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Insomniac This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

He stood, leaning over the rail bordering the balcony that stood outside the bedroom. He stared up at the full moon, a harsh pale against the blue-black bruise that was the sky. He wore only thin flannel pants. There was a slight breeze, cool on his bare chest. His pectorals displayed goosebumps. His defined abdomen moved slowly with his deep breathing.

He stood to his full height. The moonlight gave the silent neighborhood an eerie, peaceful look. He ran his fingers through his lengthy black hair. He looked down at the glass of bourbon in his other hand. Ice cubes tinkled against the walls of their confinement. In two hearty gulps, he finished the whisky, threw the ice over the ledge to freedom and certain death. Walking inside through the open sliding glass door, he approached the bed. He set the empty glass on a nightstand. He peered at the mass of sheets covering the sleeping woman. He did not love her; she did not love him. They were both just partaking in what was expected of them: pretty people met other pretty people and made pretty babies. But there would be no pretty babies. There most likely wouldn’t be a second date.

He brushed her falsely blonde hair away from her face. She truly was beautiful. The moonlight made its way to her, eager to also feel her flesh. Its touch gave her a ghostly appearance. She looked at peace in the pallid phosphorescence. She watched images as they danced across her eyelids. He briefly wondered what it was she saw.

He silently walked back onto the balcony. He was a lifetime insomniac. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept straight through the night. The moon was his only companion. She would always listen to his thoughts. Sometimes, though, she would leave him, and he would wait. She would always return. He loved her for that.

The breeze quickened. He felt the bite of it in his groin and decided to go inside. He slid the door shut behind him, took his glass to the kitchen. He filled himself another three finger’s worth, imprisoned two more ice cubes.

A flashing light and soft buzz made him jump slightly. The woman’s cell phone vibrated enthusiastically on the counter to his left. The screen flashed, begging for attention. He ignored it. The woman was an important person, as was he. Pretty people were often important people too.

He walked through the hollow house. Returning to the bedroom, he covered the naked woman with the sheets. He could not overcome the shock of her beauty. An old cliché flashed across his mind. Beauty is only skin deep. Unfortunately, this was true.

She did not see the world as he did. To be fair, no one did. He returned to the balcony, mindful to close the door. He retook his position at the railing. The liquor had the desired effect–he no longer felt the cold.

He rarely talked to God, but when he did, it was to ask if he existed. He gave the thought a slight smile. How silly, to ask something if it existed? He did not bother talking to God tonight. He just stood, gazing at his love in the sky, until the door opened behind him.

“Did you get lost?” she asked.

“Hmm?” he barely turned.

“What are you doing out here?”

“Couldn’t sleep,” he replied.

She walked up behind him, shrouded in the bedclothes. She enwrapped his waist in her arms, pressing her body against his, more for warmth than pleasure.

“Come back to bed?”

Again, he stood, emptied his glass. Freed the small remnants of ice. Then he faced her to return the embrace. She felt small, soft, delicate. He felt the moon’s jealous glare on his exposed back. He pulled away from the woman to gaze into her blue eyes. They smiled, her more so than him. They returned to bed.




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