Ruby snuggled up to her husband as they lay together, placing her arm gently over his back, not wanting to disturb him. She loved the smell of his aftershave. It reminded her of when they first met, mixed up with the joy and anticipation of first love.
He was her rock: physically larger than her but also a stable presence in her often tumultuous life. It was something that most people didn’t admit to, but she had always loved him more than he loved her. He denied it of course, but she knew. She needed him more than he needed her. And she doubted that she would have ever married had she not met Harry. She had never been good with men, never knew what to say. But her friends loved him, always going on about how handsome and charming he was and ‘innocently’ flirting- she didn’t blame them- he just had that effect on women. Her friends weren’t who she was worried about anyway, it was his female work colleagues who she didn’t really know, and who took drunken selfies with him on work nights out, draping themselves over him and ruffling his thick wavy hair.
They weren’t a threat now. She felt his arm muscles – he liked working out at the gym. Ruby leaned over and kissed his cheek, bristly with a couple of days’ growth- he never shaved at the weekend.
She smiled to herself. She really was very lucky to have him. She pulled up the duvet least he get cold. His empty hot chocolate mug still sat on his bedside table from the night before. He loved it before bed, just like a child. He had not tasted the extra ingredient that she had bought online and added to the drink when he wasn’t looking.
He had kissed her goodnight like he always did and told her how much he loved her. She was glad that he would never know the pain of old age and illness: he would always be beautiful, always be hers.
She closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep just as the dawn chorus began to sing outside.
Later she would have to call the police and report the terrible news, but for now she would enjoy lying with him, one last time.

Author: Alex

I work in a college library, and love reading, writing and drawing. I am a breast cancer survivor.

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