My Secret Life as an Underage Massage Therapist
As my hands addressed their aches and pains, my clients shared their fantasies and fears with 15-year-old-me. Little did they know, I was dealing with family drama of my own.
Illustrations by Wenhao Hu | Edited by Estelle Erasmus
“You have a lot of knots this time,” I mumbled, trying my best to sound experienced.
I let my hands glide over his shoulder blades in robust bilateral movements, kneading my thumbs into the smaller tendons. The sweat that leaked down my cheeks had begun to form a thick ring around my neckline. The client was a six-foot professional boxer with a dry sense of humor and a penchant for deep tissue massages. He wore his dark hair short and would randomly touch his goatee before settling into our session. I always dreaded the athletes. Unlike my other repeat clients, who normally required a soft touch and a therapeutic ear, athletes were bulkier and their muscles tougher to dig into.
I carefully slathered on more cinnamon oil, shifting my weight on one foot while pressing my fists into dense muscle. My 5-foot-3 frame was a contrast to his bulky physique. And though my body had developed ahead of my age, I still carried a baby face.