She is afraid of the dark. In a life where she depends on the visual world too much, when the sun sets and the lights go out, there is nothing for her mind to do than to wander into dark and mysterious places. All the distractions and reasons to forget disappear. She is forced to think. She doesn’t like to think: it scares her.
The darkness strips her naked. All the feelings and secrets suppressed so far in the murky depths of her subconscious resurface like dead bodies in a river after the spring thaw. She tries to battle those thoughts and memories, but she knows that she will eventually have to face them, or else they will drive her crazy. She wonders whether it would be better to let her sanity go; whether a mind blanketed in confused oblivion would be a simpler one. But something prevents her from letting go. Something out there in the world is forcing her to hold on to reality. She wishes she knew what it was.
When she turns the lights off she runs to her bed. She makes it in time before the demons get to her, and hides under the heavy covers. Even during height of summer, she hides. The weight of the blankets makes her forget about the emptiness of her soul. That childhood bout of scoliosis that had curved her spine forever forces her lay on her back. She can’t hide her face from the darkness. She’s forced to watch the headlights of late-night cars paint streaks on the ceiling. It’s a good reminder that light still exists, somewhere.
In the corner of her eye she spots that chair with the clothing piled high: too clean for the laundry basket and too dirty for the closet. As the early morning hours slip away and her grasp on the real world grows weaker and weaker, she sees a figure sitting on that chair. A tried, young woman with sad green eyes. She knows that that is a memory of her old self. One day she would have to speak to that ghost. But not today. No, not today. Or maybe it’s the devil sitting there, showing himself when she is the most vulnerable, reminding her of the sins she would rather forget. She holds great company. Humans are boring and much more terrifying anyway.
She learned long ago not to fight with sleep. He will come in his own time. It’s marvelous, how mankind has conquered the entire globe, how unprecedented their power is, yet they cannot force sleep to come. She occupies herself with taking deep breaths and counting numbers, but she knows it’s useless. Sleep will come only in his own time. And the dreams. Writing them down only served as a reminder of her deranged mind. So she stopped. For better or for worse.
As she slips in and out of consciousness she can start to feel the first rays of sunlight enter into her heart. She can feel herself coming back to life and the darkness starts to fade away again, like a wounded, whimpering animal, crawling back into the edges of her mind. She can forget again. The birds announce the arrival of a new day. Bless their small hearts, they seem so happy to greet the rise of the sun. And as the light returns into her life again, she gets that feeling again. A feeling that brings a smile to her lifeless and cold face. All of a sudden she remembers why she still wakes up every morning. It’s hope.
She gets out of bed, ready to experience the joy of living. It will be a day just like any other day, she knows that. It will be filled with happiness and sorrow, with pain and comfort. But it will be a day, nonetheless. Because she believes in that. She has hope.