Worlds ApartMature

15 years ago, Simone Bradshaw found herself a lost, wandering teenager, alone on Newport beach with no memories accept that of her first name. Despite her troubled past, she managed to survive the Los Angeles foster care system, work her way through college and land her dream job as assistant to the mayor. Just as she finally bagins to get ahold of her life, things begin to change drastically. Simone begins to see visions of a man, and her therapist is convinced that they are repressed memories.

Another day. The buzz and flashing red lights were ushering her into another day... great. Simone slaps the noisy contraption on her night stand in a failed effort to stop the violation of sound and light from penetrating sleep. The alarm falls inches out of her reach still blaring its violent protest to her rest.  ‘Its 5 am' it said, ‘get your ass up'. Groggily, she obeys the command of her task master... time.

Time seems to her to rule her existence. There is never enough of time, yet it was always there looking over her shoulder reminding her of how much she has failed it. Time consistently nagged about how she has never accomplished enough for it and how much more she has to get done, and that time is running out: out of patience, out of energy, out of interest, and if she didn't get with the program, time would just run out altogether. There would be no time left for Simone Bradshaw. 

Slowly Simone opens her eyes to the complete darkness of her bedroom disoriented. Why is it so dark? The lack of windows in her room generally leaves it dark in the morning, but this darkness feels deeper and heavier than its usual scary heaviness. For a moment the warning cries of her alarm feel further away, but more strident as if screaming its resolve for her to wake up, open her eyes and pay attention. Simone closes her eyes and breathes deeply to shake the heavy feeling accompanied by the darkness of her room. It has been that way for thirteen years now, a strange feeling of deep unfathomable darkness that looms moments after she awakened as if shielding her from any renegade light that might enter her space.

As always, the moment flees as the first rays of the California sunshine filter in through her open bedroom door and she is able to get her bearings. Simone is home, in bed, preparing to start another day. She climbs out from under the blankets of her full sized bed and evaluates herself in the wall mirror hanging on the opposite wall of her very small room. The night hadn't been good to her. Her long black hair is matted and tangled. Her grey sweat pants barely hang onto her slender waist and are wrinkled and messy, and her white tank top is in similar condition: The night had not been good to her at all.

The very thin carpet feels like sandpaper to her bare feet as she heads out of her room and into the restroom in the narrow hallway. The walls of her apartment are a very dismal beige tone that screams cheap. Simone peels herself from her sweats and leaves them in a stack on the poorly tiled linoleum bathroom floor. She climbs into the shower, content to let the warm spray soak her thick black tendrils of hair and flow down her back and over her thin, well built physique. A new day has kicked itself into gear.

"Good morning Mr. Rivera" Simone says as warmly as she can manage. She'd been in the office for two hours waiting to meet with her boss, who'd taken occasion to show up in his own precious time yet again. "Buenos Dias Simone" he says jovially as if his being two hours behind schedule is of little consequence. The consequences are rarely his own. It is Simone that has to reschedule his meetings, Simone who'd have to hear all the complaints, and Simone who'd be called incompetent for not managing his time well.

Simone had gotten a Master's degree in political science just to end up as somebody's lackey. She often tries to comfort herself by saying that being the personal assistant of the mayor of Los Angeles is hardly being a lackey, but she is more discouraged every day. "What is my day looking like dear?" he says taking the cup of hot coffee from Simone's hands. She'd gone to fetch him a fresh cup from his coffee machine when she'd heard he came in the building. "You had a phone conference with the president of the chamber of commerce at 7:30 this morning, but I was able to push that back a little." He grimaces, knowing he'd missed that call before. "What did you tell her?" He asks, knowing Simone is excellent at covering his tracks, it's the main reason he kept her around.

The woman is good at her job, and it certainly doesn't hurt that she is eye candy. Standing at 5'7 weighing no more than 135 pounds with stunning light grey eyes, her exotic beauty is certainly nothing to be scoffed at. She wears her long black hair in a conservative bun everyday, but many times while working late he'd seen her pull it down to flow over her shoulders and down her back. Her smooth caramel complexion, grey mysterious eyes and full soft lips only add to her beauty. He'd keep her around for that reason alone, even if she wasn't insanely efficient, a pit bull with politicians, and able to keep his daily tasks afloat with or without him. The woman practically runs his office. "I told her that you were in your study preparing for your meeting with the council this morning and that I was not able to disturb you" "Good girl, what time do I meet with the council?" "9:30 sir" he checks his expensive wrist watch to see that it is already 9:17. "Shit, are they expecting me to present anything or am I just there to listen today."

