He woke up with a startle, looked at the watch & heaved a sigh of relief. He still had some minutes left. He looked at their photo on the nightstand & then at the pretty face lying on his left & smiled. He traced his fingers on her cheeks careful not to wake her up. He kissed her lightly on the lips & whispered goodbye. She smiled & he was scared for a moment. She turned her back at him & he realised it must have been a dream. Wishing he knew what she was smiling about, he dressed up & moved out of the house. This was one ritual which he abhorred. His only consolence was he could return when the day was cold & the sun had retired for the day. He had to return to fulfill his promise, a promise to wake up by her side always & forever!
The alarm buzzed, waking her up from the sweet sleep. She opened her eyes & looked out of the window. The sun was up & smiling at her. She caressed the sheet on her right as if caressing Paul’s back. She hugged his pillow tight & took the photo frame on the nightstand to give him a kiss. Even if Paul was dead, the ritual had to be kept alive. Just like he kept it alive. Ever since they had buried his body, she had dreamt of him waking up in the morning, looking at her lovingly, caressing her cheeks. He never knew she used to pretend to be asleep when his lips grazed hers showering her with love as soft as morning dew on a rose. The thought made her smile sometimes. Just like today. She would always treasure that love in her heart. Always & Forever!