The next morning Charlie heard the key at the door and Natalie’s light footsteps down the hall.
“Good morning, Natalie,” he called cheerily. “I’ve had breakfast, but could I ask a favour from you?”
“I like to wear my hair in a short ponytail but it’s gotten too long. Would you be able to cut off a few inches?”
“Not a problem. I used to shave my dad and cut his hair after he had his stroke. Have you always had a beard?”
“No. I don’t like beards much because they make my face too itchy. I just stopped caring and shaving at the same time, but now it’s time to move on.”
“I could shave that off for you, if you like,” Natalie offered.
“I’m not sure about the shaving part, but I would be grateful if you cut my hair.”
Charlie sat on a kitchen chair. His hair was still damp from the shower. Natalie found some scissors, and got his comb. She put a towel across his shoulders and began to run her fingers and the comb through his hair. Charlie closed his eyes and relaxed. It had been a while since anyone had touched him in an intimate fashion and he just wanted to lose himself in the moment.
All too soon he heard Natalie ask, “Check the length. Is that what you want?”
What he really wanted was for her to continue running her fingers through his hair, but decided she hadn’t intended the experience to be sensual.
“Yes, this is good,” he said, gathering his hair into a ponytail. “Thank you for doing that. I’ll go and shave now.”
“If I cut most of the hair off your face, it would be much easier to shave,” Natalie offered.
She proceeded to cut his beard while Charlie drank in the scent of her. She had a wonderful freshness about her. He just wanted to put his arms around her and lay his head on her breast. A strange, overwhelming desire to cry filled him. But he knew she wouldn’t welcome any of this, so when she finished he went into the bathroom to shave.
“Are you ready?” Charlie called as he came out of the bathroom.
“Well, don’t you clean up nice,” Natalie exclaimed. “Without your beard I can see your resemblance to Paul.”
“Who’s the better looking?” Charlie asked, grinning.
“Why, you of course, my handsome prince,” she replied in a teasing tone. “And now that your eyes are no longer bloodshot, I can see they’re a beautiful, sparkling blue. They really must attract the ladies.”
“Yeah sure, I fight them off with a stick all the time,” he joked
One True Thing is available in print and as an ebook from Amazon.