It happened again this morning. Although I was getting used to waking out of my nights of fitful slumber I was never ready for the amount of perspiration on my blankets. I never clearly remembered the dreams that kept me from getting any kind of real rest, though I knew for a fact that I was running in them. Running from what - or for that matter to what - I didn't know, all I know is that all the dream running was making for an annoying morning ritual of changing my sheets before anyone else came into my room.
This particular morning had come with an all new, incredibly embarrassing addition. Not only was I covered in my own sweat, but I awoke in a daze of pain and confusion and found myself half on the floor and half on the pile of books that litered the space around my bed. The sound of my body crashing into the books was what had jarred me from my half sleep moreso than the pain, that came after I opened my eyes. I just knew that this morning I would not have enough time to change my soaked sheets before Annabelle would be in to see what had happened.
As if on cue she flung the door open to find me flopping around on the floor like a fish out a water, trying to straighten things out before she could see everything. I threw my comforter over my bed as quickly as I could, hoping she would miss it while staring at me on the floor.
"Lily, what the hell?! Are you alright? How did that happen?" Anabelle asked, looking from me to the bed and back to me again. "Why are you so wet? Were you having a nightmare?"
I cursed at the fact that she had seen how wet I was from sweating. In my sleepy haze I had completely forgotten about my wet pajamas and hair. I was suddenly aware that half of my short, red hair was stuck to the side of my face, while the other half was sticking straight up the other side of my head. I was a complete mess and didn't even want to get into it with my curious, well-meaing yet highly irritating roommate.
"It's nothing. Just a nightmare. Very realistic I guess. I'm okay." I replied as I tried to regain some sort of composure.
I wanted it to stop more than anything in the world, these vague, haunting dreams that were making it harder and harder for me to function during the day. The lack of deep, satisfying sleep was starting to catch up with me. I sat on the edge of my bed for the millionth time it seemed, and tried to pinpoint exactly when these dreams started and exactly how many nights I had now gone without refreshing my body and brain. Everytime I tried to remember the catalyst of my sleepless nights it was like a thick patch of fog covered that part of my memory, making it impossible to access and in turn making me even more sleepy.
There had to be something that had caused this to happen. As far back as I could remember I had no issues sleeping. In fact, I rather enjoyed my eight to nine hours of unbroken slumber each night. I sat there for a long while after Annabelle had left my room, taking one more glance over her shoulder as she closed the door behind her, looking as if she was trying to decide whether to laugh at the scene or be worried for me.
I thought back three months, when I had moved into the house that Annabelle and I were sharing. It was my second year at college and after a horrendous first year on residence I had opted to share a house with one of the only girls I had met here, and actually liked. I slept fine for the first month or so, at least, so it couldn't be because it was an unfamiliar house. It was slowly falling into place, and I was excited because the usual fog had yet to show up and obstruct my memories. I was thinking hard about what had happened so far this semester, trying to remember significant events that may have scared me for life. Aside from the embarrassment of falling up the stairs in the main foyer of the school, I couldn't think of anything.
Suddenly, my memory flicked momentarily to the face of someone I had been thinking about a lot lately. Grant Lefarve. Out of nowhere about a month ago he had asked me out to dinner. It was shocking to me that he even knew who I was, but we had an amazing time at dinner and had seen a lot of each other since then. I was unsure of why my subconcious would show me his face, and as I tried to figure it out the overwhelming need to sleep came over me again. I glanced quickly at my clock and seeing that it was only 8:30 am on a Saturday morning, I gave in and laid back down on my bed. This time taking care to lay directly in the middle of it, so as to avoid falling out for a second time.
It wasn't until I was asleep that the memory fog vanished and I started to dream once again, this time in surreal colour and sound and without any doubts my brain showed me exactly what it was I was running from. And why.