Somniloquy

I wrote this https://ajreads.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/somniloquy/ a couple of years ago, and then recently a new and improved version got published in the @KeeleCreativeWriting Society’s anthology of fiction. So I thought I’d share, especially since there’s now a sequel which I’ll put up pretty soon (don’t worry, I won’t flake out, it’s already written lol). There’s many ways this could have gone, and if you’ve got any ideas I’d love to hear them. For the moment, here’s the first part, I hope you enjoy it! :*

“Have I told you how much I love you?” Nathan asked, inching closer. Bree looked up from the book she was reading, one of the many books she kept on her bedside table for sleepless nights. She was surprised to find him still sleeping.

“It’s hard to find the words,” he said and snuggled in.

I should have known Bree thought, taking off her reading glasses and turning off her lamp. Nathan was never this expressive, especially these past few months. She didn’t mind hearing it this way though. When she was falling asleep a few minutes later, she still had a smile on her face and Nathan’s arm around her midsection.

She found him in the kitchen the next morning, already dressed for work. She stood for a moment and studied him as he wolfed down his cereal, taking in his broad shoulders and high cheekbones. He was wearing the blue shirt she bought him for their three-year anniversary. She loved how the shirt fit, the shade of blue complementing his dark skin. They had first met at Suzanne’s birthday dinner and with his rugged good looks and boundless charisma all her friends had thought he was too good to be true. Even she thought so when he wouldn’t stop calling her, until a month later when he finally convinced her to go on a date with him.

“Morning!” she said, still feeling quite chipper from the night before.

“Morning,” he replied. He looked up, and caught her looking at him. As if that was his cue, he dumped his bowl in the sink and grabbed his bag. He gave her a perfunctory peck on the cheek before heading out. Just like that, Bree felt the high spirits she had woken up with deflate. Rather than the leisurely breakfast she had envisioned, she rushed through her bowl of cereal and dressed up for work.

As senior analyst at her firm she could arrive later than everyone else. She liked to wait till the morning rush had died down before heading in. She arrived in time to catch the end of the junior analysts’ morning meeting before entering her cubicle. An hour later and she was still staring at the same page of today’s financial report, too distracted by thoughts of Nathan’s nighttime declarations and his attitude this morning to focus.

“Penny for your thoughts,” she heard behind her, making her jump in her seat. Nelly, one of the junior analysts, smiled at her from the cubicle adjacent to her own. Knowing Nelly would gossip if she told her, she laughed and told a joke instead. For the rest of the day she ploughed through the report, trying her best not to think of Nathan.

Before the clock struck five Bree was up and packing, in a hurry to get home before Nathan. She wanted a luxurious bubble bath and a glass of wine. As she drove home, she reminisced about the early part of their relationship. Nathan would meet her after work and they’d have a few drinks and a meal or, even watch a movie before saying goodnight. She missed those times, when Nathan couldn’t seem to get enough of her. It was his idea to move in together, a year after they became a couple. She wondered if this had been a mistake.

Lapsed catholic though she was, she had had reservations about moving in with a guy before she was married. Moving in with Nathan had caused arguments with her mother, who still had conventional views and disapproved of Bree’s decision. “I need this to work” she thought. She parked her Toyota Yaris in their two car garage, happy to see Nathan’s Nissan Rogue absent. She couldn’t bear the thought of what her mom and her cronies would say if this ended. Especially now that she had just turned thirty. Already there were subtle digs about when she and Nathan would tie the knot. Her mom never missed a chance to make her disapproval clear.

Two hours and a long soak in the bath later, she came downstairs to find Nathan stretched out on the couch watching football. He was no longer in his work clothes; he had clearly been home a while.

“Didn’t hear you come in,” she said to him.

“I didn’t want to disturb you,” he said, studiously avoiding eye contact.

“When is that ever disturbing?” Bree asked him.

“Calm down Bree,” Nathan said.

Without another word she turned and went upstairs.

Halfway up the stairs she turned around again and headed back to the hall.

“I’m tired of this Nathan,” she said. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”

“Take what exactly,” Nathan said and looked at her.

“This coldness between us,” she said. “lately things just seem so off”

“They do?” he asked, pulling her into his arms. “Nothing’s off, I still feel the same; or have things changed for you?” he asked, nibbling on her ear.

Bree let out a sigh. It was just her imagination after all.

“You know they haven’t,” she replied, snuggling in closer. She tried to remember the last time they had done something like this.

A few hours later; with Nathan by her side, she was just about to turn off her night-light when she heard Nathan mumble something. Eager to hear what he would say this time, she inched closer her book and night-light all but forgotten.

