I rolled over to my back and other thoughts came to mind. The morning was quiet except for the sounds of his deep breathing and I recalled hearing my husband, in that same spot...
I recall buying this bed with my husband, being so excited to buy our very first bedroom set. We felt like such grownups. Finally. I recall nursing our daughter in the bed as well.
My mind then went dark. I can remember trying to sleep in the bed with my husband after our marriage was in distress. I remember feeling sick, having him next to me. I wanted him out. I remember how lonely the bed felt - this giant king bed - when I finally had it to myself.
I stayed on my side of the bed for months, never even pulling back the covers on "his" side. Then, one night, I moved to the middle of the bed and made it my own.
At some point, I realized that I needed to make space for another man in my life. I moved back over to my side again and imagined filling that spot with someone special.
Soldier came into my life but only occupied that spot a few times before he was deployed to Iraq for over a year. I can remember feeling safe enough to have him spend the night because my daughters were too small to see him still asleep under the covers before I took them to daycare.
I spent 15 months wishing a man would occupy that spot but it was instead filled with friends who'd spend the night to keep me company. And lovers. Women lovers. I remember one particular evening with a girlfriend that made me long for another man in my life. I needed a MAN in my bed. That spot was made for a man.
I remember Soldier coming home on R & R and sleeping in that spot. I remember the insane amount of out-of-control, out-of-body, and emotionally-disconnected sex we had. I wanted him to FILL that place in my bed... but all he did was lie in it. I felt even more alone and wanted my bed to myself again. I was reminded of how alone I felt at the end of my marriage.
We broke up in this bed. My heart was broken, right here where I'm typing this post.
Then there was my friend with benefits. My sweet now-best-male-friend who occupied that place for a few nights. He reminded me of the warmth and intimacy of sharing my bed with a man. He held me, reminded me that I was worth being loved.
But that side of the bed? Still wasn't filled.
I recall the night I cried, prayed like I left my own skin, that someone would understand me, love me for who I was in that very moment - no matter how screwed up I was. I prayed that prayer, right here. I felt invisible arms around me, right here.
Right here... I knew I would be okay again.
I remember feeling that safe, intimate, warm connection again the moment I was in GJ's arms. I remember, the first night he spent the night, and breathing him in. I remember feeling, finally, that the place in my bed was filled.
I knew my bed was now occupied by someone other than me.
Back in the moment again, I turned my body to him. He awoke enough to wrap his arms completely around me. I fit perfectly, tucked into the shape of his body. Feeling nothing but joy, I fell asleep again.