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I'm Not a Nap Person

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April 2020

“Do you have everything you need on the grocery list?” Sharon asked, grabbing a jean jacket from her closet and shrugging it on.

Tarja was sprawled on their king-sized bed, a book open in front of her. Her figure was illuminated by the afternoon Andalusian sun streaming through the window. “Yep. Are you sure you don’t want me to go with you?”

“Yes,” Sharon said firmly. “The less people that are out, the better, anyway. There’s no reason for both of us to go. Besides, you look so comfortable.”

Tarja smiled, and Sharon crossed the distance to the side of the bed and kissed her girlfriend gently.

“Don’t do anything too crazy while I’m gone,” Sharon said with a wink.

Tarja rolled her eyes. “I won’t. I’ll probably go out to the garden or something. I always get so sleepy in the afternoons--I have to keep myself awake!”

Sharon laughed. “Well, I won’t be gone long. Then we can start dinner.”

“Sounds good.”

Sharon took her purse from the hook by the door and blew her girlfriend a kiss before descending the stairs to the front door.

It took her about an hour to get the grocery shopping done, after waiting in the queue to get inside the Mercadona supermarket because the store was at reduced capacity. She loaded the bags into the car and drove home.

After leaving the groceries on the counter, she started up the stairs. “Tarja? I’m home!”

She frowned when she didn’t hear a reply and glanced out the window to see if she was in the garden, but she didn’t see any sign of her.

“Tarja?” she called again, and she walked into the bedroom once she had reached the top of the stairs.

Her girlfriend was laying on her side on the bed, fast asleep with her fingers between the pages of her book, still holding her place.

Sharon smiled. She removed her shoes and climbed onto the bed next to her. Tarja’s chest rose and fell gently with her small breaths. To Sharon, she always looked younger somehow when she slept. The lines of worry that were sometimes etched into her forehead and around her eyes disappeared, and she just looked peaceful.

Sharon reached out to trace gentle circles on her arm, and after a few moments, her eyes slowly fluttered open.

Tarja blinked, disoriented. “Sharon?” she mumbled. “What time is it?”

“About 4, I think.”

Tarja’s eyes opened all the way, and she propped herself up on her elbow, suddenly seeming much more awake. “Oh my God, I fell asleep. I didn’t mean to,” she groaned, shaking her head.

“What’s wrong with taking a nap?” Sharon teased. “You looked really cute.”

“Shut up. I can’t nap. If I start taking afternoon naps, that means I’m getting old.” She ran a hand through her hair in frustration.

“It’s okay, I’ll get old with you,” Sharon said with a yawn. She opened her arms, and after only a second’s hesitation, Tarja crawled into them.

“I guess getting old isn’t so bad,” Tarja whispered, nestling her head into her girlfriend’s shoulder.

Sharon sighed happily and closed her eyes. She felt Tarja’s heart beating next to her own, and the steady rhythm slowly lulled her to sleep.