After a long day at work or school, it’s time to relax and let yourself drift off to rest properly. To ensure you wake up well-rested with a big smile on your face, we have compiled the best bedtime love stories that will allow you to dream about the love of your life.
1. “Love and Madness” – Mario Benedetti
Legend has it that all the feelings and qualities of mankind once gathered in one place on Earth. When Boredom yawned for the third time, Madness, always as crazy as ever, proposed a game:
“Shall we play hide and seek?”
Intrigue frowned, and Curiosity couldn’t contain itself:
“Hide and seek? How does that work?”
“It’s a game,” explained Madness, “where I cover my face and start counting from one to a million while you all hide. And when I finish counting, the first one I find will take my place to continue the game.”
Enthusiasm was supported by Euphoria. Joy jumped around so much that it convinced Doubt and even Apathy, who never cared about anything. But not everyone wanted to participate. Truth preferred not to hide; what was the point? They always found him in the end. Pride thought it was a silly game (deep down, what bothered him was that the idea wasn’t his), and Cowardice preferred not to take the risk.
“One, two, three…” began Madness.
The first to hide was Laziness, who, as always, slumped behind the first stone on the road. Faith went up to the sky, and Envy hid behind the shadow of Triumph, who with his own effort had climbed to the top of the tallest tree.
Generosity could hardly find a place to hide; every spot seemed marvelous for one of its friends: a crystal-clear lake? Perfect for Beauty! A crack in a tree? Ideal for Shyness! The flight of a butterfly? The best for Voluptuousness! A gust of wind? Magnificent for Freedom! In the end, it decided to hide in a ray of sunlight. Selfishness, on the other hand, found an excellent spot right from the beginning, well-ventilated and comfortable… but only for itself.
Lies hid in the depths of the oceans (well, actually, it hid behind the rainbow); and Passion and Desire hid in the center of the volcanoes. I forgot where it hid! But that’s not important.
When Madness finished counting, Love hadn’t found a place to hide yet, as everything was occupied. Until it spotted a rosebush and, touched, decided to hide among its flowers.
“A million!” Madness counted and began searching.
The first to appear was Laziness, just three steps away from the stone. Then, it heard Faith arguing with God in the sky about zoology, and felt Passion and Desire in the vibrations of the volcanoes.
In a moment of carelessness, Love found Envy, and, of course, deduced where Triumph was. Selfishness didn’t even have to be searched for; it came out desperate from its hiding place, which turned out to be a wasps’ nest.
After walking for a while, Love felt thirsty and, approaching the lake, discovered Beauty. Doubt was even easier to find since it was sitting on a fence, still undecided on which side to hide.
In this way, Love found everyone: Talent among the fresh grass, Anxiety in a dark cave, Lies behind the rainbow… (No, in reality, it was at the bottom of the ocean!), and even Forgetfulness, who had forgotten it was playing hide and seek. But Love was nowhere to be found.
Madness searched behind every tree, under every stream on the planet, at the peak of the mountains, and just when it was about to give up, it spotted a rosebush and its roses… So, Madness took a rake and started moving the branches, and suddenly, a painful cry was heard. The thorns had injured Love’s eyes, and Madness didn’t know what to do to apologize; it cried, begged, asked for forgiveness, and even promised to be its guide.
Since then, since the first time hide and seek was played on Earth, love is blind, and madness always, always accompanies it.
2. “I Touch Your Mouth” – Julio Cortázar
I touch your mouth, with a finger I trace the edge of your mouth, like if it were coming out of my hand, as if your mouth were opening for the first time, and it’s enough for me to close my eyes to undo everything and start over. Each time, I bring forth the mouth I desire, the mouth that my hand chooses and draws on your face, a mouth chosen among all others, with sovereign freedom, chosen by me to draw it with my hand on your face, and by mere chance that I don’t seek to understand, it coincides exactly with your smiling mouth underneath the one my hand draws.
You look at me, closer and closer, and then we play cyclops, we look at each other closer and closer, and our eyes grow larger, they approach each other, they overlap, and the cyclops look at each other, breathing confusedly, the mouths meet and timidly struggle, biting the lips, barely touching the teeth, playing in their surroundings where the heavy air comes and goes with an old fragrance and silence.
Then, my hands seek to sink into your hair, to caress slowly the depth of your hair while we kiss as if our mouths were full of flowers or fish, with lively movements, with a dark fragrance. And if we bite each other, the pain is sweet, and if we suffocate in a brief and terrible simultaneous absorption of breath, that instant death is beautiful. And there is only one saliva and one taste of ripe fruit, and I feel you trembling against me like a moon in the water. (excerpt from “Hopscotch,” chapter 7)
3. “The Murdered Love” – Emilia Pardo Bazán
It can never be said that poor Eva omitted any lawful means to get rid of that rascal Love, who pursued her without giving her a moment’s rest.