Simone sits a folder on his desk labeled ‘council meeting' with the date inscribed on it in her hand writing. "I already prepared your agenda, what you'll need to discuss for old business, pertinent new business, and things you promised to look into at the last meeting, including the estimated costs of the road repairs that you suggested making. You have about 10 minutes to look all of that over before the meeting starts. I will go in ahead of you now to make sure everything is in order and assure the members already here that the meeting will begin as soon as everyone is seated and in order." Mayor Rivera beams up at his assistant. His tanned face, only slightly wrinkled by age, folds into a smile revealing his perfectly whitened and doctored smile. The man's charm is impossible to deny and likely what won him the election and would likely win his bid for senate. That coming election keeps Simone up to her neck in work aside from the council duties.

At just 5'8, Mayor Rivera seems to stand taller than most. He never just enters a room, but fills it and becomes the center of attention. He was built for modern politics. "What would I do without you Simone" he asks in appreciative awe. "You'd hire someone else to run around behind you sir, so save all that elect-me charm for the meeting and get to reading. I have some city council ass to go kiss" Simone smiles and saunters out of his office. He can't help but to watch the sway of her round hips in her bland grey pants suit as she exits the room.

"Ladies and gentleman if we can please settle down" Simone says entering the council hall, plastering her best false smile across her face. The men and women convening fall silent, and the sound of her high heels clacking across the wooden floor is all that is left. "The mayor will be right in, he is waiting on confirmation that everyone is here before he joins us." She says, opening a manila folder and handing out a stapled packet of papers one at a time slowly to buy a little more time. "What you are receiving is a copy of the Mayor's agenda for today's meeting. He asked that I see to it you all get one and have a few minutes to review it before he arrives so that you can prepare any comments or questions you may have ahead of time."

Simone had turned lying for the mayor into an art form. He was lazy, not very punctual, and often ill prepared. She and his staff keep him afloat. The only reason he'd get her vote next term is because there is a strong chance he'd ask her to come with him to Washington and continue to pick up his slack there. He'd mentioned it a time or two nonchalantly, gauging her response. Of course she'd go. She has no real connections in Los Angeles to hold her back. Simone finds her seat in the back of the room with pen, note pad and recorder in hand.  Just as the mayor walks in smiling wide and shaking hands she hits record, preparing to have to follow through on any promises he makes.

"Girlfriend, you really work too hard" Kara says from behind her desk. Kara had been mayor Rivera's secretary longer than Simone had been his assistant. Her short brown hair bounces rhythmically as she types, never looking at the computer or keyboard. Simone hands Kara her stack of handwritten notes from the meeting. "Yeah, I know, but so do you" Kara smiles up at her. "You know me; I have to keep myself busy." Kara is in her mid forties, but keeps up with current fashion as if she was twenty five, and has the body to do it well. She often puts Simone to shame, whose working wardrobe consists of little more than business pant suits in grey, black, and brown. She wanted to move up in politics because she is good at it, not because she has a great ass.

"Yeah well the mayor keeps us both pretty busy" Simone says sarcastically. "Hey, you know how it is Simone. Martin is a really good man though. He tries so hard, and he has all his family problems to worry about, especially with that wife of his." Simone only smiles not wanting to further the conversation. She alone is privy to the extramarital affair that the mayor and his secretary were having; the classic office affair. Kara didn't really buy that he and his wife were having marital problems or that she was an awful person. They both know Mrs. Rivera and frankly they both like her. It just makes it easier on Kara to pretend otherwise.  Why Kara and the mayor had chosen Simone to confide in she doesn't know, she certainly doesn't approve of their antics and wants no part of when his wife finds out.

