Posted on June 10, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair6.10.2014 Journal Prompt Image from East Enders June 10, 2014: The mornings were like this. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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I was always awake before him. Used to be I’d just lie there watching him sleep. Alan was pretty then and I took pictures of him sleeping and I pinned them up around the room. And I kissed his lips without him knowing, and I touched his face, and his breathing was soft and easy and I was careful not to wake him. I couldn’t help smiling and thinking I must be the luckiest girl in the whole world.
Sometimes I’d read, working my way through all the books on his shelf, and lying beside him for hours, and the only sound was the turning of the pages and Alan turning in his sleep or traffic on the street outside. Maybe I’d get up and make coffee and write letters to my mom and my sister. Then I’d quietly return to bed and he’d still be sleeping.
When Alan woke he was always a little surprised and he asked me if I’d slept well and I said that I had. He smiled and he said my name and he kissed me. Then he reached for me and pulled me to him. Weekend mornings were the best. We’d fuck and then lie back breathless and both of us slipping into light and brief sleep. Then we’d do it all over again, more slowly the second time. It was afternoon before we got up and showered and dressed. Time was a different animal then; it was slow and skipping and easy
It’s different now. I’m still awake before him and Alan turns and turns in his restless sleep like before. I push him sometimes, hard, or I pinch his skin, or I call his name, sharp as dog-bark. He opens one eye and his words are all growl and grumble and he closes his eye again. That’s how mornings can be.
Mostly I just get up and I dress in the other room and I step out, slamming the door at the last behind me so it breaks his sleep. Then I take the bus to nowhere, to quiet open spaces. There’s a man there that I meet, by arrangement. He takes my hand and we just walk for miles, and we drink beer from cans sitting on his coat in the middle of a field, or on a bench by the river, and he tells me stories of how my life could be. We kiss sometimes.
I take the bus back in the middle of the day. Alan is usually still sleeping, one arm thrown across the space where I sleep, as if he has looked for me and not found me. Maybe that’s just me being fanciful. I make coffee and toast and I serve it to him on a tray, and as he rises out of sleep, I tell him I am sorry, quiet as whisper so he never really hears and I’m never really sure that I am.
He never asks after how I slept, not like he once did; nor does he say my name and nor do we kiss. He doesn’t reach for me with a new-day hunger and I don’t really wish that he would. He noisily drinks his coffee and eats his toast and he says hardly a word. Watching him now, I don’t see the pretty he once was, and I don’t really know why I am still there and I don’t think he knows either.