My mind slowly wakes. Consciousness takes time. I lay there, on a thick foam bed, as physical feeling returns to my body. The first thing I am aware of is birds chirping, presumably in trees outside a window I assumed was responsible for the morning light streaming through my eyelids. It was bright and golden, as though a clear sunny morning. I became aware of other sounds. Muffled voices, laughing, chattering, seem to drift through the floor. Clinking and clanking, like silverware and ceramic dishes meeting, accompany the buzzing voices. Typical morning smells waft to my olfactory organs: most poignant is strong fresh coffee; a bright citrus scent; something thicker, like cooked butter and eggs; the full scent of fresh bread. I am suddenly aware of the bed I am laying in; though perfectly firm, and the sheets perfectly soft, it slowly becomes a bit uncomfortable.
Despite my apparently happy surroundings, a dull ache persists, mostly in my head. My right arm is numb and full of pins and needles; I realize it is under my body, and I am laying on my stomach. The dull ache is in all my muscles now, and I am slightly nauseous. My mouth feels as though it is full of dried cotton. I begin to stir. I feel warmth next to me, and I open my eyes to determine its source. I start, for just a moment, to see him laying next to me. My eyes feel sticky and heavy, but he is unmistakable. Memories about last night suddenly begin to cascade…
I slowly, gently, push the blanket off myself, trying not to disturb my friend sleeping beside me. I am wearing naught but my own skin. I look around and find the door to the bathroom. I walk groggily to it, through it, and into a surprisingly regal room. A very large mirror complete with ornate frame takes up nearly an entire wall, hanging over a wide, deep, scallop sink. Washcloths and several embroidered towels, in three different sizes, are placed carefully around the room. There is a toilet against another wall, and a shower takes up the third. The walls are papered in a rich dark red patterned with gold, and a vase of plastic flowers sits merrily in one corner of the sink counter. I close the door, stopping in front of the fancy mirror. I study my face, for an uncertain amount of time. There are dark circles beneath my eyes. My skin appears a bit dry and pale. My hair is all asunder. I take my eyes off my reflection and turn to the toilet, sitting down and relieving myself. My mind is full of fog still, though I feel compelled to figure out what I am doing today. First things first: I must wash away the sweat and sheen of last night, and its accompanying smells. I walk out of the bathroom to retrieve a robe and some of my personal amenities.
I look to the bed, at the naked man laying in it. He is awake; his dark brown hair is mussed, his skin moist with sweat. He looks at me with his clear hazel eyes, filled with mischief and playfulness and joy, and he says, “Good morning, love.” My heart fills with a bubbly warmth and I return to him a shy grin. Instead of heading for my things to take a shower, I walk to the bed and climb on top of him. I plant a long passionate kiss on his smiling mouth. He pulls my naked body down against his bare chest; we both revel in the electricity for a few moments. We look into each others’ eyes, lingering in each others’ souls. His hand gently pushes a lock of my hair behind my ear, his fingers dancing on my face.
We exchange conversation briefly about what to do today. It is a beautiful day. The city is lively and thriving; we have this world as our playground. But, first things first: we shower together, then dress and make our way to the little café up the street for coffee and a light breakfast.
“What was it called?” he asks.
“The place we went last night?” I reply.
We both smile and laugh. “I suppose it doesn’t really matter,” he says.
“No, I suppose it doesn’t,” I reply. We smile and momentarily turn into our shared memories of last night.
“I love you,” we both say, simultaneously.
I walk with my best friend, hand in hand, to the enormous university library. We spend the day quietly engrossed in old tomes, occasionally exchanging knowing looks and laughs.
He turns to me this evening, looking at me lovingly. My best friend. I whisper to him that I love him. He takes my hand in his, brings it to his lips and kisses it.
“Let’s stay in with a movie tonight, my love,” he says. I am relieved; I eagerly consent.