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Tactile Vibrance

by Lexen Smith about a year ago in love

A Flash Fiction

A Moroccan souk (open air market common in Arabic countries)

Standing in front of the mirror, in a vibrantly-tiled hotel bathroom, Alex began preparing herself for the day. Humming, she brushed her teeth, put on lotion, and unmade her braids. She tousled her black hair until it settled in waves that fell below her shoulders. Matt walked to the threshold of the bathroom and leaned against the doorframe. He had gotten dressed first, sporting a pair of comfortable loafers, shorts, and a light button up short sleeve shirt left undone towards the top. He also wore a pair of aviators which sat just below his curly hair, and a block bead bracelet which Alex had made for him.

“You look nice,” Alex said to him, noticing him in the mirror.

A wide grin spread across Matt’s face. “So do you.”

Alex chuckled and smiled to herself. She turned and went to him. Gently placing a hand on Matt’s cheek, Alex gave him a kiss, then walked past him. Matt took his turn brushing his teeth and shaving, while Alex changed from her pajamas. She decided on a pair of white flip flops, light blue denim shorts, and a yellow blouse. When they were both ready, they made their way, arm in arm, from the hotel to the local market by way of a taxi.

As they arrived, the din of shoppers and vendors filled the warm air. Sunlight shone upon the souk hindered by overhanging sheets or screens if by anything. Alex and Matt made their way through the crowds passing stall after stall filled with as many dazzling and alluring items as one could imagine. Shining golden plates, painted figurines, decorative lanterns made of stained glass, blankets and rugs of bright greens and glowing oranges, baskets filled far past the top with foodstuffs, bags of brown, pink, and tan leather, various articles of clothing, and many more trinkets. Some familiar to the pair, others completely new, all of them splendid to behold.

Alex was unable to contain her glee, commenting wildly on all that she saw and briskly investigating each stall with all its wares. She snagged blankets for Matt to feel, which he agreed were indeed so soft. She told him how dashing he looked in every hat, jacket, and shirt she had him try on. Though only some vendors spoke English, they managed to buy some street food which Matt thought smelled good, and were satisfied by the unknown cuisine. Matt chuckled at Alex’s infatuation with the market often, pleased she was so happy. Even without her ecstatic gasps and adoring observations of everything that surrounded them, Matt would have been able to feel her mirth.

Quite literally. Whether Alex was wrapped around his arm, or had her hand clasped in his, her reactions were as much physical as verbal. Matt knew she had seen something particularly fascinating by how she would grasp his hand a little tighter, or when she would guide him swiftly, nearly dragging him, to the nearest stall showcasing something that caught her eye. A few times Alex even radiated her excitement in the form of bouncing in place. She spoke in a lively tone to all the vendors, asking about their products and prices. Occasionally it was a game of charades, with Alex speaking in English even as she attempted to communicate with her hands alone, and the vendor speaking Arabic. While her exchanges usually ended in a kind goodbye after having been unable to learn about an item (as her intent was seldom to actually purchase the item in question, lest they walk away with the whole market in a bag), she took up each new inquiry with gusto. So the day was spent, wandering every inch of the place and back. As the afternoon gave way to the evening, Alex and Matt left the souk with a blanket which Matt thought felt the softest of all, and a painting of Morocco’s cityscape, which Alex had to be pressed to buy. For though she greatly admired it, she had some reservation about spending the money on a painting of all things. Matt, sensing how much she fancied the painting especially, insisted.

The whole affair was considered a grand success. In addition to their blanket and painting, each came away with a memorable experience. Alex was able to explore a brilliant display of curiosities, revelling in a foreign culture. As for Matt, although he could not see, all the world’s wonder was interpreted by his beloved, and that was enough.

love

About the author

Lexen Smith

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