Somniloquy II

and III? 

When I put Somniloquy up, I promised a sequel. I also said there were many ways this could go and tomorrow at 10 am, I’m going to put up an alternate ending written by @OfficiallyKJR. I won’t spoil it for you, all I can say is the two pieces are very different. That being said, I hope this more than makes up for the two week wait 🙂

****************

One look at Bree’s face and Nathan knew he was screwed. Her lamp was on the floor, shattered, and rather than freak out like he thought she would she was glaring at him. Before he could ask what had happened, Bree was grabbing pillows and a duvet. For a second he thought she was going to smother him. She instead walked towards the door with them, presumably to spend the night in their guest room. Hopping out of bed, he walked toward her, intending to get some clue as to what had happened. Before he could get to her she was out the door and all he could do was watch the door slam in his face in her wake. Trust Bree to punish me for something I must have done in my sleep he thought, and got back under the covers with a groan. For a moment he contemplated going after her, to find out what had happened but his instincts told him it was a bad idea. When Bree was upset it was better to give her time on her own to calm down before making whatever case you had. From across the room he could virtually hear the wheels of her brain turning. Going over whatever heinous crime he must have committed in his sleep over and over. He tried to remember what he had been dreaming about before Bree startled him awake but nothing came to him.

An hour later as he fell asleep, he still had not figured out what he had done to upset Bree so much. He woke up just in time to catch her having a bowl of cereal before work. Today it was he who studied her as she ate, watching those gorgeous eyes that had called out to him from across the room that night a little over three years before. Abruptly she dropped her spoon and looked up at him, her look more sad than angry. This was not a good sign.

“Who is Megan?” she suddenly asked.

For a moment Nathan was stunned into silence, wondering how Bree had known about Megan and then his dreams from the night before came flooding in.

He groaned inwardly and trying his best to control his facial expression he responded “just a girl I work with, what’s going on Bree?”

“Just a girl you work with?” Bree asked, her words dripping with anger.

Anger was good, Nathan thought, anger he could work with.

“A girl you work with that you’re dreaming about and professing your love to?” she continued.

Nathan frantically thought of a response. He knew that a lot hinged on his next statement.

“Is that what this is all about?” He asked. “You’re punishing me for something I said in my sleep? Something I have no control over?”

Bree turned around from dumping the rest of her cereal into the bin to look at him.

“Do not make me out to be crazy Nathan” she said, putting her bowl in the sink. “Obviously you must have been thinking about her to dream about her two nights in a row. I think I’m entitled to know what’s going on. Are you having an affair? Is that it? When were you going to tell me? Are you leaving me for her? Because I would really rather just know now. I would rather not find out a year from now that I’ve been wasting all this time. That my mother was right, that I should never have moved in with you. I would rather know now” she continued.

“Hey hey hey” Nathan said, cutting across the room to her. “Who said anything about anyone leaving? Are you having second thoughts about living together? Why haven’t you told me?” he asked, holding her arm.

“Stop changing the subject” Bree said, wrenching her arm away. “Who is Megan?”

“I told you, a girl I work with” Nathan replied.

“I’ve got to get to work” Bree said, storming out.

Nathan watched her go and then made himself some cereal. Miserably he finished his cereal, thoughts on the source of his misery, Megan. Being an expatriate, he hadn’t felt very welcome by any of the staff when he first started work at their telecommunications company. The company had by then just been sold to a huge multinational where he had been the number two guy. Taking this job had been his opportunity to move to the top. None of the staff except Megan had initially liked him very much, especially as he had to make the tough decision of axing staff that had been there in name only and contributed nothing of import to the company. Megan had been the only one in those first few days that spoke a word to him, the rest of the staff were cold, even if they were respectful, in their interactions with him. Soon he was eating lunch in the staff cafeteria with her, and even when the rest of the staff warmed up to him, lunch was their time together, where he could forget he was the boss and have a relaxed conversation. The more he spent time with her, the more he started to notice all that was lovely about her, although to be honest with himself he hadn’t thought he had feelings for her until the dreams started.

As he drove to work he thought of the mess he had found himself in and for the first time ever found himself dreading lunchtime with Megan. She knew him so well she would pick up that something was wrong right away but at the same time he couldn’t not have lunch with her. Save the one or two times he had been away on business trips, they had never had lunch without each other. In an office like theirs where everyone seemed to live for scandal, they would probably be the subjects of all kinds of speculation, making things worse.

Turning on his work PC, Bree’s face was the first thing that he saw. It had been ages since he even noticed her picture that he had used as his home screen, often distracted by all the emails he needed to answer before going on to the day’s business. Now with the risk of losing everything looming, he was reminded again of that night when they first met, her eyes seeming to hold him captive. The month long chase, the initial dates, and the decision to ask her to move in. Lost in this reverie, he didn’t hear Megan coming in until she playfully cleared her throat.

His heart skipped a beat when he looked up and saw her, memories of his dreams and the subsequent argument flooding his brain. She shut his door, looking excited.

“I know I should probably have waited till lunch time but I can’t make it today.” she said, sitting in the couch he kept in the corner of his office for visitors. “Remember that guy I was telling you about last week?”

