Late at night, mind burnt from trying to make time and money stretch much further than they possibly can; weary, exhausted from the effort of trying, I stretch out beside him on the bed, my head resting just below his knees, feet angled out away from his head. I need to do the laundry, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, but I am spent.
“I hate this,” I say. “I don’t have time for anything. I hate our stupid sketchy house.”
He shifts his weight slightly so that his knees feel like a hug, sets his phone aside, rests his hand on my ankle, lightly. I peek at him from between my fingers and his beard crawls up his cheeks when he smiles. “I love our little house,” he says, and it’s something simple like this that resets my vision and when he pats his shoulder and I turn and settle in there, I love it too, and I remember why and how we got here.
Later, too early in the morning, I will pull on the shirt he wore the day before and pad out to get a drink from the refrigerator, pausing while the light struggles on, looking at how the moonlight casts shadows through the naked windows onto the ancient wood floors, worn smooth with the same time that I was cursing earlier. Glass in one hand, I will stop on the way back to bed, peeking in at sleeping children, holding my breath until I measure theirs, steady, safe and slow. Back in our room I watch through the space where the blind shies away from the window, my hand on his chest, his beard brushing the top of my head with each breath, as the day comes to life and the sky turns bright and the sun burns off the things that need let go.