August 13, 2019 11:00 PM
The Longing (12)
“You don’t understand, Ben. You have to help me.”
“Wait, i’ll turn on the lights. Goddamn Rebecca, where is the nightlight? What did you do with it? Why aren’t you in bed?” He doesn’t like things getting out of hand, not in the daytime and surely not at night. He’s desperately trying to restore order. He’s still tapping the blanket.
“Please don’t shout, Ben. And for God’s sake don’t turn on the lights!” He can’t believe his ears. The girl without tears seems to be sobbing.
“Oh darling,” he says. “You’re sobbing. Why?” Grief overwhelming him. He’s almost there. In his hands her nightgown, soft, satin, a lace border. She’s taken it off, she’s standing naked in the dark. He presses his face into the nightgown. “Oh darling,” he repeats, “please come here. It’s too cold out there, come with me, under the blankets.” He puts the nightgown down. He’s longing for her, he feels ridiculous, sitting on this mattress alone, all excited, not knowing what to do. He doesn’t even know where to crawl to. And he still can’t find the night lamp. “Come here, honey.”
“I’m not sobbing,” she says, her voice steady again, reprimanding even. “Why did you say i’m sobbing? Don’t say that because i’m not.”
“But you were, honey, you were.”