I woke up to the gentle caresses of calloused fingers trailing along my cheek bones. It wasn’t an unusual way to wake up, but it had been getting less and less frequent, and I was hoping that it would come to a stop soon.
“What was it this time?” The deep but gentle voice attached to the calloused hand asked.
“The usual,” I answered, rolling over in bed to face him. He reached out and cupped his hand around the back of my neck, a gesture for no really explicable reason I found comforting. “I thought I was getting better,” I confessed in just barely a whisper.
“Oh, Annie, you are getting better. You’ve got to think of these things in perspective.”
“Yeah, perspective.” He smiled at me, giving me a small squeeze. “You woke up crying today, but this is the first time in what? Three weeks? A month?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“You guess? Oh, Annie.” He moved his hand down to my shoulder and gave me the smallest of nudges so I would look up into his eyes. “You are doing better, so much better. You will beat this, and I’ll help you any way I can. Try to stay positive. Try to not to get to discouraged.”
“Nope, Annie. I don’t want to hear your excuses. I know your excuses and I know you are tired of saying them. Can you promise me you’ll try?”
I didn’t know if I could try. But for him, I’d try to try. “I’ll try.” He kissed me on the forehead, and I shut my eyes, hoping this time I’d sleep without dreams.