In The Midnight Of His Heart
By AL BRUNO III
March 25, 1993
John slept fitfully and woke before the dawn. His dreams had been filled with the half-remembered songs of his people and the odor of the butcher shop. He didn't want to sleep but he didn't want to get up, so he just lay there staring at the ceiling. There was a spider in the corner, dutifully toiling over its her web, he wondered if spiders knew anything of longing. Probably not, animals had no need for guilt or religion or conspiracies.
It was just as well that she'd said no. He knew that in his heart.
Oh, to have her so near. John could almost imagine the sound of her footfalls, the way her laughter would echo off the walls. Exchanging good mornings and good nights, having conversations far deeper than idle waitress-customer chatter. They would work on projects together, restoring the places in the house that had fallen into disrepair. Birthdays, holidays, exchanging gifts- he would shower her with gifts. Passing in the hall, exchanging a smile. Walking past her room. Hearing her getting ready for bed. An open doorway. A glimpse of flesh. Her gaze meeting his. A whispered invitation. Her arms enfolding him, taking him in.
With a hoarse cry John roused himself from a state somewhere between waking and dreams. His heart was hammering, a vertigo-like feeling held him in its sway. Every time he closed his eyes and tried to clear his head, he saw her.