Awake

A short story about the tiredness that sleep can't fix

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1. Awake

It’s the middle of the night, that time when no sole dare to be not sleeping. Someone is awake. Curled up in a ball at the end of her bed, trying to cry but no tears will come out. She’s not sad, just empty and maybe if she’s crying she might feel something.  She’s completely alone and only thinking about one thing: death.

‘I don’t want to die’, she’s nearly convinced herself of that.  But she wouldn’t mind if the world ended today, all those reports in the news about hydrogen bombs don’t distress her. In fact, they make her feel relieved.

She’d rather not deal with her problems. She’s tired in that way sleep can’t fix. She wants everyone else to see the inside on the outside. But then what would they think? Would they think she is attention seeking? I mean look at their problems. All, worst-case scenarios. How could her problems ever compare with theirs?

And yet they bring them to her, hand them over on a silver plate. Expecting her to solve them all perfectly, making them her responsibility. Adding circles under her eyes and worry lines in her forehead. If she doesn’t solve them, who will?

 So, she lies there, curled up in a ball, in the middle of the night. Wondering what it would be like to have underlying feelings of happiness. Of course, she has some happy moments, but they only contrast the sad dreariness of everyday life.

“Mild anxiety and depression” 4 words that sum up everything but don’t seem to cover the change from pure feeling to nothing within seconds. It’s a label, 4 harmless words, and yet they sting in a way she didn’t think they would.

She smiles at the world, spends her whole day trying to cheer other’s up. Then comes home and must deal with the sadness herself. She is awake, because sleep doesn’t have the answer. 

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