I climb out from under the warm pile of blankets to follow the desire for coffee, and am caught in the lingering mist of his cologne.
It’s sweet and spicy, and I’m immediately reminded of the nights I used his pillow instead of mine and, lying between our two young children, cried myself to sleep, praying to any god who would listen that I just wanted him back home safe and whole.
I’m reminded that I couldn’t watch the news all the way through for nine months.
And I’m reminded about those nights of worry, and then the nights I wondered if we would make it, just two kids with moon eyes and lofty dreams.
I’m reminded about the ways we’ve had to grow together and the ways we’ve had to grow separately, and the ways we’ve made room for both.
And I hear us whispering in the dark. All our fears. All our hurts. All our wishes. All our wants.
Twenty years of whispering to each other before we rest for the night.
I hear me asking across the expanse of our bed if, when he kissed me and made me his girl all those years ago, he expected to be where we are now.
And I hear him say “I didn’t know, but I hoped.”