Something woke him as they slept. He looked at the ceiling of their bedroom. Keeping his head still, he looked at her, embracing his left side, her hair still bright even in the darkness. He closed his eyes but his heartbeat felt like it shook the room. She moved.
“Johnny… are you awake?”
His breath was louder than the gentle sounds of distant traffic.
“Sorry I woke you. Say, what do you like about me?”
Spoilers?: Minor (one minor reference)
She squeezed him tightly and moved her head so she could see his face. Through the darkness of the room, she could see the glistening of tears in his eyes.
“…I like, no, love… how you help me feel safe. When I’m with you, I feel like we will be OK, no matter what…”
She saw that his scarred lip stayed closed, but had moved into just a bit of a natural smile, and she saw that she had his full attention.
“…It’s like how Pollyanna always helped me feel safe. She’d always bark or whimper if she was worried about me about something or another. I mean, you, you’re not a dog, but… there’s a bond that we had, and ours is much deeper.”
He shifted his weight so he could look at her more clearly as his eyes adjusted more to the spring early morning darkness.
“It was rough growing up. I always felt weird and alone. Kids would make fun of me. I was always worried they’d be mean to me. I couldn’t do much to stop it. I tried and my parents helped but I was just… I was scared and sad. When I met you and we talked, it felt… it just feels good. I feel really good when I’m with you.”
She shifted her weight so she could lay more of her body on his stomach and embrace him tighter.
“Thanks, Talie. I love how warm you are to me. I like… love how nice you are to me. You treat me like a person and not some weirdo. I mean your family does, too, but it’s, yeah, it’s deeper. I li-love being around you. It’s a… I love you a lot.”
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: I was laying in bed when this scene struck me. This is my 800th publication on Better Zombie and I am starting to realize these scenes in writing that infrequently bounce through my head. My editor, J.D., wrote his own version of this scene. He also said that Spring is capitalized.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Photo: The plants I named Trishna and John.|
|Written On: March 31st [90 minutes+]|
|Last Edited: None applied.|