Benji slipped silently out of the bed.
She couldn't fault his attempt at stealth. He hadn't lifted the duvet and let in the draught of cold night air that used to make her shiver. He'd trodden carefully as he moved to the door, avoiding the creaking floorboard.
She listened for his next movements. He was making his way down the stairs, slowly, gripping the banister to support his weight and lighten his step.
"Just sleep," she told herself. "Sleep." She stole back her share of the duvet, flipped her pillow to the cool side, and focused on the white stars she saw when she closed her eyes, as the doctor had taught her.
It wasn't enough.
Her body tensed as she heard the water pipes rumble, a soft hiss, barely piercing the silence. Had she imagined it? She chewed on her lip as she listened to the darkness.
The kitchen door clicked shut. He was coming back up. She pretended to be sleeping.
He slid back into bed, shaping his body to match hers, cautiously wrapping an arm around her stomach. His hand was cold, but she refused to flinch. He mustn't know he'd woken her.
Within moments she felt his warm, slow, sleeping breath on the nape of her neck. The tap downstairs dripped. Hadn't it?
She shut her eyes again, watched the white stars, matched her breathing to Benji's.
She waited, minutes, to be sure she wouldn't wake him. She slipped silently out of bed, down to the kitchen.
No light needed. She watched the tap. No drip. But, yes, he'd left his mess. He'd left his water glass by the sink. Left it for the morning. He always did that.
She bit her lip again. "Freak," she told herself.
As she filled the washing up bowl with hot bubbles, then placed her hands in the water to clean the glass, the tension in her body began to calm. Once she'd washed, dried, and put away the glass, emptied the bowl, and wiped the sink, she'd be able to sleep.
Back upstairs, Benji was still sleeping. She held him, trying to take the relaxed energy of his sleep into her own body. Her eyes closed themselves. She saw the stars. The stars made shapes. She was dreaming. Wasn't she? She opened her eyes to check.
The tap downstairs dripped.