How long had I slept?
Unable to sleep the night before due to nerves, worrying over how the events at the cemetary would unfold, exhaustion had carried me away on sleep here. I had let down my guard.
I was hungry.
Placing a hand on his warm chest, I felt the rhythmic rise and fall. His breathing was regular, even though I could feel the deep rattle of wet lungs.
As I sat up, my hand landed in a puddle of wet soaked up by the bed sheets. A frantic search by my fingers found that he had urinated on himself and on me.
Leaping up, cursing under my breath, I felt my skirt to discern the extent of it, then felt the bed and his pants. It was cold now and had soaked through the layers of skirt to my stockinged leg.
I started to undress.
Tears stung my eyes again. Urine? On me? It was fine from an infant but from a grown man?
Should I wake him?
No. Not yet.
I stepped out of the black crepe dress and the black petticoat, leaving them in a pile. The stockings came off next. That left me in a chemise and corset.
Somehow, in the light of day, I would have to figure out how to launder everything. I detested laundry.
I knew, even in the dark, that there was no where else to sleep save this bed and the hard floor. It was too cold. I could lie down on the other side of him perhaps, but just in case of further leakage, I took off the corset. I debated about the chemise, too, to minimize the risk of extra laundry. After all, I had dreamed of lying naked in his bed just this morning, hadn’t I?
But no. Not like this.
What time was it?
I crawled into the bed, feeling the way with my hands to make sure the area was truly dry and slipped under the coverlet. I hugged the wall, unable to sleep. He moaned and shifted, turning over, placing his hand on my breast.
His face was next to mine. I turned away to avoid his breath but his hand remained in place.
I attempted to move closer to the wall but the plaster would not take me in. Hard and cold and unforgiving as it was. I tried to move his hand away but he stirred so I gave up. I was not yet prepared to interact with him. Would he even sober enough?
You made your bed…
I tried to remember what his touch had been like before, when I had craved it with such hunger, but that did not help. I was still there with his sleeping shadow, acutely aware of where his hand lay, unable to relax enough for sleep to reclaim me. Instead, I passed the night lying awake for the hours before dawn arrived again.