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Creative Nonfiction Speculative Romance

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1st Corinthians 13, The Bible.

I was making up the bed the other day and I remembered how when we were first together we did that together.  Just the little things like that about you made me even crazier for you. I wondered what happened to that you…that gentle, loving, expressive, open, sensitive, playful, innocent, faithful, hopeful you.  What happened to that you I asked God, Spirit, Goddess as I continued to make up the bed:  What happened to that you and then someone whispered…

What happened to gentle, loving, expressive, open, sensitive, playful, innocent, faithful, hopeful, loving you?  

And I thought - you may be asking the same question as you're making your bed.

Are you? 

Wondering?  Feeling?  Thinking?  Of me, all these years later.

Perhaps not the best use of time travel, going back - to us.  Still here I am, years later with you on my mind.  What is there to say now, here, about that time past?  

Lessons, yearnings, lasting memories.

I smooth the bedcovers on one side - my side -  and look up really seeing you, as you before, spreading the bedcovers on the other side - your side.  For a moment I wanted to cry, I recall the times our hands brushed against each other as we performed this weekend ritual, after having slept in, made love and then lay there; wrapped in the hot, sticky, sweat of our rapture, our arms around each other, being together.  I smile instead, because you talked, that’s when you opened to me, said so many things I wanted to hear, and many more things I should have listened to.

You said “Please be patient” and I wondered why.  

You said “Please forgive me” and I wondered for what.   

You said “Please be there” and I wondered…why wouldn’t I be?

You said “Please be hopeful when I am not” and I wondered how can I be, if you are not.

You said “Please let me find my way to you” and I wondered aren’t you already here…with me?

You said ”Please trust me” and I wondered didn’t you know I already do.

You said “Please know that I am not perfect” and I wondered, did you think I thought you were?

These things you asked me in the name of love. I heard you and hugged you close, but had I listened to you?  

On the other side of the bed - your side, I fluffed the pillow and removed and imagined lint speck.  I laughed because you teased mercilessly when I did that and said “You see stuff that isn’t there and stuff that is right there…you miss…like your keys (you said quickly enough when I waved you off).”  We laughed out loud, silly like and I flicked the seen/invisible lint toward you.    Funny how when you weren’t there to make the bed, it seemed I got it done in seconds; with you, it was a prolonged, delightfully wonderful ritual.  

You were right.  I see that now, making this bed up without you; wondering, thinking, remembering you; missing us?

I smoothed imagined wrinkles in the sunflower covered comforter to the end of the iron rod rail and heard that little squeak that comes with old things that you keep with the hope - they will keep.  How did it ever survive our antics?  This old frame you winced at and warned against when I paid the flea market guy to deliver it to the apartment (and carry or drag it all the way upstairs to the loft).  Yes, it did keep.  And here I am, making up the bed…thinking, feeling, wondering about you. 

Oh yes, the sunflower comforter is new.  Nothing frilly, not my style as well you know.  It’s gray and comfortable sleeping under it would not be a “disoriented cacophony of colors and flowers” as you often referred to women's bathrooms and bedrooms (I, of course being the dissent). Still it is covered in flowers, these are yellow, if you remember…my favorite flower.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you still remember these are the flowers of  longevity, loyalty and love.  Of course, you remember this; we were making the bed talking about the beautiful sunny day we would spend together and you raised an eyebrow when I told you the meaning of my favorite flower.  “How did I come up with that?” you smirked and I realized you were serious, having one of your intellectual-questioning-the-world moments also known as "that's-junk-science" moments. Either way, you deserved a pillow swat.  Which of course meant a pillow duel, which of course culminated into a back-in-bed truce.   Now that I think of it, you always seemed to have “those” moments around bedtime. Another missed lesson on you?  (That one not so bad…not bad at all). 

Really, maybe, perhaps it wasn’t, we weren’t, you weren’t so bad; now that I understand how I hadn’t heard, nay, hadn’t listened to you when we were lying there close, together, holding each other, wrapped in the hot, sticky, sweat of our rapture.

I remember that one time you whispered the words of a song you were working on.  A very new song, a very…well…let’s just, a very basic song..

Be the love.

Show me the way to love.  

Be here for me….while I work to get there too.

It’s the love you are…that brings us closer day by day. 

Be the love.

You wanted to call it “One Corinthians Thirteen”

I said I didn’t know; could you do that?  

Anyway it’s time to shower, get dressed and go. 

I stand still for a few moments. 

Wondering, feeling, thinking…about you.

What happened to that you who used to make the bed together?  What happened to that you, the sexy-smell-good-look-good you who would surprise me on any old Thursday...waiting, leaning against a tree or a car, outside in front of the building with a basket and blanket for lunch.  What happened to that you who would stroll hand-in-hand through the park, cold and chilled to bone in early winter dark.  What happened to that you who wrote bad (and good) songs and asked me to listen as you played and I sometimes danced along.  What happened to that you who  said, “Because of you I know love for the first time – every time we make love.”  What happened to that you who said “I wished I’d met me 5, 10, 15 years ago when we were just starting out because I would have promised right there and then to be with you, to love and cherish you always.” What happened to that you who wanted to be with me all days; not just minutes and hours.  What happened to that you who took my hand and held it under the table that  first night, knowing it was impossible to leave together, without breaking others apart.  What happened to that you who I would have made love to on that very night  (but glad we did not) - it was a better way to start.  What happened to that you who showed the way to love again, after such a badly broken heart; the love that I wanted to never stop.

I’m still wondering, feeling, thinking…about you.

Maybe I’ll find the courage…to ask…

in the morning when we’re lying here... 

…wrapped in the hot, sticky, sweat of our rapture, our  arms around each other, being together. 

May 18, 2022 01:08

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3 comments

Anna Gering
20:15 May 26, 2022

Well done. Emotional, and real.

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Sherri Moorer
01:32 May 26, 2022

A powerful and emotional story. I love how the memories weave the tale.

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Graham Kinross
12:02 May 22, 2022

Great start to your reedsy portfolio.

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