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because i admire her and her writing and i could not say no. ever.
Gently, these ivory curtains lift and lower, silent in the steady breeze. Because I don't sleep, I watch them, every night, every morning, studying the play of outside light as it filters in. I know the time of night-and-day better than any mountain man, traveler, wanderer or astronomer.
Always so silent here, the opposite of my room, where the inkyblack sucks out all color and I have no curtains but boring blinds, and I must close the window tight because the neighbor's dog never ever stops barking and the street light glares belligerently inside.
None of that keeps me up-there is insomnia regardless-but it rattles my nerves and so I shut the window to keep it all out. And then because it's pointless I leave, even though every night I decide I will forgo calling Edward, asking him to meet me at the end of the street for a ride to his house.
Every night I determine to stay home and every night I decide to leave.
Here, in Edward's naturally hued bedroom, cream and tan and beige and wood, it's dreamy (though I can't dream) and sweet (although his refusal to touch me is bitter).
He shifts, and the mattress sinks in places and the sheets rustle and I hold my breath, wondering if maybe now he'll by-mistake touch me, even a graze of fingertips, but he doesn't. Even in his sleep he is cautious, and I exhale disappointment.
Used to this, but still.
I wonder how he'd feel if he knew I stayed up all night, monitoring his sleep? Enchanted by the way his curtains dance languid, ripples and billows like the sail of a pirate ship or the hips of a belly dancer? Would he ask me to leave or drive me home? Would he roll his eyes and roll over, the way he did the very first night when I mistook his kindness for something more and grabbed his hand in innocent invitation?
My father would be a purple shade of heartbreak and murderousness if he knew I spent every night in this boy's bed. The fact that these curtains are balm for my soul, or that Edward is strictly hands-off, would mean nothing to him.
When the ivory curtains glow lilac and the faintest birdsong tickles at the edges of dawn, I toe him awake, and he brings me back to the end of my bleary street and barefoot I climb the mature oak – sturdy and steadfast and strategic outside my bedroom window. I tumble into my cold, unused sheets and then, only then, I'm somnolent enough to pass out.
My father raps sharply but respectfully at my bedroom door an hour or so later and I drag myself out of the now-warm blankets, drunk from sleep and thirsty for more. If there was a way – any other way – to achieve rest, I would gladly snatch it. But as it is, I have nothing.
Sixteen hours from now I can return to Edward's room, to my curtains, and our nighttime ritual of which he is not aware.