She watched her husband’s hands through the crack in the doorway—those, big, rough, blue collar hands that her friends said were incapable of gentleness. If only they could see how wrong they were. Their daughter looked so tiny and delicate resting in those giant palms—smaller even than she had looked in her arms at the hospital—smaller, still because of the contrast. Yet, she could see that in his eyes, the baby filled his entire world.
She was reminded of a line from Hamlet. “So loving…that he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly.” A tear came unbidden to her eye. She had always dreamed that he would touch her like this. She wanted the man about whom the Prince of Denmark had soliloquized, but she had gotten the Viking warrior who had vanquished Old Fortinbras of Norway. She had always felt safe in his powerful embrace, even when she wished he would squeeze her a little less tightly. Now, as she watched him handle that fragile baby she knew she had chosen wisely. She knew that not only could he be tamed, but that he had been by something they had created together.
She turned away from the doorway and made her way to bed. It was his turn to put the baby to sleep. As she lay her head on the pillow, she recalled the scene she had just witnessed. She smiled as she drifted off to sleep.
That night, she dreamed of those hands again. She had done so many times since she had first met him. This time, however, was different. For the first time, they were caressing someone other than she.
Ari Rubin’s writing has appeared in Scrivener’s Pen, Skyline, and Otherink. His story, “White Collar Blues”, was nominated for The Carve Magazine/Mild Horse Press Online Short Story Award. He holds a BA (departmental honors) in Writing/Literature and an MA in Teaching of English from Columbia University.
Ari Rubin can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and https://www.facebook.com/ari.alexander.77