I don't set an alarm clock anymore.
If you were my mom, your first joyous assumption would be that I finally got a girlfriend. If you were my dad, you would be grateful that I finally pulled myself up by the bootstraps and decided to wake up with the sun. If you were my friends, you would wonder what the hell had happened to me and possibly pontificate on the possibility of a web-cam girl who charged less in the morning hours.
None of them would have even approached the reality of my situation.
I sleep like an adolescent; at least, that's what my mom used to tell me, as she sighed at the state of my room in her long-suffering way. Hardly a morning passed where she didn't wade in, as if into the trenches of war, to begin gingerly piling my laundry into its proper basket.
'Sleeping like an adolescent,' apparently, means ending up in a position different than the one you started in. Sure, I'd start out peacefully enough; hands at my sides, flat on my back, staring up at the ceiling. But by the time my alarm clock rang, I'd be on my stomach, one leg hanging off of the side of the bed, arms folded under my head as they strangled my pillow to death. The blanket tended to wind around me like a boa constrictor as I rolled around, eventually halting movement altogether. Long story short, I was kind of a mess in bed.
"Sky Reacher." A small voice, growing in size as it came closer to me, more insistent this time. She wasn't too good at being patient, and even as she called my name, I could feel her approaching, clambering onto the bed with great effort. I, still mostly asleep, froze in place, not wanting to accidentally knock into her.
I was on my stomach, as was typical for me, but there would be no wake-up call from mom, no one to pick up my laundry for me while I waited for the bus. I'd been on my own for months now (as the mountains of dirty laundry would attest), the deliciousness of freedom having long since melted into the boredom of loneliness. But right now I was anything but alone.
I remained as still as I could, not wanting to unsettle the girl who called out to me as she touched me, tracing a line up my hipbone and over my back. Touches lighter than that of fingertips made a steady trail against the thin cotton of my shirt, coming to a halt right at the very top of my shoulder.
She leaned closer, speaking into my ear in her soft voice as she settled down, letting more of her weight rest against me. No more fingertip touches; now, her warmth burnt a hole into me, melting through my shirt like a beam of sunlight.
"Sky Reacher, the sun has been up for hours now, it's time to get out of bed." Her voice was gentle, friendly, but with the barest of chiding undertones.
I finally opened my eyes, turning my head slightly so that I could see the little voice that spoke from her place against my shoulder. She was just as small as her voice would make you think she was, even though it seemed physically impossible. Hell, I had barely believed it, myself, and I was there to see her in person. "Okay, okay." I rumbled, sleepily, and offered her a little smile. "Good morning to you too."
The little blue unicorn on my shoulder blade giggled, and rolled onto her side so that she could stretch her legs out. "Good morning. I thought you were going to sleep forever!"
"Yeah, well, one of the benefits of being unemployed, I guess." I chuckled, my voice still husky with sleep. "Why don't you go get the toothpaste out, I'll be right -"
"Toothpaste!" She whinnied joyfully and was off like a shot, her tiny hooves beating in four-four time across my back, across the bed, down the little ramp I'd built for her and off into the bathroom.
I chuckled, a little softer now that she wasn't there to hear it, and finally rolled myself out of bed. Tired, but well-rested; no real reason to wake up in the mornings, with no job to go to. But when the roommate woke up, there wasn't much that could keep her from waking you up, too.
"Hurry up!" She called, her tiny voice echoing in the mostly-tiled room. Faintly, I could hear her tiny grunts of exertion as she shoved her body against one of the her-sized faucet handles, the water trickling into the sink slowly at first, growing with each successive push.
Obediently, I made my sleep-numbed way into the bathroom, rubbing each squinting eye in turn as I followed the path she had taken. She was up on the sink by now, and had wrested 'her' toothbrush from its holder, doing her best to uncap the toothpaste that laid next to it. But hooves do not work as well as thumbs, especially when you were trying to open something that someone much larger had closed.
"Here, hang on, lemme do that." I murmured, reaching out to carefully twist the cap off for her, replacing it once it was opened. She took up her customary spot, all four hooves resting on the plastic tube, and looked up to me for confirmation. "Okay, go."
With a tiny (but what must have been mighty for her) jump, the unicorn lept into the air, landing on all four hooves with a tiny, satisfying squish. The toothpaste rolled out of the tube sinuously, landing on the toothbrush's bristles.
The little unicorn eagerly hopped off of the tube as I lifted up the toothbrush, lowering her head slightly so that I could begin brushing her, very carefully. For whatever reason, this was her favorite part of the day, and each gentle movement of the bristles over her coat prompted successively louder giggles and whinnies.
Once she was drenched in toothpaste foam, she happily trotted the few steps over to the sink, sliding down into its basin. She rinsed for a few moments in what must have been a waterfall for someone her size, then climbed back up (with a little bit of my help - sinks, after all, were very slick), sopping wet and loving every moment of it.
"Again!" She demanded happily, tiny droplets of water landing on my hand when she shook her wet mane.
"You are the silliest unicorn I've ever met, Colgate." I chided her with a grin, beginning to brush her all over again. She was clean by now, of course, but I didn't mention it.
"I'm the only unicorn you've ever met, Sky Reacher." She informed me staunchly, giving a happy, shrieking whinny when I tickled her with the brush.
Like I said, I don't set an alarm clock anymore. Even if I did, the little blue unicorn who lives with me now would probably wake me up before it even went off. Someone has to brush her coat with toothpaste every morning, after all.