I lay in my bed, beneath the covers with the daunting glare of my phone illuminating my face. It’s too warm now, the air is stuffy but I stay with the thick blanket over my face until I can no longer stand it. I throw off the covers to allow myself a breath of fresh air, except the air outside my little cavern is freezing and causes a sharpening sensation to go down my throat. I stayed staring up at the ceiling for a few moments, now realizing that my neck was stiffened from the poor posture I had lay in for far too long. My mind feels discombobulated from the strain I placed on my eyes from staring at the screen in such darkness and I feel the tension built up inside my head.
I sigh as I turn my eyes back towards my phone. It reads 1:34 am but I drop it on my face by accident as my hands have grown exhausted. My entire body is begging me to go to sleep, a voice in my mind telling me to just let go of my conscious mind, but somehow there was another voice that chattered away endlessly. It’s going to be one of those nights, I think to myself exhaustedly. My eyes could no longer stand staring at my phone and so I put it on my side table. The aches and endless thoughts in my mind were my fault really. I had against my better judgment decided to pick up my phone as soon as I had laid down in bed. I had gotten five hours of sleep the previous night, which I thought wasn’t too bad, but really I placed myself in this conundrum by simply touching my phone right before bed.
I lay in my bed waiting for sleep to come and when I think I’ve waited long enough, I turn over and stare at the time again. 2:34 am my phone screen reads and I roll my eyes while turning myself to face the ceiling once more.I can hear the hum of the refrigerator despite being all the way down the hall with the door of my room closed. I hear the creaks coming from my brother's room, right next to mine, that were coming from his rolling in his bed. My sister is fast asleep in the bed next to mine and for a few moments I swim in my envy of how easily she falls asleep.
My mind wanders restlessly. I think about the assignments I have due in the upcoming week. That exam that grows closer that I feel so unprepared for. I work myself up by imagining scenarios where I embarrass myself or where something terrible happens. Relax! I tell myself. Sleep! Rest! My mind screams. All my thoughts do is make me more tired. I’ll fall asleep eventually, I do know that, but will I ever wake up truly rested?
Although I’m exhausted, I force myself out of bed. I slowly open the door to my room and wince as the creaking sound it made, disrupts the quiet, although not completely silent slumber of the household. The hallway light is always turned on as perhaps a nightlight for all those sleeping in their rooms. A light that creeps in under the door, with an eerie white glow. I closed my eyes tightly, to shield them from the blinding white light but I was too late and had to wait for my eyes to painfully adjust. Tiptoeing through the hallway in the middle of the night makes me feel like a stranger inside my own home but I continue to tread quietly to avoid waking up my parents.
For some strange reason, the loneliness and solitude of the night both comfort me and make me wary. I seemed to welcome the quiet buzz but knew that I would jump at any sound louder than my own footsteps.
I reach the end of the hallway and begin to do the same routine I did every night before retiring to my room. I slowly walk towards the entryway and to the front door. I then fearfully but quickly push up the curtain, and look at the street. The absence of activity calms me, as I look at the road which is illuminated by the street lamp. The leaves in the hedges move softly in the wind, with their dark shadows swaying under the light of the street lamp. I let the curtain fall back in place and then slide my hand downwards, feeling the locks of the door and the door knob. Locked, safe and secure. I move away from the door now, but I haven’t finished the task. I make my way from the entryway and towards the kitchen, shivering as my bare feet leave the wooden floor and make contact with the cool tiles. Ah, there it was, the humming refrigerator which radiates heat at the bottom, slightly warming up my toes.
I don’t turn on the light, with the light of the hallway being bright enough. I ignore the time being shown on the microwave and stove, as they both always disagree due to no one bothering to change them from daylight saving times. I scan the kitchen and count to four. Three for each completely unused outlet in the wall, and one more indicating that the stove was turned off. My eyes dart from outlet to outlet to stove to outlet, a few more times until I reassure myself that they didn’t deceive my exhausted mind.
I slowly creep back through the hallway, I hear the floorboards creak once more. Entering my room once more, I begin to close the door which creaks in protest. The light from the hallway is overwhelmed by the shadows cast by the closing door, and I am enveloped in darkness. Walking blind in the darkness, I feel like an explorer in a cave whose flashlight has died down. I feel my desk and push past the chair. I reach out in darkness and then allow my palm to press down onto the pillow upon the bed that I have finally reached. Suddenly feeling a comforting and warm feeling, I settle myself down once more. Finally feeling as if I can no longer move, the heaviness of sleep washes away my doubts and worries. This time, I am ready. The shadows dance around my eyes as I drift off, floating off to perhaps another unknown realm.
Feeling the sudden urge to write, I turn on my computer and prepare to type. However, nothing seemed to hit me at first. Thinking about books I've read and how they made me feel, I began to realize how much they affected my emotions. When in the first person point of view, I sometimes become so immersed that reality almost disappears around me. At that thought, I suddenly had an idea. What if I wrote about an experience as if I was a character? Instead of this being like a diary entry however, I decided to experiment by treating this piece of writing as a short story.