A Bath With Betsy
- A soft tapping of a tape into a a cassette deck brought me to my senses again. The sun shone brightly through the skylight. The smell of my best friend surrounded me. The soft couch felt good against my cheek. I was tempted to fall back asleep. She probably didn't need me right at this exact moment. Then, a soft tune began playing. A piano melody I personally had played countless times. Clair de Lune came over the stereo to bring me to my senses. I opened one eye to see Betsy kneeling beside the couch. Her cheek was placed on the soft fabric beneath us, staring into my eyes adoringly. I couldn't help but feel special whenever she looked at me like that. As if I was the center of her whole world. There was nothing like it. It was the irreplacable emotion that came with being cherished by someone. She reached out and brushed some of my fur back out of my face.
- "Rise and shine..." She whispered softly.
- I couldn't help but smile. I sat up while she remained with her head resting against the cushion of the couch. A moment passed between us of just soaking in the atmosphere. I reached out a hand and brushed it through her messy hair. It was always so soft. Even with it being on the unwashed side, it never became tangled or bunched. Running my fingers through it was just as lovely a sensation as always. As I heard the stereo switch tracks to Reverie, she stood up. She took my hand and placed it on her cheek. I couldn't imagine how I'd ever be able to live without this. Could I ever go back to waking up with nobody there to look into my eyes? Without anyone to reach out to?
- Betsy didn't give me too much time to think about that. She was good at not letting me get tangled up in my own thoughts. She kept me moving. The feeling of her soft cheek brought me back to reality. Sharing an intimate moment with my camp counsellor wasn't something I had even dreamed about when I had first come to camp. Now sharing moments like this with her was the most relaxing thing I could think of. It was strange how close we'd become. I welcomed it though. It was a sort of friend I hadn't had before. Not in Oscar or anyone else. This was special, between me and her. She wrapped her hands around mine, pulling me up from the couch to stand. I was a bit on the shaky side but I held myself up. Once I was steady she turned and led me towards the bathroom.
- This was actually new to me. We'd never discussed anything like this before. It had me a touch apprehensive as she led me onto the tile floor. It took me a second to muster words to say. By then she was already a step ahead of me though. Sometimes I wondered if I was predictable whenever she anticipated my actions. She reached up with a finger and rested it on her mouth to hush any lingering protests I had. Taking her wand out, she summoned two towels for us. A moment passed of her turning on the tap to a large claw-footed tub. The sound of hot water rushing over the porcelain filled the entire room. Steam rose and fogged up the mirror across from the tub. As I settled into the moment again I found peace with this. I needed to stop overthinking things. This was a just a bath between the two of us.
- My special best friend tapped her clothes with her wand. It took a moment for them to unbutton and fall away from her body. It looked like they relaxed and slid from her body like liquid. I couldn't help but look. She was pretty clearly older than me. A teenager obviously. Thin but not too much so. Her build reminded me a bit of my own, if I was physically a few years older. I took my eyes off of her and watched as she stepped carefully into the tub. For a long moment I watched her slowly ease herself down into the hot water.
- I figured I should to the same. It was a slight chore getting all my clothes off, but once I had it was simple to get into the tub. The actual bath was enormous, easily fitting us both. She sat nearest the end while I got the spot closest to the spigot. It took a while but soon the water was just below our shoulders. Betsy flicked her finger to turn it off, before leaning back to rest against the inclined part of the bathtub. I did likewise by turning sideways and sinking downwards, my knees rising up from the water. I shut my eyes for a long moment and started thinking. About how to tell Oscar. How to tell Susie. What they'd say about me staying on the island.
- "Y'know Hedgehog... you spend a lot of time thinking about everything... and I think you need to learn to relax more."
- My eyes wandered over to Betsy. She was looking at me with a concerned expression on her face. I averted my eyes. So I was that predictable. She knew I was worrying. It was a lot to think over. It was a ton of stress for me. I didn't like not knowing how things would go. Especially with Susie or Alice. But I did know that Oscar would be supportive. Sad about having to leave me one day, sure. He would never stop supporting me though. I knew he'd probably cry. I would cry. The main issue long-term was that Susie would be a very hard sell. It made my stomach lurch thinking about standing in front of the pink-haired witch and telling her I'd be staying. I could imagine it going horribly. The one thing saving me was Betsy. With a deep breath, I eased the tension in my neck and shoulders. She was right. I shouldn't be thinking about these things. Especially right after I woke up.
- I felt the water shift around me. Pulling my eyes back towards my friend, I found her leaning in close. She set a hand on my shoulder. It took me a moment to realize what she was doing. She gently pulled me towards her, taking me in her embrace. The nicest witch placed my back on her chest and guided me towards the end of the tub. Her touch coaxed me to move with her, until she placed her own shoulders against the resting incline towards the back of the bath. I felt her place a kiss on the top of my head, while she began massaging my shoulders. I was having a hard time thinking about anything except her. Smooth hands on the tension I held in my upper body. Soon her fingers delicately squeezed at the base of my neck to diffuse the pressure I held there as well. Within a few moments I felt a long sigh escape me.
- This was what I needed. Time alone gave me too much fuel to burn. Too much distance to run all at once. I needed someone to pace me. Limit myself. Betsy pacified the anxious beast within. All that built up tension could flow. The instruments in my head had a beat to play to. Structure to the discordant thoughts that plagued me. She was all that and more. I felt her hand reach up, caressing my cheek. I felt myself resting against it almost without thinking. Her smooth skin felt great through the fur on my back. The water ate away at whatever leftover aches I had from transforming into a werewolf last night. All was right with the world. Betsy was there with me to make everything okay. To fend off the anxiety tomorrow brought. I had a little island of tranquility when I was in her presence. One I would never let go of.
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