Miss Aida
It was one of those moments where I would be content to do nothing more than to lie enveloped in the warmth and comfort of the quilt. Wrapped in layers of fluffy white quilt, on the large comfortable queen sized bed, in a room decked in whites and browns, with the merest hint of the sun already up through the blinds at the window. Savouring the moment as I basked in the lull of one who has just awoken from a good night's rest, appreciating the moment as I slowly awoke, before turning over to fluff the pillow to resume slumber.

And then I stiffened, my brain finally registering the information I was so languidly perusing as I gazed at the ceiling. The ornamental fan with Japanese writing. The sleek desktop. The inbuilt cupboards with full length mirrors. The sudden realisation that I was in someone else's bed, and that someone else was beside me.

Had I thought it was a dream I would have cuddled up, backed up against him without a second thought, feeling the warmth of his body against mine. Savour the feeling of being protected as he held me close to him. But it wasn't a dream, and I stayed my distance, watching him through heavy lidded eyes.

He stirred. "Morning," he murmured before going back to sleep.

Sleeping while I took my fill of him, how in slumber he seemed so much more gentle, and vunerable. His face was familiar, and yet not. The softened planes of his face, making him seem so much more boyish than the man I was reconciled with in my mind. The small scar underneath his eye, just underneath the sweep of his eyelashes. Something I had always noticed but never really looked at with the leisure I was able to do now. He forced open an eye to ask for the time and caught me watching him, and my lips curved in response to the smile in his eyes.

He stretched and turned over, and I admired the well defined, lean muscles of his back, ignoring the urge to touch them, for he was not mine to touch. But I can appreciate a well toned male body as much as the next woman, or so I told myself as I watched him sleep, appreciating the situation I was in, There were definite advantages of being woken up to be greeted with a sight like that.

We dozed in and out of sleep, comfortable in the fluffy white sheets, affectionate conversation of mere sentences before the other would burrow once again underneath the sheets and let sleep reclaim them. Drifting in and out of consciousness, speaking words of people who were halfway between consciousness and slumber. I awoke first, lazily content in my surroundings, refusing to leave the security of that fluffy quilt.

Events of the night starting to come back to me. It started with a movie. Us on the bed, watching Traffic and having pizza. It ended so much earlier than I thought, and we became embroiled in a game of elves and necromancers and angels and devils. Allies, we bulit cities and commenced fierce battles, and explored the boundaries of the world. A more romanticised way of saying we were very much into Heroes of Might and Magic. In fact, so into it, that we were five hours into the game before I realised it was four in the morning. Much too late to walk back by then, considering the distance and the time, and I couldn't really muster up the energy to leave by then.

Never mind my attraction to him that I dedicatedly ignoring. We had promised to stay friends, and unless something out of the ordinary happened, we were making a conscious effort to avoid letting our attraction get into the way of remaining friends. So I slept, in total trust.

"You look like a sleepy teddy bear."

Affectionate to the last, me knowing that my eyeliner would have smudged sometime through the night, and knowing that my hair was redefining bedhead. I wrinkled my nose at him and smiled to myself, realising how love and affection can be bittersweet. Cherished at how sweet he was, despite his larger than life jokes about manliness and being tough.

Little things in life make things so much more richer. Irony. I woke up in bed with a man I cared deeply about, but we had chosen to take a path where both of us were adamant about remaining friends. There should have been tension, but when we both woke up it seemed like there wasn't a difference. It was as if we had resolved that the attraction between us wasn't going to fade away, but instead we were letting it grow into friendship.

For that morning, we were friends. Sun dappled and playful, caught in a moment of rare and uncomplicated languidness, knowing I had never felt more connected with him than I felt lying beside him in that bed, barely touching. A throwback to the innocence of childhood. Before things got complicated.

And between those sheets I remembered what it felt like once again.
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