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I wake up every morning with my body aching, my eyes shot through with pain ... you knew how physically painful it was for me to wake up. I wince every morning, just from the ache of consciousness. I thought, for a while, that you took that wince personally, that you imagined my inability to wake up without this hurt was because of you.

Did you ever get over that?

I've always awoken this way. A natural born insomniac, I've never (not even in infancy) had a consistant streak of full nights of sleep where I actually rested. I suppose more than two decades of that would prime my body to react badly to awakening.

I told you all of this, I'm sure of it.

I'm still not sure that you really believed me.

Every morning, after the pain, I would reach over and find the curve of your back or the crook of your elbow and just hang on for dear life for the next few minutes.

You anchored me ...

I wake up every morning now in the same way. I still jolt awake, unpleasantly and painfully, every morning. I still have that moment where I feel like I've died. And I still reach out for you ...

But you're not there anymore ...

I miss you.