I woke around 2am, an early ‘witching hour’ for me, and played the aptly named and much tapped Solitaire on my iPhone. Sometime after an hour I think, sleep crept over me again.
I turned onto my side facing into the bed to Trace asleep beside me and I felt an arm wrap around my shoulder and neck. The warmth of someone climbing into bed next to me, helping me, willing me to sleep.
I reached up and held Beth’s hand, soft and white, laid gently between my neck and chin. I recognised her hand and her sleepy self.
I wasn’t asleep yet was I? I was in the big bed under the soft white duvet of a friend’s chalet in the Alps. I was awake and Beth had climbed into our bed to help me sleep or perhaps to help herself to sleep.
I rolled over. We looked at each other. Nothing had changed. We didn’t speak, we didn’t need to. I brushed away a few stray hairs from her face as we looked at each other. She still had her make-up on.
Then I thought I had to ask her ‘How are you? You ok?’.
She looked at me but didn’t say anything.
‘I miss you. Lots of people miss you.’
She looked at me then turned her eyes away from me as if she was looking out for someone behind her who’ll called out to her.
The precious seconds when I think this wasn’t a dream. The precious seconds I try to make the feeling linger.
The warm of her next to me in bed, as we’d done when she was a child and from time to time as an adult, when she’d climb into our drowsy bed. Trying to turn seconds into minutes, replaying the dream in my mind over and over. The exact words, the touch of her hand.