When I became Tasha, and had to live with Wade, it was the first time in many years I had regularly slept in the same bed as someone else (stuffed animals not included.) You don't even ant to know what kind of mental convincing I had to put myself through just to get under those covers and lie next to him, this strange man who could be anybody, and definitely was someone else's boyfriend.
Eventually, and sooner than I would probably care to admit (because it doesn't make me look good or feel good) I got used to the idea of being a fill-in girlfriend. I forced myself to swallow my pride and use words like "Honey" and "Sweetie" and the occasional "I love you." I got comfortable disrobing around him, lying with him, initiating contact with him.
It should have felt awful, but if I can be honest, the relationship was probably one of the most healthy I have ever had in my life for a while (the summer and fall, until I realized he and I just weren't compatible no matter how much I wanted to play like we were.) I got into it, because after all the hardest part about getting into a relationship: meeting someone, deciding you like them and getting comfortable in their life, was well past. Wade wasn't someone I would choose for myself, but I made it work.
But then there was sleep. For one, we kept different schedules: he worked days in a tattoo parlor, I worked nights as a waitress. On nights where I worked, I would crawl into bed softly beside him and attempt not to wake him. But I would still lie up awake for hours, trying to keep still rather than obey my body's instinct to toss and turn. We had this big double bed, and for comfort's sake I would roll to the edge to put as much space between us. Then after I cheated and earned his forgiveness, I felt like keeping so much distance between us was wrong, so I closed the gap, but in doing so contorted my body into an odd position to wrap my arms around him. I think the lack of comfort - and the fact that I didn't really do much yoga after that - really exacerbated my back problems, leaving me stiff and sore in the mornings.
A couple of nights ago, Tyler and I were getting under the covers, and he looked at me and smiled. I asked what was that about, and he said, "A year ago... when I was Lauren, I used to lie up at night and think about you. To think how nice it would be to be with you. I knew it wasn't possible... not the way I looked, and not where you had to be. But I dreamed of being myself again, and us picking up where we left off. And basically... doing this. Holding you. Waking up next to you."
I told him I was sure there were other things he dreamed of doing with me.
He laughed, "I tried not to think about it too much."
I leaned over and kissed him deeply. Then he wrapped his arms around me and we drifted to sleep.
Since Tyler and I have been together, we have been sleeping closely cuddled together in the little single bed I have brought to various places of residence. I would love to say the fact that only liked Wade but love Tyler has led to me sleeping more soundly, but the physical facts remain, it's just tougher to get a good night's sleep when there's someone else there. In Alan's body, Ty has a long, gangly frame that tangles pretty oddly with my decidedly more squishy one. We fit, but barely, and I've been giving some serious thought to getting a new bed.
It's a bit of a commitment, sure. My bed is nice, but if our future is together, we deserve better. I'm very serious about the direction of this relationship, even if several unknowns remain. Is this Tyler's final stop? He has been frustratingly mum on whether he has ever discussed giving Alan his body back, or what happens next if he does. I'm trying to enjoy the moment, but... well, I'd like to just be a bit more secure, you know?
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