I am woken up by the usual sound of my husband’s bodily functions emanating from the en suite. I find it strangely comforting and fleetingly wonder if it would work as a design concept for an alarm clock. I mean surely I’m not alone; there must be millions of women waking up to the familiar sounds every day. I suppose it’s the human equivalent of a cock crowing.

Keeping my eyes tightly shut I hear him coming back into the room. If I can just make it five more minutes then he will be off downstairs and I will be spared from the morning grope.

How is it best to feign sleep? I mean I should probably throw in a little snort or a snore, maybe thrash around a bit and perfect some rapid eye movement. Instead I lie here like a frozen statue, tense and in tune to every last bodily function that he makes.

I can sense him approaching my side of the bed, the one that I have occupied for the last twenty years of our marriage. Strange how territorial we all get over a certain side. Even when we go on holiday we adopt the same procedures, it becomes “My Side.”

Now he is hovering beside me and I run my tongue around my teeth trying to dispel my morning breath. What if he wants a session before work? I wonder if I could fit it in before the school run.

I feel a gentle tap on my arm and he whispers, “Sophie, are you awake?”




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