Every other Sunday night, Wendla takes a bath. Her mother lugs a bucket of warm water up the stairs, into the porcelain tub in their bathroom. Wendla takes off her dress, her petticoats, her chemise, and finally, her drawers. She folds them all neatly, like Mama asks her to, and she climbs into the tub.
The water in the tub is still a little bit steamy, Wendla’s gotten in just in time. She relaxes into the water and lets the warmth soothe her tight shoulders. It feels good. Her hand slowly cup and put water onto her hair. She closes her eyes tighter than she needs to.
The water slowly begins to chill, but Wendla stays in. Once a month, Wendla lets herself touch.
Her hands start at her shoulders. The hot water has relaxed her muscles. She feels calm, and it does something to her. She’s almost never this calm. Her fingers reach her breasts, making tiny circles around her nipples. Wendla’s breathing hitches for a moment, and she stills her fingers before continuing. One of her hands somehow finds its way down to the area between her hip and her navel. Her thumb gently massages the muscle and her hips fly up completely of their own accord, displacing a little bit of the water. She gasps, before quickly shoving her other hand over her mouth.
Once she feels adequately quiet, the hand that was on her mouth makes it way down to the special place between her legs.
Wendla rubs the bud between her thumb and forefinger, and she makes a conscious effort to keep calm and quiet.
She gently speeds up her stroking, and brings her other hand down to circle her entrance. Just as she hears her mother’s footsteps by the door, she can’t stop herself from moaning. She steadies herself before her mother inevitably knocks.
“Wendla? Are you alright, dearest?”
Wendla freezes. She knew this was coming but she’s still caught off guard.
“Um, I’m fine, Mama, just a headache!”
She hopes the headache excuse will work. Wendla’s used it before, so it’s only a matter of time before her mother gets concerned.
“Do you want some ice? I can come in-“
Wendla nearly jumps out of the bath at the prospect of her mother seeing her like this. She tugs her hand away from her legs, frowning a little at the loss of her hand.
“No! I mean, I’m really alright, Mama, there’s no need!”
“Alright, Wendla, if you insist,”
Wendla waits until she hears her mother’s footsteps fade away to return her hand to her crotch. Her mother dampened the mood by nearly walking in on her, and she feels ashamed that she is still throbbing between her legs. Nevertheless, she keeps rubbing herself, faster and faster. Her stomach begins to tighten, just like she’s used to, when the idea hits her.
She hesitantly brings her finger down to her entrance and slowly pokes it inside. It’s so intense that Wendla has to stop and breathe for a moment. After she catches her breath, she pushes inside another inch, and begins to curl her finger towards her stomach.
Wendla wants to do that again and again until her fingers break. In a rare moment of gratefulness, she silently thanks her mother for forcing her to trim her fingernails. Wendla is positive that her mother would scream if she knew what her daughter did to herself on nights like this, but she can stay in the dark. Nobody knows that Wendla can feel like this, and she’s happy to keep it that way.
She curls her finger again, feeling the rough patch and rubbing over it. Wendla gently drags her finger out again, reveling in the way it drags on her rim. All at once, she shoves it back in, gasping as it pushes that spot just right. She brings her other hand to massage her bud again, and she feels like she’s hit either hell or heaven, it’s anyone’s guess which.
She keeps thrusting her right hand and stroking with her left hand until her legs are shaking beneath the now-cold water. Wendla tilts her head back and let’s out a quiet sigh as she shakes. She feels her insides clenching and releasing rhythmically around her finger, and her other hand falters a little before her body gives on last squeeze around her, and then her body goes limp and floods with warmth, despite the cooling bath water.
Wendla takes a moment for herself to breathe heavily, before she raises herself out of the tub, rinsed her hands in the dirty water, and puts on her nightgown. She sleeps sounder than she has in years.