Chase A Squirrel

He was afraid to touch her because he said his hands were rough. He rubbed them together like he was testing them to see for sure or to use them like sandpaper on each other. “They might feel like bricks,” he claimed.
She said, “They don’t feel rough to me.” He hadn’t touched her yet but he always said that and they never felt any rougher than a loofah might, if that. Mostly they just felt strong and sure and like they loved her. Good, working hands that often reached back to find one of hers whenever they were walking somewhere where he might worry about a crowd separating them or just to keep her closer to him.
He had been out on their tractor and doing lots of manual work that day as most all days he did the same. For some reason that made the rough hands more attractive and not hard to take at all — more like a pleasing scratch when they found their way around the surface of her naked body or even just her face.
He took her face in his hands and asked her if they felt too rough to her. “No, not rough at all,” she assured him.
He gave her a little tap and said, “We’ll pick this up later.” He had just come in to get a drink of water and to put his hands around her face to hold it and kiss it once before he went back out.
She kept sweeping the floor and looked out the kitchen window to see him back out on the tractor moving dirt around — the dog following beside or running off to chase a squirrel. He was getting their land shaped right for planting and channeling the rain — just the earthworks not plowing.
They were making this life together — way out in the boonies where the distant train sounds were far enough away to sound like music — romantic lullabies to help them fall asleep once a hard day’s work was done and his rough hands could come to lie in bed with her again.

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