I come awake with a start – frozen in place, throat tight, heart pounding a rapid tattoo in my chest – to the roar of frustrated winds blustering against the night. I am cold. Disoriented. The t-shirt I wear is twisted around my torso. My sheets are skewed, my pillows tossed, my legs tangled in a heap of sheets. I observe these details as though through a shroud; it takes me a moment… and then another… to realize, with gasping inhalation, that I have forgotten to breathe.
And then I remember.
In accelerated pants, I remember.
Snippets of dreamscape scenes, of flashbacks, of fears real and imagined come together in reconstructed shattered-glass reality, and I roll, seeking solace in his embrace.
And it is. It will be.
I am. With him, I am.
But that was then.
He is not here, now.
I close my eyes and count, slowing my breathing by gradual degrees, imagining his hands, remembering his touch, soothing against my skin.
Always gentle, even in their demands.
My heart quickens once again in my chest at the memory of those demands, and my newly-calm breathing becomes ragged once again as my fingers trace the same paths along my skin that his so recently took.
Kicking aside my covers, body attuned to the storm outside, my skin warms by degrees to my own touch as I seek to silence the storm within.
Slumber will have to wait.
For now, I am…
This is not a night for sleeping.