“I’ve never felt this way about anyone before,” he said. Bree smiled. Take that mom! She thought. Perhaps she would always wait for Nathan to fall asleep first. Then she could hear all the lovely things he would never say to her when he was awake.

“I love you Megan,” he said.

Feeling as if she had just taken a bullet to the heart, Bree shot out of bed, knocking down her lamp and waking Nathan. For a moment she looked at him without speaking, her mom had won after all.

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Somniloquy

Hey! So I know it’s been ages since I put anything up but I hope you’ll find this worth the wait. It was inspired by Pink’s just give me a reason. Enjoy.

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“Have I told you how much I love you?” Nathan said, inching in closer. Bree looked up from the book she was reading, a little surprised ‘cos she thought he was sleeping and then more surprised cos he was still sleeping.

“I try to find the words to describe it but then I find myself at a loss for words. I love you babe” he continued and snuggled in further.
I should have known he was still sleeping Bree thought, putting her book aside and turning off her lamp. Nathan was never this expressive with her, especially in the last few months when their relationship had fallen into a boring lull. She didn’t mind hearing it this way though, made it all the more real.
When she was falling asleep a few minutes later, she still had a smile on her face, and now Nathan’s arm round her mid-section.

She found him in the kitchen the next morning, already dressed for work. She stood at the door for a moment, unnoticed and studied him as he wolfed down his cereal before going in.
“Morning love” she said, still feeling quite chipper from his declaration the previous night.
“Morning” he replied shortly, no hint of the love from the previous night.
Taken a bit aback she turned to look at him, pausing for a moment from grabbing the milk from the fridge. He looked up just in time to catch her looking at him and as if that was a cue he grabbed his bowl and bag, dumped the bowl in the sink and and gave her a perfunctory peck on the cheek before heading out.
Just like that Bree felt the high spirits she had woken up with deflate and rather than the leisurely breakfast she had envisioned she quickly finished a bowl of of cereal and then dressed up for work.

At work she found herself restless, thinking about the sharp contrast between Nathan’s love declarations the night before and his attitude that morning.
“Penny for your thoughts” she heard behind her, making her jump in her seat. She looked behind her to see Nelly looking at her from her cubicle which was adjacent to her own.
“You seem to be a million miles away” Nelly said.Knowing how fast her life’s story would spread if she let out a word of it to Nelly, she laughed and told a mundane joke, more to get her mind off her woes than for Nelly’s sake even. For the rest of the day she ploughed through her work, trying her best not to think of Nathan and his recent coldness.

Before the clock struck five Bree was up and packing, in a hurry to get home before Nathan and luxuriate in a bubble bath with a glass of wine. As she packed, she reminisced about the early part of their relationship when Nathan would meet her up after work and they’d have a few drinks and then a meal before or even watch a movie before they each went home. Sometimes she wondered if she hadn’t made a big mistake agreeing to move in with him.

Two hours and a long soak in the bath later, she got downstairs to find Nathan was already stretched on the couch, no longer in his workclothes meaning he’d been home for a while.
“Didn’t hear you come in” she said to him, surprised he hadn’t even come upstairs to say hi.
“Didn’t want to disturb you” he replied, looking a little sheepish.
“When is that ever disturbing?!” Bree asked him, her voice rising a little higher than she would have liked.
It didn’t help either that Nathan’s next reply was to tell her to calm down.
Without another word, she turned and went upstairs, trying to break away from her tag of being the confrontational one. Halfway up the stairs she found herself doing a 360, almost against her will and headed back to the hall.
“I’m tired of this Nathan” she said. “I don’t know.how much longer I can take this”
“Take what exactly?” was Nathan’s reply.
“This…this..coldness between us” she sputtered. “I know we’ve never been an expressive couple but lately things seem so off” she continued.
“They do? it’s all in your mind babe” he said, pulling her into his arms.
“Nothing’s off, I still feel the same; or have they changed for you?” he asked, nibbling on her ear.
Bree just let out a sigh
“You know they haven’t” she replied, snuggling in closer. She tried to remember the last time they had done something like this and she couldn’t even remember.

Two hours later. with Nathan asleep by her side, she was just about to put her book away and turn off her night light when she heard Nathan mumble something. Eager to hear what he would say this time, she inched in closer, her book and night light all but forgotten.

“I’ve never felt this way about anyone before” he said, making Bree smile. She was just thinking about how she would always wait for Nathan to sleep first so she could hear him say all the things he wouldn’t say when he was wide awake when she heard him say

“I love you..Maame Esi”.

Feeling as if she had just taken a bullet to the heart, Bree shot out of the bed and landed him a hot slap.