-->inspired by deep exhaustion and the longing for sleep
You are most beautiful at daybreak, you have found.
You wake and push back the covers, the soft light of the dawn brushing across the curves of your belly and thighs; you sleep in the nude to better feel the weight of the sheets on your skin and the cool air that brushes across it when you slip out from them in the darkness to dart to the bathroom and pause, thrilled and half-dreaming, in the shining mirror of the opened windows. Now the warmth of the sunlight warms you and you stretch, pleasantly fuzzy around the edges.
Your personality has not yet fully formed.
You shift and sit, the rush of blood dimming your vision as you pull on a soft shirt and shorts, bothering with nothing else today. The world has almost turned to summer, and it is warm enough that you can leave aside a bra in favor of ease. It is more comfortable, and your breasts are small enough that you don’t feel too lewd this way - only just enough that you must hide a smile beneath your skin.
You grab your keys and head to the coffeeshop on the first floor. It is too early to be open, but the morning shift is in and prepping, and since you worked here for a few years during college, they know to let you in when you knock. You do them a favor and kickstart the old espresso machine before making yourself a shot and taking it to the window.
Curled up, ankles crossed beneath you, you sit at the window bar and listen to the sounds of laughter and mixers behind you, while watching the traffic pick up outside.
The scent of ginger pricks at your nose and you smile. You will have to grab one of the scones before you go. You have always loved the burn of ginger on your lips and tongue.
You sit at the window until the shop opens and the first addicts stumble in, red-eyed and bleary from the blaring of their alarms, and you slip out as the bell rings, the silence of the morning shattered.
You do not want to go back to your apartment right away, so you walk around the block twice, until you the buzz of caffeine has settled in beneath your skin and left you sun-warmed, and so you turn back toward the little door that leads back to your apartment.
You climb the steps in the narrow stairwell and stop again by your door, caught by something you can’t quite name. It whispers at the back of your mind, a quiet susurrus of something dreadful.
How silly, you think, to be afraid of your own front door, and so you go in.
Your apartment is a single small room, with kitchen in the corner and bed against the wall. The body in the bed is your own, still and wrinkled, crinkled up like a blanket that has been folded incorrectly.
You look down at yourself, feeling the buzz of caffeine vanish and the warmth of the morning subside to a dull hum.
You could have those things, but you don’t. Not yet. You will.
You take off your shirt and shorts and stand beside the bed, naked and chilled, nipples peaking in the cool morning air.
You glance toward the window. It is still dim out; too early for the coffeeshop to be open.
You climb up onto the bed and into your body, shimmying inside one slow inch at a time.
Once you are settled, you take a deep breath – one that feels like a revelation – and throw back the covers to start the day.
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