She started by putting distance between them, traveling to break the spell that ties the soul to the places where Love first appears. Useless precaution, wasted time, as the mischievous lad got on the coach’s wagon, crouched under the train’s seats, slipped into the traveler’s handbag, and finally into the pockets of the traveler. Wherever Eva stopped, Love stuck its mischievous little head out and told her with a knowing and confidential smile, “I’m not parting from you. We go together.”
So Eva, who couldn’t sleep, had a tall tower built, well-guarded with towers, bastions, moats, and counter-moats, defended by seasoned guards, with drawbridges and solid iron-plated doors, closed day and night.
But as she opened the window one evening, oppressed by boredom, to look at the countryside and enjoy the peaceful, melancholic light of the emerging moon, the rogue sneaked into the room. And although she expelled him and installed double bars with sharp spikes, and voluntarily imprisoned herself, Eva could only make Love enter through the cracks in the wall, through the gutters on the roof, or through the keyhole.
Furious, she had the cracks filled and sealed the gaps, believing herself safe from audacity and excesses; but she hadn’t taken into account how cunning and mischievous Love is. That wretched creature dissolved into atoms of air, and enveloped in them, it entered her mouth and lungs, so that Eva spent the day breathing, inflamed, crazy, with a fever very similar to that caused by an atmosphere oversaturated with oxygen.
Out of her mind, despairing of being able to keep the evil Love at bay, Eva began to think of a way to get rid of him definitively, at all costs, without resorting to means or scruples. Between Love and Eva, it was a fight to the death, and it didn’t matter how Love was defeated, only to achieve victory.
Eva knew herself well, not because she was very reflective, but because she possessed a keen and accurate instinct, and knowing herself, she knew that she was capable of sweet-talking even the devil himself, not to mention Love, which is naturally flammable and easy to seduce. So, she resolved to deceive Love and rid herself of it safely and treacherously by murdering it.
She prepared her nets and hooks, and using flowers and sweet honey as bait, she lured Love, making graceful gestures and directing intoxicatingly tender smiles at it, with soft and affectionate words, in a voice veiled by emotion, with notes more melodious than the sound of water when it unravels over pebbles or falls sighing into a Moorish fountain.
Love came flying, happy, gentle, blissful, confused and trusting like a child, impetuous and conceited like a youth, placid and serene like a vigorous man.
Eva welcomed it in her lap, caressed it with feline tenderness, served it treats, rocked it to sleep so that it would doze off peacefully, and as soon as she saw it calmly resting its head on her chest, she prepared to strangle it, gripping its throat with rage and strength.
A feeling of sadness and pity held her back, though for a brief moment. The condemned Love was so beautiful, so divinely handsome! A rain of golden curls, as fine as strands of light, fell on its pale cheeks, whitened by happiness; and from its purplish mouth, still smiling, between its double row of peeled pine nuts, emanated an aromatic breath, equal and pure. Its half-closed, moist blue pupils retained the blissful languor of the last moments, and its rose-colored wings, folded over its body of Hellenic proportions, seemed like plucked petals. Eva felt like crying…
There was no remedy; she had to murder him if she wanted to live with dignity, respected, free… Not closing her eyes to avoid seeing the lad, she squeezed her hands energetically for a long, long time, horrified by the dying wheezing she heard, by the muffled and mournful groan emitted by the dying Love.
Finally, Eva released the victim and looked at it… Love neither breathed nor wriggled; it was dead, as dead as my grandmother.
At the very moment she realized this, the criminal felt a terrible, strange, inexplicable pain, like a wave of blood ascending to her brain, and like an iron ring gradually compressing her chest, suffocating her. She understood what was happening…
The Love she believed to be holding in her arms was further inside, in her own heart, and when Eva murdered it, she had committed suicide.
4. “Love Letters to Clara Aparicio” – Juan Rulfo
Do you know something?
After a long search, I found out that your eyes taste like sugar. Yesterday, I dreamt of kissing your eyes, right above your lashes, and it turned out that your mouth tasted like sugar; yes, exactly like the sugar we sneakily eat from the kitchen, concealing it from our mother when we’re children.
I’ve also concluded that your cheeks, both right and left, taste like peaches, perhaps because something of that flavor rises from the heart.
Well, the thing is, no matter how, I can’t wait to see you again.
I can’t settle for it; I despair.
So wrap yourself in letters, have sweet and comforting dreams.
*This article was previously published and has been modified.