I awoke to the feeling of hot breath on my cheek. Panting in and out across my face. The feeling of warm air, the feeling of cool air from the vent above my bed. are you awake? the breath asked. “mmm...” I told it and rolled my head over. The breath disappeared. I slipped back into dreams.
My sheets had been untucked at the bottom of my bed and there was a furry head working it’s way up the back of my legs. It reached my back, pushing on it as it rolled over and curled up. A breathing mass of warmth against my back. It flipped over throwing a limb over my side. It rotated, hitting it’s head against my neck. It climbed over my side, pried my arms apart, and nestled itself between them, resting its head on the soft muscle of my arm.
I felt hot breath on my chin. Blow hot, cool air. Blow hot, cool air. are you asleep? it asked in a hot, breathy voice- that smelt of bubble gum Crest. “yes” I told it. The breath laid a hand across my cheek and went to sleep.
The next morning I woke again, breath on my chest. Blow hot, cool air. Blow hot. My arm was asleep, something was blocking the artery. I opened one eye slowly. The light the blinds let in revealed a little boy, wrapped up in my arms. His curls fell across his forehead, reminding me I needed to take him to get his hair cut. His mouth was half open, breathing, pushing his stomach in and out. We must have been like that all night, wrapped in my arms, snuggled up to my chest. He rubbed his eyes against my arm sending pins and needles down it, all the way to my fingers. I winced. He shifted to look up at me. “Thank you for saving me from the furballs” he said, as he wrapped his arms around me. I curled into him and realized that as much as he thought I saved him last night, he saved me. He saved me from spending another long night sleeping alone.