"I am headed to my desk to transcribe the tape of this meeting. You can send all of his calls to me for a while; accept his wife or kids of course. Martin has a phone conference with the Chamber President in just a few minutes in his office so he'll be unavailable. You know the drill, right?" "You got it Simone" Kara calls out behind her. "And Simone" "Yeah" "When you run for office I am so voting for you okay?" Simone laughs. "Yeah, sure you will. I know a life long Rivera supporter when I see one" she teases before disappearing.

"Come out with us Simone, you can't stay in this office all night" Kara calls into the mayor's office where Simone had lodged for the past three hours since he'd left at five. "That's okay Kara, you guys can go out without me, I think I'm going to stay later and finish up in here." "Simone it's 8:15, nobody works that late. A bunch of us are going to O'Doul's for drinks and to catch a game. You are coming with us, I insist." Kara's very high heeled boots click across the floor as she approaches. She'd worn a very tight crème and blue skirt suit to work with ankle high navy blue boots. Kara looked good, she always did. "Kara come on; let me get my work done." "I would if you were doing your work, but you are doing Martin's so work so get up before I unplug this computer and you loose everything before saving it." Simone quickly hits save.

Kara would do it, she'd done it before. Not out of malice, but in Simone's good interest. The woman works so hard and allows herself very little time to relax or have a life outside of city hall, Kara simply wants to see her live a little. "Okay, okay I'm coming." Simone grabs her purse, slides her feet back into her white open toed heels and heads out.

O'Doul's is crowded, as it often is on Friday nights. It's the unwritten official hang out of City Hall employees. Court and law enforcement come through the establishment pretty often, making it a turn off to trouble makers. This is where cops, lawyers, and politicians come to let their hair down. "Hey Bradshaw, Rivera finally unlocked his office and let you out?" Tom Mitchell calls out when Simone comes in on Kara's arm. A group of her co workers burst into laughter and applause.

Tom is a tall well built man with amazingly clear blue eyes that you could drown in. His blondish brown hair is cropped low. It's a look he'd kept since he was in the military. Tom is the office ‘popular kid' that all the guys want to be and all the women want to be with. He is witty, smart, devilishly handsome and full of charm. "Come have a drink with us, unless your lips are numb from kissing Rivera's ass all day" The group again bursts into laughter. They are all ridiculous.  Simone grimaces when she sees him, hating events where they are forced to interact. "Nah, I'm okay tonight." Simone says licking her full lips suggestively "You cut my work load in half the way you got on your knees and sucked his dick during the budget meeting today." A chorus of oh's follows her rebuttal and Tom's cheeks burn red when his group turns the table to laugh at him.

That's what had initially attracted him to Simone. She isn't easily intimidated and could go toe to toe with him without batting an eye. "That's my girl" he says, pulling her into the crowded table that their co workers had taken refuge in. "What am I invisible tonight or something?" Kara asks, vying for some of Tom's attention. "How could we miss you Kara? Come over and sit down. Let me get you girls some drinks." Simone walks past the table and straight to the bar. "I'm a big girl Tom, I can buy my own" she says over her shoulder as she passes him. Tom follows on her heels, not the least embarrassed by how it makes him look in front of his co workers. He could gain their favor at any point; it is Simone's he has to work for.

"Bud light please" Simone says to the bar tender over the loud television. The spurs and the Suns are playing on several large screens across the bar and the fans are rowdy. She shuts her eyes as she takes down the cool elixir and exhales. It really had been a long day. "So how many of those will it take before I can get you home with me?" Tom whispers in her ear entirely too intimately. "There aren't enough beers in the world Tom" she says, not even looking at him. "Aw, come on Simone we both know that's not true." Tom chuckles low in her ear. Simone can't deny that Tom is an attractive man, especially with him whispering in her ear that way.

"That was a long time ago, let it go okay." "Why do you have to be so mean Simone? We had a good time that night remember?" Simone regrets having had too much to drink and very poor judgment about a year prior and going home with Tom. He was right; he certainly had kept her entertained, but not enough to consider doing it again. Their hook up was a one time deal. Tom is the office man - whore and everyone knows it. "We did have a good time, the same way you had good time with Leslie and Jasmine and Margarita. Do I need to go on?" She smiles, glad to throw his reputation in his face.

