I awake in a familiar, uneasy state. It is my normal. When I see her face, I am brought back down. I remember everything we said and everything we did and I am at peace.
I think, “There is something different about her,” then I squash that cliche and I move to, “There is something I don’t understand about her.” Although a bit more melancholy, I find–to me–this suits her more.
I hold her a few minutes longer before quietly detaching myself from body and bed. I slip my pants on and wander out of the room, ready to investigate the morning.
Before I leave, I make coffee, enough for two, three cups for her, one for me. I rest the thermal carafe on her end table with a cup and a post-it which, while crudely drawn, I hope makes her smile.
I sneak out without waking her, turning to take her in one last time before disappearing into the biting coolness of winter.