Sunday, April 19, 2015

Short Story Time: 8:09 am

It’s early when I wake, the filtered sun seeping past the blinds and the spritely chirping of birds tells me so. Ever so carefully, I lift my head to glance past him and see the time. 8:09 am. Early indeed.

I shift a little beneath the covers, and my leg slides just a bit against his, but it’s enough. He takes a deep breath, and rolls towards me, hands reaching.  He’s still asleep, but just barely. And in that hesitant slumber, he wraps himself around me. It always happens like this - and it doesn't matter if I’m rolling over in bed to find the cold side of the pillow or trying to extricate myself to use the bathroom - as soon as I move, he’s reaching for me. I sometimes wonder if he’s afraid that he’ll wake up to discover I’m not there. Or not real. And subconsciously he clings to me to constantly be assured that I’m there with him.

And then I wonder, is that somehow my fault? Am I too distant, too cold, too aloof? Do I give off the impression that I could disappear at any time and abandon him? That idea makes something in my chest feel tight.

So even though it’s 8:11 am and I’m wide awake, I let him slip an arm around my waist. Because I’m still there. And as soon as he realizes this, the wrinkle in his brow softens and his breathing evens out. I watch him sleep for a bit - taking in long eyelashes, the curve of his nose, the rise and fall of his chest.

How distant can I be, with our skin pressed together? How cold, when we share our heat beneath the blanket? How aloof, when he catches me coyly peering at him from under half-closed eyes? I am definitely there.

And even though it’s early, and the sun’s up and the birds are chirping and things are happening out there in the world, there isn't anywhere else I’d rather be.