Silently he searches as she sleeps. Searching for answers, clues, love. Does she really love him? Or is it just words between friends? Are they meant or just said for him to hear?
He should go now. He should go back to his cold, lonely place. He should sit in the darkness and remember everything about her face. He already does, though. How can he forget? He has loved her so many years, not one regret.
Always his love true, but she does not know it. Friends. Best friends. Those are her words. She has often said she could never fall in love with her best friend. If something happened and their love died, not only would she lose her love, but a best friend. So, his mouth is silent his words fail to speak.
He should stop punishing himself. He knows he should stay away, but there is always just that once more. Only once more.
Closing his eyes her face haunts his memory. Those green eyes that smile at his stupid jokes. Her dimples when her laughter cannot stop. Her gasp of breath when a horror movie scares her. The thump of her heartbeat as he holds her to ease her tears. He also eases her fears.
So often they lie on this bed and watch a movie together. Not as lovers. Best friends. Best friends forever. That is what she says. He really wants to tell her, but he cannot stand the thoughts of never seeing her again.
He should stay away. Just disappear from her life. No. Her pain would haunt him forever.
“What about my pain?” His heart screams. He knew his pain did not matter. Never could he hurt her. Never could he make her heart bleed.
He takes his shoes off and crawls back in the bed. Neither was under the covers. They had both been watching a movie on top of the blankets when she had fallen asleep. He saw a shiver and he gently pulled a blanket over her. He wanted to kiss her but knew he could not.
No. He would lie beside her and pretend he had fallen asleep just as she had. He closed his eyes and gently took her in his arms. Not really, but in his dreams. Music. Music so soft, so sweet. They did not dance just swayed back and forth. Eyes.
He could feel her eyes. So mesmerizing. So inescapable. And he did not want to. Her breath soft against his ear. A dream. He slept. It did not matter that it was a dream.
She turns and instantly is awake. She smiles. Good, he stayed. Words spoken years ago now come back to haunt. It did not matter that he was her best friend. She loved him. Not as a best friend. Well yes, as a best friend, but more. He was so much more. He was her rock. Her peace. Her strength. She loved his big, brown eyes and the way they smiled. He could make her laugh so much and so hard that sometimes her insides were sore.
He would watch any kind of movie she wanted to watch and hold her when she was scared. Oh, only to be more than best friends. Only to be able to tell him how she really felt. Just beg him to forget what she said about best friends and loves. But she cannot. There are so many what if’s. What if he never wants to see her again? What if he laughs? Maybe he would think she was testing him.
For now, she would be silent and carry her heart a little longer. She scooted a little closer to him and noticed there was now a blanket between them. She threw her blanket off and so gently pulled a blanket from the foot of the bed.
Now they both shared a blanket. So easily she moved closer. Listening for a breath telling her he was awake. Not yet, she whispered. Please do not wake up yet. Just a little while with you my love. He did not stir as she pulled his arm over her. Closing her eyes. She slept peacefully.
How long had they slept before the clock went off? She slammed it off. No snooze. Just off. The only reason she set it was yard sales and flea market day. She should have cut it off.
Their time together would now be over.
He was stirring. He looked at her she looked at him, both had loving smiles.
He could not help it. After that dream and the way, she was looking at him he could not drown the temptation.
“Good morning, beautiful.” He whispered. Her eyes sparkled, and a tear found its way out. “Good morning my love,” she said. What a wonderful kiss they shared.
Fifty years later he sat once again by her bedside watching her sleep. Their marriage had been wonderful. Their love was so amazing, but now he was losing her. Seventy- three years old and death was taking her from him.
He kicked off his shoes and crawled into bed beside her as he had done so many years ago. He took her in his arms closed his eyes and they danced together in his dreams one more time.
Her breath was coming harsher now. “Take me with her, “He screamed in his tired voice. “Please do not part us.”
He pulled her head over on his shoulder. As she took her last breath he whispered, “I love you.” He felt tears, he felt a sharp pain. As he clutched his chest he held her tightly.
Together forever. Even eternity.
© Cynthia Clark