The sofa wasn’t really big enough for me, but if I curled myself up like a hedgehog and wrapped my duvet around me, it was actually quite cosy, or so I told myself. Why was I on the sofa? Well, my weekend guests were happily snoring in my bed, while I was tossing and turning, trying to make my body fit on the two-seater in the living room.
Sleeping in a different room than usual makes you aware of all the creaks and groans a house makes, and the strange shadows on the walls. I tried to put these out of my mind and sleep, but as usual that was easier said than done.
To be honest, the flat isn’t really big enough for three people; day one had been okay, day two a little tense but tonight we’d been walking a tightrope around each other for most of the evening, teetering, swaying, but never quite losing our balance. Isn’t it always the same? It’s great to have visitors, even better when they leave.
I closed my eyes and thought of Becky, now there was a visitor I’d never wanted to leave. I hugged her in absentia, hoping she’d feel the warmth of my embrace wherever she might be. I hoped she was at least thinking of me as she was lying in his bed. I was drifting now, sleep was coming.
When I woke up, I had no idea if I’d been out for 3 minutes or three hours. For a moment I was confused, where was I? Then I stretched my legs out and remembered the sofa, I turned to lie on my back my feet dangling over the arm. I was aware of my own breathing, Had I been having a nightmare? But in fact, the breathing seemed disembodied, like it was not mine. I opened my eyes, in front of me was Davey, the male houseguest, breathing heavily. That’s what must have woken me up; he must have been on the way to the toilet. But no, he was stationary; just standing at the foot of the sofa, staring at me.
“Davey, are you okay,” I whispered, but he didn’t reply; his breathing was heavy, animalistic panting.
“Davey,” I said again, again nothing. His breath louder still, I sat up and shuffled back on the sofa away from my intruder. Should you wake a sleepwalker? He seemed to be deep in a trance and he was obviously fascinated by me.
“Davey,” I said a third time. There was silence. His breathing had stopped and I was holding my breath. We stared at each other through the darkness. Well, I stared at him, god knows what he was looking at, in fact, I couldn’t even see if his eyes were open or closed. We remained in that gunfighters’ stand-off as seconds ticked off the clock, Who would be first to blink, the quickest on the draw? Did I have an advantage because I was awake? Or would his trance give him superpowers?
He seemed to be getting taller, looming over me, tilting towards me, like a human form of the tower in Pisa. Meanwhile, I was getting smaller, curling myself up at the end of the sofa furthest from my guest. Then he spoke.
“I love you,” he said before he turned and went back into the bedroom, leaving me thinking breakfast would be awkward in the morning.