Author: Elle B Sullivan
“Goodmorning to you too,” I say smiling and turning around to push my back against your chest as you wrap your arms around me.
“How did you sleep?”
“I think well – all things considering.”
“Hmmm,” you grumble, nuzzling your lips into the bare skin of my neck, leaving kisses in your wake. “What can I make you for breakfast today?”
“Let’s – just lay here a little while longer.” I close my eyes and reach up to touch your cheek, not wanting to let this moment pass.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Just for a few minutes.”
“My pleasure.” You hold me even tighter and I can feel my breathing begin to match yours.
Where had the time gone?
Was yesterday truly the last day of my thirties?
“Was that truly the best night of your life?” You whisper, tracing your fingers up the length of my arm.
“More than you can imagine.” I smile, surprised he recalled me saying that as we both fell asleep.
“How long has it been since your last visit.”
“It has been a few weeks,” I answer, feeling my smile faltering.
“Don’t be upset my darling, you can spend as many nights with me as you want.”
“I know.” I do know.
“And it will always be just like this one.”
“I know.” I hear the light beep, signaling the alarm’s countdown. “Just a minute left of this one though.”
“How would you like to spend our last minute here together?”
“I’d like to just hear you tell me about your day,” I say softly, doing all I can to not let the panic rise in my voice. “What will you be working on today?”
“Well.. let’s see. I am going to go into the office, order you flowers, and book a dinner reservation at our favorite place.” You say, pushing the hair out of my face.
“I meant what are you going to do at work today?”
“Probably nothing important, maybe I’ll count it as one of those ‘mental health days’ I rarely use.”
Another beep – ten seconds left.
“Yes, birthday girl?”
“Never forget that I love you.”
“I will never forg-”
– END OF SIMULATION –
– END OF SIMULATION –
– PLEASE REMOVE THE HEADSET AND PROCEED TO THE FRONT DESK –
I sit up, removing the headset and rub my eyes. Around me are rows and rows of reclined chairs, just like mine – all the occupants wearing headsets like the one I just removed. I stand, stretching, and walk back to the front desk passing visitors crying, laughing, and smiling while they still remain in their places, headsets on, oblivious to my exit.
“Have a good time today?” The attendant asks as I set my headset on the counter. “See anything you had missed before?”
“No nothing I could use for her testimony, unfortunately.” I pull out my badge for her to scan, “I will probably come back next week and check again though – just to be sure I didn’t miss anything.”
She smiles at me, handing back my badge and some paperwork to sign.
“What was your name again?” I ask, signing my name and date with a flourish.
“Cynthia. And you’re Nathan, correct?”
“Yeah feel free to call me Nate, all my friends do.”
“Well – Nate, enjoy the rest of your day. Hopefully I will see you next time?”
“I hope so too. Which days do you come in?”
“Just the weekends!”
“Wonderful, see you later.” I turn, putting my sunglasses on as I exit – mentally noting to come back on Monday.