Jackknife in the Sheets

She felt a slight uncertainty—dread of anticipation. Her stomach started a slow lurch up to her throat as if she was already falling. And maybe she was. She turned from her back onto her side and pulled her left knee toward her chest. Her head was turned square with the nightstand on the left-hand side of the bed, but her eyes stole glances of the far corner of the room. She made a point with her right foot and planted her left foot against the taught leg—securing the bond with a rigid embrace. If she were to fall through the end of the bed she would pierce it violently and swift, without equivocation. A leap, though—with momentum and into or onto something unclear. She hoped she wouldn’t have to feel herself land if she let go.

He dressed with careful, simple grace. Slowly but deliberately collecting clothes found in slightly messy but meaningful piles on the floor. He seemed comfortable—neither in a hurry to create chasm and distance from what had been so close nor overly eager to dwell or strangle an inherently ephemeral moment. She thought there was a disarming reassurance, an implicit acknowledgement and appreciation that quelled any burgeoning freneticism. An easy meeting of their eyes said more than any words could.

But, this calm seemed unnatural—alien to her. What could this leap be?