When Max started sleeping over, my bad dreams became less frequent. (The feminist in me hates to admit that there was a security and calm I felt from sleeping beside a man.) Anyway, at some point I admitted to Max that I was suffering through dreams that were typically about the apocalypse or the demise of a loved one – or both on a particularly bad night.
|I'm a [sort of] badass chick who takes care of herself just fine.|
So why do I still want my ex-husband in
the middle of the night?!
Wow, I thought, this guy doesn’t know what he’s agreeing to (SUCKER!). But lucky me, what a great boyfriend I found.
Over the next seven years, I can’t even tell you how many times I nudged or directly woke up Max. He would roll over and grunt, “huh?”
I would whimper, “I had a bad dream.”
And he would respond perfectly. Every. Time.
He would sleepily say something like, “It’s OK, Bear, come here,” and then open his arms. Sometimes I would be crying on him as I tried to shake off visions of my mother dying without chemo or my hometown burning to the ground or the shapeless terror of some evil man chasing me. Other times I would just calm my breathing as I found serenity in his warm embrace. Eventually, I would drift back into a peaceful slumber.
(Max wasn’t that great at calming me down when we were awake, but he had mastered it when he was barely conscious.)
The last time that Max held me like that was seven months ago. It was the morning of the day when we were finally moving out of our condo. We had been divorced for six months and he had been sleeping in the guest room for almost a year. I woke up physically and emotionally distraught. It was 6 a.m. and I padded down the hall and slipped into the bed where he slept. Without saying a word, he opened his arms and held me as I silently cried on his shoulder.
|Pooh and I will NEVER divorce.|
I want Max.
Will I ever stop wanting Max in those moments of late night vulnerability? Time will tell.