It’s just before midnight, and she’s drinking straight from the bottle. It’s not very ladylike, but I’ve been doing it for years, and so who am I to judge? When she’s angry, she gets this red mist, and nothing I say can lighten her mood, so I just sit there looking at her like a guilty dog gazing longingly at its owner. When she turns my way, I pretend to be checking my phone, but it’s always her, and the minute she goes back to the bottle, I’m eyeing her up the same as I always do. It’s because I love her, you see, even though I have a funny way of showing it, it must be said. We smoke for a bit, and when she calms down, there’s talking and some music. She picks a few tracks that remind her of summer, while I tell her about the dreams I’ve been having, and how it feels as if I’m slipping away. There’s this one dream in particular where I’m walking on a beach that’s being engulfed by a storm. My feet keep sinking into the wet sand, and no matter how much I try escaping, I’m stuck in the same place. This has been with me for some months now, and it just won’t shift. Touching her hand, I tell her how each time I wake from it, it feels as if there’s sand in my mouth. In turn, she goes on to describe her own dreams, and how they always concern her childhood, or should I say, her lack of one. There are tears in her eyes when she tells me this, and she begins to drink more. Rolling two cigarettes, I light them both and place one in her mouth while moving by her side. Pulling her close, she begins to sob, and so I turn out the light, and what follows is between us and us alone.