By Chef Inhandable
//Changed the title for being revealing.
I’ve been with Mike for around two and a half years now and I couldn’t be happier. We first started talking online, something that I’m slightly embarrassed about, not really sure why. After a few weeks of chatting and flirting, we thought we should meet up. Yes, I’ve seen Catfish so made sure I skyped with him first! I decided to go and meet him alone, although I did tell my twin sister where I was going and what I was doing, I’m not completely naive. We’d hit it off immediately! We had the same sense of humour, liked the same TV and movies and even talked about what we wanted in the future. Quite forward for a first date, but it felt right so didn’t question it. We ate, we drank and we even kissed before heading off home. I was giddy with excitement! It was the best first date I’d had in ages.
We started seeing each other more and more. I’d stay over his place and vice versa. Eventually, well, after only 6 months, we decided that we wanted to move in together. I couldn’t wait! We quickly got into a routine and became comfortable with how each other lived. He was a bit lazy and incredibly forgetful; I have a short temper and can be a bit childish at times. We all have flaws. Of course we had arguments, what couple doesn’t. He’d go to the pub to let me cool off. We’d both end up apologising and having some great make up sex.
I had a 9-5 job and he would work all sorts of shifts. At first it took a little getting used to, but in the end I didn’t mind going to bed alone, or waking up just as he sleepily walked through the front door. I’m a little weird and tend to get up during the night at least three times to go for a pee. I drink a lot of water during the day, so only have myself to blame. I’d stumble through the dark and plonk myself on the loo. Another weird thing about me is that I’m always cold, Mike would always say that I’m some kind of reptile, so I try to go as quick as I can so that I don’t get too chilly.
I can usually drift off back to sleep quite quickly, I’ve gotten used to having disturbed sleep over the years, it usually only takes me five minutes or so. But as I was just getting comfy I heard the front door unlock. I had no idea what time it was but knew it was Mike coming home from work. It was probably around two in the morning. I heard him tiptoe through to the bathroom and quietly close the door behind him. He was good like that, always trying to be as quiet as possible so that he didn’t wake me up. He would even sleep in the spare room sometimes. He’d usually know to do this if I kept the bedroom door closed. Before you feel sorry for him, the spare bed was also a double. After a few minutes he climbed into bed with me, I’d left the door open, and he wrapped his arm around me.
“Night babe” he said softly as he kissed me on the back of the head. His voice was a bit croaky, but I didn’t take much notice. I just thought he was tired and trying to be quiet. I always slept on my side and he would often come and spoon me before we both fell asleep. I loved how warm he always was. He gave me a squeeze and made me feel safe. It made me drift off to sleep even quicker.
The harsh alarm woke me from my peaceful sleep. I let out a groan and stretched over to the bedside table to turn it off. I grabbed my glasses and let my eyes adjust. That’s when I realised that he wasn’t lying next to me. I thought that he must have got up early because he couldn’t sleep, this was usual for him; he wasn’t the best of sleepers either. Anyway, I threw on some clothes and opened the bedroom door. I assumed that he had shut it so that he didn’t make any noise when he got up before me. I did my usual routine in the bathroom and was ready in no time. I made my way downstairs and expected Mike to be on the sofa or sat in the kitchen, but there was no sign of him. I peeked out the window and saw his car on the drive, I started to panic a little bit as I wasn’t sure where else he could be. I kind of just stood in the living room thinking for a few seconds, working out what was going on. It was then that I heard footsteps from upstairs.
I froze a little bit and thoughts started dashing through my mind. I can’t tell you exactly what I thought, just, things. Everything. The footsteps started padding their way across the hallway and down the stairs. I saw those terrible, blue, worn slippers that I hated but Mike loved. A wave of relief came over me and I felt instantly better. We must have just missed each other in the morning or something. He was wearing his dressing gown and his hair was sticking out at all angles. He came over to me and gave me a hug.
“Morning babe” he said with a sleepy smile. “Sleep well?”
“Apart from the usual toilet trips, great thanks.”
“Hope I didn’t wake you up when I got home.” He started shuffling over to the kitchen in his awful slippers. I knew he was heading for the kettle “Coffee?” he said with a yawn.
“Please. And nah, I was already awake when you cuddled me.” I bent down to get the post that was by the front door. Most of them looked like bills and one maybe a Christmas card. I’d noticed the silence as I was flipping through the letters so looked up at where Mike was.
“Cuddled you?” I could see confusion in his face, but marked it up to him only just waking up.
“Yeah, when you came home” I threw the letters onto the sofa apart from the Christmas card. It was handwritten and had no stamp so thought that it must be from one of the neighbours. I opened it up and pulled out a piece of card.
“I slept in the spare room last night.”
My legs gave way and I fell to the floor in a crumpled heap. I couldn’t breath and started hyperventilating. My heart felt like a jack hammer in my chest and sweat started to bead on my forehead. My hands wouldn’t stop shaking and I dropped the card on the floor. Scrawled in crude handwriting it read:
//Original title “Who is He?”