He picks me up dressed in the layers of his new job: Neon safety colours and work boots. He smells like pine trees and long hours. I like the look on him. I like the idea of him fixing things, righting the world in the tiniest of ways, bringing order to the chaos. I want his hands calloused working out the kinks in my body, tracing the grain of me. Mahogany, pine, maybe cedar.
He peels the layers off in my room; overalls, shirts, long johns, and crawls into my bed in pajama pants and a white thermal. Not used to the early hours, already yawning. His eyes close when his head hits the pillow. I rub my hand softly through his buzzed hair, curl my fingers around the curve of his skull, tracing the edge of his ear. He smiles with his eyes closed.
I read some blogs, check my email, skimming my eyes over that Valentine I still haven’t responded to. It would be easy to fall into my age-old pattern, to distance myself emotionally from the man next to me, allow another—less risky—set of arms to carry me off. It would be easy to respond to the attention chiming my phone or blinking on the screen. Usually, it would be the easiest. Still, this is easier. Easier to shut my computer with finality. Easier to roll over and curl my back into his snores, wrap myself up in his arms, breathing deeply.
All these walls I’ve built to keep myself isolated and safe are crumbling, if they were ever there to begin with. I crane my head around to watch him sleeping, kiss him lightly on the lips. To be so wide open, for my heart to pound deep and regular in my chest, to want to fall asleep here and wake up here, too. To want to unlock him, cherish all the idiosyncrasies, all the pieces he hasn’t shared with anyone, yet. To want him. Not his arms or the attention he gives me or the company, but him. His dark nightmares that run up my spine and give me chills. His world and my world and the world we create between us; the merging of realities.
To see his Old Spice on my bookshelf everyday and not feel suffocated, to want to keep it there, a bookmark.
Later, when he has to leave I curl my legs around his waist and open my mouth to his. Pulling him closer. Needing him nearer. Insatiable, he calls me, and I grin knowing he would have it no other way.
I fall asleep lonely with my face in the pine-scented pillow, dreaming of dark trees and a wide open sky, Orion winking down at me, satisfied.
Tristan Prettyman – Simple As It Should Be