Two Nights

It is nine o'clock p.m. As she walks home from her waitressing shift a couple blocks from home, he calls her. He tells her that he will be home late from his internship at the office. She acknowledges this and picks a daisy as she nears their apartment. She enters the sticking doors and ascends the stairs to their third floor residence, because the elevator is broken. Inside their home, she lays the daisy on the kitchen table; the table which shares its surface with a bowl of dry Rice Krispies cereal she has also prepared and in the fridge, she places a glass of 2% milk, his two favorites. She rips two sheets of paper off of the small, magnetized notebook on the refrigerator. She writes 'in the fridge' on one and aligns it with the bowl of cereal. The other, she puts in her waitress apron and walks to the bedroom. She slips into her pajamas, washes her face, brushes her teeth and sets the second note on his night stand, to the left of his lamp, close to the bed to assure herself he won't miss it. It's nearing ten o'clock. Now, she crawls into bed.

It is a quarter til' midnight. He turns his key in the key hole and opens the door. He throws his coat on the couch, and his wallet and keys on the coffee table. He heads directly to the kitchen, and sees a bowl of Rice Krispies and a note. Reading the note, he opens the refrigerator and grabs a glass of milk. He pulls out the chair of the dining set and pours the milk onto his cereal. As the Rice Krispies snap, crackle, pop, he notices a daisy lying a foot or so across the table from him. The cereal crunches in his mouth, just right, and he finishes quickly. He picks up the single daisy and fills a pitcher with tap water, where the daisy will grow and spend the remainder of its life, and leaves it on the kitchen table. He proceeds to the bathroom to brush his teeth and get ready for bed. As he slides under the covers and reaches to turn off the lamp, he notices another note. He picks it up. 'I love you' it reads. He smiles and looks at her, so peacefully asleep. He turns off the light and nestles under the comforter to get cozy.

The shifting of his weight wakes her. She rolls over toward him and rubs his back until she feels his conscience leave his body, and go in to sleep. She does this because she loves him.

It is a week later, half past ten p.m. She is not home yet. He is still up, after an exhausting day at the office, watching an 80's game show, waiting for her. He checks the clock frequently, hoping to hear the door creak open with every passing minute. She finally calls. It is eleven fifteen. She tells him she is on her way home, after closing up the diner. Relieved, he shuts off the T.V. and settles into bed.

Eleven thirty, she opens the door. She comes home to an empty table, a dying flower in a pitcher full of tap water and the kitchen fan left on. She turns it off and retires to the bedroom. She completes her nightly routine; teeth, face and PJs, and snuggles under the covers. He hadn't fallen asleep yet. He couldn't, not without her by his side. He transfers from his side of the bed to hers, kisses her cheek and wraps his arms around her. He does this because he loves her.





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