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  • Writer's picturethejsingraham

Mother's Day, the Monday After

Updated: May 12, 2022

What do the friends of the greatest auntie in the world, get their girl for Mother's Day. The perfect hard reset of course.


The weather outside was unseasonably cool for this time of year in the nation's capital. Low sixties and a breeze that felt like it was blowing in off the Chesapeake on a fall evening, had the natives totally lost on how to exist on this sunny day.


Every time Nona looked inside the gift bag her godchildren dropped off on Sunday, she couldn't help but smile. The text was big, bold, crooked, and had to have been written in obscenely fat permanent marker she concluded. Nonetheless, she loved it. And subconsciously that is why she didn't take any of the gift or greeting cards out of the bag until she needed them. Nona had her lone child very young in life, so her homegirl's kids allowed her the chance to reconnect to that dependent maternal side. And looking at those four words brought a huge smile to her face, that felt brand new each time she saw them.

Walking out of Starbucks at Bowie Town Center, with a slice of lemon cake and a grande oat milk honey latte, she reconnected her phone to the car stereo and pulled into traffic. At the light before the on-ramp, her phone rang interrupting the new Kehlani project she was listening to.

"Good morning beautiful."

"Hey Bri, good morning."

Nona's friend Brianna was the lone one in their well-traveled, super-tight trio without kids, which made her the de facto cool aunt among Nona and Tameka's children.

"I hear wind in the background, where you headed No'?"

"Well, I just left Starbucks. How much money did the kids spend on that gift card? The guy behind the register kept saying, he'd never seen one of these in person."

"Aht aht. Now that's not polite. Don't worry about it, just know that you deserve every penny and then some. It takes a village and Tameka and I both agree, that you do more for those kids than their blood relatives. Never mind that though. Where are you headed now?"

The tone in Brianna's voice had an odd child-like energy to it.

"I'm actually headed to Crofton. Going to give this massage a go. I'm two weeks in with my workouts with this new trainer you set me up with, and that chick has my body all out of wack. Shit I didn't know could hurt, hurts."

"So in other words, you are saying this gift was right on time?" Brianna drew out.

"Uh yeah. It definitely is, but why are you talking like that? Am I missing something?"

"No no, I just know how you can be sometimes. You and massages don't always get along. Petite women irritate you and the idea of a guy you don't know touching you, weirds you out."

Nona broke off a piece of the lemon cake and the unrolled bag released an aggressively delicious smell inside the car. She listened to her girl vocalize thoughts that ran through her own brain this morning when she decided she would cash the service in. And although true, she decided that she not only needed some work done now more than ever...the fact that it was not a big chain massage destination put her mind at ease oddly.

"Shut up Bri, damn. Always acting like you know somebody," she laughed.

"Mmmhmm, point out the lie though. Did you take the day off today or what?"

"Like every year since 'Miko was born. The NFL can't seem to get it right, but I'm going to always get my Monday after the big show off. Grown kid or not," she said in reference to her only daughter.

"Yeah you gonna need it this year," Brianna mumbled.

"What was that?"

"Nothing. Connection must be iffy. Hey uh, call me when you're done."

"Alright babe," Nona clicked off.

Twenty minutes later Nona found herself walking up a set of steps above a realtor's office that she had driven past three times even with the GPS on. The walls of the space were raw untouched brick that transitioned as the space led to the front of the parlor to a light-colored wood and frosted glass motif. The visual mixed with the scent of lavender coming from aromatherapy infusers seemed to immediately put the woman in a state of calm.

"Welcome to Yasmin's, my name is Geri. How may we help you today?"

"Good morning Geri. I was treated to a..." she paused, reaching into the gift bag for the hibiscus-colored card with silver foil accents. "A Hard Reset massage by some friends, for mother's day."

The young woman behind the counter instinctively looked to Nona's left hand, before closing her eyes for a beat and nodding.

"You have some very nice friends," she said with a smile.

The young woman took the card from Nona and scanned it before handing it along with a clipboard back to her.

"Ms. Hill, just mark off any particular points of interest to have extra attention paid to and be sure to add any need-to-know information and someone will..."

"I'm sorry, how did you know my last name?"

