I remember noticing T~ coming back to bed. As I resettled myself and he joined me in bed, the words just rolled out...
I love you.
Still feeling in a fog of being half awake and half asleep, I felt a moment of surprise with the realization of what I had just said. There was a prolonged pause and he responded with a confused, "Okay?" My fuzzy brain was not working with my lips and I mumbled something, but do not recall it being anything really understandable. Was I talking in my sleep again?
No. I felt it within me. It just slipped out. But, it seemed so natural and effortless. Too tired to put anymore thought into it, I allowed the heaviness of slumber to creep back over me.
The next morning, I heard T~ stirring in his living room. I tumbled out of bed and joined him by his chair and computer. Still feeling the need for a morning stretch in the cozy warmth of bed, I returned to the bedroom and flopped into the covers and he followed. However, he was much more awake than me.
We snuggled up together as I recalled bits of a bizarre dream I had the night before. Something about wandering around the streets in a city and trying to find my way while following along a lady and a strange animal. It had the pointed face of a porcupine, but the body of a very skinny, slinky monkey-kind-of-cat creature. If it was supposed to be a pet or ferel, I am not sure. It weaved in and out, but at times you could hold its tail like a cane or a leash before it would then try to slip away again. T~ softly laughed as I wondered aloud if it was a remnant of the Comic Con from last weekend and that his girlfriend must be a little bit of a weirdo. He said that seemed about right and I would have to be a little weird to be with him.
Then, I waited to see if he would bring it up while still trying to sort out my thoughts. My heart ached at the possibility that maybe he heard me, but did not feel the same in return. When he did not mention it, I then lead into something else that seemed a little strange from the previous night. I asked if he slept alright, and he mentioned having some tossing and turning. I said that at one point I noticed him coming back to bed and I may have said something.
T~'s face lit up with a knowing smile. He said he wondered if he heard me correctly. He wasn't sure how to acknowledge it, so he asked, "Okay?" He said I repeated the words, but wondered if I was talking in my sleep or if I really knew what I had said. T~ stated it was okay that I said it...then with an added pause..if it was true. His words seemed laced with a vulnerability.
I told him that I have been thinking it for a while, but it just kind of came out last night. He smiled with his eyes and said that he has been thinking it for a while, as well. With a shared breath of relief and happiness, we hugged.
Then he looked at me and said in response to what I had said last night...
I love you, too.