I’m writing this on Bank holiday Monday, Dan and I have been having a lovely, slow day together and my eyes are feeling heavy. I’m in prime nap mode (post gin and burger, warm air blowing through the window and a comfy sofa beneath me) but instead of napping, I feel like writing.
Dan’s got some beautiful music playing, I found a picture that’s inspired me and I’m ready to release some words onto the white space in front of me.
Dan and I just ordered some new bedding, very similar to this actually, so when looking through my saved images – this one jumped out at me. I love the idea that our beds hold so much space and comfort for us.
So – as usual, no planning, just some words and an image….
As she pulled the duvet over her head, she thought about beds and how they’re the one piece of furniture that see the entire spectrum of human behaviour. Soft and laden with comfort, they hold us when we’re sad.
They provide warmth and support, with no judgement. They don’t care how long you lay in them for, they’re always there for you, to soak up your tears and night sweats.
They provide space for us to love too. She thought back to the early days of her relationship with Rich. They would spend days in bed together, limbs intertwined, his breath warm against her skin.
They explored each other in this bed, laughed, watched movies, drank coffee and read books.
He sleeps in a different bed now, in a different house, with a different woman. No matter how often she washes the sheets though, she can’t get rid of his scent. The space where his body slept is barren. Her cat Duster will sometimes jump up in an effort to replace his shape. This helps, she thinks.
She’s been in bed for two days now. Her limbs feel heavy, as if tiny weights have been sewn into her pajamas. Her eyes struggle to stay open and yet when she tries to sleep, her mind won’t let her.
Conversations from the last month run through her head, over and over again. She replays scenes from their relationship and wonders how she missed it.
None of this helps. Going over those last conversations won’t change what’s happened, and still, she does it. She looks at her phone with trepidation, she knows her friends and family have contacted her and want to pull her out of bed… but she isn’t ready. Not yet.
The outside world is bright and full of faces. She doesn’t know what to say to the faces or how to navigate the brightness. In here the world is dulled. There are no faces.
There is soft cotton, pillows and grey and white cats.
There is Netflix and take-away. There’s a bottle of gin somewhere in the kitchen. There’s comfort and solace. Peace and quiet. There’s space.
Space for her to grieve the loss of her relationship. Space for her to process what’s happened and space for her to piece herself back together again.
Her bed is healing her. She knows she’ll have to leave it eventually, when her body and mind feel stronger. She knows she’ll make it to the shower and to her wardrobe. She’ll pull on jeans again and remind herself how she likes to do her make-up. She’ll style her hair and walk out the front door.
She’ll breathe in the outside air and feel renewed. She’ll walk confidently into the bright daylight. She’ll chat to the faces, she’ll smile away the sympathy.
She’ll pick herself up, move on with her life and buy herself a new bed.
A new bed to fit in a new flat that’s just the right size for her and Duster. She’ll make new memories in that bed. She’ll cry, she’ll laugh, she’ll explore someone new when she’s ready.
But all of this can wait. For now, the duvet will stay over her head, her pajamas will weigh heavily on her fragile skin and she’ll sob until the pillow is heavy with tears.
I do have a tendency to end up writing about love in these short stories don’t I? I guess it’s a subject almost all of us can relate to, and I’m sure many of us can relate to someone struggling to get out of bed after a break up.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little fictional scene and go to bed tonight with an extra bit of gratitude for the mattress holding you as you sleep.
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