- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
Could I get some constructive criticism? I haven’t edited it yet – its still fresh.
I walked into the room that held our bedthings – two mismatched wooden dressers with mug stains and a myriad of knobs in varying shapes and sizes donated by my parents, two handsome beside tables purchased generously by his parents, complete with matching, hotel-like lamps, complete with ornate faux-golden bases and creamy shades. And then there was the bed itself, standing wooden in the center of the room. I look at the curtains left behind by the house’s previous occupants, and notice the thin layer of dust and grime that has slowly been accumulating over the past months. The window outside reveals the darkness, the pressing reality of night. I can hear the tinny sound of some podcast emitting from his headphones.
We haven’t spoken in several hours.
I slide off my too-tight pajama pants with the polar bears that he purchased on our first Christmas together. Off too comes the black graphic tee I’ve had since the eighth grade. Clad only in some white cotton underwear, I approach the bed. And then I slide those off too.
This is how he expects me. I’m too hot in the nighttime, and when its warmer, I wake up sticky. It’s uncomfortable and I hate it. But then there are the minutes before sleep drags me under… and the soft cotton pants hug my legs, regardless of the excess skin they have to cover. There’s the subtle flattery of the loose-fitting shirt that skims over my bloated stomach, heavy from cheap food and existential crisis. The socks that tuck my feet in, nice and warm, as I edge closer to thoughtless bliss.
The sticky mornings are worth the price, I think, as I slide unhappily naked into the bed. But, this bed is shared. It’s not just about me. And so, I lay back, turning only to switch off the bedside lamp, and then there is blackness and silence… save for the faint shrill sounds still echoing from the other room.
I fiddle with my phone, but I have nothing to check. I have no important emails, no project to undertake, no websites to ease the dull throb of an empty mind. And slowly, very slowly I drift… until I finally hear his voice echoing from the other room. He calls my name with a question, but the tone suggests an answer is not necessary. And so I emit a barely audible groan, and turn, ruffling the sheets as I move to suggest my sleep(less) slumber. The question fades away into the dark emptiness of the hall and I am alone again.
He came to bed many hours later with not so much as a word. I noticed him only in my awakened state in these early morning hours. My nakedness is pressing now, it lies unknown to him, but to me I can feel every whisper of air being pushed onto my skin by the gently whirring fan. Every breath is agony, and I cannot bear it any more – I alight from the bed, with the warm glow of my phone lighting the way to my drawer of bedclothes. I put back on the polar bear pajamas and the faded graphic tee, and clamber back into the bed.
He wakes beside me – “why are you not asleep?” and opens his arms to me.
As I slide into the crook of his arm, I feel safe – from the clothes or his warmth, I do not know.