Ben smells like soap and cedar. He had a blisteringly hot shower right before bed, arriving under the quilts still warm and slightly pink to the touch. By the time he finishes with me I was also warm and pink to the touch. He tells me to stop holding my breath so I ask him if he'd hold it for a while, that I'm tired. He laughs, asking me point-blank if I want sleep.
I shake my head. No. I want you.
I'll get crucified tomorrow when you fall asleep in your rice krispies.
We'll deal with that tomorrow.
Bridge! The fuck. There's milk dripping on the floor.
I was leaning on one elbow over my bowl. I closed my eyes for just a second and my arm slipped and my chin hit the rim, sending a waterfall of milk and rice krispies cascading to the tile floor. PJ is impressed. He mopped the main level floors yesterday.
Ooh. Sorry! I sit up and scoop the bowl back up but it's too late. Sam smiles at me, taking the bowl from me. Duncan puts some toast in for me instead while PJ comes around with the sponge to clean up the mess I'm perfectly capable of cleaning up. I'm just so tired.
When the toast is ready, Duncan slathers it with honey and brings it to the table. He pulls out a chair for me and sits next to me to keep me talking, chewing with my mouth open, while I eat.
Maybe you should go back on your meds for this. PJ has no patience today either. Who needs sleep again? Me or him?
Once upon a time I took some really awful amphetamines for this, but they took my anxiety and cranked it through the roof. It's better to be sleepy than crazy, Peej, I remind him.
Til you crash while you're driving.
If I'm sleepy I don't drive. It's only when I can let myself relax that it happens anyway.
He puts the stools back under the island ledge. For now.
Rice krispies are just boring, that's all. My defence fails to spare any pity from them at all.
I'll talk to Ben, Sam says and abruptly runs his hand down my head. It's an uncharacteristically affectionate move from him and everything starts shutting down. I choke on my toast and Duncan slaps my back. PJ puts a glass of juice in front of me.
Drink. I think you should go back up and sleep. You're not doing well today.
I'm fine. It wasn't- I turn to look at Sam and he has no idea he just pulled a Jake-move. I'll make sure I get to sleep early tonight. Ben will understand. They all do. Sam sits down and I lean against him, putting my head against his shoulder. I was about to say something when I jerk awake again.
Not fine, Bridget. I'm taking you up so you can go back to bed for a bit. Now. Finish your juice. Good girl. Now say goodnight.
I had plans-