I slowly open my eyes, hoping against hope I'll see the sun creeping up beyond the trees, greeting the world and marking a new day.
No such luck.
The moon hangs low, full and glowing and ominous. There are few stars, but those that do shine must battle with the glow of the city, muting their brilliance.
I toss and turn, hoping to find the one position in this big, empty bed that will bring upon instantaneous sleep. Add a pillow, subtract a blanket, move this arm here or that leg there.
My eyes are heavy but will not stay closed, fighting me at every movement.
My thoughts will not stop. All the "what if's" and "why's" race at top speed, so quickly I can't answer before the next one hits me. Breathing deeply does little to calm my nerves, barely giving me 30 seconds of internal silence before it all begins again.
Laying down seems to be futile, so I move to a seat next to the window. I can see every house on the street. They are all silent, not even the blue glow of a television is visible in a window. The street lights hum as the last of the summer's bugs flock to them, swirling around them for the last time.
There is no movement. The dogs and cats and squirrels are holed up for the night. There is no one taking a midnight stroll. Even the wind has ceased for the night, the leaves laying delicately, unmoving upon their branches.
The cars are parked neatly along the street, waiting for their drivers. I glance at the clock.
Soon, people will begin to stir awake. The sleep will fall from their eyes as they stretch to greet the new day, well rested and full of energy and life. They will shower and get dressed,make their coffee, kiss their wives and husbands and children goodbye. They will go to work, unaware that I have been watching them from my perch next to my window, envious of their rest, yet joyful someone was able to wake up feeling refreshed.
Perhaps tomorrow it will be my turn.
I watch a while longer as lights begin to turn on. Again, I attempt to fall asleep, willing the groan of starting engines to be my stand in lullaby.
This post is in response to a prompt at The Lightning and The Lightning Bug: Flicker of Inspiration #19-In The Dark of Night