I woke up in the early morning hours. It was dark and would be for quite a while, given the time of the year. The room was illuminated only by the street lights deep down under the window. I could see the Witcher sleeping on the other side of the bed. We must have fallen asleep while watching cartoons. Elsa had writhed out of my embrace and rolled down to my shins. I checked if she was fast asleep and then got out of bed to fill her bottle with fresh water. Realizing I was still wearing the dress from the day before, I changed into a comfortable long T-shirt.
Just when I had lain down again the Witcher awoke with a start. Laying my hand on his chest I pressed him back into the pillows.
“Down here. She’s fine, go back to sleep.”
But he did not and neither did I. We had a whispered conversation about a new book series he had recently discovered, then decided it would be best if we got out of the bedroom so my little girl could sleep soundly. As a parent you start to appreciate the tranquil beauty of a sleeping child.
A bed was prepared in the living room, as I had intended to spend the night there, with Elsa. Apparently we had fallen asleep first, because the Witcher had had time to change into pajamas. We lay down again on the couch-bed, without the need for a blanket in the Witcher’s always overly well heated rooms, and went on talking. Yet, despite all the words, there was something unspoken hanging over us, a feeling that beneath the talk we were both waiting. Sometimes my hand touched his, or he stroked my arm, but ever gesture was masked by conversation. Then, after what felt like an eternity we both ran out of words, leaving us defenceless. There was an instance of silence. A nervous intake of breath. A sigh signalling surrender. In the next moment we were drawn towards each other, with a momentum fuelled by everything we had up to now denied to ourselves and one another. “Are you sure?”
“Am I what?”
I let his shirt fall to the floor, then tried to figure out what was happening. My mind had already given up control over myself and now I had to get it back up to understand why he had stopped and spoken and somehow it was my turn to answer.
“Are you sure?”
It began to dawn on me that he was actually asking me for consent. Days later I would think back and smile at this gentlemanly question, so absolutely out of place because every act, every movement of mine was screaming that I wanted this. Right then and there I only spared it the minimum mental effort it took to say Yes, before I pulled him on top of me.