“I’m not sure.” He left it hanging out there for her to decide what she wanted with it.
“I think I should do it. I mean, when will I ever get the chance to do that,” she emphasized that, “again.” She had curled herself into the couch sitting on top of her legs with her knees hanging slightly over the couch.
“You’re right.” He sat across the room on a sofa. With his legs crossed, he slouched with one hand rubbing his forehead.
“But, I guess, I mean.” Her voice was unsteady and not very assured. “It’s probably not the best time to do anything new. I feel like I’ve just found something stable. I should enjoy it. Right?” She grabbed a pillow and picked at the frayed corner.
“I don’t think I should be apart of this decision. It’s a personal choice and you should make it.” He continued rubbing his forehead.
“Of course you’re apart of this decision. I mean. I mean, if I do it, what will happen to us.” She looked at him and waited in silence until he looked at her. He stopped rubbing his forehead and gripped the arms of the sofa. His lips pressed tight, eyes heavy from lack of sleep, he shrugged a silent answer. “That’s not good enough. Could we do this? Would we last for that much time apart?” The questions that popped into her mind continued, but she forced herself to limit it to the ones she uncontrollably asked.
“I don’t know. That’s a long time, but I don’t want you to live with the regret of not doing something because of us. I certainly wouldn’t want to have a regret. That’s why I think this is your choice.” His voice was steady and he had awkward pausing making sure the words were right.
“So.” She let the word linger quickly after he finished talking. She shook her head to herself, to no one. And finally whispered, “okay.”
The next morning, he woke up with her head on his lap. He lightly stroked her face where the morning sun had snuck in through the blinds. The thoughts that ran through his head were what would happen if she does it. In his opinion it would change things and it wouldn’t last. The idea of telling her that, was out of the question. He remembers a regret from a past relationship, the regret that led, in his opinion, to the eventual breakup.
Unwilling to wake up she grabbed his hand and interlocked her own. She dragged both of them to her chest and put enough pressure on it to let him know that she wanted to sleep a little longer. From a night of sleeping sitting up his legs were stiff and he needed to move them. He slowly put his other hand around her head and lifted it up.
“Just one second.” He swept his leg out and put them behind her so that he could lay behind her. His other hand, against her chest, stayed in the same spot. He grabbed the pillow that she picked at the night before and placed it behind her head. After moving a few strands of hair from his face he closed his eyes to find a few more hours of sleep.
He woke up to an empty spot on the couch. His last memory before falling asleep was her laying beside him, holding his hand against her chest. She was no longer there and had slipped out with out waking him. On the coffee table was a cup of coffee and a note. He sat up, itching his nose and then rubbing his eyes.
The note said she ran to the grocery store and would be back in a little. He wasn’t sure when a little would be. He didn’t know when she had left. He took a sip of the coffee and it was still hot. Not hot enough to burn his mouth, but hot enough to drink. He grabbed the book he had been reading the night before. The page that he was reading was lost, the conversation had taken over and he had thrown the book on the table. It slid off the table losing its place. Flipping through the pages of where he thought was the right spot took him a moment. He eventually found a page that looked familiar and flipped forward until nothing made sense.
He was lost in the words in front of him when she walked in. “Good morning.” Her face was fresh and smiling. It wasn’t like the face he had seen earlier that morning. The face that was in blissful sleep that held a look of angelic innocence. The imperfections and vulnerability that created the intimacy that only a lucky few had the opportunity to see. No, the face now was the same that the rest of the world was able to see. He didn’t mind this face, even though he preferred the other.
“Good morning, thanks for the coffee.” He stood up and began helping with the groceries. Looking to see what was inside all of the bags. “What did you get?”
“I got a few things for dinner and stuff for the place. Nothing too crazy. I got us a bottle of wine too. The guy said it was a pretty nice bottle. I figured we should have a nice a dinner tonight. Does that sound good to you?” She looked over her shoulder from the fridge at him.
“Sure, that should be fine. I was going to run out for a little. I just wanted to get a few errands done before work tomorrow. What time are you thinking?”
“I was thinking maybe around seven or eight. I can cook it all by myself, so don’t worry about how long it takes you.”
“No, no. I want to help out. I shouldn’t be gone that long. I’m going to go take a shower though.”
As he jumped in the shower he thought to himself how neither of them really brought up last night’s conversation. It was not finished. They didn’t come to a conclusion about the subject. Whether she was going to do it or not was still left unanswered. The big dinner for the evening meant that she had reached a decision and was going to tell him that night. At least that was his guess. He didn’t have any errands to run, but realized that he didn’t want to be in the house and have to tiptoe around it all. It would be better just to get out and keep his mind occupied on something else.