I'll Finally Sleep (I'll Finally)

It's raining, and he's standing on the side of the street opposite her awning. The car draws up, the door opens, she exits. The skirt of her gown trails wetly on the sidewalk. She catches his eye, and each deliberate blink is how many minutes he has left before she has to call security.

She calls him a stalker, but that doesn't explain how often he ends up on the floor of her bathroom with a towel for his wet hair, his driver called in advance.

He's sometimes at the airport, reading a newspaper. This stock has gone down, that share had risen; they don't announce private planes, but the hustle of paparazzi tells him when she's due to arrive. She wears sunglasses more and more and keeps her head down, not smiling for the cameras. The limelight, once her only goal in life, has blocked out the sunlight and bleached her skin blank. He folds his newspaper, drinks his grey, overpriced coffee and leaves only when she does.

The bad pictures of her go away. He pays well to make them go away.

And rain or blue skies, he stands on the side of the street opposite her awning.

"Why do you do it?"

"To make sure she gets home safe," he replies.

His car tails hers, his footsteps dog hers, but she can't turn her head. He's just a ghost, stepping where she steps, and if she were to turn and ask the same question, he'd disappear.

She provides a towel for his wet hair, an advance call to his driver.

Then she curls up on her bathmat in the place where the rain fell, and looks forward to blue, blue skies.

Fin.