Jill and Brandon brimmed with anticipation about their first night together. They’d only been dating for two months and were crazy about each other.
“So, I was thinking… Drinks, dinner, and TV in bed at my place?” Brandon said.
“YES!! I can’t wait!” Jill said.
The night finally arrived. Vodka cranberry martinis flowed. A huge dent was made in the Chinese takeout. And they laughed non-stop at Michael Scott’s endless shenanigans during several episodes of The Office.
Everything stopped. Brandon flashed Jill a sexy smile. She felt butterflies in her stomach. Brandon kissed her softly on her neck, which led to passionate lovemaking. They passed out in the sheets afterward.
Ten minutes after they fell asleep, Jill, a very light sleeper, awoke to a low-pitched, guttural rumbling.
HUFF. PUFF. PHOO. PHWEE. VA-ROOM-M RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR-BRRRR-R.
“Ugh. Really?” she grunted in disbelief.
Brandon continued snoring this way... until he stopped.
Silence followed. Jill grew suspicious. She saw him stop breathing for ten seconds until...
HUFF. PUFF. GASP. PHOO. PHWEE. HUFF. PUFF. GASP. PHOO. PHWEE.
Jill grew felt her heart pounding like a wild animal was trying to escape her chest. A Google search confirmed Brandon had a sleep apnea episode. His throat muscles intermittently relaxed, obstructing his airway.
A long hour passed. Jill watched him anxiously while learning more about this. She counted twenty-seven episodes, several of which she recorded. Her heart ached. She hadn’t felt this way about anyone in a long time.
“What if this is a deal-breaker?” she asked herself.
She lightly touched his forehead, causing him to jolt out of bed frantically.
“Babe! Is everything okay?!” he shouted.
“We need to talk,” she said.
A ball of fear nestled in the pit of Brandon’s stomach.
“You have sleep apnea,” she said.
“Oh my god! I thought you were gonna break up with me. Wait… What?” he said with a confused look on his face.
“You stopped breathing. Twenty-seven times. I felt like you were gonna die,” she replied.
“I DON’T stop breathing!” he said.
“Listen for yourself,” she said.
Jill played the recording.
HUFF. PUFF. PHOO. PHWEE. VA-ROOM-M RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR BRRRR-R.
Silence followed again. Upon hearing himself stop breathing, a look of horror came over his face, as he pictured a demon rising from the ashes.
“When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep?” Jill asked.
“Maybe like… seven years ago? But this… explains my constant low energy levels. My constant falling asleep everywhere I go! And why I’m so grumpy all the time!” he said as his voice began cracking.
“Babe, it’s okay. I read up on it. We’ve gotta get you to a sleep doctor so they can prescribe a CPAP machine. And what I’m about to say hurts… but for now, we can’t sleep in the same room together,” she said.
“But... how will we grow closer?” Brandon said sadly.
Jill walked over to Brandon and hugged him tightly, sighing deeply before she let go.
“Babe, pleeeease don’t think I don’t wanna sleep next to you. I just won’t rest properly if I do. But I do wanna be there for you,” she said, fighting back tears.
Jill stuck by Brandon through the arduous three-month process. They longed to fall asleep in each other’s arms. And yet, they were inseparable. Sparks continued to fly.
The day came when Brandon finally got the prescription. He raced to the medical supply store closest to Jill’s house to pick up the CPAP machine and accessories.
Brandon giggled with excitement as he drove to Jill’s house. He ran up to her room and set up the machine on her nightstand. He read for two hours while waiting for Jill to get home from work.
Jill finally got home and hurried up the stairs to her room. Brandon’s heart raced as she sat down next to him on her bed.
“Are you ready, babe?!” she asked excitedly.
Brandon placed the mask over his nose. He leaned over to the machine and pushed the “On” button. Air blasted through the mask.
“Ahm wedyy for di nap-pah mrr lffffe!” he said.
Brandon laid down on Jill’s bed and closed his eyes. He was asleep within minutes. An hour passed, and Jill noticed he didn’t stop breathing. Seeing him getting some real sleep again brought back the butterflies she felt their first night together. She caught a glimpse of a future where they can do everything together, including passing out.