No alarm had gone off yet, but my eyes opened unwillingly to the dark room, anyway. I didn’t bother checking the time; I knew it couldn’t have been past 6:00. I had gotten into this sort of pattern lately: waking before I was ready. It had been going on for the past few months now. Waking before I was ready, according to my alarm, but apparently, right on time for some other part of me. 6:00 AM wasn’t just ‘a bit ahead of schedule,’ it was an hour and 45 minutes before I needed to hit snooze three times, and it was exactly on time, every single time. I guess I thought things might change if I started sleeping-out again. Maybe I needed a new pace, a bigger adventure than staying where my body was used to staying all of the time, a new egress toward the kind fun I used to have, or at least, a reminder of it having existed. Ironically, I wouldn’t call the solution a fix.
This bed was nice though, and not entirely unfamiliar now. I’d seen my fair share of it over the course of the past couple months, but I was still convinced it was all part of my exploration phase: disorderly sleeping conduct. The dodger colored room felt a little immature at first, especially accompanied with a sort of always purposefully disheveled grouping of a delicate duvet and childish homemade quilts, body pillows, and caramel-breve sheets. I never failed to notice the way the all this atop a California king seemed to make me feel so small, but in a good way. The way I could sink into the bed matched the ease of sinking into the moment, every moment I spent there. Everything held onto me so tightly and warmly, including the body lying next to me.
My eyes were open but the rest of my senses still delayed. I rolled my neck in a full circle towards the outside of the bed and stretched the all the muscles along my shoulders, somehow allowing the rest of my body to remain motionless; my left arm tossed up around the top of my head, and my right cast oppositely, the two close enough to grasp. I clinched my fists together and elongated my stretch through my whole body, as the imaginary smell of nicotine floated through my nostrils. Now I was definitely awake.
As lightly as I could, I inched away from him, just far enough so that I could reach the edge of the bed, and tapped my phone on the night table next to me: 6:02 AM. I smirked at how well I knew my own sleep cycle now, even if I hadn’t outsmarted it yet. I stayed propped up to the side, and cast my eyes behind me as far as I could without turning my head, but I couldn’t see him. I felt him roll my direction, as if to be up against me again, and I pulled further away, contemplating getting out of bed. I’ve always hated the idea of giving in, so leaving now would defend that honor, but I mostly just wanted to have that cigarette my body was begging for so badly. Ha, ‘giving in,’ I thought to myself humorously.
“You don’t need to get out of bed yet,” he muttered with his eyes still closed. I remained propped up on my side, but was motionless. I knew I didn’t need to leave him; I hardly ever did anymore, almost as if this were a regular occurrence. Maybe it was. But now I was awake, and bored, and didn’t feel like pretending to enjoy cuddling. Instead, I just sort of softly grunted as a response, and lay all but my head down on to his right arm that was now outstretched behind me. Goddamn, he smelled good. I closed my eyes and tried to mask my fantasy of dragging a nice long smoke with his infectious natural scent that I was experiencing in real life. He grabbed my right hand with his, and moved his left to my thigh area, almost lifting me up in order to move me closer toward him, and then he let it rest there. I didn’t resist, but I waited a few seconds before awkwardly taking a deep breath, and resting my head on our clasped hands.
“You’ll never admit to letting someone know you, will you?” he asked before my breath rose again. I turned completely now to face him and could see his lips were smiling. I focused on the patience I could see in his face, even with his eyes still closed. I lifted my fingers and traced the outline of this hideous smirk and then moved my whole hand along the other lines in his face. I took another breath and decided not to answer. I burrowed my head into his chest, pulling my legs up tight into a ball against him. As he wrapped his arms around me, he kissed me on the shoulder and whispered, “because I know you don’t like the forehead.” I looked up at him quickly after this, and saw him raise his eye brows in a sort of ‘what are you gonna do about it,’ way. It wasn’t that I didn’t like being kissed on my forehead, I just felt as if it signified inferiority somehow. I didn’t remember telling him this, but I suppose, as I have been saying, these sleepovers were turning into a bit of a habit.
“Do you think I’m weird?” Finally speaking for the first time, asking the same question I asked repeatedly almost every single night. He lifted my chin up with his hand. He was so gentle, and it was so annoying, but somehow in a good way. I looked up at him again to see his soft dirty green eyes for the first time since last night, he smiled that dirty smile again, I am sure because he knew I was hating it. “Don’t,” I said, speaking of his hand touching my face. He laughed a quarter of a laugh and closed his eyes and reached around behind my head to pull me close to his. He kissed so passionately, and meaningfully, even though I convinced myself it meant nothing; I got lost in it every single time.
I turned back around, and pulled away from him again, closing my eyes, and he acted in routine, swiftly sliding an arm under me, lifting me back toward his ladled body. “Come here,” he said, turning me around again with the other half of his laugh, and I opened my eyes again, as if I couldn’t control their adjustment. “I think you’re intriguing,” he paused, and then kissed my forehead, and I could feel that smirk of his, but I didn’t react. He tugged a loose strand of my hair behind my ear, and I kissed him again before turning back on to my side. I tried to avoid the smile that came unwillingly like my opening eyes minutes before. I masked a deep breath, followed by a deep swallow, and finally, with satisfaction from the flavor of his smell, I tapped the phone as I had done before: 6:17 AM. I reached my right arm above my head, and felt his laid open awaiting mine so it could close upon it. I closed my eyes again, and fell back asleep for the first time I can remember since I’d been forgetting to just stay that way in the first place.