Carter slips his palm into the small of my back and leads me in with unnecessarily chivalrous flair. I can feel his greed in the pressing of his fingers, the probing, eager electricity working its way into my spine and consuming my sense of security. ‘It’s right this way,’ he says. I don’t want to be wanted, by him or anybody else, but I bear it under the burden of politeness. I try to find ways to extricate myself from the mores around me, to bring my scarring to the surface and scare off my pursuers. I never succeed.

Advertisements