When he woke, he found that she was still sleeping beside him. Gently reaching out he laid the palm of his hand carefully on her. Nights empty beyond solace and days with no light. As if every moment was cast in constant shadow. He watched the rise and the fall of her chest. He pushed away the blankets and rested himself on the edge of the bed, his toes brushing against the carpet. He searched for light outside of the window but saw none. The dream which he had awoken from he could not remember. There had been just a ripple of recollection but as he thought harder he could not think of what. As if he had never dreamt at all in his entire life. He rose to his feet and steadied himself for a moment. The creaking of the floorboards under the carpet could be heard throughout the house as if they were the only noise that could be heard in the entire world. He stepped into the bathroom and the white tile was cool beneath his bare feet. And felt like ice slowly melting under the warmth of his body, perspiring tiny beads of indifferent water. He relieved himself and left the bathroom.
He watched the rise and fall of her body under the blankets in the bed from the doorway. And she turned over in her sleep. He stared for a moment before she stirred. Raising her tired head to look around the room and then at him.
You’re still here.
I know, she said.
Why are you still here?
Come back to bed. You’re tired.
Who are you?
Come back to bed.
Why are you still here?
The doctor said it would get worse.
She turned over again and patting the pillow next to her. Come back to bed.
He stared at her through the darkness. Trying to make sense of who this was and where had he been going.
He laid his head back to the pillow and pulled the blanket up to his shoulders. And then he stared up to the ceiling trying to see through the complete stillness. Through the emptiness and through the dark.
Who are you? he said.
I’m your wife.
But she said nothing.
He looked up and tried harder to see through all the darkness.
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