He woke up reaching for her.
After a particularly good dream, he would always pull her into his arms and slowly wake her up by making gentle, but passionate love to her. He’d tangle his fingers in her hair, claim her mouth with his own, and slip inside her, never able to be close enough to her, never able to get enough.
But this morning, his arms were empty. The sheets remained cold in the place where she used to sleep. She hadn’t even been to his place in over a year. He might’ve reached for her pillow, but it had long ago lost the scent of her shampoo that had lingered there after she left.
Instead, he lay there, staring at the ceiling and listening to the sounds of the distant thunder.
“Perfect,” he muttered aloud to the empty apartment, “Perfect way to start the day.”
He closed his eyes and let himself remember the last time he’d woken up with her hungry mouth on his, her hands exploring every inch of his muscular body. Waking up to the rain always made her want him.
God, he missed her.
He grudgingly climbed out of bed and made his way to the bathroom to get in the shower. He moved to turn on the radio, but stopped himself with his hand on the button. He’d gotten into the habit of showering with music on because of her. She’d laughingly told him that she needed the noise to distract herself from her thoughts.
“I have all my best ideas in the shower. But it’s almost like I can’t stop thinking and I lose all my good ideas among the jumble of thoughts, so I listen to the radio to distract myself,” at his blank look, she smiled, “It doesn’t make much sense to me, either.”
He turned the water on as hot as it would go -something she never did- and got into the shower. He let the water beat down on him, the steam rising all around as he methodically washed his hair and body.
When he got out, he wrapped a towel around his waist and wiped a hand through the steam-fogged mirror so he could shave. There was another clap of thunder –closer this time- and it brought back another wave of memories.
She used to sit on the counter next to him and watch him shave, always teasing him for “missing a spot”. He’d laugh as he rinsed off the razor and ask what the fans would think if he showed up without the small strip of hair on his chin.
She’d giggle as she reacted with a mock gasp, “Oh, the horror! Little old ladies everywhere will be hospitalized after having massive coronaries because you don’t have that little bit of hair on your chin!”
Then he’d playfully glare at her, pick her up off the sink, carry her into his room, and unceremoniously dump her onto the bed. Most of the time, she’d pull him on top of her and they’d spend the rest of the morning wrapped up in each other.
Doesn’t do you a damn bit of good to sit here and dwell on the past. She’s gone. She’s moved on. She’s happy.
He finished shaving, put mousse in his hair –which he’d only grown back because she told him she liked it better that way- and threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, unconsciously picking out her favorite.
He drove into town to run some errands since it was his day off. As he pulled into a spot at Target, the drizzling rain suddenly became a torrential downpour.
“More to add to the perfection of my day.”
He slowly made his way into the store, watching as other shoppers ran inside and still managing to get soaked through. Glancing up at the sky, he saw how dark the clouds were and realized it would probably rain all day.
“She would’ve loved this,” he said to himself, “We would’ve spent most of the morning in bed, then drank coffee while we sat on the balcony and talked. Then, when she got hyper, she’d go do cartwheels in the parking lot and convince me to dance with her… everyone must’ve thought we were insane. Like now, when I’m standing in the pouring rain and talking to myself. Get a fucking grip, man!”
He almost turned around and went back to his car, but there were a lot of things he needed to get. Ok, not so much needed as, they’d be nice to have around and it’d get his mind off her for a while.
He wandered up and down each aisle, grabbing a few things here and there. He loaded up on DVDs, got some new sheets, another bookshelf for his office, 3 books he’d probably never read, a lamp for his room… he found himself in kitchenwares contemplating on whether or not he should get a Crock Pot and a cookbook to learn how to make things in it.
“You should go with the bigger one,” an all-too-familiar voice said from behind him, “With the way you eat, you’ll need it.”
Hallucination, right? He turned around and came face-to-face with her. Forcing a smile, he answered, “Hey, stranger.”
She grinned as he stood there, obviously at a loss in this section, “Need help?”
“I think I’ll take your advice on the size, but I’m…”
“Lost on what to make in it?” she laughed when he nodded, “There’ll be a mini-cookbook in the instruction booklet. But if you go to the book section, there should be dozens there.”
“Not a problem,” she turned like she was going to leave and he found himself wanting to stall her. After all, he’d been thinking about her since he’d woken up that morning.
“What brings you here?”
Are you serious? What brings you here? Corny pickup line, aisle 5.
“Bianca’s baby shower. I’m getting a gift and decorations.”
“Oh, is it soon?”
“Tomorrow. I procrastinated again.”
He smiled, “You were always great at that, and yet you still managed to pull everything off.”
She shrugged, “If you’re gonna do something, you might as well be great at it.”
He nodded, wishing that he could prolong his time with her, even if it was wrong of him. He missed her so much.
They heard a crash in the distance, followed by a “Shit!” She laughed, “Sounds like Jeff found the toy aisle. I guess I’d better go before security kicks him out of the store. It was nice to see you again, Dave. Take care of yourself, ok?”
“Yeah, you too, Erin. Tell everyone I say hi.”
“I will,” she waved as she hurried off to find Jeff. He watched her retreating form, watching the space between them grow. His heart sunk lower with every step she took. Glancing down at the cart, then back to where she’d disappeared from view, he shook his head sadly and turned to leave.
God, he missed her.