Each night we would end our conversations the exact same way. When time came for her to get to sleep, I would start things off by saying to her in her state of drowsy relaxation the following.
'Guess what, baby?'
And she would reply to me in this soft and subtle tone that should it be bottled could only be labeled purity of innocence.
At that point I had to explain to her the obvious as much as I did not want this moment to ever arrive, fighting my own inner wants to make it so.
'I think it's bedtime.'
Once more in her hushed tone whilst fighting her exhaustion to stay awake for her favorite moment of each night.
"Are you sure?"
Sighing in my mind knowing this was one more goodbye, I could not help myself but oblige. Who could ever deny such an angel with that voice sent from the heavens.
And as customary with her, she liked to lick everything. After we met, before we ever kissed, she licked my face. On the cheek, on the forehead, anywhere and everywhere. They were her licks. I loved them. Then she grew fond of blowing on it after she licked me. She called those Moose Kisses. I call them the thing I miss most. Her reply was simple, but nothing about her ever was.
Here it comes. That instant that would set into motion each reply thereafter. The phrase that I have used with select few people in my life who have meant a lot to me and that truly started it all. There was only one way for me to send my love to the realm of dreams and that was with as much love and affection as I could convey in simple words transmitted through a cell phone's signal. How does one say 'I love you' when the world uses it as a slogan to sell merchandise? Simple. Love them.
'Goodnight, sweet dreams, and don't let the bedbugs bite.'
This was the statement that added a little pep to her voice as she started to gain awareness. I can't say for sure, but I think she really liked this part as she said it so urgently. She didn't want to miss a thing. I didn't want to miss her.
"Think of me."
Lost once more in the gentle confines of my own bed wishing that she were laying next to me, all I could do to keep my sanity was to be honest. After all, this is how our whole goodnight ritual came about. Pure honesty.
'I always do. Dream of me.'
Here is the killer. If one could fall in love with another's voice speaking only two words each with only one syllable, this would be the one. Her pitch was perfect and her tone amazing, it was like setting yourself in front of a cozy fire and her melody soothed the soul. In that undeniably delicate way she would claim me each and every night. Two words. I was her's.
With that I could only conclude the evening with that which brought me to her in the first place. Her beautiful soul, conflicted and abused, she was always something special in my eyes. Such a tortured soul. I spoke from my own.
'Goodnight, sweet dreams, may they be as beautiful and as wonderful as you are.'