‘The one who wouldn’t commit?’ Nathan was tempted to ask, remembering what Megan had told him the week before about the guy’s penchant for mind games but he kept quiet.

“He’s taking me for lunch at the really fancy restaurant just round the bend from here” Megan continued, beaming as she spoke. “Anyway, thought I should mention it because I’ll technically be missing our lunch date for the first time ever and I may be a little late back.”

Nathan forced himself to smile, in spite of the fact that his mind was all over the place, trying to think of a way he could tell her not to go without giving away his thoughts on the matter. He could pull the boss card, but he thought that would strain their friendship, and now was really not the time. From Megan’s previous accounts, this guy was really a douche, and he didn’t think he was good enough for Megan. His thoughts were interrupted when she said “earth to Nathan, what’s going on with you today?”

“Probably the fact that you’re ditching me for lunch with some guy but I’ll survive” he said. “Now go, some of us have work to do.”

When Megan finally left his office, Nathan tried to go back to work but his thoughts kept veering off on different tangents. One minute he was relieved he didn’t have to come up with an excuse for lunch, the next minute he was angry at Megan for letting this douche treat her like this. Other times he thought about Bree, not quite sure what all these feelings meant for the two of them. By lunch time he had worked himself up to a mixture of emotions he couldn’t quite place and without giving it much thought jumped into his car, intending to go crash the lunch date and check out this guy Megan was drooling over.

****************

“Have you got a reservation sir?” the woman asked him, but he was lost in watching Megan and her douche at a window table, laughing their heads off at some joke the guy had probably told her. Suddenly he flashed back to the night he met Bree. Granted, it wasn’t the same restaurant but it was her laugh that made him glance at the table where she had sat with her girls who were clearly drunk, initially irritated by how loud they were being until her eyes caught his, and he felt them pull him in. In that moment he didn’t know where things would lead, but he knew he had to get to know her and he had stopped at nothing until she agreed to that first date. Now he might have screwed it all up.

Nathan felt a tap on his shoulder and jumped, having momentarily forgotten where he was.

“I asked if you have a reservation sir?” the woman said.

“Forget it”, was all Nathan said before he rushed out to his car.

*********

“Is he in a meeting?” Bree asked Nathan’s personal assistant. “I just want to pop in for a quick minute.”

“Sorry Bree, he’s gone to lunch” Nathan’s P.A responded. “Would you like me to call him?”

“I see. No need, I just thought I’d pop by and say hi. Is Megan in?” Bree asked.

The uncomfortable look on the girl’s face before she said no told Bree all she needed to know. Keeping her cool, she thanked the girl and left, calling her office to take the rest of the day off. She needed to think, and her office was not the most conducive place for thinking.

**********

“What do you mean she’s not at work today? I know she came to work”, Nathan argued over the phone with the receptionist at Bree’s firm. He was quiet for a minute as he listened to her and then with an abrupt goodbye, hung up. He’d have to make it up to her later but right now he didn’t exactly have the luxury of time. Bree was a creature of habit and if he knew her at all, he couldn’t go back to the office like he originally planned.

***********

Bree swung in the hammock and flashed a perfunctory smile at the approaching waiter, expecting him to pass by her. She sat up when he stopped at her side, intending to set the cocktail down.

“I didn’t order that” she said.

“But that gentleman did” he replied, pointing his chin in the direction of said gentleman and setting the drink down.

Bree looked and saw Nathan on the other side of the room, fast approaching her. For once she wished she wasn’t so predictable.

“You found me” she said, stating the obvious.

“I did” Nathan replied. “Look Bree”, he begun, just as she said “I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“Just hear me out” Nathan said, joining her on the hammock. “I’m sorry. I messed up. I let myself get caught up and I didn’t even realize what was happening. Not that anything happened” he was quick to add. “But I shouldn’t have gotten that close.”

“You shouldn’t have” was all Bree said.

“I know and I’m sorry” he said. “It was just….she was the only one that would speak to me when I first started working there. Not that it excuses anything. Nothing ever happened.”

“So now what?” Bree asked.

“Now this” Nathan said, sliding out of the hammock and getting on one knee. As if on cue, Bree’s favorite song started to play in the background and for a moment she was distracted from what was happening, caught in the song. She spotted the ring in Nathan’s hand and snapped back to reality. The diamond was huge. It was like everything she had ever dreamed of. Then she remembered why they were there in the first place.

“Is this because you feel guilty about what happened? I don’t want a ring if it’s just a guilt offering. Clearly you have feelings for her, they’re not just going to disappear because you gave me a ring.” She said with a frown.

Nathan shook his head. “I have feelings for you. I’m sorry it took me so long to realize but I want to do this forever.

“And Megan?” Bree asked.

“There’s no Megan” Nathan said, “It’s you, it’s always been you. I don’t know what to say but nothing ever happened with her. I probably let myself get a little closer to her than I should have but it doesn’t change how I feel about you. I love you Bree, please marry me.”

Bree looked at him for a long moment, before saying “good thing you’re sticking around, there’s someone you need to meet. I’m pregnant” she said with a grin, raising his hand to her stomach.

***************

I Hope you enjoyed this! If you’re curious by nature like me, please come back tomorrow for the alternate ending! 🙂

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.

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.