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October 21, 2009
Sleep lays waiting in my bed. She greets me when I slip underneath the covers; her gentle words lull me into a deep slumber. The night is quick to pass, morning comes suddenly. She is reluctant to let me go. She clings to me lazily as I crawl out of bed. She weighs me down as I stumble towards the shower. I turn on the water it rushes forth with gushing urgency. Sleep shrieks and recoils in horror as the cold droplets sizzle on her skin; she leaps from the shower looks at me with a hurt look upon her face, her deep brown eyes glisten with tears. Her bottom lip quivers. I have no time for her now; she will just have to wait. She wanders back to my bed and gives me a backwards glance before melting into the covers, awaiting my return.

The day ends as suddenly as it began and I fall on to my bed. The blankets envelop me in a cocoon of warmth; the pillow greets my head like an old friend. Sleep cuddles up next to me as I slip underneath the covers. I let her gentle words again lull me into a deep slumber. My limbs relax… My thoughts slow… My eyelids slowly begin to close…
*SLAP*


I wake up startled and confused to see responsibility standing over me, her red hair flowing down her body; her hand raised and ready to strike again. I have a paper due tomorrow, how could I forget? I try to roll out of bed but Sleep grabs my hand and tells me to stay. Responsibility grabs my other arm and yanks me away; glaring at Sleep with those piercing green eyes. Sleep disappears under the covers again with that same hurt look. I have no time for her now; she will just have to wait.
I sit at my computer and begin to write. The keys sound off a dry ‘clack’ with every letter I type, a rhythmic almost musical sound. Responsibility hums along. She watches over me as I work, content with my progress. Her eyes begin to wander around my room, listening only for the rhythmic clack of the keys as I work. Sleep quietly slips out of my bed, sneaking over to the computer; her padded footsteps hidden by the ticking metronome of my work. She brings her warm body close behind me and wraps her soft pale arms around me. My typing begins to slow a she whispers into my ears, each soothing word a weight on my tired eyelids. My fingers stop moving. One hand reaches up to clench my chin as I begin to drift off.

Responsibility comes to with a start and tries to hurl Sleep across the room but to no avail. Sleep grips me like a vice, intent on forcing me back into bed. I can’t fend her off on my own and now even Responsibility can’t keep her at bay. I stand up and head out of my room; something must be done.
I must appear drunk as I stagger blindly through the dark, my hands groping out in front of me and my steps uneven and awkward with the weight of Sleep upon my back. I flick a switch on the kitchen wall, Sleep and I stumble back, the light hits us like a sledgehammer. I survey the room slowly, looking for a weapon to use against this necessary nuisance. My eyes land with a thud on a pale yellow cup, full of a dark brown liquid. I reheat the coffee, the aroma alone throws Sleep off of my back and to the ground. Sprawled upon the floor she looks up in horror as I close my eyes and take that first sip, savoring the taste, the warmth, and the smell. When I open my eyes again Sleep is still splayed out upon the floor but something else is in the room. A slight golden tint colors everything I see. It seems as if I have an aura surrounding me. Sleep stands slowly and tries to take my hand again but she is stopped by this invisible golden barrier. Her hands beat against it as she yells furiously but I hear nothing. I walk back to my computer, sit back down and begin to work, unperturbed by Sleep.
Hours later I am finally finished. The paper sits proudly in the printer tray as I make my way into bed, waiting for Sleep to take over; but she doesn’t come. My eyes feel spring-loaded, they refuse to stay shut. Thoughts race through my mind, Sleep is not here to slow them down. My limbs are rigid and annoyed by the lack of movement. Time slows to a crawl, seconds take minutes to pass and minutes take hours. I wait and wait but Sleep doesn’t come, even responsibility leaves me. I would say that tonight I sleep alone, but tonight I do not sleep at all.
The clock reads 4:00AM; two hours until I have to get up. Not enough time to sleep but too much time to spend awake. My dry and bloodshot eyes light up as sleep peeks around my door frame into my room. She tip-toes across the floor and lays down. She tries to cuddle up next to me but can’t, my golden aura has yet to leave. I look at her with pleading eyes, begging her to help me drift away but hr soothing words bounce off of my golden shield, her hands rest upon its edges. I stare at the ceiling waiting for the shield to disappear wishing I had never rejected sleep; watching time pass slowly. I feel a warm hand upon my chest; Sleep is lying next to me. I let out a relieved sigh as I drift off, Sleep sighs as well, glad to have me back.
I awake to the buzzing of my alarm, each buzz pushing Sleep further away from me. She will not let me go. She grips my legs as I stumble into the shower. She endures the cold water that pours down on me. She sits in my lap as I drive to school. I weave gently side to side on the road as Sleep obscures my vision and ties weights to my hands, making my movements jerky. During classes she sits on my back, my head can barely stay upright with her weight upon it. She grows slowly as the day goes on, her petite form morphing into that of a giant. She barely fits in my tiny hatchback as I drive home. The car swerves onto the wrong side of the road as Sleep grabs the wheel, my tired mind barely brings the wheel back in time, a car speeds by with its horn blaring.
I stumble back into my house and to my room, my last reserves of energy spent. Responsibility sits by the computer, beckoning me to do my homework. Sleep sends her flying with a flick of her finger. I collapse into bed, my mind can finally rest. Sleep changes back into the beautiful girl she had been before and lays down next to me. I have time for her now; she no longer has to wait.





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