I know you aren't asleep. And don't try to make me think you're dead either, I can feel you breathing, and I think you know that I know you are still awake and alive but you love to pretend the way you do. I think you probably know what I think about when you are asleep, and somehow when you pretend like this, you get to be with me while I think about it. It's silly though, and you shouldn't bother. Because I know that when you are really asleep your eyelids are always twitching and your eyelashes tremble from your own thoughts . Playing dumb the next morning only confirms your dreams. Why bother with me when I know what you think anyways.
When I was in the shower you banged on the door but didn't try to come inside. You knew I had left it unlocked, I wonder why you hadn't just come inside. You could have drawn in the steam on the mirror how you like to do, and left me a message how I like so I can know you still remember me. You yelled and I could close my eyes and be inside your body. Your whole face pressed against the door so that when your palm struck it you could feel the vibrations like water. You yelled and reminded me how you had to teach me to tie my shoes.
"Remember when I had to teach you how to tie your shoes!" yeah I remembered. How could I forget with you reminding me all the time. In front of our friends even so they could laugh and think I was stupid because we were the same age, yet somehow I couldn't figure out how to tie a god damn shoe. You are lucky I never mention how I had to teach you how to swim. It isn't a fair trade, my task was more important. Although shoe tying is an everyday skill, learning to swim could save one's life. If you never taught me to tie my shoe, I could get by, but you, you could have drowned by now.
I can't be mad at you though, not with you breathing like that. Obviously awake breathing, making irregular grunts and mock dream moans, trying to be convincing but you know I know. It must save you some kind of embarrassment to pretend like you don't care. I like the way you lay on your stomach. Whether you are real sleeping or fake sleeping, I'm comforted by the sure-fire cheek smashed against my pillow so that you can't even close your mouth. Your skewed teeth only make the picture more endearing.
And I know you want me to touch you, by the way you whisper 'kiss me, kiss me' with your tongue on your fake sleeping lips. Your eyes are probably not even closed all the way. You are probably watching me watching you through your own little prison, eyes so nearly closed that through eyelashes is the only way to see but keep your secret.
You have my pillow as usual, with your cheek smashed against it and I wonder how you always end up asleep first. Even when you fake it you drift off before I give in or give up. I'm always giving something. But I can't be mad at you, not with your teeth like that. Sticking out past your lips whispering 'do something'. I think maybe I just can't sleep until I am completely alone, and when you are asleep you are gone and I'm all alone. When you are asleep I can't even figure out what you're thinking. I'm completely alone for the fist time since the night before. Then I can surrender without anybody noticing. Who can notice when nobody is here.
I know you are feeling restless when I sit up and can taste your eyes on my skin in the small of my back. I could hear them open, I swear. I know you so well. I can pull the pillow off your bed by taking a minimum of one giant step across the room. I've played this game night after night, against myself to see just how few steps I can take. I wonder how weird you think I am when you watch because I know you do. Both of our old stuffed bears are on your bed, because somebody needs to get some use out of it.
When I yank the pillow out from underneath them I feel guilty and the number of steps I take to get to the bed doesn't seem to matter much anymore. They are curled into their identical selves, mirrored by you and I most of the time. I don't know exactly how we can pinpoint the difference between the two, but we do. Maybe it's a smell we never really notice or a certain way the fur is matted. When I look at them this way I only want to touch your elbows because you love that. They make me want to make you feel good.
I know you can feel me when you make me move your arm from my side of the bed, I'm sure to touch your elbow so you forget you are faking sleep for a second to breath with your nose, I bet it burns. Your fingers were spread out feeling the cold spots on the sheets and the other differences in temperature when I'm not there. I turn away to curl up and make sure you can feel my spine on your shoulder. Now I can taste your fingers on the skin in the small of my back and I might as well be blind because when I can't see you there is no point in having this gift of vision.
I don't know why you bother to fake sleep now with your rough knuckles to my shoulder, you don't do this in your sleep. But I guess you wouldn't know like I do. You and your pretending. Make the movements random and smack your yawns for added effect. This is a game and you are losing when the knuckles turn to palm on my hip. When you spread your fingers out on my stomach like it was the sheets, testing the temperature, it's all over. I win. I had to teach you how to swim. You know, in a roundabout way, you owe me your life.