It’s times like tonight that torment him. Almost 4AM and he is far from sleep. The routine he has set up for himself will be shot the next day. He will wake up later than usual, and he won’t get to writing until at least noon. He blames himself for the lack of discipline. For failing to move on with things.

On this particular night, he thinks about how much he misses what he has lost. The nights he came home late from work, he would quickly brush his teeth, wash his face, change his clothes, and jump into bed next to Olivia, already sound alseep under the comforter. It was even better in cold weather, the bed pre-warmed and Olivia’s soft, warm skin radiating additional warmth. He would lean over to her side and give her a light kiss on the cheek. Most of the time, this would be enough to stir her momentarily. She would roll over towards him and tuck her head right between his arm and chest, squeezing herself tightly against his body. This would take no more than thirty seconds and she would quickly roll back to her side and doze off right away. He would soon follow her, reassured and all warmed up.

He drinks a glass of water and sits at his kitchen table, numb and unfocused. There are ways to fall asleep. A pour of bourbon, masturbation, reading a novel – the last two things being possible in bed. But he doesn’t find the motivation and lets the time pass.

He remembers the nights when his feet were especially cold – the result of his habit of never wearing socks in the house. In bed, she would let him wedge them behind her knees, in between her calves and the back side of her thighs, as she faced the other way and continued to sleep. His feet got warmer in minutes, and he would thank her by squeezing her hand.

He reconsiders and takes out the bourbon. It’ll warm him up and send him to sleep.

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