I whisper to you through the thick ink of darkness in which we sit, daring not to disturb the perfect nothingness which hangs in the air.

Besides, you're close, and the dark makes you closer. I feel your warmth against me; your body moves with your breath, and trembles with your heartbeat.

I take your hand: warm, soft, small, into mine: cold, hard, oversize. We are now one, and nothing else matters, because there is nothing else.

...

The alarm-clock slices through the silence, driving unpleasantness through every nerve in my body.

The cold fog outside saps the light from the room, leaving me to awaken in a harsh yellow blur. I grasp at the last vestiges of my dream, but they slip from my fingers like the snow through the trees.

The sky has yet to awaken. It huddles in its blanket of clouds, waiting for a warmer day.

I stand outside. The cold shakes me to the core, trying to pull from me the last remnants of sleep.

Outside, I smell the warm, comforting coffee, the harsh, bitter cigarette smoke, and the thick, oily diesel exhaust: the smells of reality. The smells awaken my body, but not my mind. Part of me still sits with her in the darkness, or lays in the thick clouds above.

My coffee is black. I am mourning the sleep that I so enjoyed. I feel the coffee run through my veins, bringing my cells to life.

But I still refuse to wake.

The blue haze of the snow saps the light and warmth from where I sit. I watch the clock as it prods me awake.

I button my coat against the snow, feeling the cold bite my face as I step outside.

It's going to be a long day...

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