We are in the bed and breakfast. The sky is black and the temperature has dropped enough to warrant a second comforter. The grandfather clock in the corner keeps pace to our silence. I watch the ladybugs, the unexpected guests, as they climb on the bed stand and the lamp. You tell me that ladybugs are only born with a specific numbers of spots.
We get into our perfunctory pre-sleep cuddle. You curl into me, and I hold you with my arm over your chest like a seat belt, protecting you from danger. Your feet intertwine with mine, trying to warm them up from hours of walking around barefoot. My fingers comb through your hair, passing beneath the strands in a backwards motion, and pulling ever so slightly. And though I can feel your heart beating, and you can hear how fast mine has started, the contact that once brought me joy brings me anxiety, restlessness. I can feel your stillness, your decision to stay, though it seems as if it is only temporary. My mind is flooded with thoughts, the incongruity. I peel you off of me and head into the study.