The One That You Love
By K.T. Leone
The walk back home was slow and Katie could feel the day catch up to her. Even if she wanted to stay up for ever, she doubted that she could. It had been a long day, full of emotion and it wore on the child. She would hold on as long as possible, but that may be an hour or so. She wondered that when she got back to her real life if she would be just as exhausted or completely refreshed.
Rosalie and her niece made it home around ten PM. Far after the little girl's bedtime even though Katie was unaware of such. She wouldn't ruin the night by raising any protest if told to go to sleep, but hoped that it wouldn't come up.
“You, little girl,” Rosalie said as they walked into the apartment. “Need to get your bath, but don't wash your hair.”
“Yes, Aunt Roe,” Katie responded without much fuss.
“Good girl,” Rosalie praised.
Katie smiled at the compliment but was now even more aware that this would soon end and that she may go the rest of her life without hearing another kind word.
Rosalie could see the sadness in the child's eyes but couldn't quite explain it. “Was today as perfect as you had hoped for?”
“More than perfect,” Katie said as she stood by the doorway to the bathroom. “Just some days don't seem quite long enough.”
“You said a mouthful,” Rosalie said with a small down-turning of the mouth. “Come on, let's get you out of that dress.”
Katie stood obediently in front of her aunt and had the dress lifted off her body. As her aunt went to put the dress away, the little girl retreated into the bathroom and finished getting completely undressed. It didn't matter that she was naked when her Aunt returned, it caused the child no alarm.
Rosalie ran the water for the bath, making sure it was the right temperature before putting the stopper in the drain. The woman filled the tub just under halfway up.
Katie went into the tub. It had been years since she had taken a bath. Her entire adult life seemed to be one shower after another. Part of the reason was, as an adult man he was too big to sit inside a tub. The warm water came up to her hip and lapped around her body. She was surprised that she could keep her legs parted in small tub. The warm water danced around her feminine part and brought her a feeling that was unmistakably new and wonderful. But soon being a girl would be over as well, at least he got the chance at the brief experience.
Rosalie sat on the toilet with the seat down and watched the child in the tub. She could tell that Katie was sad and the melancholy mood didn't escape her. “Come on, stand up and let me wash you.”
It had been a long time since Katie had someone bath her. Even the first time through life she was almost certain that by the time she was eight she was washing himself. But she was nowhere near about to protest. Instead, she stood up in the bath, the water making her peachy skin glisten, and inched over toward her aunt.
Rosalie made her way to the side of the tub and knelt to the floor. She took a clean washcloth from the holder and soaked it thoroughly. She then took a bar of soap and lathered it up sufficiently. It had been since Katie was a toddler since she had washed the child, but it was one of the activities she enjoyed back then.
Katie got goosebumps as her aunt ran the washcloth along her arm. Her Aunt's touch was soft and gentle as her body was soaped up. Even when Rosalie washed between the child's leg, Katie didn't feel the need to retreat in fear. For the first time in a long time she was both completely vulnerable and totally safe at the same time. She didn't need to worry about being taken advantage of or that anything inappropriate would happen. She just enjoyed the woman's touch and the warmth that it brought to her.
After the child was completely lathered from neck to calf, Rosalie took a cup, filled it with water and poured it over the small girl to remove the suds. It took a little time, but they both seemed to be enjoying themselves. And just like that the bath was finished.
Rosalie pulled the plug from the drain as Katie still stood in the calf high water. “There it goes, gone along with the day,” she said in an airy fashion.
A look of sadness and despair and unspeakable grief came over Katie's face that was undeniable.
“What's wrong,” Rosalie said as she wrapped a white terrycloth towel around the child's naked form.
“The day is over,” Katie said as her eyes filled with tears.
“Days end all the time,” Rosalie said calmly as she lifted the child out of the tub and carried her into the living room.
“But I only wished for one more day,” Katie said as a tear fluttered from her eyelash.
Rosalie remembered how the day had started but had hoped the little girl had put the behind her.
“I'm going to wake up and this is all going to be gone,” Katie sobbed.
“Hush, child,” Rosalie soothed. “Maybe some music will calm you, something you like, something light.”
Rosalie walked to the stereo and slipped the switch to turn it on. Light pop music came from the speakers that hung in the corners of the room.
“I don't want to lose you,” Katie said through her tears. “Not again.”
Rosalie sat in her oversized easy chair and cradled the girl close to her. “You're not going to lose me.”
“But you die, and I'm left all alone.”
“Sooner or later everyone days, but I don't think that's going to happen to me today. But, do you know what?”
Katie looked up at her aunt through her tears. “What?”
“No matter what, death could never stop me from loving you and the grave could never keep me away from you, in here,” Rosalie tapped the child on her chest over her heart.
Katie cried all the more.
Rosalie was at a loss for what to do and simply rocked the child in order to provide some comfort.
A familiar song came over the radio, one the Katie knew was a sign. “Now the night has gone, now the night has gone away,” the song began. She knew her day was over, her wish was spent.
“Aunt Roe,” Katie said almost silently, unable to speak through the tears.
“You have always been like a mother to me,” Katie sobbed. “I love you.”
Rosalie kissed the child on the forehead. “And I love you.”
Katie put her head against her aunt's chest. If nothing else, at least she knew the last three words that she said to her aunt and the last three words that she heard from her aunt were the most important. Exhaustion washed over the child, there was no way she could last. Not for another minute, not for another second, not for another...
The child fell asleep and her day was over, her last thought before losing consciousness was at least she ended the day right.
Author's note: This story has been received well by those who read it, but unfortunately it looks as if people are avoiding what I write. This has been very emotional for me, but now its over. I may post this again in a week as a stand alone, it came to 19k words.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.