I woke up in the middle of the night. I could feel the sting of sleep in my eyes as I blinked. Groaning angrily to no one, I turned over, kicking my legs against the pull of the sheets. The bedding smelled of three days of sleep sweat and life. I wasnít sure if it was comforting or that it was what woke me.
I leaned up on my elbow and stared bleary-eyed at the clock. Iíd been asleep for only four hours. That sounded about right for the last few nights. I released an exasperated moan and fell back into my pillows. I could feel each little tangent of a thought plodding through my brain. I imagined that my mind was a snow-covered mountain and my thoughts were lost hikers, trudging to find their way home.
Glancing at the clock again, my face twisted in frustration. Iíd been awake for forty minutes that passed like forty seconds. I lay back down and attempted to make a decision. Get up or lay pointlessly in bed for the rest of the night.
Surrounded by a deeper black then the black of space, I sat up, the blankets slipping off of my body. Food. Maybe something to eat would solve my insomnia for the night. I could worry about tomorrow night tomorrow.
Wrapped clumsily in an old, tattered robe, a robe that was probably inside out, I padded my way in the dark to the kitchen. I blinked my stinging eyes against the light when I stepped onto the cold, smooth kitchen floor. Iím not sure what it was I grabbed from the cabinet, but it tasted good, and it didnít require cooking.
I carried the bowl back to my bedroom and fell back into bed. The smell of hot sleep sweat and life contrasted sharply against the food in my hand. I wasnít really hungry anymore. Not that I was in the first place, but that didnít matter now. My eyes adjusted to the dark and I glared at the holo projector in the corner. My last ditch effort for sleep: to watch an old holo of an old movie that Iíd seen thousands of times. The familiar sounds and changing colors of light could usually knock me right out. So I left the comfort of my well-worn sheets and matted down pillows to pop the disk in the projector. Opening credits and a gentle soundtrack filled my small room, and filled me with a warm smile. A smile that knew Iíd be getting to sleep soon.
Instead, two hours later, glaring wide-eyed at the end credits, I remembered what it was about that movie that always put me to sleep. It was boring after the first thirty minutes. I glanced at the clock again, sighed and stretched. I took a deep breath and instantly regretted it. Iíd caught a whiff of my own body. I needed a shower, but that would guarantee that I wouldnít sleep anymore tonight. No matter how fitful the sleep was, I missed that I wasnít immersed in it.
I popped in another old holo and leaned back against my pillows. This holo was older, but not as greatly used as the last. It was about a single parent trying to raise their child the best they could and have a life at the same time. It was done from the childís point of view and about half way through, I wished I hadnít put the disk in the projector. My eyes stung both from lack of sleep and from the salt dried at the corners from my tears. I missed my mother. She was a single parent. She worked more then full time and she wanted the universe for me. I respected her and loved her more then I ever had the chance to tell her.
A set of gentle knocks pulled me out of the inner works of my mind. The holo projector in the corner had turned itself off hours ago. I didnít even catch the end of the holo. Iíd seen it before anyway. Wrapping my threadbare robe around my body again, I turned on lights as I stumbled through my apartment to the door. I glanced at the clock in the corner, not entirely surprised to find that I had lost the entire night. My own fault really.
The door to my modest apartment slid open to reveal the showered and dressed in his pressed uniform figure. A very close friend of mine from our common time spent in the same field of work and from our understanding of each otherís past.
Wedge frowned at my robe and tousled hair. "Youíre not ready."
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