I tried to find a comfortable position on my couch. I needed some rest but it wasn’t working. How could it? I spent last night sleeping in the arms of a man I knew I was going to love. Okay, maybe I didn’t know I was going to love him. But the chances were pretty damn good.
I’m never going to be able to sleep again. I cannot lie on the bed I once shared with Dan. Not now. And never again. But the couch isn’t working either. At least not alone.
When I realized how late it had gotten, I sat up. A nap was pointless. Even if I could sleep, I’d wake at bedtime and be awake all night. After staring at the wall for what seemed like an hour but was probably less than half that, I headed for the kitchen, but I didn’t get far before I heard the buzz of my phone.
mom: how are you doing?
me: I’m okay… tired.
mom: do you want me to come back?
me: no. really… I’m okay… staying out of the bedroom.
mom: you know you can come here.
me: I need to figure out how to be here… for now anyway.
mom: call me if you need me.
me: I will.
Again I headed for the kitchen. I poured myself some water and sat at the table. I should eat something. Oh, why? I’ll never keep it down anyway. I looked around the room. That’s where he was. With her. ‘I’m sure she was a wonderful woman’ were the words I heard. No. She was not. Not wonderful. And neither was Dan. God, I hate this house. A long sigh fell from me but before I could move, I heard a knock at my door. I stood and mumbled to myself. ‘Oh, Mom… I’m all right…’
“Amy. I know I should have called… I shouldn’t be here. But I…”
Before he could continue, I threw my arms around him and pulled him to me. And he didn’t speak another word.
I don’t know how long we stood in that doorway wrapped in each other’s arms. I only knew that I was more at peace than I’d been all day. And that I melted when he turned and kissed my head. When I lifted my eyes to his and saw his face, he took mine in his hands.
“So it’s okay that I invited myself over?” He smiled.
“Yes. God, you’re so sweet.”
“Oh, shut up.” Again, that smile. And then the perfect little kiss on my forehead. He was exactly what I needed.
He followed me to the living room. “Can I get you anything?”
“Amy, no. Please… I should be asking that.”
“I don’t need anything.”
“Nothing?” His tone had this impossible combination of comfort and seduction.
I bent my head to hide my blush… and the little smile he brought to my face. But I looked at him again seconds later. I gestured toward the couch and he sat. When I did the same, it wasn’t right beside him.
“Honey, this afternoon… I hope it wasn’t horrible.”
“The whole thing with Dan was difficult but it wasn’t the worst part.”
“What do you mean?”
“I accidentally found out that Dan wasn’t alone in the car. He wasn’t the only casualty.”
“He was with her. He cared so little about me, about betraying me, about hurting me… that he was still with her. I left last night and he was still with her. He didn’t even send her home. Hell, he took her out! I think I hate him.”
“I think I hate him, too.” He smiled for a moment before turning serious again. “Honey, I’m sorry.”
“I’m all right. I still feel guilty for being kind of okay with this. But I’m all right. Am I a terrible person?”
“Of course not. He treated you terribly. But… what you are is too far away from me.”
“I thought being too close might be a little dangerous.”
“I’ll be good. I promise.”
I slid to him and he put his arm around me. I leaned on his shoulder and rested my hand over his heart.
“On second thought, I’m not sure I can be good.”
“Should I go back to the other side of the couch?”
I sighed and lifted my head so my eyes could see his. He sank a hand into my hair. I mumbled his name and laid a hand on his beautifully unshaven face. He leaned to me, slowly bringing us closer until his forehead rested gently against mine, the only sound the anxious breaths between us.
To be continued…