Geri turned the monitor so that Nona could see it. "When I say your friends took care of everything, they took care of everything. The only thing we don't have on you is what you are filling out right now. I clearly need to upgrade my friend circle," she said with a grin.

The two women laughed as Nona marked off three areas on the form and gave it back to her. Before she could turn to head to one of the chaise lounges near the window, a petite young black woman appeared from the back in an emerald green v-neck top and matching shorts that were cuffed just above the knee.

"Ms. Hill, we are ready for you."

At five-foot-four and a buck sixty-plus on a good day, as she liked to say, Nona was thick and always had been especially from the waist down. Having cheered and ran track in high school before falling in love with the gym and lifting heavy throughout college, she laid the foundation then for what she looked like now. One helluva curvy problem, that garnered attention from all ages and both genders still to this day.

Great just what I needed, she thought, walking behind the young woman who looked like she could weigh no more than 110-115 pounds. I mean I guess it's the thought that counts, but the way my back and hips are feeling I need someone who knows how to handle me.

A black statue of a specimen who had to be at least six-foot-three and 230 pounds easy, walked out of a room in the middle of the hallway and headed in the opposite direction. He was a little young and light for Nona's taste, but the body that refused to hide under the performance tee he was pulling over his head whispered all the right things.

"Same time next week Karima?"

"Same time Steve," the petite woman replied without breaking stride.

Nona and Steve made eye contact as they passed one another. Sharing a smile that Steve followed up with a wink. She snuck a second look when they passed one another...

"I'm sorry. Excuse me, Karima was it?"

"Yes ma'am."

"What did you do with that grown-ass man that just walked by?"

She didn't even try to mask the overt curiosity in her tone.

"Acupuncture. That's my specialty here. Steve is transitioning out of his introductory phase, so we're on once-a-week sessions now. Since I was free, I decided to help out Cece and come up and get you. She will be tending to you today. That girl's hands are god-like. I was the body she performed her exam-level hard reset on and let me tell you. I still feel relaxed and that was over a month ago."

Yeah but I have you by fifty or sixty or so pounds little girl. Nona smiled and followed her into the last room on the left.

After they talked for about five minutes, Cece had Nona disrobe behind an opaque screen in an already dimly lit room. Undressed, Cecelia as her name tag read, had Nona lay face down on the table in just the pastel-colored boy year'scut panties she had on that morning-- covering her in the softest linen she had ever felt.

Forty minutes into their session, Nona had been transported back to Bali. The destination of last year's girl's trip, where she received a massage on a cliff so enjoyable that she almost looked into smuggling the native Indonesian responsible, back to the states.

Cece was as good as advertised and then some. The deep tissue massage techniques she employed, released an obscene amount of tension that the young forty-something didn't even know she was carrying.

"Nona, how are you feeling?"

"You...really are...good at what you do Cecelia."

"I guess so, seeing as you rolled out my full first name," the massage therapist followed with a grin.

The women shared a soft laugh, while oiled knuckles kneaded their way expertly down the calves of the woman on the table.

"So your friends paid for a bonus option on your hard reset. And I'm obligated by our CEO to provide you the option of accepting it or not. It involves the swapping out or inclusion of a male masseuse who specializes in glute, thai, and shiatsu massage."

"Come again?"

Remnants of the tension that was clinging to the small of Nona's back, rocketed up to the base of her neck.

"I know. That's the reaction we tend to always get whenever glute massage is mentioned," Cece replied. "And it doesn't help that there are a number of people claiming to be certified massage therapists that offer this solely to try and know. But there are some serious benefits to gluteal massage. Chief among them, relieving lower back pain which you checked off on your form earlier."

"Cece, I don't know."

Cecelia moved her strokes up Nona's back and shifted her focus to the woman's shoulders and neck.

"Listen, Ms. Hill. First things first, I don't want to ruin the work we have put in today by trying to talk you into something that is not sitting well with you. So how about this? I will finish out your session and pay a little more attention to your lower back and hips which you mentioned were problem areas. And I can send you home with some information about how the bodywork of the gluteus is something that is highly recommended...even before people seek medical and surgical treatment on the lower back."

"Would you go through with it?" Nona replied. "The glute massage?"

