Lovers Lie

I love waking you up just before I disappear into the freezing black of a winter’s morning, when I’m dressed in something flattering, professional, and uncomfortable, and you’re still naked, nestled between the sheets and our electric blanket like a flower petal pressed between two pages in a book.

I love waking you up, the light from the living room slipping in behind me through the bedroom door like a shy child, erratically illuminating pieces of the scene: your tangled mop of brown hair, your muscled arms, the rumpled sheets from where I fell asleep without you the night before; and I know I must look like a shadow as I creep towards you, my sock-clad feet rustling over the cheap brown carpet.

I love waking you up, especially when I know you only came to bed two or three hours ago, when I can tell you’re in a deep sleep by your heavy breathing, by the stillness of your limbs, and by the way you don’t roll over when I sit next to you on the creaky mattress, and I reach up to touch your forehead or your ear or your shoulder to try and bring you shuddering back to consciousness.

I love waking you up because you look at me through those tired blue eyes, realize who and what I am, and you smile and reach for me and say, “Good morning,” and I let you pull me down onto your bare chest while pretending, for the moment, that I have decided not to brave the cold and the boredom that lies ahead and instead stay at home in bed with you.

I love waking you up because when you hold me there, with the sheets bunching up between our bodies, and you tell me that you love me, and you tell me that you don’t want me to go, and you tell me that you miss me, I can whisper all the things I want to say to you when you’re awake, all those intimate confessions, all those things I’m too shy to admit to feeling for fear of your rejection I can say them then because I know that you never remember what I say to you when you’re in this half-conscious state as I wake you up to say goodbye. I can be honest and I can believe you because I know you’re too tired to lie to me then, too tired to invent what you think I want to hear.

I love waking you up. I love saying goodbye and I love closing the door behind me and hearing you turn back over to sleep and I love knowing for certain that while you might not remember me going, I remember you saying you’d miss me and I know you actually meant it for once.

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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