4 am

I lie awake at 4am with one leg tucked under the heated blanket and the other resting bare on the cold side of the bed. My eyes are closed but I can still visualize every speck of light that wanders into my room each night. On the corner of the ceiling by the door is the tiny green light of the smoke detector, blinking at its slow, fixed pace. There is light from the moon faintly shining through the blinds covering my windows and an old nightlight in my bathroom that I can still see reflecting off the floor when the door is closed. I hear the faint hum of the laundry machine a few rooms away and the sounds of people sporadically turning in their beds upstairs. I want to sleep. I want to sleep but as soon as my head hits the pillow, my mind goes into every dark hole it can find and it stays there until tears fall from my eyes and my jaw goes sore from unknowingly clenching it. It is a montage of death and separation  and every broken heart I’ve ever had. It is panic attacks I experienced in front of entire classrooms full of people and the empty, disapproving look someone makes when I tell them I’m not going to college. You’d think after a few years these things would stop twisting my stomach they way they do, but no, more memories and fears get added to the list and my brain accommodates to them like a welcomed house guest. Tonight was a bad night. Tonight was scary and angry. Tomorrow will be better.

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