I awoke to the sound of the alarm clock. According to the time shown on its face, it had been screaming at me for nine minutes. God, I hate Monday mornings. Like an ogre lumbering around in his cave, I made my way over to the noise with the intent of smashing it. I say I made my way over because I had to move my alarm to the opposite side of the room. If it’s within reach, I will turn it off without ever waking up. Reason prevailed at the last second, perhaps because the frigid air in my room had aroused me far enough from slumber, and I pressed the snooze button. Reason or no, I was grumpy. I turned and addressed the bear.”Why is it so damned cold, Teddy? Didn’t I turn on the heat?”
Teddy is a small stuffed bear, who loyally served as my security blanket when I was a small child. After I grew up, I discovered him in my parents’ attic one day, and decided that an attic was no place for such a companion. So I brought him home with me, and he is welcome to live out the rest of his days under my roof. He doesn’t talk much, but his sense of humor is amazing. Now, in his usual manner, he declined to answer.
I growled at Teddy and stomped off to check the thermostat. I had, indeed, turned the heat on, however I had only set the target temperature to 62 degrees. Nothing reminds you that you’re naked like standing in a hallway that is only 62 degrees. Well, there are other things that can remind you you’re naked, of course. And then I started thinking about Her again. After turning the thermostat up, I walked back to the bedroom, where Teddy was awaiting my apology.
“Why can’t I stop thinking about her? It’s only been two weeks, and I’ve gone crazy for this girl.” It was true, of course. I’d only known her for fourteen days, and she had been in my thoughts at least once an hour since I met her. How could she slip in like that? I’d been emotionally guarded for so long I’d forgotten what it felt like to be crazy about a girl. I sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. Teddy said nothing, but I could feel his eyes on my back. I turned to meet his gaze.
“You like her, don’t you?”
Teddy kept his silence, but gave me a look that was answer enough. Of course he liked her. He loved her. She had cuddled him in her sleep three times now.
“Yeah,” I nodded. “Me too. Just remember that there are no guarantees in this. I don’t want you getting hurt if she decides it’s not going to happen.”
Teddy winked at me. Despite his usual silence, that bear is a fucking genius. He knew the score, and knew who would be comforting whom if the shit hit the fan.