He laid beside her, propping himself up on his elbow, simply watching her. She was drifting in and out of sleep, occasionally letting her eyes flutter open long enough to meet his. She would smile, and then her heavy lids would fall back down and her breathing would shallow. Her back was bare, and in the darkness of the bedroom he could just barely make out the slope of her body, her pale skin fighting back the darkness that fought to take her from his vision.

Reluctantly he reached out, careful not to disturb her sleep, and brushed his fingers down her back. Her skin responded, sprouting little bumps everywhere he touched. She gasped in her sleep, and he felt her press herself further down into the bed. He removed his hand, scared that he had bothered her sleep. His gaze returned to her face, and she was looking at him through half-closed eyes.

“Don’t stop,” she said, and let out a sigh of comfort as his fingers began to trace over her shoulder. While his fingers played along her soft skin, his thoughts strayed. He wondered what it was that made him want to touch her. What was the need that burned inside a person that made them reach out to someone else. He somehow knew that he could survive, physically, without touching her. However, emotionally, he felt like if he took his hands off of her for even an instant he would shrivel. It would be the end of himself and he would be broken.

She was here, though, and he could feel her. He felt the goosebumps rise to meet his grazing fingertips, they traced down her back, across her hips which were hidden under the sheet. The sheet itself seemed foreign, as if it were trying to keep her softness away from his touch. She shifted in her light sleep at his touch, rocking her hips slightly side to side and the sheet slid down a few inches. He could see the turn of her hip, the spot where her waist transitioned, creating that tempting hourglass of a figure. The sight was amazing to him, the outline of her figure glowing softly in the dim light from the window.

He placed his hand on the spot where her waist met her hip, that slight indention that seemed to be made for his hand. She let an approving sigh escape between her lips, the only spot of color visible on her body, the red and tempting fruit that begged to be tasted. He kissed her, there in the darkness, and knew that he was whole in this moment. Something about his thoughts gave him a bit of a flutter in his stomach. He knew he was whole for this moment, but somewhere he felt that the words “for this moment” were important. He wasn’t sure why he had appended them in his thoughts, but their meaning weighed on him.

He felt her stir, and looked down. She was looking up at him, radiant blue eyes that seemed to him to be the source of light in the room. She reached her fingers up to stroke his face. His hand met hers and he held it there, briefly, wanting that warm feeling to last an eternity. She smiled, that perfect shining smile in the darkness, which seemed to him to be getting darker, deeper. It was then that he knew. A moment of revelation, the shining single instant where clarity is granted and suddenly things can be understood.

“I don’t want you to go,” he whispered. He didn’t want to break the serenity of the moment but it had to be said. He squeezed her hand, as if the pressure would change things. He knew that things would not, could not, be changed. To him that was the reason for hope. Hope could bring about light in the dark, could make the impossible happen. Not often, but maybe this one time it could.

“I have to go, my heart. You know that, but we will be together soon,” she murmured. Her voice was fading and he saw she had laid her head back on the pillow. Her eyes were closed, and she was breathing a peaceful and restful melody. “I love you,” she whispered into the darkness. His voice was subdued, and all he could do was reach out and again stroke her back. His fingers brushed her skin, and he watched as she seemed to fade away. His hand looked much older now, wrinkles crossed his skin, and his fingers were a bit more bent, age taking their toll on them.

He waited in the dark, knowing that this might be the last dream he would have of her. He turned to lay on his back, and realized he felt so very tired. He had survived physically, and fought on through his life. Emotionally he was drained, and now he felt it demanding his rest. He closed his eyes, and pushed back against the pillow, making himself comfortable. Sleep was closing fast, but this sleep felt different. He knew he would rest very well soon, and more importantly, he would see her again and he would finally be complete after so many years of not being able to feel her skin. The last thing he saw was her face, smiling up at him.

This, and more, at Synaptic Thought.