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As I lay on the sofa, I found myself unable to get any rest whatsoever. My fur was damp from sweat, the fine embroidered tunic I was still wearing now wrinkled and stained with moisture.

I listened to the sound the blanket made as I pushed it aside onto the floor, undoing the sash around my waist. Pulling the tunic over my head I tossed it along with the blanket. The blouse underneath was shown no more respect.

As I stood there clothing crumpled at my feet, a strange serenity overtook me. Even in the darkness I could still make out the faint contour of the closed bedroom door. Making no noise walking over, I turned the knob without knocking. The door gave out a faint creak as I opened it just enough to slip inside.

I stood by the opening silently watching the silhouette of the sleeping figure, the dark blue nightglow just making out an outline in the bed. The figure rustled, turning over to face me, his eyes half opening. Jinnai, groggy from deep slumber stared at me.

“Oh, uh, I knew the sofa was uncomfortable,” he mumbled as he tried to wake himself up.

“Yes it is,” I spoke under my breath. “I couldn’t sleep.”

Jinnai began to sit up, gathering his blanket. Rubbing his eyes, he placed a foot on the floor. “I’ll go to the sofa then,” he replied. “You can sleep here.”

I stepped in front of the door, grasping the knob from behind.

“I didn’t say anything about you on the sofa,” I whispered back as the door creaked again and clicked as it closed.


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