Monday, March 21, 2011

Un-perfect


The writing prompt was: to take elements from the story of sleeping beauty and to write it under half an hour.
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The first time Liz heard David snore, she laughed.

She worked late that night and he offered to drive her home after dinner. By the time they got to her place, it was already past midnight and David looked like he was about to drop. Liz felt guilty, and asked if he would like to take a nap first before heading back to the city. David was too exhausted to refuse.

In a matter of minutes, he was dead to the world on Liz’s bed. Then he snored. Loudly.

Liz found it adorable at first.

But just then, a bitter, ugly voice spoke inside her head asking, “For how long?” How long until what she finds adorable now becomes irritating later? The thought was punctuated by another deafening snore. Without meaning to, she winced. She sat on the chair beside the bed and watched him sleep.

“How un-perfect,” she thought. “Here I am, with a guy on my bed, fast asleep and snoring.” None of the romance novels she read told the story of the guy who fell asleep after rescuing the damsel-in-distress. And certainly, none of them ever mentioned the hero snoring loud enough to wake the dead. Liz knew she should be appalled. But…

There’s something familiar about the way he’s sprawled on the pillows and the way his left arm is splayed to the side. It was more of a boyish pose than a gallant one. And yet instead of being turned off, Liz felt warmth spread through her instead. Because she noticed that even on her tiny, tiny bed, he made a space for her. Beside David is a Liz-shaped space for when she’s ready.

Hesitations slowly faded away. And when she was finally sure, she stood up from the chair, made her way to the bed and fitted herself beside him.

“So that’s how it feels to cross the line between fiction and reality,” she whispered to the sleeping David. In romance novels, the guy is picture perfect, filled with electrifying energy and probably doesn’t snore. But none of them could hold a candle to this warmth, this space where she fits, the rhythm of their breaths syncing in contentment. Liz seals this realization by planting a soft kiss on his lips.

David wakes with a jolt. “Sorry! Am I hogging the bed?” He reaches out to touch her face.

Liz smiled, “Nope, don’t worry, I fit,” she said. “Sleep a few more minutes. I’ll wake you when it’s time.”

He nodded and moved to his side to hug her. “Thanks, love. One full REM cycle should do it,” he quipped.

“Take two, if you want.”

David leaned forward and kissed Liz’s forehead. “I should probably tell you, Liz. I snore in my sleep.”

“Ha! I should probably tell you David, I talk in my sleep.” She replied.

He grinned at her and hugged her tighter. “Well, that’s just perfect.”

Huh.

“Yeah… that’s exactly what I realized. Perfect.”

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