by Fatima Khan
Wembley High Technology College, London, 2015
You can see they’ve been doing this for a long time. His hand engulfs hers, her hand melts within his. They are one. The wristwatch on his arm says it’s 3.22am. The ring on her left finger says it’s been 35 years. They walk and dance and sing, but their hands lay on each other like a sleeping baby to a pillow. He thinks their skin contrasts – he thinks he’s darker. She knows they’re a palette of soft, consistent browns. She flinches; he squeezes her hand, a gesture of reassurance – he’s not going anywhere. Their hands do not mirror old age. He knows that the creases on his skin are there to stay, her fingertips brush over them to preserve them. Each wrinkle holds a part of their history. His thumb draws circles on her bruised knuckle, imprisoning the bone within. His scar runs from his left thumb into the beauty spot on the bridge of her hand. Her nails aren’t long, his knuckles are swollen. He taps her hand, she replies with a squeeze. Her fingers are heavy. His index finger is bent. She doesn’t recognise that anymore – she’s used to it, just as he is used to the scraping of her rings. They hold each other more than they know. They’ve written a whole story with just their hands. You can tell they’ve been doing this for a long time.