This would be a secret we would keep locked away safe in the old chest of drawers with the old photographs of nameless shadows and wispy ghosts of days past. The blood that Sam had allowed to run, the life that she lost, and the mess that I had to clean up now, would get neatly folded away with the blood stained underwear, somewhere in my head. The fire place was still crackling and the flames threw off a soothing glow that filled the small living room with our hand me down couch. A little vicodin, another glass of wine, and my very large, very warm blanket wrapped about me would sustain my delicate balance of calm until Jason came back home. The corset drawn tightly around my emotions, I could stay, just stay here and wait.
The chemical induced sleep that came now drew my eyes closed but always left my soul stirring, awake and actively roaming around behind shut eyes. This always made for the most fitful sleep and vivid dreams.
"Hey Babe", touching my face so gently as not to startle me, Jason's broad thick hands brushed my hair from my cheek.
"Hey" wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling him down into me.
I would Hold onto him, not just with my arms, but with every ounce of myself. His large shoulders and strong back always felt like home, safe in a way i had never known before. The air had reentered the room and my lungs could breath a sigh that told me it was going to all be ok, but it would get worse before it got better.
"why are you on the couch...miss me?"
"yeah, i always miss you when you are away from me, sometimes so much more than others, but always"
"Come on I am beat, good night for tips, but I am exhausted, come to bed"
Our room felt cool, at least a few degrees cooler than the living room. The old Victorian buildings that lined Main Street here in Pennsylvania always had issues with staying warm. The fireplace only heated the small room it was in, and all other rooms struggled to stay warm from there old steam radiators, hissing, coughing and wheezing to meet the demands of the thermostat.
"what did you do tonight?" His usual question, as if to say, so did you stay out of trouble? The noise in my head was muffled from pure exhaustion and drug induced quiet. But, nonetheless it was still there scurrying around in the dark whispering to my conscious.
“You have to tell him”
“You can not keep this secret, not from him”
And then there is always Sam with her opinions still bouncing off the walls in my head.
“No, you can not tell him, it is done and he will never forgive, he will leave you, so just forget it.”
“Hey why are you in such deep thought? What are you thinking about?”
“nothing, I’m just thinking about...nothing.”
“you never think of nothing, you only say that when you don’t want me to know what you are really so lost in thought about. But that’s ok, you don’t have to tell me.”
I hate that he knows me so well, but I find comfort in the way he can read me, my subtle queues, my quiet calls for help.
“Goodnight babe, love you”
I have always been so jealous of the way he can fall into the deepest sleep the moment his black hair hits the pillow. I’ve never known that. The flicker of the candle on the dresser held my interest away from the shadows that always come out at night. The wax dripped and made it’s way down to the top of the old but not antique, dresser where there was already a pool of hardened wax from nights before this one. The candle was my thing, it was what I would focus on so I could quiet my insides and ignore the shadow at the side of the bed. The cold wax piled up as a constant reminder of battles lost to sleep. The glow of the flame widened and blured, it stretched out and touched the walls of the tiny bedroom with beams of light. And just before my eyes completely closed the flame was the only thing that I could see filling my room with a warm and welcoming glow that would fold me into sleep tonight.