The soft morning light shining through the window sheers light up your eyelids and make you turn your sleepy head away from the awakening day. Your body and mind start their slow release from slumber, yet you keep your eyes closed. If you didn’t open them, you could stay here, in this dream world, in her arms. The weight of one arm across your stomach and the other under your neck and pillow. You lay on your back, and feel her sleepful breaths tickle your neck, and tease the hair against your ear. She is soft and warm stretched against your side. Her arm wrapped around you. Claiming you in her sleep. And old habit, perhaps, from the times you’d run. That was so long ago. Then again, it wasn’t.
You feel like you’ve lived two lifetimes in the two years since you’ve graduated. This past week was a reminder of how far you’ve come. Spending a week trying to recruit self-involved, bitchy cheerleaders for Rachel’s new Glee Club, showed you how scared you were. How - like the high school cheerleaders today - you were terrified of losing power. Losing your place. Losing your reputation. Terrified of letting anyone see the real you. The real you, you spent so much fruitless energy trying to hide, ignore, and discount. Back then, things were simpler. Your worries, so trivial, viewed through the lens of experience of life and mistakes and disappointments and heartache. Why did you waste so much time? You smile sadly and sigh at your old misguided ways. What did you know. You were just a kid.You hardly recognize the girl you were from the woman you are today.
For today you woke up in her arms. As you do every morning. But here, back in her bedroom, where it all started, you feel nostalgic. The bed spread still smells like her, and her mom’s fabric softener. The crack in the ceiling paint still stares back at you in the dim morning light. The busy floral wallpaper, that you never liked, but now is a comforting reminder of innocent days. Now it’s bare, only pin holes and stains left by adhesive, adorn the walls. All those pictures and decorations now pepper your room, in your apartment. The one you share with her, all those hundreds of miles away.
You stroke down her arm that lays protectively across your stomach, and tickle your fingers over her knuckles. You study the fine hairs and the pale freckles that dot her skin. You know each and every one. You’ve known them for years, yet you still stare. You study. You commit them to memory. Again and again. She shifts her leg and you shift yours, in deference. To give her more room as she sleeps. The faint twinge of ache left over from last night’s lovemaking makes you smile. The pads of your fingers dance over the back of her hand. Her hand that touched you so sweetly, and gripped so firmly. She’s always been so strong, and so soft. Always both with you. Always just the amount you needed. You turn your head towards her, and watch her sleep. Her breath, stale from sleep, still has traces of you on it. You press your lips together, and can still taste her. You. Together. Us.
Her fair eyelashes flutter. Her breaths change. She’s awakening from her dreams. It’s funny, you think, how people dream at night. But to you, it’s the first dawn of morning, coccooned in sheets and blankets and limbs, and her, that is the true dream. You always had honest talks late at night, in the safetly of the dark. But with morning, came truth, and a living dream you never want to leave. You’ve thought about this for years, and today you’re going to make it happen. You will never have to leave her side, awake or asleep. She’s chosen you time and time again, and you’ve come back to her so many times. You’re here to stay. Your fingertips caress her fingers again, and you linger on the third one. You pet it lightly, up and down. You sigh and smile as she opens her eyes.
“Good morning,” she mumbles with happy sleepiness.
“Yes, it is a good morning,” you reply. “A very good morning.”