I was tired when I laid down at 4am on a fall Friday morning. I felt warm and hopeful as I grabbed my love and settled her into my arms. My eyes closed and I sank toward dreams.
I often forget to fall asleep before I start to dream. Premonition snapped my eyes back open in the darkness. De Ja Veus. I’ve De Ja done this before. It all ends tonight. I’ve seen it. The love I hold in my arms will go cold as I sleep and I will wake up alone. Vigilance is called for. When I lived this before I slept as she passed away. Maybe if I stayed awake and prayed she would live this time.
I began to ramble thoughts toward God trying to convince him I am grateful enough for her presence and worthy of her company. “Please don’t take her. I will be better. Is that what you want to hear?”
Then I heard the whispers outside. The men who so often come close but never arrive. They whisper and plot. They surround and take positions. Any day now they will burst through the door and take me away but that day never comes. They just plan outside. They laugh and their radios crackle.
There was a time I believed with all my heart they were real. I would hide for days inside while trash piled up around me. I would tell no one.
Now I know those voices are figments. I forgot to fall asleep before I started dreaming again. “Do you hear those voices?” I asked my love.
“No,” she replied sweetly and held me closer. “Everything is ok. You are safe.”
She knows I am haunted. I shared my secret with her and she helps me manage it. Knowing she couldn’t hear them plotting just beyond the door confirmed they aren’t there at all. Which was a relief. I still wished they would quiet down.
Oh well. It is not as if I could sleep anyway. I needed to keep my love safe and I dreamed while awake she died if I let myself have the rest my body called for.
I slipped out of bed so she could sleep and let the men who would harm me, if they existed, keep me company for another night.