Closing the front door to my condo, I heard the familiar thunk as the deadbolt slid into place, ensuring my nerves would calm for the night. Peeling off my nursing scrubs after a brutal thirteen hour day, I showered, put on my most comfortable pajamas, went downstairs to retrieve a glass of water and trudged back upstairs for bed. I crawled in gratefully, letting my weary bones settle into my plush mattress. I put on my sports talk radio app, so familiar voices would keep me company as I drifted off to sleep. I didn’t want to feel alone.
Yet I did want to be alone.
The condo creaked as the building settled and I shuddered. After a stressful day, I drifted off to sleep with my jaw clenched tightly.
At 3:16am, I awoke with a start, assumingly from a nightmare. I tried to sit up in the darkness and felt as though something had lifted off of me. I felt smothered and struggled to breathe. I was sweating, my heart was racing, my pajamas were clinging to me. My comforter was twisted, signifying a restless night. My head pounded. It took me over an hour of watching tv with my little lamp turned on before I fell asleep again.
I awoke for the day at 8:45, welcoming the flood of sunlight. I went to the bathroom and walked back to bed, yawning and picking up my cell phone from the nightstand.
I had 23 notifications from friends, who had commented on my photos.
Blinking away the morning blurriness, I opened my Facebook app and clicked on the post with the notifications.
And then I screamed, dropping my phone on the floor and hearing a crack as the screen splintered. Picking it up again, my heart thudding violently, I looked at the pictures. Nine of them. Every last picture was of me sleeping in my bed, in various positions, the night before.
Posted at 3:16am.