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981 [ - ]
by OakHillsDrive
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            981 days.  981 days.  Had that much time really past?

            Angela sat in her bedroom marking her calendar.  981 days had passed since that wonderful day when she sat in her therapist's office.  That was the day she realized she loved Tony.

            Marking her calendar had become part of her nightly routine.  She would say good night to everyone and then go into the her bathroom for her nightly pampering.  When that was over she'd walk over to her bed, pull out her calendar and mark off another day.

            Another day that she hadn't had the courage to tell Tony how she felt.  In the past she had made bargains with herself. 

            "I'll do it before I hit a 100."  "I'll do it before I hit 500."

            Every night she'd mark the calendar and wonder what had happened that day that had kept her from her goal.  Some days after a fight, she would be glad she hadn't spoken up.  Other days, she would feel they'd come so close and she'd kick herself.

            Once the calendar was marked, she would read a book and wait for the sound of his snores.  Some nights it only took a moment, others an hour or two.  Once she was sure he was asleep, she'd tiptoe across the hall.  Slowly, she'd open his door.  She would stand in his doorway for sometimes seconds, minutes.  It all depended on how quiet she was or how soundly he was sleeping.  She'd stand there until she couldn't hold it in anymore.

            "I love you, Tony."

            Several times during the last few years, she would find herself saying it loud enough she was sure she would wake him.  A few times, he had turned in his sleep and had said "I love you, too."  It was always worth the risk of waking him up to hear those four words.  Some days, it made her cowardice worth it.  This way she couldn't get hurt.  She could hear him say it, even if it was only in his sleep.

            Day 981 was here and again she hadn't said anything.  Lately, she hadn't minded too much.  Just eight short months ago, they had found themselves making out on a bench in Jamaica.  They had discussed their future.  They had decided not to make a decision about their relationship yet, but at least the subject had come up.  She had let that moment on the bench keep her warm every night for those past eight months.

            Tonight, she held on to that memory as she waited for him.   She knew he'd be home late tonight because he was meeting with his study group.  She had given them the idea to get a hotel room.  She could wait up for him.

            He'll be home soon.  It won't be long, she thought to herself, as she drifted to sleep.