The clock strikes one. I open my eyes. Marc’s not in bed. I wait, thinking he’s in the bathroom, then I hear the TV. I get up and pad to the TV room, blinking against the light. It hurts my eyes.
“I can’t sleep.”
“Can I get you some tea? Some melatonin?”
“No, I’ll just watch TV for a while. I’ll be in soon.”
I go back to bed.
The clock strikes two. Marc still isn’t in bed. I hear him snoring in the TV room and think he’ll be sore in the morning from sleeping on that small couch.
The clock strikes three. I wake to the slow, hypnotic massage of the cat kneading his fleece blanket against my ankles. His purring rumbles softly as his kneading slows and his magic fleece pulls him into sleep. I wish I had a magic fleece. Marc still isn’t in bed.
The clock strikes four. I hear Marc shuffle into the bedroom, sure of his way in the dark, but wary of shadows that might coalesce into a cat jumping in ambush at his ankles. But that cat is asleep on my feet.
The clock strikes five. I can feel that morning is close. Marc is snoring. I get up and walk around the bed to check the water in his CPAP. Empty. I wake him up. He fills the CPAP reservoir and resumes snoring, although more quietly.
The clock strikes six. The sky is brightening. Marc is still snoring. I toss and turn, trying to find a position that doesn’t make by hip hurt. I dislodge the cat, who meows in protest and goes back to sleep, but not on my feet.
The clock strikes seven. Marc gets up and goes downstairs. The cat continues to snore at the foot of the bed.
The clock strikes nine. I slept for two hours! I wish I could sleep more, but I can’t. Neither can the cat. He wants breakfast. I want coffee. And a nap.
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