Paige sleeps next to me in my bed. Her once straight, strawberry blonde hair skews in all directions and also sticks to her face. Her head pins my left arm to the mattress. My right arm reluctantly covers her stomach. We’re spoons from two different sets of silverware. We don’t fit, and I don’t know if we ever will.
I remove my right arm from around her waist and run my fingers down the curve of her body trying not to wake her. I feel her stomach moving in and out over and over again. My fingers accidentally collide with the device on her hip. Paige is diabetic, so she has to keep an insulin needle and pump connected to her side. I can’t count the number of times I’ve brushed the needle with my hand and caused her shooting pain.
I’m naked, but that’s only because Paige is wearing my red flannel. I suggested that. I love the way my shirt hangs over her hands. I’ve always thought the hottest thing in the world is a girl wearing a shirt and no pants. The ugliest thing in the world is a man wearing a shirt and no pants. We’ve been this way for a few hours, ever since we had sex. I dug my face into the pillow behind Paige, and I held her head tightly inside my shoulder, so I wouldn’t have to look her in the eyes. Every now and then she would stutter my name, “S-S-Sean.” I kept my mouth shut and pretended I didn’t hear her. I lifted my face from the pillow, and at first glance I thought I saw dark red hair and slight freckles leading down her face to a bigger patch on her breast. At first glance I thought I saw Elizabeth. My mind played tricks on me. The Christmas lights hanging on my wall caused intricate glares on her skin. It was still Paige. I dug my face back in the pillow. I had sex. I’m not saying she made love, but it felt like so much more than fucking.
We’ve been here before. I told her I can’t have a girlfriend; at least not her as my girlfriend. Paige said she understands, and she wants to keep things simple as well, but her eyes tell it all. She thinks something good comes from us sleeping together. She thinks we’ll sleep in till noon then grab breakfast the next day. She thinks we’ll go ice skating together. She thinks I’ll treat her to a picnic in the park. She thinks I’ll take her to the movies and hold her hand the entire time. She thinks she can fix herself by fixing me. She thinks sooner or later I’ll have to start acting like her boyfriend, like her white knight. I’m exactly the opposite.