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Stay Awake for Me
“Alex, let me go to sleep, I’m tired!” I complain. I’m over at my boyfriend Alex’s house watching “Ever After.” I know it’s a cheesy romance, but I love that kind of stuff. Happily ever after, Cinderella, yeah…
“Addison, I won’t allow it,” Alex responds.
“Why should I stay awake? It’s two in the morning and I got up at five in the morning. I have been awake for twenty-one hours. Let. Me. Sleep!” I rant.
“Why? You ask!” he says dramatically. “For me.” His voice flattens out and he stares into my eyes. I forget why I was arguing for a few seconds, overwhelmed by the gentleness in his eyes. Why does it have this effect on me? I regain my sanity and come up with an argument.
“Do you really want a sleep deprived girlfriend for your cousin’s wedding tomorrow?” I ask. I glance at the TV screen and Drew Barrymore is sobbing for some reason. “Plus, we already watched ‘Ever After’ three times since we were talking so much.”
“One more’s fine. Just stay awake for me,” he tells me. He puts his forehead on mine and a brown curl hangs over my right eye. Alex can be terribly romantic and normally I love it, but right now it’s frustrating me.
“Why?” I ask, my eyes barely open.
“I just don’t want to miss anything.”
“What will you miss? My dreams?”
“I’ll miss your voice,” Alex starts. “Your cricket smile, how you use ‘once upon a time’ to start every story you tell, and how you snort when you laugh for too long.” Awww…But.
“I do not snort!” I defend myself.
“Yes you do. Only occasionally, but it’s cute.” He imitates my snort and I burst out laughing. To my dismay, I snort so there goes the validity of my denial.
“But you’ll see me in the morning,” I assure him.
“Stay awake for me Addison. That’s all I ask,” Alex pleads.
“Okay,” I relent. “But you better make me coffee and bring me a few coffee beans for me to suck on.” Alex laughs, a sound that probably will resemble the wedding bells at his cousin’s wedding tomorrow.
“Of course my princess!” Alex gets up to go to the kitchen. “You know what? I think I’ll even miss the way you constantly argue with me.”
“I do not constantly argue!” I disagree with him. I don’t think that helped my case though.
“Sure you don’t!” He calls from the kitchen.
“Whatever,” I mouth. I start to think about maybe taking a nap while Alex is making coffee, but then I hear his voice from the kitchen.
“Sing ‘Yellow Submarine’ with me Addison!” God! Can he read my mind or something?
“I am not singing that dorky song!”
“Fine, we’ll do Taylor Swift,” Alex gives in. “We were both young when I first saw you.” I laugh at his terrible singing, but I start to sing along.
“I close my eyes and the flashback starts.”
“I’m standing there.”
“On a balcony in summer air,” I sing. When we finish the song he comes with my coffee and my coffee beans. I stare into the milky brown stuff and look back to Alex.
“Thank you,” I tell him before taking a sip of the creamy coffee. I think black coffee is better, but life needs cream and sugar. I take a big gulp of the stuff and it burns my throat going down, but I don’t care.
“I would have missed this if you had gone to sleep,” he says.
“What? The way I drink coffee like a farmer?” I ask. He laughs.
“I don’t think farmers take cream and sugar, but they may gulp it down like you do.” I giggle at that.
“Seriously, we need to stop laughing and singing! I think your parents are annoyed with us!”
“Eh, they don’t sleep,” Alex says.
“What? Do they have insomnia or something?”
“No. They don’t sleep, they hibernate.”
“Well okay, but still,” I worry.
“I’m serious. Do you need a better metaphor? Fine! How’s coma? They sleep like they’re in a coma,” Alex tells me. “Only their heavy duty alarm clock can wake them. Either that or defibrillators.” I feel much more energetic now that I’ve had coffee and chewed on three coffee beans.
“Okay. We won’t wake your parents. So, are you happy I’m awake now?” I ask.
“Ecstatic,” he answers. “Addison, say my name.” I look at him quizzically.
“Alex,” I say for him, not even a little of my usual sarcasm in it.
“Thanks. I just needed to hear you. I look into his gray eyes that always seem to glow even though he harbors a secret storm. He has this internal war going on inside him, but I doubt I’ll ever know what it’s all about. I’m still looking into his eyes when he’s kissing me. It’s everything that he is, passionate, gentle, and bittersweet. A perfect first kiss. We pull away, and I can’t even breathe the kiss was so breathtaking.
“Alex,” I whisper.
“I—I think I love you,” I say, looking into his eyes again. He smiles.
“Then will you stay awake for me?”
And I did.