The city lights shine all around me. I yawn. This is the fifth night in a row I’ve had to go without sleep. I am so unbelievably tired, but sleep never comes. I rub my temples. The blinding lights are beginning to give me a headache.
I feel a hand clamp down on my right shoulder and my heart begins to beat wildly in my chest. I’m gonna get mugged. Or raped. And there’s no one to help me. True, there a few pedestrians, but this is New York City. Nobody gives a shit.
“Can’t sleep again?” I turn around, breathing a sigh of relief as your concerned eyes meet mine.
“Walking around NYC at night? Are you crazy?” I shrug.
“Nothing better to do…” I begin to walk away, thinking that the conversation is over.
“Can I come with you?” Your question catches me off guard.
“…Why?” You smirk.
“Nothing better to do.” You tuck my greasy hair behind my ear and lean in to whisper, “And I don’t want anything to happen to you, hun.”
“I – ” Your voice rises to a normal volume.
“You’re like, a fucking magnet for trouble. And don’t try to deny it.”
“I wasn’t going to.” What I was going to say is that I’d feel much safer if it were Krist trailing after me. Of course, he would never go through all of that trouble. I doubt if he even knows that we’re out here right now.
I begin walking and I don’t even have to turn around to know that you’re following me. That’s how our relationship seems to work. I lead the way, and you blindly follow wherever I go, whatever I say. I think you would even kill yourself if I asked you to. Not that I ever would. But your puppy-like devotion has always amused me and I often entertain myself by seeing just how far you’ll go for me.
“You really should be sleeping, Dave.” I say, turning around.
“I’m not tired.” The lie would almost be believable if you didn’t yawn mid sentence. I smile.
“Liar…and we have to get up early. Remember? We have an interview at nine.”
“Five hours of sleep is enough.” You’re lying again. You’ve always been terrible at it. I could insist on you leaving – one more statement would do the trick – but I decide against it.
“Alright. It’s up to you.” I begin walking again, listening to see if you’re following me. At first, there is nothing. Within about thirty seconds however, I hear the sound of your Chucks racing to catch up to me.
It’s not a very long walk. At least, not as long as it would have been if I had been alone. I feel bad for keeping you awake, and I can’t help but imagine how bored you must be. The entire hour has been spent in complete silence – me deep in my thoughts, and you knowing better than to disturb me while I am in that state.
In front of the hotel where we’re staying, you stop me. The way all of the lights are hitting your face, it’s perfectly illuminated. You kiss me softly.
“It’s gonna be okay, Kurt. I promise…”
I pull out my old, battered notebook. Softly touching my lips where yours had been only minutes before, I pick up a pen.
For the first time in my life
I see the beauty in sleepless nights
And city lights
I frown, wondering where the fuck that came from. It’s so far off from my usual writing style..
“Can I sleep with you?” I look up to see you standing in my doorway. I quickly shut my notebook.
“When I left, Krist decided to take up the entire bed.”
“Oh. Yeah. That’s fine.” I lay down and you climb into bed next to me. I shiver, suddenly cold. You wrap your arms around me and pull my body into yours.
“Why are you always so cold?” I don’t respond, not wanting to ruin the moment. Instead I just close my eyes and for the first time in nearly a week, I fall asleep.