Slice of Life

slice of life

I am laying in my bed. My heart is fluttering. No, actually, it’s pounding. Tomorrow  has seeped into my thoughts. Tomorrow is something I want to sleep through.

“Zach, don’t fall asleep before me?”

I can see it in his eyes. There is a flash of recognition.

Tonight is different. Tonight, I won’t lay with my own thoughts. Thoughts that swirl, sting, and stab. They are often my company, keeping me awake long after Zach’s breaths have fallen into a slow ease. I’m envious of the effortlessness he falls into. He dreams on, and I plead for dreams.

I’m left alone with the thoughts I try to forget I have.

Tonight is different. Tonight, I don’t want to feel miles apart from the body laying next to me. I don’t want to fight myself from shaking him awake. Zach knows that my request is an invitation, one he rarely receives. I have offered him a rope ladder to climb the wall I have built in the wake of a shattered family.

That is the beauty of Zach. He always, always waits for me. He knows bulldozing will never work. He knows I will come to him, in my own way. Although sometimes, I’m sure he wishes it wouldn’t take me as long. And so he waits. He waits patiently outside of my walls, until he knows I am ready to invite him in.

“Zach, don’t fall asleep before me?”

He tenderly lays his hand on my waist, because he knows that after too much, I will push him away. He is content to comfort me. My husband is content to wait until my shallow breaths turn slow and heavy. His touch is a tether that keeps me from curling too far into myself. I fall asleep, knowing he is right next to me.

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7 responses to “Slice of Life

  1. I started smiling as I read this, thinking, Yes! She’s being brave! I see it! It’s really a beautiful piece that captures this moment in its challenge and complexity and also tenderly honors your husband and your relationship. Some gorgeous writing at the sentence level here too. Love this line especially: “They are often my company, keeping me awake long after Zach’s breaths have fallen into a slow ease.”

  2. Thank you, Dr. Ellington! I have to say your blog post was such encouragement to me. The temptation to scrap this and write about something easier followed me all the way until Tuesday. So thank you for the kind words, and for the ability to stretch me without even knowing it. 🙂

  3. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of writing! Wow! You were really brave to write something like this. And thanks so much for your kind words about my writing. They mean a lot!

    • Thank you so much, Carol! I greatly appreciate that you took the time to read this. It was so difficult for me to write because it was so far out of my comfort zone. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  4. Pingback: My Week in Reflection | nicky banzhaf·

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