"From Von? Ms. Hill, he gave me my first real glute massage last week and it felt amazing. He had me walking differently by the time we were done. Hell, I wish we went to school together, I might still be playing ball if I had access to that kind of physical therapy."

"Really?" Nona turned her head to the side to try and look at the therapist.

"Yes ma'am. And did I mention it felt uh-mazing. People don't realize just how big of a collection of muscles there is in that area. And don't get me started on women who look more so like you and me. Think about the size of your lower back. Now think about the size of your glutes."

"Can we just say ass? It's an ass massage, Cecelia."

"Yes. I mean if you want to be technical."

"Okay, two questions. How much time do we have left in the session? And would you mind staying in the room, if I were to say okay?"

"No problem at all Ms. Hill. We can kill two birds with one stone. I want to try and steal a few more pointers while he works on you until I can get down to Dallas. There's this woman down there that goes by Clipper Queen. She's the one that taught Von. She's a mobile barber with an insane clientele list, who is also a certified masseuse. He linked me and I'm going to go down and apprentice with her for a couple of weeks. Sorry to ramble. Let me go get Von."

Nona lay there on the table, feeling better than she had in some time, and thought about what the woman said. Clearly, my homegirls know about this spot and this masseuse or they wouldn't have purchased this add-on. Cece has been really good and has me feeling like a new woman. She's going to be in the room and raves over the bodywork and the therapist.


Why not?

The door opened and Cece walked in with a man wearing some black Adidas trainers that made no sound, on her heels.

"Ms. Hill, this is Von Daniels. He will be taking over the remainder of your hard reset massage while I observe."

"Good morning Nona. I hear this is your first time receiving a gluteal massage, but after glancing at your information, I don't think it will be your last."

Von Daniels looked like he had stepped right off of the royal court's float at an HBCU parade. And had it not been for the few strands of salt peeking through in the hair on his chin, she would have thought he was a recent graduate of one too.

The man's eyes were a warm, inviting shade of brown that disappeared when he uncorked a broad smile that shined like a lighthouse atop his espresso-colored skin. His hands were large and looked strong enough to belong to the steel-driving legend, John Henry, Nona thought. In fact, they reminded the woman laid out mostly nude on the table, of her father who was a mechanic. The latter thought brought a hard wrinkle across her brow.

The faint southern drawl in his voice pushed all remaining paternal thoughts out of her head, however, with an understated bass that walked the linen that had been pulled back up her body, completely away. She had to grind her teeth together to send a signal between her thighs for her friend to behave. 5-4-3-2-1...breathe.

"Now I'm going to start at the top of your back and work my way down then back up. Down then back up, around your shoulders, and back down. I'll do this for a few slow deliberate strokes and I want you to breathe deeply with my movements. If for whatever reason anything you feel is too hard or makes you uncomfortable, just..."

The scent of coconut and hibiscus oil wafted around the face cushion on the table and moved slowly across her face, muting all sound. What followed were all ten of his fingertips, gripping and massaging the area between her shoulders and neck, before digging into her flesh with the perfect amount of pressure and dragging down her back. The width of his hands with his fingers spread wide, easily covering every inch of her back, moving their way down until he gripped her waist on either side.

Thumbs ground out slow-moving tornado-like circles in the small of her back until he made his touch feather-like and glided back up her sides.

He rinse and repeated this maneuver a few times until he moved from her waist, down over her hip, across the back of her thighs, and up to her ass. First, he pressed upward from bottom to top with the heels of both hands, rotated his wrists then dragged from top to bottom with the underside of his fists. Massaging his way back up with his heels and then he spread his fingers wide and slowly started to work each cheek like dough being prepped for one helluva a baked confection.

Von moved back and forth smoothly from applying pressure in a grinding motion to the gluteal muscles on either side of the woman's sacrum to gripping, massaging, and kneading her ass. The oil allowed his fingers to work over and across her flesh, manipulating her entire mood that was relaxed before he walked in. Now...

Well, now she didn't know what exactly she was feeling. But three things were damn sure for certain.

This shit does in fact feel uh-mazing!

There is no way I am making eye contact with this man when we're done.

And I owe them bitches something major after this. Shit!

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