I can’t sleep when Judd isn’t here. I lie in our bed, feeling the broad empty space beside me. I reach over to pass my palm over the cool sheet where his warmth should be. I reach for his pillow and press it to my face and smell him on the pillowcase.
His alarm clock goes off each morning, making me sigh and drag myself out of bed to go around and turn it off. But I can’t turn it off for good. As long as it goes off every morning, I think, it will mean he is coming back. Even when the time change happens, I just leave it the way it is. It’s electrical so unless the power goes off it will just keep going off every morning.
Someday he will come back to me. He will laugh and say, “You still have that old alarm clock?” And we will throw it in the trash together. We will make love.
Then I will be able to sleep.
Tom Forrest lives in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama.