Wide awake at midnight, my mind is completely empty and silent, with the vast void of a silent house around me.
Except for the breathing. He’s resting next to me, breathing quietly. It’s funny to watch him sleep, his belly rising and falling as he’s drifted away, seemingly to a place that has both captivated him and allowed him the peaceful look that he has on his face. I move closer and, like clockwork, he rolls over and drapes a heavy arm over me. I’m uncomfortable, but then I think that if I move, maybe he’ll get disturbed and lose his idyllic dream. I don’t want that…after all, his days are so filled with hectic moments and uncertainties. So I stay there, with that little crick in my neck, waiting for him to move again so I’ll have the opportunity to reshuffle.
I remember when I used to be scared of the dark. As a child, my biggest fear was the monster under my bed, prompting a cursory look beneath my bed with a flashlight every night. When I got older, the most frightening things were still monsters, but of the human variety, the kind that would scare you, rob you, attack you, drag you from your bed while you were sleeping. Paranoia, it felt, was the only thing that kept me safe from what I had started to feel was a cruel world.
But now, here’s this lumbering tall man asleep next to me, and I feel safe. There are some problems in our lives, of course, but perhaps those can be thought of at another time. Sure, I can’t breath – somehow the position of his elbow is gutting my lungs, but sometimes I’m beginning to think that’s not the only way he’s taken my breath away. And I love him – I love him to the depths of my soul. Me! A girl who was incapable of emotions, seemingly destined to be an empty shell, is hopelessly in love with this beautifully flawed man. I think at this moment that I should tell him and hope that somehow the message absorbs into whichever alternate universe he is in at this moment.
“I love you” I whisper to him.
And even though it’s dark with just some dim street light peeking through the blinds, I can see the edges of his lips curve upward into a sleepy smile. “I love you too,” he groggily replies.
Ah, how lucky I am. Not deserving of it at all, but lucky nonetheless.