The air was cool and a breeze from out side floated in, ruffling the still curtains against the window. A sliver of moon light pierced the shadows, drawing a line across the beige carpet beneath the window, creeping along as the curtains billowed out and returned against the windowsill. Jasmine and orange blossoms danced lightly through the moon streak and scented the air with my childhood memories.
I stared into the darkness watching the performance before my eyes, breathing in the delicate scent of the flowers surrounding my window and watching the miniscule particles of dust and light play in the silvery moon beam peaking through the trees.
It was the second night in a row that I was unable to find peace enough to sleep. The house was silent and settling after a long day in the heat. Creaking wood and shifting nails echoed dully through the halls and rooms. My son’s gentle breathing and dreaming body rolled slightly under the oppressive darkness of his room.
And there I was, lying in the cool emptiness of night waiting for my turn. For my body to settle down and fall asleep.
Tight skin and muscles, bones and flushing blood, my body was humming slightly, unable to quiet down for the night. Picking up the slightest noise from outside my window, my ears piqued and listened intently to the solid footsteps of someone trying to sneak by without disturbing anyone. They tried in vain to step lightly through the street, making their way toward the community dumpster. My high strung senses followed each step, each turn.
The minutes ticked by and sleep evaded me still. I rolled and situated my long form in the coldest spots on the bed, soaking in the cool air and soft sheets against my too hot skin. Not long after, the spot I was in warmed to my body temperature and it was time to seek out a cooler place. Navigating the large bed and the tangle bed covers, I squirmed and moved about till I found my body in the shadows, cool and comfortable.
My eyes closed and I hoped for sleep. I let my mind settle into its nest, waiting for that shift in thought, when things stopped making sense and I drifted away into a world of disjointed thoughts and feelings. Beckoning the dreams and cloudy numbness of sleep, my limbs began to sink into the pillow top and my eyes drooped heavier.
I yawned, silently and smoothly stretching beneath the blankets and heavy exhaustion, feeling the night drain me of my energy. I was tired and only hoping for sleep. Opening my eyes just slightly, I strained to see into the dark, to feel out for a presence with me there. But I was alone. Cool and still against my bed, I was on my own.
No one was there to comfort me and help ease me into sleep. No warm limbs or body to press against. My bed, my life, was my own.
I was alone.
Closing my eyes again, I settled into the arms of the darkness and rested. My brain turned over and my thoughts dulled. Sounds around me faded into the background and I felt sleep nestle over me, soothing me.
And I slept.