She listened as the birds began their morning song, another night gone. Sleep had not been her companion lately. It felt as if she would never sleep again. She lay in anticipation each night, waiting and praying for the only escape she knew, the one escape that wouldn’t come.
She had never been a weak soul, but fear and loathing had taken hold of her some years before, and no matter how hard she tried she could not wriggle free of its grasp. The endless thoughts torturing her as she tried with all her might to dismiss them and turn her focus elsewhere. She willed her mind to imagine the life she longed for, the life she never lost hope of having. In that life there was laughter and friends. In that life there was no fear of want, or of impending doom, there was only a calming sense of warmth, companionship and security, and of a kind of love she had never known. A world of endless make-believe came alive each night as she buried herself in her books and movies, taking her place among the characters and reaching for that feeling, the one she knew existed somewhere…somewhere else.
Hunger would finally drag her back into her reality, forcing her from her bed and from her revelry. She walked softly through the quiet house and stood by the stove, the cold floor making her feet ache, feeling foolish once again for wanting, for needing anything other than what was here and now. Oh but it was so hard to not wander back again… back into that world in her mind, to see the vision, to hope just a little more…that she could be that girl in her dreams. She could almost hear her own laughter, such a strange sound to her ears, like someone she had known long ago…in another time, another place, another life…a life she’d yet to live.
After sating her physical hunger, she made her way back to her tiny room, crawled beneath the covers looking for warmth and praying this time that sleep would come, it always seemed to come just as the light was peeking through the slats in the window. A part of her felt guilt for wanting to ignore the daylight, for hating her reality, but she gave herself over to the visions, the dreams, the people and places that meant peace and happiness…the dream of being loved, of feeling safe…she let it take her. She rolled over and sighed…changing the channel once again, until she found another form of make-believe, and she listened to the birds sing.