My whole body flinches and my eyes open to dim, grey light.
Sasha half rolls toward me. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” I clear my throat and force my breath to slow. “No. Bad dream.”
She rolls all the way over and tucks the sheets under her chin. “What happened?”
Shadows weave across the ceiling as a car drives by outside. My chest is tight, and I draw in the air that my body is calling out for. “What was going on in the background isn’t important. Something about a weird old car and a joyride. It was the look you gave me at the end that woke me up. Maybe it was out of embarrassment, or because you were ashamed of something. Then you wouldn’t talk to me or look at me. You just stared at your hands. I didn’t know what else to do, so I walked away. It hurt. A lot.”
Sasha brushes her hair behind her ear. “But it’s not real. It was just a dream.”
“The way it made me feel is real, and that’s the problem. I don’t think it would be affecting me this way if there wasn’t something behind it.”
“So, that’s it. You think I’ve done something wrong?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“What did you mean, then?”
“I don’t know.”
Sasha moves away from me. “Great.”
I turn my head to her. “Don’t be like that. I know it was only a dream. I…”
She adjusts herself, sinking deeper into her pillow.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to cause a problem.”
When her voice comes, it’s timid and quiet. “It’s okay. I’m sorry for getting upset. I understand, how the feelings can linger.”
Sasha rolls back toward me and props herself up on one elbow. Her eyes are clear and her breath warm. She leans in and kisses my cheek, then looks away, like she did in the dream. “I’ve got to get ready for work.”
She pushes the sheets back and swings her legs to the floor. I watch her silhouette move to the bathroom and disappear behind the closed door.
Photo by Zach Guinta on Unsplash