She looks at herself in the full length mirror that hangs from her bedroom wall. Completely naked and exposed, yet confident. She’s older than she was five years ago, but feels much younger. And she thinks momentarily about the different men who held her in front of this mirror.
They thought they possessed her. They thought she was theirs. Because she was in their arms, so delicate and sweet. But really she possessed them. Because she possesses the space in front of the mirror. And the moments that occur there too.
She gazes down at the man lying naked in her bed. But he’s not just another man. For the first time in years, this one sleeps differently. With a subtle smile, a dash of poise, and a history free of envy. And she smiles and giggles to herself.
Just then, he stirs, slowly lifts his head, squints his eyes, and looks at her standing across the room, naked in front of the mirror. His movement startles her and she jumps. Not because he sees her naked, but because she isn’t ready for him to be awake. Not yet.
This is her time, the early morning, when the world is quiet and she can hear the sound of her own breathing. It’s a sacred time when answers and insights aren’t as hard to come by. A time when her mind is at peace and her heart beats slower. And it begins beating slower again. Because he closes his eyes and falls back asleep.
She slips on her robe, tiptoes into the kitchen, pours coffee grounds and water into the coffee maker, places two slices of bread in the toaster, and opens the window curtains. The warm, early morning sun floods into her apartment. A few minutes later, the toaster pops. She spreads strawberry jam on the toast, pours a cup of coffee, opens the front door, and sits down on the doorstep.
And she thinks about how happy she is. Happy to simply be. To be free. To not be tied down by another person or have another person tied down by her. She stares up at the morning sky for a prolonged moment and smiles.
“I’m in love,” she says aloud.
The Guy in the Bed
He hasn’t fallen back asleep. When he lifts his head, squints his eyes, and sees her standing naked in front of the mirror, he senses that she isn’t yet ready for him to join her. So he closes his eyes and pretends to sleep.
He listens as she giggles, slips on her robe, tiptoes into the kitchen, and rattles the toaster, the coffee maker, and the curtains. He loves these little noises… Noises he calls music.
Like the music of last night, when they talked and laughed for hours over a bottle of wine. Until unexpectedly, she kissed him. And then he kissed her back. Because of her philosophy and her beauty.
She took off his shirt. He took off hers. And it went on like that for what seemed like hours until they were together in bed, naked. He thought he could love her. He wondered if he did love her already. And he wondered if she felt the same way.
When the kitchen noises stop, he gets up, slips on his boxers, and tiptoes into the living room where he sees her sitting peacefully on the doorstep. She’s completely bathed in the sun’s light. As she eats toast and drinks coffee, she seems to be laughing… a sweet, silent laughter.
He wants to bother her. To tell her that he’s hungry too, and that he wouldn’t mind sharing a slice of her toast. But he doesn’t. Because she seems so happy and free… the way it should be. So instead he stands in the doorway and admires her from a distance. And he thinks about the fact that she isn’t his… that she will never be his. And that it’s okay.