Last Time I Slept

May 16th, 2019 by P. Starks

I didn’t realize it until I woke up. Farsa, my wife, was still a sleep. And our daughter Athena, well… the little bugger was always sleeping too, although, she was only but a few months old. It was the norm for an infant, but my brother Dominic who had his child 5 years before mine, said that they cried more times than what me or Farsa could count. But I guess we were the lucky ones.

Both me and Farsa had the day of work the next day, so, we’d stayed up later than usual. However, I just couldn’t sleep. In fact, I couldn’t even remember the last time I slept. And the strange part was that I wasn’t at all tired. For a moment, I thought I was living in a dream. I pinched Farsa to be sure.

“Ow! Cut it out!” she yelled, slapping me on the arm. She pulled the rest of the covers on her side of the bed.

With my legs exposed to the cold there was no way I could’ve gone back to sleep now. Sure, I could’ve just pulled a little of it back on my side of the bed. But if you knew my wife, you’d known best to leave well alone. She was everything a man could want though, or at least a man like myself. She had long dark hair, as shiny as a crow on a rainy day accompanied by the subtleness of the sun. Her eyebrows were thicker than mine, like her fathers, which she hated for reasons she still has never told me. But her eyes were what drew you in. They were like honey, and the unfortunate part was that our daughter Athena had them to. On occasion, I’d find myself getting double teamed by both for the things that they wanted—more food or a diaper change to more fragrances and… yeah, fragrances. But how was I to say no to not one, but two pair of honey eyes. No doubt about it, they’d made me out to be a bee over time.

Nevertheless, I hoped out of the bed and slipped on my gorilla slippers that the girls had gotten me last Christmas. They were a little tight around the feet but warm, which was all that mattered. I put on my sweater. I walked down the hallway, and then took a quick peak in Athena’s room. As I expected she was sound asleep. I still couldn’t believe how much she looked like her mother.  Puffy round cheeks and all, with one tiny dimple on the left cheek especially. The only thing it seemed she had from me was her ears, which meshed well with the puffy round cheeks thankfully. I had big ears, but you grow into them eventually, when in your late thirties.  I closed the door softy and headed down the stairs to see what I could find in the fridge. I was parched and hungry all in one.

There was nothing in it when I had opened it, completely empty. Well, almost empty. A sticky note that was attached to a little coffee cup rested at the back of it. It was then I felt a cold breeze from the back of my neck, but I had assumed as many would that it was just the cold from the fridge.  I reached to the back and grabbed the cup, pulling it out of the fridge. I read the sticky note.

“Drink from this and you will know all about your life that is bliss,” it said.

My mind was all twisted up. Why would such a note be in the fridge. Farsa was an English teacher, but she wasn’t known for playing games. I sat the cup on table and then investigated the fridge for more clues. There was still nothing. Just the coffee cup and the note I had found attached to it.

There was then a rattle that trembled from behind me. I turned around and what I was seeing nearly made me jump into the fridge if I could’ve fit in it. I sure know Farsa could have for how smaller she was compared to me.

The cup had somehow filled itself. Steam rose from it, like an old train from the 1800s. I approached it, and on the surface of the liquid that filled it, the same saying I had just read from the note floated, almost in the form of latte art. But I refused to drink it. I wouldn’t. It was at this point I realized I must have still been dreaming. I had to be.

From the kitchen cutlery I pulled out the sharpest knife we had and subtly, went across my forearm with it. The color of merlot trickled down the edge of my arm onto the floor. Immediately, I ran to the cabinet where Farsa put all our towels and wrapped it around the cut before I bled more than what I needed to get the idea that maybe it wasn’t a dream after all. The girls I thought.

My feet in some way that I felt, floated up the stairs with ease. I opened the door to Athena’s room. Nothing looked anything like it did from when I entered it prior to that moment. And even worst Athena and her crib was gone.

I panicked. I ran back to the master bedroom where Farsa and I stayed.

“Farsa! Honey!” I yelled. “Athena’s gone, call the cops!”

Once I’d opened the door my knees wobbled like noodles. I dropped to the floor. Farsa was gone too, as well everything about our room. There wasn’t the slightest hint of Farsa fragrance that I could smell. If I had to describe the smell, it smelt of loneliness and despair. Like a man that had just lost it all.

Again, I ran down the stairs, and there still sat the cup of steam that I’d rejected.

“The hell with it,” I said, picking up the cup and slamming it back down my throat.

It burned, but nothing had burned as much as losing my girls. My vision had instantaneously become blurred and before I could catch myself on the countertop I collapsed to the floor. Everything was dark after that. And I’d walk around in that darkness for what felt like years. But I was for sure it was only for a couple of minutes. Or maybe not.

The sounds of a bell echoed within it, and with a pulsating light of gold. I walked to it. But with every step that I took the light had gone further way. Next, I ran. The light had slowed down a little. And within a few more steps I would reach it. My eyes again opened to the same empty room, absent of Farsa’s scent. A tear rolled down my cheek. But then the sound of the bell had rung again. It was coming from the front door.

I again, hoped out of the bed, running past still a vacant room of where Athena slept. On the way down the stairs the bell rung again. Another light out of the hell I was in, I presumed. Yet, my hands nervously hesitated to grip the door handle as I approached it. Part of me just felt nothing would change. That things were just the way that they were and that there was nothing that could be done about it. It was inevitable.

A tiny whimper then came from behind the door. It sounded all too familiar, but maybe it was just someone’s dog. But then the sound of an angel humming came not long after. I only knew of one person who could sing the song, only one person that knew about it. I opened the door, and this time I did not hesitate.

“Hi babe…” mumbled a woman. “Long time. About a month and a half to be exact. Right?”

My breathing had stopped somewhat, but not my heart. It pounded faster than what a rabbit did.

“Farsa… Athena… Y-your back,” I said happily.

We all clashed together in a big hug. I kissed them both, as many times as I could.

“I’m sorry Miles. We should’ve… No, I never should’ve left you like I did. To think all of it was over some stupid coffee cup.”

“Wait, what?”

“You don’t remember do you? Men,” said Farsa, shaking her head. “It was over the cup that we had been given on our wedding day. You said it was yours, and then I said it was mine, and then before we know it, we’re at each other’s throats on things that have absolutely nothing to do with the cup in the first place.  But I brought it back for you to have. Your more valuable to me than some cheap cup. I love you Miles.”

I stared deep into the honey eyes of Farsa and then kissed her as hard as I had ever done. The sparks we once had ignited again like a flame after a winter storm.

“I love you to,” I said, smashing the cup the floor. “Always.”

Athena giggled. Her hair was longer now, and her teeth were already beginning to expel from her pink and bubbly gums.

“Yes, my little munchkin, daddy can be quite an ape sometimes can’t he,” laughed Farsa.

And then it dawned on me what the cup had said in the dream.

“Drink from this and you will know all about your life that is bliss.”

THE END

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