Somewhere between soft cozy sheets warm from a night's sleep and wandering images in my mind of days long past, I feel something on my cheek. From my dreams I wake. Sully stands before me, his green blankie dangling from his arm, sleep wrapped around him like mist, still. I form my body into a crescent and he crawls in and curls up to me. With one eye half open I look out the window. The sky is the color of a fresh bruise. I listen but hear nothing except for the breathy inhale and exhale all around me, and in an instant I am lulled back to sleep.
With one eye half open I look outside again. Time has moved on, proof in the golden flecks that bathe the sky since I last looked. I feel Eric's back against mine, our spines together, the strong fold of a paper heart. On the other side of him I can see the fold of Theo's arm wrapped around his wrist. I don't know when he crawled into bed with us, I only know that he is here now. Above my head, Woody (our cat), stretches and breathes deeply. For a split second she uncurls her front claws into the soft hollow between my neck and shoulder and I wince. Then her paws settle there on my flesh as if to remind me, yes, katie, you are real. this is your messy, full of love, beautiful life.
Everyone is awake. Toes have been stretched, the day has been greeted. Sheets and duvet hanging off the side of the bed, Woody still clinging to my pillow hopeful that we'll all carry on so she can get back to the business of sleep. I look out the window once more and see that it's going to be a clear day.