[wait for sleep]

Disclaimer: If you've heard of them, I don't own them. Everything else is mine, so no stealing, pretty please. ;-)

A/N: I'm not usually big on songfics, but I adore this song. Check it out if you get the chance. :-) Lyrics from "Wait for Sleep" by Dream Theater.

*
Standing by the window
Eyes upon the moon
Hoping that the memory
Will leave her spirit soon

She leans her forehead against the cool glass of the bedroom window, staring sightlessly out in the dark night, the blink of a few stars the only light she can see.

She should be used to this by now, but it never gets easier.

Waiting for him to come home. To leave work behind and come home to her. If he would come home even ten minutes early one night, she would consider herself blessed.

But he won't.

Up at 5:30 and out the door. Stumbling home after dark, only to fall asleep almost immediately.

Only to wake up and do it again.

In all the hours he's gone, she tries to remind herself he's at work, and not where her mind tries to trick her into believing.

Out with friends more important to him than her. At work with a car more important to him than her. Fucking some nameless girl more important to him than her.

She shuts the doors and lights
And lays her body on the bed
Where images and words are running deep
She has too much pride to pull the sheets above her head
So quietly she lays and waits for sleep

She closes the bedroom door gently and snaps off the lights, automatically laying on her side of the bed.

She may as well sleep in the middle for all he'll notice of her.

She's wearing her prettiest nightie, but he won't notice.

She got her hair cut last week, and he still hasn't noticed.

She buries her face in the pillow beside her, trying to find his scent, but he's hardly home long enough to really lay his head down, much less leave her with a reminder of him.

Closing her eyes, she wills herself to sleep without dreams.

She stares at the ceiling
And tries not to think
And pictures the chain
She's been trying to link again
But the feeling is gone

As she continues to lie without sleep, she slowly twirls the engagement ring around her slender finger, remembering with a sad smile all their times together.

Sledding in December.

Scuba diving in August.

Quiet dinners every Monday night.

Twisted and tangled sheets, giggled inside secrets, dinners shared over candlelight and the memory of him getting on bended knee haunt her as she begs her mind to stop and let her rest.

To let her decide what would be best.

Because she can't live like this.

No one could be expected to live like this.

And water can't cover her memory
And ashes can't answer her pain
God give me the power to take breath from a breeze
And call life from a cold metal frame

As the morning light creeps through the blinds, she sits up and with a deliberate motion, slides the ring from her finger, setting it tenderly on the bedside table with one long last look.

Without looking back, she gathers her things, locks the door behind her and throws herself into her car before tears can convince her to stay.

To try one more time.

But he hadn't even come home last night. She wasn't even deserving of an explanatory phone call.

She couldn't live like this.

If she stayed, it would kill her. Slowly and painfully as he drifted further and further away, until her only memories of his face were from dates long ago, or from his profile glanced on the television.

She couldn't live like this.

In with the ashes
Or up with the smoke from the fire
With wings up in heaven
Or here, lying in bed
Palm of her hand to my head
Now and forever curled in my heart
And the heart of the world

As the days creep by, she wonders if he would even miss her.

If he would try to call.

If he even remembers her name.

She knows it's better this way - just to go, no forwarding address, no long, drawn out arguments that solve nothing.

It isn't until a month later her questions are answered.

With shaking hands, she opens the letter that had been shoved under her front door and immediately recognizes his bold scrawled script.

"I tried so hard to let you go, to let you be free. I knew you'd never been happy with me, even though I can't seem to live without you. I've tried, god knows, I've tried, but I can't.

I ache for you.

Please come home.

Please give me another chance.

Please believe that if there is anyone on this planet that could make me walk away from what I'm doing now, it would be you.

Now, let me prove it to you."

She gasped as she saw him step out of the car in her driveway, her eyes flying to the calendar beside her.

It was Sunday.

And he was at her door.

The ring clenched in his shaking hands.

Her ring.

Her doorstop.

On a Sunday.