Tabitha woke with a startled cry, it had happened again. The same burning, the same disastrous scenes that she had become so used to had interrupted her sleep yet again. How long had it been since she had gotten a good night's sleep? Months? A year? Certainly no shorter a time than that. Even when Tabby managed to get a few minutes of uninterrupted sleep, fear that the dreams would come prevented her from really sleeping.
At work Tabitha's best, and only, friend Mindy was just a bundle of joy and apparently, she was expecting one too.
"Oh Mind! I'm so happy for you and Aaron, I know you've been trying really hard." Tabby congratulated her friend. Aaron was lovely and Mindy was just amazing, she had no doubt they would make wonderful parents.
"Yeah, and I was so worried after the doctor said some couple try for years and never get pregnant, I'm just so glad we aren't like that." Mindy sighed joyfully and placed her hand just on her abdomen which would no doubt be swollen with a new baby in just a few short months.
Tabitha was glad too, Mindy was a very maternal person and she had seen that the minute they had begun talking when they first met. All her new friend could talk about were her younger sisters and how proud of them she was. It had been nice to meet someone who so openly cared about family, it brought a small kind of warmth to Tabby's heart.
After work they decided they had t celebrate and since Mindy was no longer allowed to drink, she would have to celebrate with orange juice and live vigorously through her friend.
There was a nice, little bar just around the corner from where Tabitha lived. Little did Mindy know that innocent little Tabby was a regular at the bar, she wasn't an alcoholic but if the day had been taxing she enjoyed relaxing a little and letting herself be drawn into a nice buzz. As much as Tabitha trusted her friend, she didn't ever want the woman to know she wasn't as straight laced as she seemed.
"So," Mindy began after taking a sip of what had to be her third glass of orange juice, "are you still having those nightmares?" Mindy didn't like to beat around the bush, she had seen the shadows under her best friend's eyes and known almost instantly that she hadn't slept.
"Yeah, almost every night for the past year now." Said Tabitha with a sigh. The night had been long and restless, the day, had been even worse.
Mindy looked at her friend and realized just how much older she seemed, the lack of sleep had aged her at least five years, if not ten. Mindy couldn't believe she had never seen it before.
"Tabby... you need to see someone about this. The lack of sleep isn't good for you." Mindy tried to tell her friend softly, but all it did was cause Tabitha to panic.
"No! I can't, they'll think I'm crazy and send me to a padded cell in a straight jacket!" Tabitha panic and edged away fro her friend slowly, her mind was going into a complete blur.
"Okay! Okay Tabby just, just calm down. No one but you and me will know." Mindy promised.
Tabitha calmed and her breathing became deep and even again. Her reaction had been childish and she knew it but she hadn't been able to help it, at the mere possibility of being taken away from the only family she had ever known, she had panicked.
"Excuse me, I need some air." Tabitha muttered as she slipped off the bar stool and headed towards the back entrance .
As she headed towards the door, she managed to trip over and would have landed on her face, had it not been for the beautiful man that caught her. Tabitha tried to apologize but it came out in a stutter.
"So-so-sorr-sorry!" She finally managed to blurt out.
"That's quite alright, Tabitha."