PROSE: Sleepless

 
Another 2a.m.
 
She glares at the green glow of the clock as if it has insulted her personally. She has been in bed for three hours and feels like she has never been so exhausted as in this moment. It bears down on her and she screws up her face as if to cry.
 
Too tired. Too tired.
 
 

Another 3a.m.
 
The last hour has passed as she lay here with her fingers wound in her hair, begging herself to fall asleep. It passed and she did not notice it passing. It passed so quickly, yet every minute dragged like a thousand years.
 
They say 3a.m. is the hour the most suicides occur. She can believe that. It is a lonely time. Night owls are in bed, morning larks haven’t risen. She is alone in the night and her agony of exhaustion.
 
 

Another 4a.m.
 
She wants to weep. Instead she screams into her pillow.
 
The boredom is the worst part. Her thoughts keep her awake, thoughts of “Another hour has passed, I must get to sleep. I have work in three hours, I must get to sleep. I must get to sleep. Why am I not asleep…”
 
She turns on the television to BBC World and lowers the sound. Soft voices detail wars a world away and football results. They are soothing voices. She closes her eyes and hopes they will lull her to sleep.
 
 

Another 5a.m.
 
She stares at the screen, at the red and white globe turning slowly, the apocalyptic rave of the theme music in her ears. People discuss the politics of the Middle East. She listens but does not take anything in. She has stopped looking at the clock.
 
 

Another 6a.m.
 
She drops into a doze. Sleep’s tendrils curl themselves around her mind. She sighs in her sleep, content, at last.
 
 

6.30a.m.
 
The alarm sounds.
 
She squeezes shut her eyes. Her pillow muffles a sob. The world awakens around her. The BBC reminds her that the weather in China will be warm, and India is due some rain.
 
She burrows down under her covers. Five more minutes. Just five more minutes.
 
The alarm refuses her.
 
So tired. So tired.
 
She rises to greet another day and wonders how much coffee will be necessary to get her through the next twelve hours. She cannot remember what it feels like to function properly.
 
 

Another day.

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