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January 26, 2002: True

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There are times when I wake up at night and lie in bed with my eyes open, staring at the ceiling in a room illuminated only by the light of the streetlamp outside as it filters through the curtains, and the world is silent except for the little noises the cats make as they sleep and dream, and his breathing beside me. Sometimes I have to ask myself, saying the words aloud only in my head, whether this is truly my life or whether it is merely in a dream that I will forget the instant I finally wake and there will only be a faint bitterness at something lost as the memory fades and I lie in bed alone.

There are moments when I look at him, covertly, quick darting glances so he will not know. Moments when we are sitting beside each other, each lost in a book. Moments when we are driving and he is focusing on the road ahead and my hand is clasped in his hand. Moments when I reach over just to touch him and remind myself that I *can*; that I have that right and privilege.

There are mornings when the alarm rings and I slip out from under the sheets before the sun has risen, and right before I am down the stairs and out the door to work, I steal softly back into the bedroom to kiss him goodbye, just to have his smile to carry with me on the road. There are afternoons like today - slow, lazy, quiet afternoons with luxurious baths and comfortable chairs before a fireplace, and purring cats in laps - when I am overwhelmed with how very much I love him, and awed that he could possibly love me the same way.

There are times when it is still hard to believe that this is real.

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