My hands glided across his chest as he breathed “yes” with heavy sighs pacing me. It was orchestrated, and the trusted metronome kept me focused. I will create music as I strum every nerve ending. It was a sensory overload – a crescendo crashing around the corner. I’ve memorized this routine, and I’m comfortable performing on this stage.
Alice paused and rested her journal on her chest, left vacant without her notice. Did he wake up already? She was so immersed in writing that she didn’t even notice the goosebumps dancing on her left arm. The doorknob shook and Alice quickly closed her eyes. She could sense the door closing and his arms enveloping her waist.
“I know you’re awake, Alice,” he whispered.
She couldn’t hold back her grin. It escaped her like a new sentence on the second page of her Moleskine. She ran her short nails across his forearms. Eyes closed, but I opened up a new chamber in my heart for you. His muscular arms protectively embraced Alice’s petite waist. She recalled a moment from their first date because every other mental image blurred. He picked her up spontaneously and led her away from the bedroom. “You shall not pass,” he teased and nuzzled her nose. When they fell asleep on the same bed for the first time, she couldn’t help but notice his little chin jerks and nose movements. His body occasionally shifted at odd intervals, and she followed along with his heartbeat. It seemed like with every shared exhalation, they intercepted each other’s dreams.
Alice quickly opened her eyes and scribbled in her notebook before the thought jumped over the moon. He was mumbling in his sleep. The atmosphere was lulling Alice to sleep. “You shall not pass,” Alice whispered as she let his warmth pull her into deep sleep.
The door slammed. Travel bags were packed and ready to go. His hand angrily pressed at the bag as she tried to push him off. “We’re done. You didn’t make me laugh. You didn’t make me smile. We’re done.” He yelled out profanities as though he discovered them in a gold mine. “You didn’t do anything.” He grasped her arm. It was ruthless. He pushed her away from the door. “You’re not going. I need you. Stay, and give me a second chance.”
Alice’s eyes opened to see the ceiling above her. She turned slightly to the left and saw him sleeping. His right leg shuddered and he released his arm from her waist to turn over. She turned over her pillow and felt it coolly hold her check. She tried to pick up on his heartbeat again, but the mysticism of their connection passed through both of them at the same second and ran off to find a new pair. Now they were just two bodies.
“I thought you’d be different,” he murmured.
“What?” Alice asked leaning closer.
“I thought we’d fall asleep together.”
“I can’t sleep in a bed that is not my own.”
“You can’t sleep at all. I know, Alice.”
Alice jumped from the bed.
“You’re a failure of a human being.”
Alice rubbed her eyes and reached for her journal. She turned on a night light and quickly grabbed her pen.
Restless. Slight pain on the right side of my head. Heartbeat matching. He is calm in REM so why can’t I fall asleep? I tried to align my breathing pattern. Did not work. I tried to match his heartbeat as you suggested, Doctor.
Alice tapped on her tattoo and deeply inhaled. The vessel opened up a hologram with several people. She selected ‘Alex.’ Vibrant wave-forms lulled her back into sleep.