4:37AM. Tuesday morning. She laid on the bed, motionless. No sound. No ideas. No thoughts. Only the image of my sweet queen lying on the bed, fighting for her life. She fell into a deep slumber one day and has not woken up. I was told to give up hope, to stop trying, to move on with my life because she would never wake up. Yet, every time I whispered her name in her ears, her fingers twitched as if she was listening and conjuring thoughts in her mind. As if she could remember me, her husband. Michele, my darling, why wouldn’t you wake up? My life is incomplete without you.

My dear Michele, every Tuesday morning at 4:37AM, I sit here, watching you sleep. I can smell the rose bud lipstick on your lips. The smell of honey secreting from the perfume you sprayed onto your body. And I can still smell your lavender lotion you used before you fell into this slumber—the one I am allergic to, but for some reason you continue to use it. I can smell the garbage spill of your foot odor that would haunt me every day. I can smell your hazardous morning breath reeking of overdue milk and rotting meat—the same breath where I would pretend to be asleep so I wouldn’t have to kiss you—yet, I miss that morning breath creeping against my shoulder and waking me up. And with these smells, I get this uncontrollable urge to ravage your body with my nose. And this same nose would guide me to the heaven on your hair. The smell of strawberry and plum combined together to form a heaven so divine, I use these same scents on my own hair. I have it on right now, my dear Michele, to remind me of your scent that I miss so much when you were awake.

At 4:38AM, you moved! Then your eyes slowly open! My dear Michele, you’re alive! Then, your eyes roll back and begin to faint away, you lay motionless on the bed. I poke you, but to no avail. Your skin is pale, you begin to moan as you slumber again; your touch is cold. But your body still oozes this adoring aroma that I fell in love with; I can still smell the same person I fell in love with for twenty-five years.

4:39AM. You begin moving violently. You awaken! Your eyes gaze into mine. I smell something different now—anger and frustration. You reached for the nearest pillow, blew your rotting meat breath on it, threw it at me, and said, “We’ve been together twenty-five years, stop watching me sleep!” I smiled and realized how much I missed your smell. I love you too, my dear Michele.

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