by Brenda Stokes
Each morning, before he left for work, I’d feel a shift of weight on the mattress. He would sit beside me and I’d roll to the right into his arms as he’d say “Good morning,” and I’d smile in return. We would share a brief kiss, a bent hug and out the door he’d go while I laid there for a few minutes more, savoring the comfort of sheets and warmth and the thoughtfulness of good mornings before clamoring out from under the covers into the cold air of the day. The bed still presses down each morning with that familiar shift of weight. A warm palm rests at the curve of my spine and I smile. I want to open my eyes, turn over and say good morning and goodbye like we always did, but I know when my eyes flicker open - still encrusted with sleep - there will be nothing there, the bedroom empty, and any weight that fills my bed will be all my own.
Brenda Stokes is a freelance writer from southern California. (When she's not concocting stories and poems with which to pester her friends and family, she's teaching her pet rats tricks.) You can find out more about her here and here.