After he rolls off, Annabelle turns away from him, wipes the tears from her eyes.
It was almost as swift as the mating display that she’d giggled at as a thirteen-year-old, while watching a David Attenborough documentary in a geography lesson. Her teacher had fussed and squirmed at the front of the class, which only made Annabelle and her classmates laugh even more.
She’s not laughing now. How did they get to this point? How did they go from wanting to consume each other to barely showing an interest. Their conversations are too polite. Their date nights are filled with excruciating silence. More tears flow as Annabelle tosses and turns while Tim already snores. She prepares herself for a long night of staring at the ceiling, wondering how to fix this failing relationship.
Are they done? Is she done? She feels emotionally unready, and ill-prepared practically to walk away.
Tim snores loudly, sounding like a blower vac. She heaves herself out of bed, wraps a throw around her shoulders for warmth and switches her iPad to life. At the desk in their study, she ponders her steps.
Later—2.15AM, according the red LED lights on the desk clock—Annabelle is finished plotting. Seeing a plan set out in front of her brings an impetus, a stirring deep within, like an internal cheer squad telling her she’s got the strength to make her life better.
You got this, Bella, she whispers in the dark.
Yawning, she goes back to bed. She drifts off to sleep, content with her plan.