Screech, screech, screech.
The screeching sound haunted her as she lay in her bed attempting to clear her mind so she could find rest.
She needed to sleep. The flashbacks had prevented a restful nights sleep for far longer than she could remember.
Suddenly, the constant screeching stopped. She sat up.
Everything was silent. She hadn’t remembered a time where she hadn’t heard the screeching. Not for many years. She looked over at the man laying next to her and shook him awoke. “Do you hear that?” She asked. “No I don’t hear any screeching” he replied without opening his eyes. He added without turning to face her “Did you take your sleeping pills? The doctor said they would help the noises.” She became worried why did the screeching stop so suddenly “I don’t hear screeching. It stopped.” She whispered.
“See the pills worked” He replied as he slipped back into slumber.
Almost as soon as he began to softly snore she heard a sound. It was a faint sound, but upon hearing it she immediately knew what it was. Someone was in the hallway. She shook him again “Someone is in the house”. This time she received no reply from him. She shook him harder as the sound of footsteps got closer. “Wake up, someone is in the house”. “Go back to sleep you’re having another nightmare” he replied. His voice sounded distant. No this time she knew she wasn’t dreaming. This seemed too real. She could feel the presence of someone else in her home. She heard the footsteps getting closer. She wasn’t dreaming, this was real.
“Wake up!” she shouted. Who was she talking to? She wondered to herself was she sleeping?
The doctor had warned her that the sleeping pills could give her vivid life like dreams.
Maybe she was asleep. Maybe she just needed to wake up. When did she fall asleep? How long had she been asleep?
She no longer heard the footsteps or felt the presence of a stranger. She closed her eyes and whispered a prayer. When she opened her eyes, she was sitting on her living room couch watching re-runs of The Andy Griffith Show. When did she leave her bedroom? She must be dreaming.
She closed her eyes again. She began to practice the calming routine that the many counselors had taught her. She took a slow breath in while counting to ten, then she exhaled slowly while counting to nine. She repeated this for eight counts.
She opened her eyes. This time she was at her Mom’s house in the backyard garden. She was picking snap peas and placing them in the plastic bag wrapped around her wrist. She liked this dream. This was a happy dream. It began to rain softly, the light rain kissed her cheeks and comforted her. She began to play in the rain, dancing in slow circles as she looked up into the clear blue sky. This was real, this was happiness. She found herself slipping deeper and deeper into slumber.
How many pills had she taken? Two at ten o’clock. Those didn’t work, after she took them she continued to pace up and down the hall way, anxious for sleep. She took two more at 10:45 pm and then a few more after that. Around 11:30 pm she took about two more. After taking those two she called her best friend, who of course didn’t answer. Who would answer at almost 12 o’clock at night. She took a few more pills, maybe three maybe four she couldn’t remember, and followed them with the rest of the bottle of wine she had been slowly sipping on.
Finally sleep begin to claim her. She lay down in her empty queen size bed and found that she was able to finally drown out the world and rest. This rest she definitely needed. Her brain had been running wild with images of days long gone. She knew she could no longer control her mind. She had tried more than once and found herself exhausted from her feeble attempts. These pills helped though. They quieted her mind and allowed her to rest. As the rain drops rolled cooly down her cheek she took a deep breath and forgot about the world.
Tomorrow she would let her doctor know that these pills worked.
Finally she was able to sleep.