Morning comes around as it so often does, and while she sleeps, I get up and go downstairs to put the kettle on. My hangover is cruel. It teases and mocks whereas she’s in a world of her own and I hate her for it, and yet love prevails because that’s how she is. Outside, the cold air gets into my bones and sucks the warmth right out of me as I inturn suck on my cigarette wishing such an addiction didn’t feel so good. When the water’s boiled, I make two cups of tea even though she’ll more than likely not drink hers because she’ll drag out her dreams until midday leaving me to fend for myself while she exists someplace infinitely better than here. Sometimes, while she’s tossing and turning, I sit down on the floor next to her and stroke her hair. Sometimes, when she’s twitching her nose and toes, I take a photo of her on my phone to look at when she’s far from my arms. Going upstairs, I place the cups of tea on the bedside table and then stand there watching over her. How heavenly she seems, and how restful it is to not have to hear her complain and whine as she so often does. Taking her hand and holding it in mine, she opens her right eye and looks at me. The other is buried deep in pillow and closed tight. I ask her how she is, but she just lies there motionless. For a second, she narrows that right eye at me accusingly for having disturbed her rest, but then she smiles and squeezes my fingers, and everything is peaceful once more. Speaking to her softly, she tries going back to sleep, but when I say I love you, she grins like only she does before raising her head and offering me her mouth. The kiss. Our kiss. It means more to me than she’ll ever know.