With the various articles required to make coffee, unconsciously Naomi made her drink. It was a bit stronger than normal and she enjoyed the bitterness of it. Hmm, she thought. Reminds me of how I feel. Bitter. She took her coffee back to the bedroom and slumped herself back onto the messy bed, not wanting to have to get dressed for the funeral.
Somehow she would have to find the strength to face her friends and family in a few hours and she wasn’t sure how she was going to do it. Heck, she had enough trouble looking at herself in the mirror a few minutes ago. She felt the all too familiar lump in her throat making her feel sick and the sting behind her eyes like a wasp repeatedly digging into her. Bugger, not again. She put her coffee down, slopping some of it onto the bedside table, next to the photograph of her and Aaron taken last year on holiday. They looked so happy. They were so happy. Not a care in the world. Oh, to be back there again. She would gladly trade everything she had to go back to there. Her smile in the picture was amazingly wide and her eyes looked so alive and full of joy, almost child-like. Aaron’s smile was smug and his eyes were almost sleepy. They both had had too much to drink when the picture was taken, but it was a most fun picture and one that just had to go into a frame when they got home. It was never one of Aaron’s favourites, but to Naomi it was priceless. At that single moment, she had never been more in love with anyone.
Her chin began to twitch and her shoulders rose up, hugging her neck. She wrapped her arms around herself and began to let go the tears that were forcing their way out of her eyes. She looked down through the tears and let them drop, making a small salty pond where her arms touched. They soaked into her nightdress too. She didn’t care, there was nobody there to see her cry or to witness the pitiful mess she was in this morning anyway.
Seeing Naomi weeping as she was, filled his heart with love for her. All his angry thoughts had vanished for the moment. He sat on the bed next to her without making any of the covers move. Then he moved closer, watching her and feeling the bed move slightly as her shoulders shrugged up and down. This poor woman next to him had been the love of his life and he had no idea how he got to be there. He felt so far away, yet unbearably close, unable to communicate with or touch her. He sighed and moved closer still.
Naomi shuddered slightly and goose bumps erupted at the top of her right arm. She rubbed them back down without pausing for thought on the cause. Aaron looked at her lovingly and Naomi’s tears began to subside. She sat still and quiet now staring again at everything but nothing. It was the same gaze as last night when she was lying in bed. Her once beautiful eyes looked older now, tired and salt-stained. There was a redness to them, almost sore from hours of crying, the rubbing and wiping away of tears with toilet roll and tissues. She had clearly been through the emotional ringer of late and she didn’t seem to be all the way through it yet. Why though? How much more must she endure before she would smile that knock-out smile again that he had gone cuckoo over and kissed so many times in the past?
God, he missed kissing her. Those lips, so sumptuous to the touch. Her tongue, searching for his in the dark of the bedroom and gently licking his lips like they were the most fragile and tasty ice cream at the seaside. It drove him insane and he would gladly let her explore his mouth with hers until the end of time. Every little flick of her tongue was like a shot of luscious venom shooting around his body, paralysing him and leaving him totally under her control.
With a ‘humph’ and a sigh, she stood up and walked into the bath room purposefully. There was determination in the few paces she took to walk the short distance. Aaron followed silently down the hall feeling like a puppy following its owner everywhere she went.
Naomi flicked on the shower and closed the door, allowing the air and water time to warm up. She studied her face in the mirror. Bags, rings. She was going to need more make-up on today if she wasn’t going to arrive at Aaron’s funeral looking a mess. She felt she needed to be strong, but inside she was quaking with nerves. Her stomach was already a bag of butterflies and she was beginning to feel sick again. Her deep eyes stared back at her, trying to look deeply into her own soul to find the strength to get through the day. What she saw did not fill her with confidence. All she saw was a black future, tinged with a deep grey at the edges. It held no shape and was moving, twisting around itself. Black summed up how she felt about the whole situation. She snapped away from herself, tearing her own gaze away from her reflection as if she couldn’t bare to see herself falling to pieces like that. How much more misery could she face? Let’s just get today over and done with and then move on tomorrow, she thought.