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A sort of love story

A sort of love story

A Story by Gruntbuggly
"

Love tested in a thunderstorm.

"

The thunder had not come yet. The air had been relentlessly humid and heavy all day. When the thunder came, it would start a torrential downpour, and the air would lighten and freshen, but it hadn't happened yet, and the city waited for the relief.


The bedroom was in absolute darkness. He couldn't sleep if there was any light. The blackout curtains made it feel even more oppressive. We lay together on the bed. I lay behind him, with my arms around him. He tossed about, his limbs flailing. Moaning, whimpering, crying and howling, he writhed wildly, lashing out against his demons. He had no words, no speech, no means to describe this nocturnal torment. All he could do was fight it. All I could do was to be there for him, and to protect him from himself, while he battled with the pain and the unnamed terrors which plagued him tonight, as they had on many other nights. Half asleep, and half in some tortured hell, he seemed only intermittently aware of my presence. That awareness, when it came, seemed only to anger him further. How dare I try to restrain his movements? Why wasn't I making the pain stop? The truth was that we had tried everything. But tonight, he couldn't drink himself to sleep, and the drugs hadn't worked either.


On nights like this, his movements sometimes seemed spastic and uncontrolled, at other times they were more deliberate, like when he threw my arms from around him. There were times when I wasn't sure which. Like tonight. I held him closely to me, wrapped around him in his foetal ball, and whispered to him that it was all going to be ok, that it always was ok in the end. In one arching movement, his muscular body went steel-hard, and he reached back with his leg, kicking me in the crotch, while his head simultaneously came up under my chin, making me bite my lip. I saw stars. For the briefest moment, I felt the injustice and anger flood through me with the pain. Then it subsided, as I set the pain aside and concentrated again on trying to soothe him. This wasn't about me. His fight was not with me. It couldn't come between us.


I settled down again around him. My tshirt stuck to my back as I cuddled up against his hot body. I blew through his hair, and felt the tension slowly drift from his body before the next surge.


I hated these nights. Worse than the occasional pain, and the headaches and the stress was the powerlessness. More than anything else, I just wanted to make this ok, to make it go away, to ease his mind, and give him back the gift of happy sleep. But I simply couldn't. All I could do was to lie there, wrapped around him like a buffer, and mind him, even when he tried to get rid of me.


It had been a long struggle tonight, although I didn't know how long. There was nothing to measure the time. No clock ticked in the room. My phone was banished from the room, and I left my watch outside in case the metal bracelet caught him at some point in our demonic dance. There was just us, his demons and the tropical humidity in a hot, heavy, dark, timeless void.


His tension kept ebbing away, and the moaning became quieter. I dared to hope that maybe he had exhausted himself, that maybe the sleep which he eventually surrendered to every night had finally come. I held still, not wanting to be the reason that this didn't work. I could feel each bead of sweat as it surfaced through the pores on my forehead. With each one, my brow got hotter and itchier, but I couldn't wipe them away. I couldn't move a muscle. Prickling and tense in the heat, I waited for his snoring to start. I tried to count the seconds to myself “one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi", but I was so exhausted I kept tuning out of my own thoughts with no idea how far I'd counted or how long ago I'd reached the last number. So, I would just start over, with pretty much the same result. With every tranquil second that passed, it became more likely that tonight's performance was over, and once again, and that sleep would be his until the morning. I don't know how much of this he would remember in the morning. We never discussed it.


It didn't last, and the end came abruptly. His feet finding some purchase on the duvet, he suddenly propelled himself upwards along the bed, with a chilling howl. I lunged after him, just managing to get my hand between his head and the hard oak head of the bed. I stifled a roar has my hand was flattened against the wooden struts by his skull. Judging by his howling, it wasn't too enjoyable for him either.


I pulled him back to the centre of the bed and wrapped myself around him again. No matter how outraged or angry he was, I had to protect him from himself. I wrapped some of the duvet cover around him, and wrapped myself around that. With some determination, I could wrestle him into immobility no matter how hard he struggled or shouted. Two exhausted bodies, one wrapped around the other.


I don't know how long that stalemate lasted. The next thing I was aware of was the rain, crashing against the window pain. I lay there in the dark for a second before remembering who and where I was. I lay motionless around him, not sure if he was awake or asleep. The torrential rain was deafening, and I strained my ears for any sounds of snoring. I stared at the side of his head, searching for any stray reflected light which would indicate that his eyes were open. After what seemed like a lifetime, I decided to chance it. I slowly extricated myself from around him, sliding my left arm carefully out from under him. He didn't move.


I lay beside him, terrified of making the wrong move. Slowly, carefully I lifted him up, cradling him to my chest. With slow, ginger footsteps, I padded over to his cot and lowered him in. Not breathing, I tiptoed over towards the bedroom door. In the pitch black, I explored each step with socked toes in case I stumbled, tripped or stood on a toy. Eventually, I made it to the door and felt my way out, pausing only to turn on the monitor, before creeping downstairs to his Mum. If he woke up again it would be her turn.  How long does teething last?



© 2017 Gruntbuggly


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Fun piece. The description is really good and it's a great idea. Very Ernest Hemmingway (in a good way not in the 'i am ernest hemmingway and i shall make you suffer because i have talent and I can' way.)
The sort of hazy night setting that you created is really good, it gets across the weightiness that the dark has when you want to go to sleep.
Nice twist, i may have not seen it coming because i was still half asleep, but i think it's pretty good even if that was the case. The bit with "drinking" was clever, though I'm not clear what the reference to drugs is? (i haven't spent much time around babies. Lots of toddlers but no babies.)

There is a point where it feels like it's getting a little repetitive (towards the middle) but I wouldn't worry about it unless you try to expand it or link it to something else.

The end is surprisingly good (don't be offended by that.) It's clear (which is unusual) and it's subtle (which is even more unusual) you introduced the fact that he's small and then the toys and 'his Mum' and then the turn-taking.

Nice job, i'm jealous :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




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A real love story. That's children for you they are so very precious and ir reminded me of a few years ago when would try so hard to protect and make our children safe, he's a great big thing now! Will read again when it is not so late and thank you for joining the group.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Fun piece. The description is really good and it's a great idea. Very Ernest Hemmingway (in a good way not in the 'i am ernest hemmingway and i shall make you suffer because i have talent and I can' way.)
The sort of hazy night setting that you created is really good, it gets across the weightiness that the dark has when you want to go to sleep.
Nice twist, i may have not seen it coming because i was still half asleep, but i think it's pretty good even if that was the case. The bit with "drinking" was clever, though I'm not clear what the reference to drugs is? (i haven't spent much time around babies. Lots of toddlers but no babies.)

There is a point where it feels like it's getting a little repetitive (towards the middle) but I wouldn't worry about it unless you try to expand it or link it to something else.

The end is surprisingly good (don't be offended by that.) It's clear (which is unusual) and it's subtle (which is even more unusual) you introduced the fact that he's small and then the toys and 'his Mum' and then the turn-taking.

Nice job, i'm jealous :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 27, 2011
Last Updated on October 8, 2017

Author

Gruntbuggly
Gruntbuggly

Cork, Ireland



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MWM GSOH seeks compulsive story, must need to be told. more..

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