It’s three o’clock in the morning and he’s just come home from work. It doesn’t really matter how quiet he is, I’m such a light sleeper, especially if he’s not in the bed, that I’m awake the second he slides his key into the door. Our puppy gets immediately to his feet and patters to the front door to say hello, and I follow quietly behind. Business is immediately taken care of, he lets the dog out, I rinse his dishes from his lunch box, he takes off his uniform and we head to our room.
The puppy follows us and finds his spot in front of the closet door; he lies back down with a sigh, as if to ask us why we are up at such ungodly hours. We crawl beneath the sheets, and he turns on his back, pulling me to cuddle on his chest. We may both be tired and half asleep, but still we spend this time together before the oblivion of sleep calls our name and enchants us away from the waking world. But we press pause on the passage of time here, and exist just the two of us together outside of all other worries and cares.
We talk of his shift at work. We speak of my evening at home. We quietly laugh at the silliest antic from his night. We whisper I love you back and forth, the repetitions accruing higher and higher numbers as I drift in and out on his chest. The darkness presses close around us on all sides, muffling even our breathing into the softest of sounds.
Too soon, and yet at the right time, he pulls me close, kisses my hair, and we turn over to sleep. Now, on our sides, he wraps an arm and holds me tight against him. I love you. I love you. I love you. I am safe, he is warm, and we sleep.