She woke up to the sound of thunder. She was drenched in sweat and breathing heavily, as if she had just finished running. The pillow was damp. She tried to remember what it was that yanked her to consciousness, but the thoughts were just out of her mind’s reach. She gave up moments later, deciding that it wasn’t worth the effort. If it was something that she needed to know or do, it will come to her on its own. It always does.
Her breathing had returned to normal by then.
She closed her eyes and let the sound of raindrops hitting violently against the window fill overwhelm her thoughts. It was a welcome distraction from all the distressing things clogging up her head the past few weeks. The street light outside her bedroom window and the raindrops passing in front of it created a show of shadow and light that danced around in the darkness just for her. She was watching it in absolute concentration. It made her heart feel light, even joyous. She didn’t know why. She didn’t care why.
Her undivided attention towards that show was broken. She turned around to face the man lying next to her. His eyes were still closed, but he knew she was awake. His hand moved around on the bed looking for hers. She reached out slowly and touched his finger. He touched hers. Their fingers intertwined. His warmth warmed her up.
“What’s wrong?” His voiced echoed in the darkness.
“Nothing, yang. Nothing’s wrong. I just… the thunder woke me up.”
His eyes were still closed, but he knew she was lying. “Liar liar.”
He rolled around towards her until he could feel the warmth of her bare skin. He lifted his head just enough to position his head onto her lap. She just watched. Their fingers were still touching. He nuzzled her tummy. She breathed a sigh of satisfaction.
“Tell me,” he asked after planting the gentlest of kisses on her thigh and breathing in the fragrance of her, “what’s wrong?”
She slowly ran her fingers through his hair, taking her time. He patiently waited. They had all the time in the world. The thunder and the rain and the street light outside were keeping them company.
“It was… a dream,” she said finally. “I can’t remember what it was, though.”
“Mmm…” He closed his eyes again, savouring the feeling of her fingers stroking his head.
“Sounds like it was more than just a bad dream.”
“Maybe. Many things have been happening. It’s all getting so confusing.”
“New beginnings…” His eyes were still closed.
“It’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to be scared. Because it’s completely new. You haven’t done this before.”
“Hmmm…” Her fingers now gently traced the contours of his face. Every bump, every curve, his eyelashes. Even the day-old stubble on his face. “I’d actually be worried if you weren’t scared.”
“Being scared means that you’re taking it seriously. You’re excited and nervous and a whole bunch of other things.”
She was silent. The raindrops kept falling.
“You’re strong, you know.” His words brought her back.
“You keep saying that.” Her fingers lay softly on his chest. She could feel his heart beat slowly, constantly, comfortingly.
“Because it’s true.”
“No, I’m not.”
“You are. You can handle this. You are. You are.”
She let out a heavy sigh, a sigh that carried the uncertainty and fear out from within her. He suddenly lifted his head up and steadily came closer and closer towards her until their lips touched and caressed. He tasted her as she tasted him. It was intoxicating. They couldn’t get enough. It was its own drug with its own addictive qualities, and they were all too happy to be slaves to it.
They lay down together, their naked bodies sharing the warmth, her fingers intertwined with his. She laid her head down on his chest, his heartbeat becoming her lullaby. His hand wrapped around her body, pulling her close. They had each other, and at that moment it was all they could ever want or need. They were together, in sickness and in health.
They slowly drifted off to sleep. The show of shadow and light kept on playing.