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Super Powers

by Alice Simmons

He’s asleep when you arrive home. A bulk under the covers, offering a sense of peacefulness quite opposite to what you just left. You worked overtime, hours longer than you expected, you hadn’t anticipated the spike at the end of your shift but there had been a car crash on the M1, lots of people to patch up.

You pull your hair from the knot at the back of your head and try to run your fingers through its lengths. It’s about time you got a shorter cut. You like your hair, you like its colour, an auburn that your mother said reminded her of all the best parts of autumn. It wasn’t that long ago that your hair had been one of your defining features: your friends could always spot you in a club from your mass of curls, your baby niece would catch it in her fingers, you were Henry’s flame, the phoenix.

Your eyes wander to his body under the duvet and you contemplate dropping something or climbing into bed slightly too heavily to perhaps nudge him awake. It’s been days since you spoke properly. He’s been busy building up his little empire, something to do with money, advising on money. You couldn’t always understand the terms but you loved the way he spoke about it, he made liabilities sound as thrilling as skydiving. He lets out a deep breath, rooted in his abdomen, as you climb carefully into your side, then he settles back into his soft snores. A part of you wills him to wake, a part of you clings to those nights you’d lay there naked talking about super powers and cats and the universe. You remember your excitement back then for this life, one you shared together.

You wonder what you’d say to him if he were awake. Super powers had become something of a reality, dragging yourself to a twelve hour shift or surviving in January with only three hours of heating. Your own cat had just this morning left three muddy prints on your beige sofa. And the universe was far too large, pointless to discuss when there were very real people dying, people you could mend. You want to ask him how you could pinpoint yourself in this universe, in this sprawling mess.

But looking to the table you see the clock click to 03:55 and know you should get some sleep. You carefully lift one of his arms and place it across your chest, anchoring yourself to the bed as you drift out of consciousness.

Read more about Alice Simmons.


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Super Powers

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