I always count thirty six of them on the drive when you take me home, but I’m always asleep before we reach the last stoplight before my house. I fall asleep to the soft hum of your engine, the heater blasting like a warm bottle of milk for a small child.
You always wake me up softly, a light brush of my hair or touch of the shoulder. I always wake up to your dark silhouette on the other side of the car, just your outstretched hand illuminated by the dim golden glow of the streetlight overhead.
Through your window I can the light by the staircase, left on, while the rest of the house is dark.
We say goodnight and I open the car door, greeted by the chill of the middle of the night and rush up the steps to get to my front door. I sleepily jiggle the keys until it finally swings open and I turn around to see you, still waiting. I can’t see you through the darkness, through your car window, but I know you want to see me inside safely. I close the door. I climb the stairs, turning off the lights as I reach the top and turn on the light as I enter my bedroom. I walk to my bedroom window, tired but happy, and search you out in the dark. The light that flickers in my window lets you know that I made it to my room. I hear your engine rev with slight acceleration before returning to a hum as you gain distance, before I hear nothing.
I remove my hand from the blinds where I’d bent them, allowing them to rearrange themselves back into orderly fashion.
I know where you’re going now.
You’re going to her house to see her, possibly cuddle and a little more than that, and I know you’re going to spend the night. I saw the small knapsack, softly bulging with the thin fabric of a tank top and maybe a pair of basketball shorts in your backseat when I got into your car.
I sit here and entertain myself with the fact that maybe there is a possibility that you secretly love me; maybe I can feel it telepathically in the way you so gentlemanly see to it that I get into my house, my bedroom, safely. The way you wake me in the darkness of your car. Do you think I look beautiful while I’m sleeping? What are you thinking when it is time for you to wake me up and tell me that I’m home? Or do you see nothing? Another homegirl in your car seat, snoozing deeply.
Thirty six streetlights. I count them before I fall asleep when you take me home from our best friend outings. Sushi bars, movie nights, our little sessions. You’re an insomniac while I am just exhausted easily.
Seven streetlights I watch you pass as your car zooms down my street before you round the left corner and you disappear. I know you’re going to see her because you turn left when your house is the opposite way, and I can always smell the scent of her perfume on your sweater the next day.
I wonder if you’ll ever notice how I feel.
tagged as thoughts. fiction.
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