A story I promised a girl a long time ago.
“You know, staring at a screen for too long will stop you going to sleep,” Mum said.
I laughed and rolled my eyes.
We both knew that wouldn’t make a difference.
Slowly, one by one, the lights went out throughout the house and I lay on my bed and scrolled. Sleep had enveloped my family and carefully tiptoed around me on its way out of the house. Gee. Thanks.
I listened to the gentle ebb and flow of Mum’s breathing slip around the cacophony of Dad’s snoring as I gently pulled on my old, worn black boots. I pulled on a hoody that had once been claimed as Dad’s and stepped outside.
The wind greeted me with glee, running through my hair and down my spine. It was a little colder than I had thought it would be. The stars twinkled up above, dancing and waving at me, snug in their blanket of sky. I blew a lone curl out of my eye and shoved my hands deeper in my pockets. Nothing moved- everything was asleep. Only the stars were ready to greet me, the moon smiling down surrounded by her children. I sat on a bench outside my house.
I wasn’t lonely. The wind whispered to me and leaves chattered back, disturbed from their slumber by the pesky breeze pushing and shoving them from their beds. I smiled- so I wasn’t the only one who never seemed to be able to lay in bed. Whenever I tried to close my eyes and rest, the day would play through my head like a movie and, like a director intent on nailing every detail, I couldn’t rest until every thought had been thunk. Songs would play like a band, ideas would creep around my mind like ivy, and little worries would dance around like jumping jacks, my eyelids no heavier than they had been at midday. My muscles twinged with regret every morning, my mind running on the fumes of an empty tank, and yet, sleep eluded me. And so, here I was. On a bench, outside my house, in the cold.
I thought of the Spanish magazines I had left on my bed.
I thought of my friends all safe and sound asleep in their beds.
I thought of beds in general.
When I was awoken by the birds and the sun, my nose was frozen.