Aaron woke up in his dark bedroom to the sounds of water pinging and clanging on the exposed portion of his window unit air conditioner. Thunder rumbled in the distance and bolts of lightning flickered through clouds, briefly illuminating the bedroom. He tried to check the time on the alarm clock but its face was black. Aaron guessed the storm had knocked the power out which meant he would have to get up and check his cell phone for the time.
Aaron leaned up on his arms and looked over at Eve lying next to him. He could only make out her ever expanding figure as a deep breathing, slightly snoring, silhouette. He sat up with a minor groan and then chuckled at himself for being mean to Eve about her weight. Aaron hadn’t exactly kept himself like Adonis in their 24 years of marriage. He thought about waking her up, maybe fooling around a little. He still loved her very much. He considered that it might be time for both of them to start getting a little more active and maybe eating a little better. Lighting flickered across the walls of the bedroom and Aaron started counting the seconds as he was taught. The thunder finally rumbled when Aaron got to thirteen one thousand.
He stood up from the bed, looked back at Eve, and smiled a little as he was sure she just farted a little. She only farted in her sleep. He slipped his slippers on and started toward the hallway and downstairs. Aaron had forgotten how hard the hall was to navigate when all the power was out. Usually a street light outside kept the hallway lit enough that you could see well enough to make it to the bathroom with running into that damn end table. Which Aaron promptly walked into just as he was thinking about it. He muffled his cursing and reached down to his big toe. He was just glad he was wearing his slippers or he could have lost the toenail.
After working his way around the damn end table, which was a gift from Eve’s long dead Aunt, he found the top of the stairs and carefully made his way down holding the banister, still being mindful of the light throbbing in his left grand toe. He wondered how humans ever became bi-pedal walkers with the threat of stubbed toes so ever present in their early world.
He made it to the bottom of the stairs and squinted through the darkness trying to see the clock on the fireplace mantle. The darkness was impossible to penetrate. Aaron reached out with his hands in front of him, trying to find the corner of the living room wall so he could feel his way to the dining room table where his cell phone was plugged in. Eve and he had developed a talent for piling things on the dining room table. There were bills and papers and books and more clippings and a laptop and Eve’s sewing kit. Aaron had asked her to please put the sewing kit away two years ago but she just never got around to it and Aaron just sort of stopped seeing it was there. He couldn’t remember why she took it out in the first place.
Aaron found the dining room table without smashing his toes into anything again. He found his cell phone, just because he always put it in the same spot without exception, and he hit the little button on the top; 3:47 AM, it read.
That didn’t seem too bad to Aaron. He might actually be able to get back into bed and sleep for another two hours. He turned the cell phone toward the room so its bright screen could illuminate his path back upstairs when he heard something clang in the basement.
Aaron was not a fool. He knew better than to go investigate that noise in the pitch blackness of the basement during a serious thunderstorm. Plus he was afraid it was a monster. It was always a monster lying in wait in the murky darkness or some kind of flame engulfed hell beast ready to drag his soul to hell for that time he accidentally kissed Sherry at the company Christmas party 18 years ago while Eve was in the other room. Aaron wasn’t going to fall for it. If anything, he’d check it out in the morning, in the daylight, when the evil spirits of the night couldn’t get him.
He pointed the cell phone toward the stairs and made his way back up toward the bedroom. He avoided the damn end table with ease. He walked into the bedroom and sat on the bed, kicking off his slippers. He set the alarm on the cell phone and placed it on his nightstand and laid back down into bed.
“Everything alright”, sleepily mumbled Eve.
“Everything is fine. Go back to sleep sweetheart”, said Aaron.
He nuzzled the back of her head and she patted his leg and they both quickly returned to sleep while the storm raged outside.