Vignette:At His Bedside

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At His Bedside
110 Rue de l'Église, Cammur, Republic of Chezzetcook
October 3rd, 2020

he won’t admit it, but he looks adorable when he sleeps. His resemblance to a sleeping kitten is astounding.

She’s been by his side for what seems like hours now. She’s already prepped the couch for her to sleep on while Luc’s blackout drunk body rests on her bed, but something’s nagging at her to stay just a while longer. His chest slowly rises and falls with each breath he takes, taking the blanket along with it as if it were a rollercoaster.

With the amount of alcohol he’d drank within the span of half an hour, he’s bound to have a hangover come morning. Hangover cures were nowhere to be found within the confines of her kitchen and the convenience store nearby was most definitely closed at one in the morning, so she’d have to resort to the simplest solution: water. She quietly rose up with the intent of grabbing a water bottle or two, but a firm yet tender grasp of her wrist stopped her in her tracks.

Luc mumbled something. Was he dreaming? Was it a nightmare? Was he half-awake? Why were his eyes half-open? Why was he staring at her? Why was he tearing up? She shuffled closer to satiate her curiosity. His murmurs were barely audible, even with his alcohol-tainted breath softly gliding down her bare neck.

Why was he apologizing?

With a modest tug of her sleeve, she let herself fall onto his broad chest, his face practically atoms away from her own.

“Just a dream…” he whispered to himself. “Just this once…” He sounds wounded, but the only injury she knows of is a surgical scar on his abdomen.

She can’t speak from the shock and her sudden predicament, stuck between knocking him out with a lamp tonight and letting him have his way. Perhaps she’d made her decision already when she rushed out of the bar to catch his sorry ass staring solemnly out to sea.

She doesn’t want to speak because his lips are on hers.

The moment is fleeting; Luc gives off one last departing guilt-ridden sigh before collapsing once more into the comfort of a pillow. She’s by herself now, comforted only by the faint heartbeat of Luc through the palm of her hand and the racing heartbeat of her own. The room returns to silence, with only the silent whir of a humidifier and the light pitter-patter of rain against the glass to accompany the two.

As she lays her head down to greet the softness of a spare pillow and mindlessly caresses his calloused hand with hers, she makes up her mind after much thought.

She’ll stay by his side, just for tonight.

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