A Short Story
Sleep is like a mortal’s version of time travel. The hours speed by when you’re unconscious, but the slightest hint of insomnia, and it feels like the clock has stopped.
I think of Her on nights like these. I wonder if Her infinite sleep means anything. Does She feel it, too? Is She speeding through Her reincarnation?
She believed in that stuff. I didn’t. Not really. She liked to speak of Her previous lives as She clutched Her glass of wine, despising Her current one. Her eyes, always so unbelievably brown, glossy from the alcohol and overthinking, would stare off into the distance. I teased Her mercilessly for Her superpower-like ability to see what the rest of us here on the ground could not. I miss those eyes.
I don’t know quite what I believe. An afterlife seems so extravagantly hopeful, don’t you think? A tad arrogant, too. You’re important enough to live on in whatever situation you believe true. The whole reincarnation theory seems painfully dull to me: it would mean every being on Earth is merely a version of the last. Perhaps I’m the dull one. After all, just because you can’t fully comprehend a matter, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
What do I know? Very little when I see where I am now – staring up at my ceiling, eyes wide open, mind racing, and innately aware of the imminent fatigue tomorrow holds if I do not fall asleep soon.
She would have teased me now, too.
“An insomniac fuelled by the ideas of reincarnation. All those seeds and veggies are getting to your head.”
I am a vegan. Rather, I was one when She knew me. A lot has changed.
God, I miss Her.
And I despise that I do.
It’s been far too long. The period of pining should have been over. Everyone always had so much to say about Her, but no one ever gave me a timeline as to when this would be over. I want my life back. I just don’t know what that life means now.
This. This is why I detested love. My sister once used the term “emotionally unavailable”, but I prefer “emotionally stable” instead. Because when I looked at what “love” did to those around me, the word “insanity” seemed an appropriate description. Everywhere I looked, my friends were giving up on their dreams because they were in love. Their dreams as children were cast aside as foolish. They had replaced these with visions of white weddings and Sunday barbecues always talking about other people but never themselves. It baffled me. Revolted me slightly, too. But I just “didn’t understand”. I would when I “found the one”.
The one. The one who, somehow, amongst the seven billion people in the world, happened to be in your English Lit class in college. I mean, what are the chances? My thesis: ‘The One – The Foundation of a Crumbling Relationship.’
She would scold me for my pessimism, although Her optimism didn’t get her very far either.
We’re both alone.
Well, I’m alone. Tonight, She has a team of hospital staff making sure Her brain keeps beeping and Her heart keeps beating.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? I can’t sleep while she might never wake up.
Irony. Or the Universe got really bored with climate change, civil wars and inequality, so decided to play a twisted hand of fate.
Or, most likely, we’re all living our lives from one occurrence to the next, bluffing our way through life, hoping to God we make it out relevantly unscathed. Most of us don’t. She didn’t.