And something alters. It happens in the night. In the dark, cool hours when each rain drop makes an impression on the pavement and houses stretch and crack their weary wood.
It happens while She sleeps.
While She inches farther and farther away from me.
Is this unconscious? Is this intentional?
She moves off the pillow and to the edge of the comforter we lay on. She moves to the carpet. To the wall. I try to keep up. I try to maintain contact. A foot by her calf. Or a hand on her shoulder blade. But She's too consistent. Too determined to get away. Too far gone.
Each time She wakes there's a moment when She looks at me.
I'm relieved at first. I'm warmed. I smile and reach up to touch Her cheek. Reach up to feel something.
But even Her gaze grows more distant. Even Her eyes move away. Retreat. Coil back.
So my hand doesn't make it. It falls short. Lands on the flower stitchings below.
Eventually I give up. Eventually I reason I cannot win. That the blows She delivers are much more powerful than my will. That as She pushes me over and I roll and unreel and unravel there is nothing more I have to combat with.
That I have nothing more.
So I slide back over to my side. Where we both started so many hours ago. Where She fooled me into believing I was wanted here tonight.
That I was wanted.