racing heart. Her head rests against my shoulder. The brushes of her fingertips are delicate, following the grooves and ridges of the thick, crooked scars. I forget sometimes how grotesque they are and how appalling they must look, namely to her. By now I am used to them, though familiarity with their presence has done nothing to lessen my shame.
I don’t say anything to her. I