Naomi’s day had been dull and uninteresting, as all the days had been since he had gone. She had spent most of her time numbly gazing through the window at the street outside that seemed every bit as dull as the days were turning out to be. Her tea had gone cold, forgotten about as her mind wondered from random thought to random thought, fingernails tapping tunelessly on the cooling mug, not hearing the sound. She saw the people outside going about their business, making the world go round, totally oblivious to the eyes watching them.
Just as the clouds moved across the sky, the shadows of the people and buildings moved round too as the day went on. How long she had sat in that one chair she did not know. The entire day had passed her by without her even noticing. What had she achieved today? Nothing. What had she resolved to do? Nothing. What was she going to do tomorrow? She dare not think about it.
Finally retiring to bed long after the sun had gone down, she had lain there staring for what seemed like hours at a point in space half way between the sheets and the ceiling, she finally fell asleep.
The traffic noise had died away to the distant hum of the busy main road a few streets away. The neighbourhood cats had stopped fighting and the late night pub goers had gone to bed too.
She lay still, dreamlessly cuddling a pillow for comfort. She nuzzled it, gently rubbing the corner against the side of her nose and cheek. She could be mistaken for a child sucking its thumb if it wasn’t for the fact that her long hair had a grown-up cut and her features, as beautiful and youthful as they were, could only be from a grown woman.
Somewhere in her mind she could feel Aaron warmly breathing along her back as he lay spooned-up behind her. But this was the tenth night he had been absent and her back felt cold and exposed. Her man, making her feel so safe and secure with his arms wrapped round her body and her legs intertwined with his had not come home.
He walked in through the open bedroom door, bringing with him a slightly cold, breath of stagnant air. He moved quietly round the bed, closely observing Naomi as she lay still, bathing in the orange street-light glow. He watched the bed clothes move slowly up and down as the delightful woman lying before him took shallow breaths and let them go again, repeating the same rhythm. She had no idea he was there, standing over her, watching.
Kneeling beside her, he looked at her eyes, hoping she was dreaming, but they remained still behind the recently cleaned lids. There was a faint aroma of cucumber coming from her soft skin, presumably from where she had washed that beautiful, precious face before climbing into bed. He didn’t really care what the smell was, he was never any good with feminine cleansing products in the first place, and that was not the reason for his being there anyway.
Naomi was still unaware that he was there.
What was he going to do now? It seems a shame to wake her at this hour, the man thought to himself. I’ll just do it and get it over with, but it would be nice if she was awake when I do it. She continued to lay still, unmoving, save for the rhythm of her breathing under the bed clothes.
He moved his head closer to her face, his breath causing her to wrinkle her nose with the slight change in the air’s fragrance. She moved her hand to scratch her nose, the pillow must have tickled it. She took a deep breath through her mouth, not quite a yawn and let it out with more like a regretful sigh than anything else. Her eyes began to move behind the clean, cucumbery lids. She began to dream.
Deep in her subconscious, she heard Aaron tell her that he loved her. She loved him so much. Her eyes screwed up. The man thought she was holding back tears. Can you cry when you are asleep? He thought.