The glow of the alarm clock washes over her face as I sit on the edge of the bed smoking my cigarette. A little rest was all I sought, but for now, it evades my grasp. Holding her ankle within my greasy hand, she mumbles something in her sleep, but I’m too busy going over memories from my childhood to pick up what she said. I’m not sure what it is I’m looking for, but among all the family holidays and playground fights, what I seek isn’t there. Turning to face her as the image of my younger self crawling through bushes during a thunderstorm flash in the back of my mind, I wonder where she finds herself. When she closes her eyes and drifts away, to whose arms does she seek comfort in? Are they mine or another’s? Stroking her hair, I say the question out loud without meaning to, but she doesn’t stir. Her silent confession doesn’t bother me, though. I’ve heard far worse. Going to the bathroom and sniffing the towel she uses to dry herself with, I masturbate while visualising her in the nude on a plain of snow someplace in Canada. She’d be cold if it were for real, and yet as I bring myself to the brink, all is she does is flower up while raising her arms to the winter sun that gazes down on us from above.