Ladylike

It had been such a long day. A long day with an early start.

When she was a younger girl, if a day had an early start, it would make her nervous the night before. She had a secret fear of alarm clock malfunction or being more a heavy a sleeper that morning than any other day in her life. She always woke up on time, though, it followed a night with no rest, waking up every hour on the hour.

But the night before this day, she had set her alarm clock without a second thought, fallen into a peaceful sleep, and she awoke promptly. She took it as a sign of maturity that her body recognized the value of sleep enough to conquer her wandering mind.

And since it had been such a long day with an early start, when she got home that afternoon, she decided to take a nap.

When she was a younger girl, she never could take naps. There was too much going on in the world during the day with the light and the birds and the people and all of the discoveries happening that she was not a part of if she slept.

But on this day, she slipped a thin, over-sized shirt over her body and she curled up next to him. The perfect thing about curling up next to him was that her head fit like a puzzle piece into the space between his shoulder and chest. And when she scooted against his body, his curved in where hers curved out.

That afternoon, it started to rain harder than it had rained all summer. The thunder and lightening clapped so loud it shook the building and rattled the old windows. With each boom her body jumped, but his remained peaceful and still, like the safety of a harbor on the edge of a roaring ocean.

So in her safe place, she approached the edge of sleep. She dreamed about how when they awoke, she would put on a sundress and he his straw fedora, and they would hop on their bikes to pedal down the path beneath the streets, next to the creek. It would be cool after the rain, with some wet still hanging in the air; and the faster she pedaled the more her hair would whip around into her face and on her shoulders, and her dress would flap around her thighs and hips. He would think about how beautiful she was while they explored the world from underneath.

When the storm was over, her eyes shuttered open, her head rising and falling to the steady beat of his breathing. She thought about how now she could wake up to alarm clocks and sleep the night before and take naps in the middle of the day and have messy hair flying around but still be beautiful to someone.

It made her more a woman.

And she knew he was more of a man.

It was exciting that together they would spend the rest of their lives getting better at life and becoming more lady-like or gentlemanly and going on adventures.

And every night she could go to sleep without fear of not waking up on time. And if she didn't get enough sleep she could take a nap. And every time she did sleep she could put her head in the perfect-fitting place on his shoulder.