After he leaves for the airport she goes back to bed for a while, nuzzling into the pillow as if to blank out the day, trying to find in it the sleep she has misplaced. Absently, her hand slips inside the pillowcase, finds a small tear in the fabric's skin. When did that happen? For a moment her fingers slip right inside the pillow, feeling the dry, crumbling texture of its foam. It's an unpleasant sensation, like touching mouldy bread, and she withdraws her hand quickly.
She supposes it's inevitable. This pillow is old, after all, it's been years since they bought it. How plump it had been then, how soft and fluffy, how easy to sink into. Not this thin rectangle of shrivelled foam lying defeated under her head.
Perhaps it's time to get a new pillow. But she likes this one now, has grown used to it. She remembers that night in the hotel room a year ago, when they'd gone for his aunt's funeral, how she'd tossed and turned all night until he thought it was because the ceremony upset her, when really it was just that the pillow was too thick and she'd felt suffocated. How she'd eventually had to throw the pillow down on the floor and sleep without. And the pain in her neck the morning afterwards.
No, better to stick with this old pillow - the one that she has adjusted to, the one that has adjusted itself to the shape of her sleep.
She sighs. No chance of sleep now. She gets out of bed and leans over to straighten the pillowcase, making sure the flap of cloth overlaps the pillow completely. Then she puts the pillow back on the bed and looks down at it. From up here, she thinks, no one can tell the difference.