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Sleeping Patterns

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On the first night she slept over at Dongman’s, Aera didn’t sleep as deeply. She woke up some hours later as Dongman shifted to secure his embrace around her. In the stillness of the room she was too aware of his lips by her ear, his breath by her cheek, and how one long leg was right over hers as he clung onto her through the night.

Aera wondered if her dreamless nights alone and in between relationships were made of this – in Dongman’s arms. And maybe that was why her reflex action in the morning was to either feed or hit him, and nothing in between.

Dongman took a deep breath, but didn't stir as he nuzzled her some more. And that was when Aera realized one little detail that had never crossed her mind before…

It’s a not so little detail for that matter.

Aera’s whine escaped her before she could get a hold of herself, which finally woke Dongman up.


“Ah?” Aera thought fast and pretended to have just woken up too, “Hey.”

“Bad dream?”

“Dunno. I don’t remember.”

Dongman smacked his lips and prepared to go back to sleep.

“You’re facing away from me again.”

“I guess I moved—”

He turned her around to face him.

“Stay still.” He said, “It’s just us.”

She gulped and closed her eyes, forcing herself to focus on him snoring lightly next to her.

“It’s just us.” His words echoed into her slumber, followed by the hazy recall of her and Dongman by the beach, leaning against each other and sharing kisses as the fireworks lit up the sky. It was easy to get lost, remembering the miracle of that moment – minutes after Ae-ra had resigned herself to having lost Dongman again.

But it felt like mere hours later when the sun came up, and she easily awoke to Dongman nuzzling her awake.

“Heh, you’re still here.” He said, his voice teasing but warm.

“What, should I go?” She asked.

“Well, if you absolutely need to…”

At that, she allowed herself to open her eyes. And there he was, looking straight at her. Smiling.

It was everything she wanted, but she still couldn’t believe it was real.

“Yeah.” She sighed as she sat up. “I better, before Seol-hee knocks. See you at breakfast.”

Her hand suddenly came up to comb through his hair in greeting. Whatever it was that stopped her from doing so before was no longer there.