she awoke suddenly at 3:17 a.m.
sitting up with a start, the flashing light floods her eyes.
squinting, she lays down until the ringing in her ears subsides.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes
she remembers him. she gets up and checks on him.
he looks so peaceful, so calm, she thinks; smiling to herself.
she draws nearer; notices the blue-green veins scattered on his pale wrists and traces them up to his neck. closer, she notices the prominence of the crisscrossing on his eyelids. so bright, she thinks, like the work of an established painter. his eyelashes are dark; contrasting with his pale features. they flutter as she grows closer still and her breath passes over him.
she stops. pauses. something isn’t right. her hand glides back to his veins, growing bluer by the minute. her hand touches his skin again; hastily, urgently. his soft skin is cold to the touch and she gasps as her fingertips grasp, circle, trying to find that soft flutter she knows must be there.
slowly she leans over his face, pressing her ear in between his nose and mouth, aching to feel something, anything at all. she turns around; tries her other ear, her hand, why can’t she feel it? she stands upright, in shock; looking at his face once more. he did look peaceful, she thinks. too peaceful, in fact.
a high pitched scream fills the flat.