Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Patiently Recovering

Post by Lily Harlem

When you've been sick or had an accident, it's hard to be patient with yourself when your mind wants you to get going again but your body says no. Recovery is a long process and takes time. I've worked with people in all sorts of situations. In accident and emergency when the event has just happened through the journey of surgery, medication and physiotherapy. This can all takes months, years even.

Often there are scars left, mental and emotional, and the charity anthology Coming Together Triumphantly deals with reclaiming the body and sexuality after trauma. It contains stories of triumph, of healing, and of appreciating the body and its abilities after (and in spite of) the changes brought about by illness/injury. All proceeds from the sale of collection benefit the National Women's Health Network. 

Here is an excerpt from my contribution to this anthology. It's called Shy Bird and the couple in it have been very patient. The hero, Ray, a bad-ass biker boy, is recovering from a serious road traffic accident. He's been battered and scarred and had to slow his life right down. However, during this changing down a gear he's taken up bird watching in the Norfolk Broads - I can testify this is a stunning part of the world and much admired by ornithologists - and during this time he's met timid, shy bird Lisa...

His lips were so close to mine, a whisper away. “I want that too.”
“Thank goodness.” He smiled briefly then kissed me, softly, sweetly, his tongue just skirting into my mouth, the tip warm and wet and laced with the whiskey tea we’d just drunk. 
“Ah, you taste divine,” he said, pulling back.
I smiled and licked my lips, drawing his flavor into my mouth. Reaching up, I traced the scars at the center of his cheek then followed one of the trails to his nose and over to the outer corner of his eye. They were smooth on the tip of my finger, flat, they were part of Ray and they’d brought him my way. For that reason I would always adore them.
“I love you too,” I whispered, “I have done for so long.” I set down my mug, feeling bashful that I’d said what was in my heart but also feeling freer because of it.
Suddenly he was kissing me again, harder this time, more urgent. I opened up and let him in, slid my hands over his shoulders and hung on tight. My breasts were pressed into his wide chest, my nipples spiking against my bra. His heat, his scent, his taste consumed my senses.
“Jesus,” he muttered pulling back. “I’ve waited so long to kiss you, hold you. I didn’t think you would want to, what with me like this, all messed up and—”
“Ray.” I rested my index finger over his lips. “Please, don’t say that. I think you’re gorgeous, beautiful. And if it wasn’t for these marks on your face then you wouldn’t even be here, let alone be kissing me.”


  1. A great way to recover from surgery and loneliness! Thank you for posting this excerpt and the illustrations.

  2. Beautiful post. I'm pleased to be reminded of Coming Together: Triumphantly. I loved that theme!


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