The Keeper

bleeding heart, personal blogGeorgie met the perfect man.

Well, of course, he couldn’t be perfect. He was a man: stubborn, moody at times, and he insisted on balancing his checkbook on Friday evenings.

But still. Travis was kind, thoughtful, nice-looking, and for some reason, he almost automatically fell in love with Georgie.

So it only took three weeks, instead of her usual two months, to consider sleeping with him. But Travis gave her a strange warning: “I’ve been told I make funny noises when I sleep.”

Told? Georgie wondered. Told by whom? His parents? His former college roommate? His other bed partners?

So it was this question – who told him he made funny noises – rather than the fact of funny noises that Georgie worried about, until their first night.

She woke up startled, hearing a monster nearby. It blew deep breaths of air – WHOOSH WHOOSHEE – for long minutes. And then the noise stopped abruptly. Not one sound emanated from her bedmate.  Should she call 911? She pressed her hand on Travis’ chest. It didn’t move. No air came from beneath his nostrils, where her finger lay.Pixabay, float plane, ArtTower

And then just as suddenly – an intake of air so loud Georgie jumped. The sound was like a plane taking off from water.

So Georgie forgot about who else had heard these sleeping sounds from her new man. Instead, she wondered if she could live with the uncertainly of a deep breathing, hold-his-breath kind of guy.

Until last night. Five months into their relationship, Georgie was still determining whether this man was a keeper. She’d decided years ago she never wanted to be “kept,” but she didn’t want to let this one go even though he arranged his clothes by color. His socks and underwear sat perfectly folded in his dresser drawer. And he didn’t like yogurt or tofu. In fact, he liked corned beef. From a can!

oak, oak tree, fall colors, autumnTravis fell asleep before she did, so she read for a while. She reached a page in the novel that baffled her. The main character compared herself to a tree. A strong solid oak, to be exact.

Georgie fell asleep wondering what kind of tree she’d be. She woke up at 3 a.m. listening to the airplane take off from the water. Figuring Travis was sleeping on his back again, she poked him, realizing they were acting like an old married couple. Damn.

But Travis sat up straighter than a rocket, staring straight ahead of him. “Wow!” he exclaimed.

Did the guy sleep-talk too? What was next? Sleepwalking?

Georgie touched his shoulder gently. “Are you awake?” she asked.

Travis turned and smiled. “I just had an amazing dream.”

“I thought you never remembered your dreams.”

Travis smoothed his disheveled hair. “I don’t… usually.”

“So, what was the dream?”cloud, floating

“I was floating aimlessly, like a cloud on a windy day. I felt …. unanchored. And then suddenly I saw you down below, on the ground, rooted like a tree. You swayed so beautifully that I immediately flew down and rested on your branches.”

He fell back against the pillows and immediately fell asleep.

trees, light through the treesGeorgie lay awake, eyes wide open. Okay. So the guy was a keeper.

119 thoughts on “The Keeper

  1. What a fun story, yes that dream would make him a keeper. I have a sleeper like that, it turned out to be sleep apnea. But a keeper just the same. Xo

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  2. The fact that my first reaction is oh no, that is not a keeper to me! is a sign that I’m not meant to have a living together relationship. Snoring/sleep apnea/weird sounds that wake from my precarious sleep just are not allowed.

    The story, however, is sweet. I like the way you tied it into her dream. And writing should evoke a response in the reader, right?

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    • Oh dear. So many readers have diagnosed Travis with sleep apnea. But I have a feeling he’d never, ever use one of those infernal machines. I think Georgie will be doing a lot of poking his side to keep him well-rested (even if that won’t help her much). 🙂 xo

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    • Oh, Darlene, thanks for the laugh. NO, I agree, I wouldn’t recommend a pillow over the face to stop the noises. But it does sound like he’s worth keeping and figuring out a solution. Ahhhh, the things we do for love. 🙂

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  3. I wondered where this one was going, Pam. I expected Travis to do something weird in his sleep to make him more likely to be tossed back into the sea.

    It would be funny to have a hidden camera installed to see how many times my wife and I flip each other over during the night as we both can bring it in the snoring department.

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    • I love keeping my readers guessing, Pete, and thanks for following the story and wondering ’til you got to the end. And really, the “flipping each other over for years,” to keep the snore monsters away, really, isn’t that a wonderful form of love? ❤

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  4. Interesting characters for sure. Many years ago, an old Filipina (a widow) showed us her wedding photo and gave us some words of advice. “It’s better for him to love you more,” she said. I was surprised, but if the old woman was right, I Travis shows signs of loving Georgie more. So he is a good catch.

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  5. Lovely story Pam which went in an unexpected direction. I was about to say, mid story, that the canned meat, that for me would be a deal breaker. Yuck, so gross. But then he definitely redeemed himself.

    I think she will have to invest in a pair of really good earplugs though if she wants to get uninterrupted sleep!

    Peta

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    • Smiling and nodding with you, Petra. But I think food choices CAN be changed in a relationship. No, we shouldn’t think we can “change” a significant other – never. But food choices? That can be done. (Personally, I’m thinking about how when I met my guy, he lived on Kentucky Fried Chicken as a single guy – that ended quickly when we got together. 🙂 ) So there’s hope for Travis and Georgie. ❤

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  6. Hi Pam, this is a great story. My husband has started snoring recently. He never did that before so maybe its an age thing. You story reminded me to him waking me with his snoring and me poking him to turn over. Sadly, he never says anything nearly as interesting as your character.

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  7. Early on, I suspected a Cpap machine making the noise. Oh, by cracky, you have fooled me again. That’s the whiz-bang storyteller you are, Pam!

    Truth be told, my husband snores but never says anything as interesting as your Travis. Bravo!

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          • Oh yes. The entire family of Mark’s brother, Tim. Luckily, they survived. Tim pinned under the car (the woman who died was underneath him) and broken leg and ribs. One 8-year-old twin daughter a broken jaw. Both had surgery and were released from the hospital. The mom bruised up everywhere. The other twin had minor bruises. These are the kids you signed your books for last summer.

            Mark’s mom was in shock when it happened, fell, and broke her shoulder. So, Mark booked a plane ticket to MA again and will fly back on Monday. We are in the midst of some serious projects, so it is difficult for him to leave me and Maya for three weeks. Again… It’s been crazy around here.

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            • Oh no. I didn’t want to hit the like button, because I do NOT like this. How horrible. Thankfully Tim and family are healing, but Mark’s mom – that will take some time to heal. No place seems safe these days. Prayers and healing thoughts to you all. ❤

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  8. “In fact, he liked corned beef. From a can!” That line cracked me up, Pam. That would definitely make me think twice! Lol. A wonderful story. Oh, we can live with the whooshing and breath-holding if those are his beautiful dreams. (But he should also get that checked out). ❤ ❤ ❤

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  9. Pingback: The Keeper – Freelancer Jobs

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