The Nap (short fiction)

Where are you? The words ring through the house but I don’t move. It’s warm where I am resting and probably the words aren’t for me anyway. 

Don’t make me look for you. The words continue but there is no anger in them. Just gentle searching. My eyes blink open lazily. The sun hasn’t shone for days and I’m not about to give up this tiny bit of heaven unless forced. 

There you are. 

Here I am. It was me afterall. Though, why I’m needed I don’t know. But there is a lot I don’t understand about her. She needs me in moments that I don’t want to be needed. She ignores in moments when I’m completely free and available for my wise counsel. 

Oh, that does look comfortable. She sits next to where I’m laying and rests comfortably against the other pillow. Her hand rests gently across my leg. Not too eager. Not holding herself back. Just the way I like it. 

You found the perfect patch of sun. Her thumb moves slowly and I let my eyes drift open again. Squinting to look over at her. The sun lights her face as she smiles over at me. Her dark eyes staring into my dark eyes as she slides down the pillow to lie down after all.

I was looking for you. This is something she does. But admittedly it is also something I do. Sharing the house with another soul means sometimes seeking one another out just for presence and comfort. She spends her days distracted and often only steals these moments in the early morning or late evening hours. I, on the other hand, am a lady of leisure. I don’t say this aloud of course because I don’t want to get into it. But it’s true. I was born with a restless and creative spirit. I’m prone to lots of reflection. Though to be fair, so is she. The difference is temperament.

You are always so calm. Yes, I think, but don’t react. I am always so calm. It’s my nature. I hear her speak so often of prayer and meditation and the many ways she seeks to calm her mind and heart. Frankly it is all a bit tiresome for someone as calm as me. She often talks of love….for family, for the man who used to live here, for humankind. I guess I don’t quite understand why it’s such a challenge. I sometimes try to tell her that she is easy to love. But she doesn’t listen, or perhaps I’m not saying it correctly. 

Are you trying to tell me something? Her voice is barely a whisper as she too is succumbing to the patch of sunshine streaming across our quilt. Yes, I think quietly. I am trying to tell you something. As she drifts off, her face gently pressed against my back, I do what only I can do for her and begin to purr. 

I feel her heartbeat slow in response and a small smile stirs on her lips as she sighs contentedly at the sound. I purr loudly, deafening in my ears but at just the rate and pitch that always calms her. I don’t know why you look for love in books and churches, I say with my purr. Or why sometimes water falls from your eyes as you struggle to make yourself better. Better than what I think? How can you be better? It seems impossible. But perhaps I am blind to everything else, because to me, Human, you are love.

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