We awoke bleary-eyed to the quiet of a sleeping city and the warm light of a bedside lamp that we'd left on during accidental slumber. There is a comfort to waking up in the arms of someone I love, but there is also a comfort to waking up in your own bed with your own things, and so you put on your socks and put on your boots and tightened their laces hook by hook. And then you left.
In the new emptiness of my apartment, I reached to turn off the lamp and realized what had been forgotten. I called your name into the hallway but the only response was the click of a closing gate.
In a half-awake daze, I wandered into the streets wearing only an oversized sweater and a pair of slippers, and was shocked by how quickly you had disappeared. It was so quiet. So empty. So calm. I called your name again and again into the night until you responded and emerged from the shadows.
As I returned home, a stranger walking their dog asked if I was okay. "My partner forgot their watch," I responded, as if it was normal for us to be here in the middle of the night and for me to have run pantless into the street to return something so small. "They just moved so quickly." Filled with a strange warmth for the first friendly stranger I'd talked to in months, I wandered back to my bed and finally turned off the lamp.