Your Love so Sweet, Your Heart so Sour
rating: +10+x

Contains themes of transphobia.

The woman holds on to the back of her husband with wet, porcelain hands. Her whole body is shaking. They sit at the edge of the bathtub, surrounded by empty soap bottles, razorblades, and well-worn vanity magazines. Her head is buried in his chest so he can't see the bright red shame on her face. He feels warm and rough like leather. His arms are wrapped tightly around her waist, pulling her closer and closer to him until they're nearly chest-to-chest. Tears begin to form in the woman's eyes.

She wishes she had worn a bra, but she remembers she doesn't own one — she was too scared to buy any. There are no clothes in her closet, only malformed pieces of fabric that make her want to vomit whenever she puts them on. The thought dredges up a bad memory, one from when she was a kid. Her father had forced her to wear a tight leather jacket to school. She remembers how all of her female classmates looked upon her with lust in their eyes, how all of her male classmates started talking to her like a real human being. She hated it. She hates it even more now.

The man can't resist his curiosity anymore and looks down at her legs. They're covered in a thick blanket of hair, coarse and thick like a forest of black trees. He closes his eyes and tries to imagine her as a woman with legs like that. Guilt sets in when he realizes that he can't. God dammit. He hates his brain, how stubborn it is, how stupid it is. He tells himself that this woman is a different person now, but that does little to assuage those thoughts in his head.

She says that she wants him to start, and after a moment of hesitation, he nods.

The bathroom is silent as he turns on the epilator and watches the loud, buzzing blades spin. He presses it against her skin at the base of her leg. A mixture of excitement and pain fills the air as he begins to drag it up. Fuck, no, he's doing it wrong. There's no gentleness to his touch, no love in his strokes. He splits three, four, fives hairs in half without extracting a single one. The woman sucks in sharp, painful breaths and tries to suppress the pain.

She can't control it anymore. Tears fall down her face as she tells him to stop, that it hurts too bad. The man's face becomes flooded with guilt as the epilator slips from his hand onto the floor. He lets go of her leg. He doesn't feel worthy to do this. He doesn't even feel worthy to be here right now. He turns to leave and gets halfway to the door when she calls him back. Gritting her teeth, biting her tongue, she asks him to stay. She asks him to try again. She needs him to understand this; he needs to know what this feels like.

He flashes a weak smile at her.

It's better this time. The epilator glides across her calf, moving all the way up to her knee then back down to her foot. He's gentle and kind, and it makes the pain feel bearable, even a little sweet. She caresses his head, twirling his hair with her fingers, when something inside her begins to doubt. Is this really helping him understand? When he describes her to his friends after this, will he still call her handsome like he used to? Does he still love her like he used to? She knows she's still the same person he loved beneath the name and the makeup. At least, she really hopes she is.

She gazes into his chestnut eyes as he finishes, trying to peer into his mind. He doesn't know how to feel. He can't tell whether this act, this small intimate moment between he and his partner was enough to change him. He doesn't know if he still loves her or not, and he's too afraid to find out.

Her legs are soft now. They're clear save for a few red spots that'll disappear with time. However, the woman can't shake the feeling that this whole ordeal was for nothing. No matter what she does, he will never understand her. Goddammit, she hates this. She feels so cheated. If love is as strong as everybody says it is, then how can it be destroyed by a name and a dress? If love is so strong, then how can it die in just from a few months of conflict? If love is so fucking strong, then how can he promise to love her for the rest of his life and then sit here and break that promise not one year later? Was that promise even real? Or is she just such a different person now that he can't uphold that promise anymore? She doesn't know, but she wants to. She really, really wants to.

When she finally accepted herself, when she embraced the woman she truly was, it felt like a part of her had died and another had taken its place. She had been reborn with nothing but bad memories and a good heart. When she and her husband had first locked eyes, it was like they could see into each other's soul. Now, they see nothing but the lifeless face of their marital partner. What happened to them?

The man tells himself that the man he married, the man he hugged and kissed and loved, was sitting right there in front of him. He's cold and he's terrified, but he's happy. Is she actually happy? He moves in to kiss her, but he doesn't feel anything. It's like cutting his tongue with a knife. She needs to speak to him and explain some things and he needs to listen and understand and use whatever empathy he has left in his skull. Fuck. His head feels empty. They need a middle ground somewhere, anywhere. They need to meet for the first time again.

Then the couple embrace, and they find that meeting.

In each other's arms, their thoughts disappear and are replaced with a silent language. They listen to the other's heartbeats for what feels like hours, neither having to utter a single word. All they need to do is love each other, so they do. They sit at the edge of the bathtub, holding each other tight. The night is cold and dark, but in that small bathroom, it feels warm. She whispers into his ear.

I feel so warm with you.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License