‘You don’t get me,’ she said. ‘All that watching me while I sleep business,’ she paused to push her hair behind her ears, ‘doesn’t mean you get me.’
‘It means that I can adore you,’ I told her, ‘it means that I can hold you in the moment, in my eyes, cradle you in my memory.’
I reached out and stroked her cheek with the back of my fingertips. She leaned forward, into my touch, pushing her face against the open palm of my hand, kissing it. ‘It means nothing,’ she said, pulling away, ‘it means I’m asleep, that’s all, and you’re staring at a sleeping stranger.’
‘Is that all we are?’ I asked, ‘Strangers?’
‘Everyone is,’ she said, eyes glistering, ‘We’re all strangers.’
‘How does that make you feel?’ I asked her.
She looked down, hair falling loose again, and the silence that followed was broken only by the light, crisp drumming of her fingernails on the table.
For a few minutes we sat and we studied other things, then some internal dialogue must have concluded, because she looked back at me, and asked, ‘Hungry?’