Prompt(700 words or less): Wrinkles

The harsh lighting of the bathroom shines down on me. I sit sideways on the counter gazing into the mirror, examining my reflection. I run my hand up my cheek then along the underside of my eye. The soft skin pulls at my gently touch. Amusement flashes through me and I smile.

“All I am saying is that you’re reaching the age where the elasticity of your skin begins to fade. Now is the time to stop the damage. You are aging…” The sales girl’s voice repeats in my mind making my smile grow. As does the memory of her reaction to my less than appreciative response. I probably scared the poor child.

I trail my fingers up across my forehead then down my nose to my laugh lines. I always knew one day these would appear. I just didn’t think I was old enough yet. I guess what they say is true. The older you are, the faster time goes. 

“What are you doing in here?” Ben asks from the door.

“Washing my face and look what I found. Wrinkles.”

“You don’t have wrinkles,” he says with absolute surety, but the look in his eyes tells me he suspects a trap. 

I laugh. “Yes they are wrinkles and from what I was told today, I need to take steps now to slow the aging.”

His eyes go wide. “Who said that?”

“The girl at the store.”

“Honey, you have to know,” he starts, approaching me. 

I touch his outstretched hand, spinning to face him. I spread my legs and he slips between. I press my jean clad knees to his sides.

“You have to know she’s wrong. You’re beautiful.”

“She’s not wrong.” I run my hands up his strong arms. “But you know what?”

“What?” he says, resting his palms on my hips.

“I like them.” I run my fingers along my cheekbone. 

He tilts his head to examine me, a question in his eyes. 

“Do you remember Auntie Jean?” 

He nods. “She was gorgeous. Every time you looked at her you saw happiness.”

“Exactly. As a child I used to think that she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. As she aged she only became more so. Year after year the wrinkles deepened. The corner of her eyes became defined and lines appeared to frame her mouth. Her hands aged becoming long and thin; proof of their experience.”

His hands ran over my hip and up my back. 

Continuing I said, “I remember asking her once – when I was fifteen or so – if the wrinkles bothered her.”

“What did she say?”

“She said each and every divot in her skin was precious. She told me that most people saw age and imperfection.”

“But she saw something else?” 

I nodded. “She saw the day she married my uncle. She saw the birth of her son, her daughter’s first giggle. She saw the water balloon fight with all of us kids.” I chuckle. “Or embarrassing me with my first boyfriend.”

“I remember that story.”

“She told me that every single crows feet and laugh line reminded her of all the reasons she’d ever had to smile.”

He brushed a hair back from my face. 

I glance back to the mirror and sighed, a small grin lining my lips.

“I may be getting old,” I winked at him and he rolled his eyes. “But if that’s the type of wrinkles I get, I think I can handle that. I think I like what I see.”

“You’re not old. And, I know I like what I see.” He leaned in and kissed up my neck to the hollow of my throat. “But I’d be willing to make you smile if you think that’d help.”

Heat swept through me and I giggled again. He pressed into me. I pulled him closer, my nails digging into his back. 

“Yes, please help me smile,” I said. His rumbling chuckle vibrated against my chest and I groaned.

“My pleasure.” He whispered the words against my skin, his hot breath intoxicating. All thought of wrinkles vanished from my mind. 

Published on OBW Blog November 20, 2020 © Tracey Canole  

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