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Restless Nights This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Twisted wool socks cling to my bony ankles and toes. I'm pretty sure all of my pillows have migrated south, onto the carpeted floor. My head lies flat against the 20-year-old mattress. I sniff, cough, and close my eyes. I pull an extra blanket over my achy body. It eventually comes to me that the Theraflu I took earlier should be working by now.

“I need rest. I need sleep,” I say to myself. I want to go to school tomorrow and see my friends. But sadly, I probably won't.

I blink at the glaring digital clock on my bed stand; my head is pounding as if it has its own heartbeat. The green numbers flash before my eyes: 3:30 p.m.

I roll toward the window. I look out, feeling the coolness from the glass against my face. There are only three stars visible in the pitch-black night sky. From the deserted highway next to my house and the lonely atmosphere, I can tell that my clock is broken.

I watch a passing car slowly drive over the black ice and wonder, Why would anyone be awake at a time like this? Oh, right, that includes me.

I check my cell phone for the real time to give me a sense of control. The light of the screen burns my eyes; it's 4:22 a.m. This is going to be a long night.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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