She never wakes up (when I kiss her goodbye.)
She’s all sprawled limbs and messy hair and open mouth. I’ll say she’s never looked more beautiful. She’ll say she’s never looked less.
It’s funny how she can be the lightest sleeper in the world at the most inconvenient time — when I roll over and touch the spot just below her hip that makes her wriggle out of my grasp, a complaint in the form of a groan on her lips — “Tay, that tickles”. The gentle brush of my hand on soft skin somehow wakes her from deep slumber, but the firm press of my lips to hers, the ‘I love you' spoken into her ear goes unnoticed.
She’s funny that way.
It doesn’t bother me. Just puts a knowing smile on my mouth and a feeling of fondness in the center of my chest.
Some mornings, as I’m walking out the door, I hear her stir. A bleary “I love you. Have a good day. I’ll miss you.” slips out, and by the time her head falls back onto the pillow, she’s dreaming again.
Those mornings are few and far between. So mostly I settle for my sleepy, unreturned farewell and a gently closed door. And sometimes, on the mornings I really can’t resist, I’ll open the same door, tiptoe back in and grant myself one more kiss (two more, three more) and another “I love you.” Just in case those words drift from my lips and find their way into the sleeping girl’s dream.