I open my eyes. The light has just begun to come through the window and its promise of the tingle of a spring sunshine and the shiver of a gentle breeze eases my lids open with a rare, consenting permission. I take in a deep breath and feel him stir behind me. I turn to face him as his eyes open slowly, still clutching to those last, confused and fantastical moments of sleep. His gaze finds my own and a smile crosses his lips, one of contentedness and the pleasure of the first stretch of muscle after a long night's sleep. My own lips give way into a smile and a feeling of absolute elation fills my entire inside, and then melts away just as quickly, leaving my eyes half closed, hanging on with all my might to the slowly fading pangs of completeness that echo from my heart through to my veins, my muscles, my skin. He shifts his body, moving one arm around me and leaving the other to gently graze my bare arm; a shiver overcomes me, a need for a closeness that has not yet been achieved in all of history; a longing that completes me better than my own soul, my own self. I inch myself closer to him, closer, snuggling my face into the crook of his arm taking in his warmth, his smell, the feel of his skin on mine, as though it were the sustenance that would give me salvation, that would fill me with a warm light which would in turn extend from every inch of my body, healing, making everything I touched into golden perfection, turning my body into diamonds. His fingertips reach up to gently sweep the sleep-kinked hair out of my face, letting his touch linger softly as his hand moves down my cheek, like the kiss of an angel or the quick, invisible flutter of her glistening wing. He speaks.
"You have no idea how beautiful you look right now." His eyes vacillate, holding my gaze as if to prove his seriousness, his sincerity. I blush in response and smile timidly, awkwardly.
"Did you sleep well?" I ask him, taking the focus off of myself and hoping that the red in my cheeks would subside.
"I slept perfectly." He holds me tighter, pulls me closer. I watch as his eyes search my face, wide and wondering.
"What?" I ask shyly.
"I just can't get over it. You're glowing right now. Are you happy?"
"I'm very happy," I reply. "You make me so happy." I nestle my head against his chest. We hold onto each other tightly.
"Did you have any funny dreams?" I ask him.
"You first," he says.
"Okay. I dreamt of a huge tree," I recall. "I'd been sitting under it and admiring its leaves. They were all browns and oranges and reds and yellows. Then, I noticed that it was crying because it knew that its leaves were going to fall and die. So, I fastened them all with duct tape and band-aids."
We both laugh at the absurdity.
"What did you dream of?" I ask.
"I dreamt of you." He lets his hand smooth my hair. "I dreamt of you and now, here you are. I must still be dreaming," he says with a smirk.
"You're awake," I assure him. "I'm real."
"Promise?" he asks me, innocently, as if his whole world depends on the making and keeping of this promise.
"I promise you."
I bring my lips to his and touch them softly, gently coaxing his mouth open with my own, reveling in its warmth, its softness, and holding on tightly to every last second as it all slowly began to slip away, the warmth vanishing to nothing, the softness turning into simple, rigid texture. I watch helplessly, puzzled as the room, the whole scene, fades from my sight and I feel my mind, suddenly overtaken with confusion, fill with miserable understanding. I yell silently, "No! No!" as my heart sinks with awful, heart-wrenching reality and my eyes are forced open, despite my fervid efforts to maintain the darkness and maintain the touch, the kiss, the completeness.
And the light has just begun to shine through the window, keeping its promise of spring and sunshine, but my eyes remain heavy and he never does stir. And he never does smile or kiss or touch or offer me sweet completeness. He is still gone, just as he had been when I fell asleep the night before; he remains a mirage, a trick my mind plays out of habit. He is nothing more than a lingering indentation on my mattress, an open tear into my heart that is still tender, still bleeding. I wrap my arms around myself, tightly, closely, lonely, and pull my body into itself, desiring only to disappear, to vanish, leaving behind this empty room and sutured heart. I close my eyes.