Fiction, Health and wellbeing, Melbourne, Writing

At the day spa (short fiction)

Maya needed this. Her shoulders were tight, her jaw clicky. She’d phoned last week, immediately after their fight, just as James was skulking out the door.

Lately, it was all turning to shit. Work sucked. Her new boss was micro-managing her. After fifteen years, Maya didn’t need a millennial peering over her shoulder. And last week, she’d come home to find James sobbing on the bed.

‘What the fuck is wrong?’ Maya had asked, terrified. James never cried. Not even when his mum died three years ago.

‘We’re behind in mortgage payments.’

‘What? How?’

It was then James confessed his gambling habit. Maya’s blood simmered in her veins. She was furious, shocked, dumbfounded. How had she become one of those women? Those who don’t know what their financial status is? She scoffed at them; now she was one of them. Humiliated, she’d told James to get out. Without a second thought she phoned the spa, booked a ninety minute massage, facial and hot stone treatment.

Now, she lay naked on the narrow bed, a heated towel covered her from shoulders to knees. An electric blanket toasted her back and legs. She sank into a temporary state of relief as a jet of warm air shot from the split system unit above her head. It would all work out.

The door opened with a quiet shush. ‘Maya,’ the voice whispered. ‘Hello, I am Honeysuckle. I’ll be doing your treatment today.’

Maya simply nodded.

Honeysuckle continued, ‘I’m going to start by placing three hot stones on your back, and I’ll massage your legs. Let’s get you turned over. I’ll hold the towel up while you carefully roll onto your tum for me.’

Maya turned over. Honeysuckle placed the stones on Maya’s spine; the heat spread like honey over hot crumpets. Pleasure oozed as Honeysuckle’s hands worked Maya’s calves and hamstrings. Tension wafted from her body as the stones were shifted and Honeysuckle massaged her back and shoulders.

‘You’re very tight,’ Honeysuckle said quietly. ‘Are you under a lot of stress right now?’

Shut up, Maya thought. ‘Mmm,’ she responded obediently.

‘Let’s turn you over now, for your facial.’

Maya flipped again. The next thing she knew was Honeysuckle leaning close to her ear, gently tapping her shoulder. ‘Maya, wake up. Session’s over.’

After Honeysuckle left the room, Maya slowly dressed herself. Everything would be alright. She knew what to do now.


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


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