She lay on the floor in front of the television as he leaned pressure into the creases of her feet, making the pains turn to gentle itches and tingles which silenced her chatter for a while and sent her off some place else, her face somber and calm. As was his rather uptight manner, he looked at his watch after a while and announced that he should better not get to bed too late and made his way home in the old Range Rover. He could swear they were laughing about him as he climbed into the drivers seat. He didn't care, he was living a beautiful creative time in his young life, he felt warm and fuzzy that night.
Rehearsals began again for the festival. One afternoon she came home with him to his new apartment as she had time to kill between rehearsing and going to a show that evening. She said she felt dusty and sweaty; she hadn't been able to wash after the rehearsals. He offered her to use the shower in the bathroom, which she immediately declined. ‘What was that all about?’ he wondered. He had seen her half-naked in the change-rooms, but that was a professional context and she was a dancer. Her body had its purely functional aspect. But he wasn't a dancer and could easily get mixed up. The furtive glimpses of her smooth bare back, or the perfect curve of her full breast ending in the tender tip of her nipple, took his breath away. Was she aware of him watching? He couldn't tell where she was on this score. Her face was unimpeachable.
The company’s arrival at the festival was one of high stress and pandemonium. The previous year there had been some problems in Grahamstown, with some of the dancers getting caught up in a knife fight. This time there were urgent efforts being made to keep everyone in line. As he sat on the floor with some of the actors, he felt charged and in light spirits as he watched the bustle with amusement. She caught his irreverent eye and came to sit with him. She never had time for superfluous hullaballoo and declared that she wanted to hang out him that night.
The single bulb which hung from the ceiling created a dull brownish light, but the small electric heater quickly made it warm and the bed was comfortable. They lay and talked a little more, aware of their fatigue and the fact that they were suddenly alone together in this small room. A man and a woman, deep in the night. She rubbed some cream into her dry hands. Then in a matter of fact manner, she lay on her front and asked him again to massage her feet.
His heart beat a little faster as he set to work, exploring the pads and grooves of her soles, and the delicate bones beneath. She became quiet again. He swallowed deeply a few times as his desire grew. He massaged her smooth calves and then, gaining courage, her upper legs, still she said nothing, her eyes closed. He watched her face now and then, and considered her body. The beautiful hill of her strong buttocks and the swooping dip of her lower back, before it rose again to the shoulders, then the creamy skin of her neck and the dark mass of her hair. He wondered what she was feeling, what her body was doing beneath it’s surface?