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Sleepless in New York
As the red numbers on the alarm clock changed to 12:00 and the dot that signaled morning flashed on, Kelly sighed, rolling over and staring at the empty space beside her. Tracey's space. Tracey, whose dedication to her work bordered on obsession. Tracey, who was sitting in the living room working.
If she closed her eyes and focussed, Kelly could pretend she heard the scratching of Tracey's pen on a legal pad, saw Tracey's brow crease in frustration as she hit a difficult spot.
This mental exercise was far from new to Kelly. Her girlfriend often stayed up late, long after everyone else had turned out the lights.
Kelly knew that unless she called Tracey to bed, she would be awake well into the morning. She also knew that she herself wouldn't be getting any sleep until Tracey was beside her, one of them holding the other, and that trying anyway was an exercise in futility.
With a wry smile at their routine, Kelly lifted herself out of the bed, her bare feet barely making a sound as she made her way down the carpeted hall to the living room.
Despite her near silence, she knew Tracey had noticed her presence in the room, even though she didn't look up.
The dim light from the lamp next to the couch just barely brightened the area where Tracey was sitting on the floor, back pressed up against the couch, but did nothing for the rest of the room. It didn't matter, though; weeks of experience aided Kelly in navigating the room.
Tracey looked up at her silently, one eyebrow eyebrow raised in a question she already knew the answer to. As they looked at each other, the almost telepathic conversation played out.
What are you doing here?
Kelly held a hand out to help her up, shrugging slightly as she did so in answer to the unvoiced question.
I couldn't sleep without you.
"It's late, come to bed."
Grasping Tracey's smaller hand in her own, Kelly helped pull her girlfriend to her feet. Tracey walked slowly, lack of sleep unbalancing her slightly. As they made their way through the bedroom door, Kelly smiled to herself. Tiresome as it was, this routine wasn't all bad.
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