I woke up at 3 a.m. today convinced that there was something in my house.
This happens to me periodically. A few months ago we were robbed, and a few months later some new neighbors moved into the apartment we share a back wall with. And while I've overheard some interesting-sounding muffled conversations through the vent in our bathroom, I also hear every creak on their stairs and footstep through their hallway. It is disconcerting hearing the sounds of someone else in my home when they're not in my home.
All this to say why I woke up in the middle of the night convinced that there was something in my house. I heard a creak and felt a something and saw a shadow. But, was that shadow just mine? Was that something just paranoia?
There was still a creak.
I consider waking up the husband that sleeps next to me. Instead, I go to the bathroom. I look behind the shower curtain. I look inside the linen closet. I look at myself in the mirror. Nothing.
I go back to bed. The husband that sleeps next to me stirs. "What time is it?"
"Okay. I love you."
I love him, too.
I lay in bed for an hour, listening to that husband breathe. I keep feeling a something that is preventing me from sleeping. I feel alert, anxious, and...something.
Eventually I get out of bed to investigate the something. I go downstairs. I look behind the curtains. I look between the couches. I look in the pantry. I look in the dryer. Nothing.
But it's not nothing. It's something. I am restless. I consider doing the dishes in the sink, even though that husband upstairs promised to wake up early to do them before he left for work. But I don't want him to wake up. Maybe I'll read?
I'll have a cup of tea. I don't want the sound of the microwave to wake up that husband, so I pour water into a saucepan and turn on the stove. I get the teacup that the husband I sleep next to gave to me. I stand in front of the stove, and it is warm. Feeling warm and dozy, I go through the ritual of making tea. That husband does this for me when I am feeling sick. Teabag, water, sugar, steep.
I sit on the couch that sits directly below the bed where my husband sleeps. The clear water in my cup has turned deep amber-brown, and my husband is sleeping.
This is something.
Feelings of love for him steep inside of me, swelling and turning deep amber-brown. It is something, having a husband that sleeps next to you and squeezes you in the night, that cares about the placement of pictures on the wall because you care about the placement of pictures on the wall, that says everything you cook is delicious, that buys special teacups just for you. I have a husband, and he loves me. This is the something I feel.
For now, I'm going to keep sitting on this couch one floor below the bed where my husband sleeps, and I'm going to let this something continue to steep as I enjoy the last, sugar-sweet drops of my tea.
When he wakes up, I'm going to tell him we have got to buy an alarm system.