I was excited for my preplanned three-day coma when Becky offered an impromptu massage at a new spa. Since lunch I’d been counting down the minutes until I could crawl into my soft bed, turn on my sound machine, and sleep until Monday morning. After a month of late nights and early mornings, we had finally finished the Ayurvedic Project just in time for Independence Day weekend. I postponed my much-needed rest for the promise of working out the kink in my tailbone I’d developed from poor posture during long meetings.
The lobby was painted slate gray with large stone, ceramic, and metal art pieces resembling Buddha. A wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling waterfall created a soft rain ambiance behind the desk. I stared into the flickering vanilla candle flame as Becky elaborated to the young receptionist what she wanted the masseuse to focus on.
“For you, ma’am?” The receptionist stared at me patiently.
“Oh, uh, I don’t know.”
“We offer Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, and Thai massage.”
It took all of my strength to remain standing. The countdown to sleep had passed and my body and mind were crumbling. I pictured a burly woman breaking every bone in my body. “I’m fragile,” I uttered.
“She’ll have the Thai one.” Becky chimed in. “You’ll love it! Stretching and all that.” She waved her hand in the air.
“Do you have a gender preference? Right now we have two therapist available, one male, one female.”
Becky gasped. “I really want a woman.” Closer to my face but at the same volume she said, “I just don’t know how Jim would feel about another man touching my naked body.” She giggled and then flipped her hand towards the receptionist, including her again. “Jealous men. Am I right?”
“I’m fine with a man.” I offered.
“I’m sure you are,” Becky wailed, jabbing me with her elbow. “You could use a man’s touch anyways. It’s been months.”
The receptionist showed us to each of our rooms. “Have you had a Thai massage before?” I shook my head. “You keep your clothes on. There are linens in the drawer if you prefer.”
Too tired to keep upright, I lay down on the table, closed my eyes, and listened to the low rhythmic tones coming from the surround sound speakers. It reminded me of my sound machine at home. A knock at the door jolted me from a nap.
A man dressed in purple linens walked through the door. “Good evening. My name is…”
I sat up, “Paul?”
He looked up and his lips parted. “Alexa?”
“Paul!” I exclaimed again, too nervous to know what else to say. “This is awkward. I mean, a weird coincidence. Not like awkward awkward. Like a surprise.”
He smiled but his eyes darted around the room avoiding me. “I can get another therapist.”
“No, no, no! This is fine.” I corrected myself. “This is perfect.”
He smiled and rubbed the back of his neck. “What brings you in today? Any spots I should be aware of or focus on?”
“Uh…” I struggled to think of any wording besides ‘right above my ass.’ Tailbone had suddenly become the most sexual word I knew besides ‘Fuck me, Paul.’ My arms and hands moved but at their own volition. “No?”
He laughed, “Let me know if that changes as we progress.”
I lay on my back while Paul cupped the heel of my foot in one hand and gently touched the back of my calf with the other. As he guided my bent leg he whispered, “Relax.” He rested my foot on his upper thigh and my sole could feel the creases in the fabric. My big toe wiggled and caressed him.
“It’s ok. I’m touching you just as much as you are touching me.”
His spread fingers pressed into the back of my thigh as he stretched my tight muscles. A moan slipped out of me. One hand held my shoulder as the other maneuvered across my outer thigh to my knee as he steered my body into a spinal twist. Everywhere he touched tingled.
I did as he instructed and melted into his firm but delicate hands. After an hour, my body felt loose and renewed. Paul had grown up from best friend’s kid brother to tall and handsome massage therapist with a heavenly touch. “That was amazing. I didn’t know you did this.”
“We still have another hour.”
“Well, I don’t have my next client for another hour and,” he looked over my body before continuing. “You seem like you need the extra work.” He massaged my foot as he spoke. “It’s on the house.”
I tugged at my shirt. “May I try the deep tissue?” Gauging his reaction, I slowly pulled it over my head.
He started rubbing my other foot. “Whatever you want.”
“My tailbone has been really sore.” I unbuttoned my bra.
To be continued…