The early afternoon sun is bursting in through the south-facing window, painting the room in a golden hue, and warming the bed to cozy degrees. Celsius.
He notices a thin layer of dust on the screen of the TV that she would never tell him to leave turned off.
But it’s turned off.
He snuggles in behind her. She moves her head on to his left arm, even though she is hogging almost all of the pillows. He rubs her lower back.
Then maybe a bit lower.
The heat — and the late night before — makes his eyes heavy. His mind wanders. Random pre-sleep thoughts pop into his head and then retreat. He mmmmms into the back of her neck. He is drifting off and —
“Yeah, babe, I’m totally not going to be able to sleep.”
He grudgingly opens one eye.
“Are you sure?” he asks.
He opens the other eye.
“No problem, I’ll get you to sleep,” he yawns.
“You think so?”
“Yeah. I’m very persuasive.”
“Is that right?”
“Oh my yes. And charming and –”
“Yeah. It’s possible that you’re not as adorable as you think you are…”
“I live in abject fear of that every day.” He stares off into space.
She laughs. A little.
“Okay,” he continues. “Let’s get your cutesexy butt to sleep.”
“Do your worst.”
“Close your gorgeous eyes.”
Just above a whisper, he begins, “We’re going to sleep now. Together. For as long as you want. We have no plans for today. You have no responsibilities. You don’t have to work. You don’t have to do anything, baby. Just sleep. All comfy. All snuggly-like. And when you do wake up, I’ll go get you cupcakes–”
“White cake, chocolate frosting.”
He starts to play with her hair.
“Keep your eyes closed. The bed is getting coooooooomfier. You feel like you’re sinking, slowly, into it. So warm. So heavy.”
He sneaks a little neckkiss and continues even more quietly. “Soooo coooooozy. We’ll have fun when you wake up. But now all you have to do is nap…”
“Your only answering in cute little grunts,” he whispers.
He kisses the back of her shoulder and closes his eyes.
He slowly blinks the blurriness away.
She is leaning on her arm, staring at him.
“Hi,” he manages.
She leans in and kisses him softly, sweetly and lingeringly on the lips.
She then moves into him, pressing her cheek against his chest. He hugs her.
He kisses her on top of the noggin.
“I could stay here for hours,” she purrs.
“I could stay here for days,” he replies.
“Oh really?” she lifts her head.
He immediately knows what he has done.
“I mean… Yeah. It’s not a contest though.”
Apparently it is going to be.
“I bet I can stay in bed longer than you,” she says, raising one eyebrow.
“I don’t know about that,” he replies, realizing that even her eyebrows are pretty.
She’s in full-on competitive mode.
He’s only in half-on arguing to be a pain in the ass mode.
“Oh we’re betting,” she informs.
“Stakes?” he closes his eyes and tries to get comfy again.
She raises his right eye lid with her finger.
“Oh, hi,” he says.
“Pay attention to meeeee.”
“Why do I put up with you?”
“I’m very cute and you love my bum,” she replies. Quickly.
“Oh that’s right.”
“Now. What’s the bet?”
“Really? We’re doing this?”
“I’m a little competitive,” she says, while staring into his soul.
“I got that memo. You tried to shank me over a game of checkers.”
“I did NOT like the way you said ‘King me.'”
“And that time you grrrrr’d at the girl you played basketball with at the Y.”
“You accused her of throwing the game. Was she throwing the game?”
“What was she?”
“Just a sucky basketball player.”
“What else was she?”
“Yeeeaah. Okay. Loser cooks dinner?” he offers.
“Deal! Ha. Sucker!”
“I’d like pancakes, please” he whispers as he closes his eyes and pulls the covers up to his ear.
“Okay… Oh. I bet you’re wishing you hadn’t drank that litre bottle of water earlier.”
His eyes open. His expression says “Crap!”
Then his mouth does too.
The helicopter is getting closer.
He sees where he has to get to.
He has one choice.
The orphans are depending on him.
And he bolts.
He runs in a zig zagging route.
Bullets bounce off the concrete rooftop next to and between his feet.
The closer he gets, the more he realizes how large the gap is.
Slow down or go for it?
He speeds up. In a straight line now.
He reaches the edge and he jumps.
He jumps with everything he has.
After what seems like an eternity in the air, he lands cleanly on the next building.
He quickly takes shelter behind a large cement block.
He feels a sudden, sharp pain in his stomach.
He inspects the area, but sees no damage.
He feels the pain again.
He hears a voice coming from the sky.
The sky gets brighter and…
He’s in his bedroom.
She is poking him in the stomach.
“A little lower, baby,” he faux-seductively whispers.
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to hit your bladder so you’ll have to pee.”
“Uhm… you’re not even close to my bladder.”
“Fiiiiiiine. In fairness, I’m basing my knowledge on playing Operation as a kid.”
He lets out a loud, obnoxious buzzing sound.
She plops her head down on his pillow with him.
He gives her a foreheadkiss and drifts off again.
He opens his eyes and she is trimming his eyebrows.
He closes his eyes.
The bed bounces his eyes open.
She is jumping up and down on her knees at the foot.
He smiles at how hot she is in a tank top and underwear.
“Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooored,” she continues.
“We could just talk?” he offers.
“Okay. Would you care to explain some of the interesting late-night programming involving youngish women that shows up on the dvr?”
“Talking is never a good idea.”
“We could fool around?”
“Well, yeah,” he replies.
“Oh. IF you get out of bed first, I’ll do that thing tonight…”
“Not THAT thing. Oh goodness… Never that thing. But the other thing.”
“Will you wear the–?”
“Je suis intrigued.”
“Yup. And — Oh wait… You owe me one of those for watching Sex and the City.”
“Curses! Hmmm. I’ll try to nap again.”
She curls up next to him.
They cuddle in silence.
He puts his lips against her ear.
“That movie on the dvr could have really happened. If she hadn’t become a stripper, her uncle Jed could have totally lost his farm. It’s really a think-piece about the situation facing our farmers in the technology age–”
They stare at each other.
He has his legs crossed.
“I love waterfalls, you know,” she says. “Constantly flowing. Gallon after gallon of water. The sound of it.”
“I bought a new thing of pepperjack yesterday,” he remembers.
“You son of a bitch. Annnnd now I’m craving it.”
He laughs. And thinks non-urinating thoughts.
“Maybe we should call a truce,” she offers. “Babe, I’m hungry. And you know how I get when I’m hungry.”
He shudders. “Okay. Step off the bed at the same time?”
Her crawls out from under the covers. He pulls on his Baylor t-shirt.
He takes her hand and they both stand at the foot of the bed.
“On the count of three, we both step off,” he tells her.
“But first, I want to say that I’m proud of us. This is how to resolve things. We work together. I don’t want you to be hungry. You don’t want my bladder to explode. Probably. I think this is a good life lesson. There isn’t anything we can’t handle if we hold hands and step into the future. Together. As–”
She shoves him off the bed and he lands sprawled out on the floor.
She falls down on her cutesexy butt on the bed.
“I want pizza!” she says, as she gets her “suzi skis in the pyrenees” nail polish off of the night table.