The things we know Hillary Savoie

My teacher asks with his eyes before reaching out to adjust my stance. I nod. He kicks at my foot, turning my toes. He lifts and pushes my hand in place, closer to my face. Stepping back he mirrors my body. “Like this,” he says as his fist hooks, deliberately, elbow up. “Again. Watch my knee, my hip.”

For a moment I stop and smirk, remembering my first teacher who helped correct my stance, stating without an ounce of humor, “The way you knock a guy out is all in the hips…” The smartass in my head said, Oh, I’ve been doing that for years. 

But then I mirror his motion, elbow up, knee bent, hip pushing my bodyweight behind my fist. Slowly first, the motion forces the thoughts out of my head…empty, empty, empty. Then faster…there is nothing else.

“Give me twenty.”

My fists land in the mitts with satisfying thwaps.

“Again.”

Thwap. 

“Again.”

Thwap

“One more time.”

Thwap.

I pause. I’m panting. Sweat drips down my chest.

Oh, I think.

***

Swinging upside-down, blood rushing to my head.

There are things we just know like this.

***

My mom’s hand molds over my own tiny hand. Together we hold the whisk–her face close to mine as I balance on the chair.

“Like this,” she says as she helps me move the whisk in an elliptical orbit, first slowly, tiny puffs of dry ingredients lifting into the air. Then a bit faster.

Almost done, Mom lifts the oversized bowl away from me, whisking quickly, her wrist flicking efficiently. As the separate ingredients become a batter, a wet flopping sound joins the ssshuck, ssshuck of the whisk scraping the stainless steel bottom of the bowl.

It is the sound that tells you it’s done.

“See?” Mom says, showing me the contents of the bowl–a thick chocolate pool.

I drag my finger through it and bring it up to my mouth, nodding.

***

Fingers graze and intertwine.

There are things we just know like this.

***

Her tiny hands reach up to my face. Eyes locked to mine. She never could do this as a baby, lift her hands to my face. Now five she still touches me as if I am somehow new to her, as if she is uncertain if I am real.

Satisfied, she pulls my hand around her and nuzzles into my neck.

She pats my shoulder rhythmically. Like this, her hand tells me.

I pat her thin bird-like back, picking up her beat.

Soon her hand stops moving, slowly slides down my arm. Her body relaxes with a sigh.

***

A look across an abyss. A look that pulls hard, as if I was caught on a fishing line.

There are things we just know like this.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “What I wish the world knew…”
Host: Kristi from Finding Ninee

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