I wandered into the livingroom, looking for something to distract me. I pulled open the curtains to see if there were any stars out. There weren't, but it was pretty outside. I curled into a tight ball in a chair in the dark room, wrapped a blanket around myself, and gazed out the window for awhile.
The bush directly outside the window was dark green with fractal shards of bright frost on it. The street was wet, and Christmas lights glittered in the puddles. The sky was cloudy-pale-gray, and it didn't look nearly dark enough to be the middle of the night.
As I tucked my feet under the blanket, I saw the scene change slightly. It took me a moment to realize why: in the house directly across the street from me, a light had gone on in a back room.
It was the house with all the Christmas lights on it. I wondered why somebody had just turned on a light at that hour, then I thought that maybe she had just realized that she'd accidentally left her Christmas lights on.
I had been enjoying the lights, so I was a bit sad to think they may be turned off. But they weren't. The window-light stayed on also. It was a window that faced perpendicular to me, so I couldn't see in.
I made up a story for the window-light. She was a woman who couldn't sleep, a secret across-the-street soulmate, and she had gotten out of bed see if there were any stars out. But why turn the light on? Perhaps she had stubbed her toe on the bedframe on her way to the window. Perhaps when she saw that there were no stars, she turned on the light so she could bandage her toe.
I pictured her perched on a windowseat, her right foot pulled up in front of her with its heel on the edge of the seat so she could reach to put the bandaid on. I pictured her smoothing its edges and pausing with her chin resting on her knee, gazing around her room as though seeing it for the first time. I pictured her glancing out the window again at the pale sky, shivering a bit as she touched the cold glass.
A few minutes later, the light in the window went out again, and I was alone with the night. I hoped that my secret across-the-street soulmate was finally able to sleep soundly, and her toe was not bothering her too much.
A few minutes later, I went back to bed myself. It was not too much longer before I finally fell asleep.