The water is hot – almost too hot as she steps under the spray. But her body relaxes as it adjusts to the steamy wetness, weighing down her hair until is plastered against her neck and continuing down her curves to the floor.

The cloth is carefully soaped, and then small circles begin.  Behind her ears and gently scrubbing her neck, and then it continues across her shoulders, washing her collarbone and sternum, and then sliding up and down the valley between her breasts before settling on one…then the other. No rib is missed, her belly is scrubbed.  When a cloth covered finger dips into her navel, she stifles a giggle.  Hip bones are caressed through the soapy fabric.


Her left thigh is thoroughly cleaned, up and down, up and down, stopping at her knee to scrub small circles over the cap.  Down her thigh to her ankle the cloth continues, until her foot is lifted and every inch cared for.  The heel, the arch, the ball, and the pad of every toe.  The cloth follows the same path down her left leg, ankle, and foot.

And then she turns, pressing her forehead against the wet tile, her feet planted apart.  The freshly soaped cloth scrubs the skin at the nape of her neck, flowed by one shoulder blade and then the other.  The space between them is massaged, and she feels the tension evaporate.  Down her spine to the small of her back every part of her skin is washed.  She jumps almost imperceptibly when the cloth passes between her thighs and into the valley between her cheeks.  The circles continue on her backside and down each leg.  She is surprised that the bend of her knee is so sensitive.

She stands under the spray again and feels the suds run down her body, washed away by the still hot water.  Her skin is smooth, the faint smell of soap still clinging.  And she smiles as the water traces a thousand paths down her face.

She is clean.