"That's not fair Simone" "What's not fair is the entire office knowing that I got drunk one night and ended up in your bed, that's what's not fair. You broke the rules Tom, never kiss and tell. You'll just have to settle for somebody else." "Nobody else was good enough to keep me begging for it a year later." Simone turns and smiles at him a sexily as she can manage, "and no one ever will be" She turns and gives Tom her back. "You are one tough customer" Tom takes out a twenty and hands it to the bartender. "That one was on me, and get her another one" He smiles at Simone. "Hey, you can't blame me for trying" he says before planting a kiss on her cheek and walking away.

Kara saunters up as soon as he's gone. "What was that all about?" "Nothing, it was just Tom being Tom. You know him. He's going to toss his rod in every direction until he gets a bite." Simone says teasingly. She and Kara had become friends in their time working together. "He's going to get a STD, that's what he's going to get." Kara remarks. The two stay separate from the group, content to hang out at the bar. Simone loosens her sports coat and unbuttons the top two buttons of her blouse at Kara's insistence. "You are too pretty to be all covered up" Kara says. "Yeah right, you're just trying to get Tom back over here in my ear aren't you?" Three beers down and she'd loosened up a little. "No, but he's not the only man in this bar and you're meaner when you aren't getting any" Kara teases pushing Simone a little, nearly knocking her off her bar stool. Simone laughs so hard that she does nearly fall off. Only Kara can be that frank with her.

"Come on let's go socialize with our co workers honey. You know they're over there talking about us anyway, so lets give them something to talk about." Kara says tugging at Simone's arm. "I'm going to pay my tab and then I'll meet you over there okay?" Her voice is sweet. She and Kara have a very loose bond, but a bond nonetheless. Simone knows that the second it's socially in her benefit to turn on Simone she will. However, being the Mayor's assistants' friend is particularly advantageous when you're sleeping with the mayor. Simone pulls some cash from her wallet and pays for her and Kara's drinks, making sure to tip the bartender.

"You look beautiful" A man's voice says to her, so close she can feel his breath on her neck. Simone turns slowly in her bar stool to appraise the newcomer. He stands at least 6'6 with broad, strong shoulders and a body built well enough to not be hidden under a loose cotton long sleeved shirt and jeans. His eyes are set wide against his face, a soft brown tone against his light cinnamon skin. They are so intense as if he is attempting to see through her. He has a head full of neat brown locks, well groomed and falling down between his massive shoulders and eyes a deeper blue than she's ever seen, especially on a man of color. Simone's mouth goes dry just taking him in. This man looks like a carving, a work of art. Hell he could be a Greek god.

"Thank you" is all she can muster. Her eyes dart back to Kara and her co workers but none of them are paying any attention to the man sucking all the air from her lungs. He is beautiful in the way she'd never known a man to be. "You don't belong here" he says in a hushed voice that convicts her. "You're right I don't" she hears herself answer him, but can't understand why. The truth is she knows she doesn't belong. She had never belonged, but who is this stranger that feels like he has the right to bring it up? If this is his idea of a pick up line, he's getting no where. The beautiful stranger takes her small hand in his, enveloping it completely in a gesture more tender than she has ever experienced. With his eyes closed he lifts her hands to his lips and presses a soft kiss to it, inhaling as if savoring her scent. Okay, maybe he's getting somewhere now.

"Do you know how hard it is to watch you and not be able to touch you? I'm suffering without you." Her heart skips a beat. Simone silently admits that this is the best pick up line she's ever heard. She can't figure out why he'd even bothered. A man that attractive doesn't often have to settle for lines. He could just show up and the women would line up in front of him. Something in his eyes and voice are oddly familiar, but Simone can't place it or him. He cups her cheek in the expanse of his hand and lowers his lips to hers. Unexpectedly Simone leans forward into his kiss, knowing her co workers would never let her live it down. She'd be the latest talk of the office for sure.

His kiss is soft and unobtrusive, stirring everything female inside of her, but ends as quickly as it started. Her lips are left aching for his in a way she can't explain or justify. Every muscle in her body fights pulling him back as he slowly draws away from her. "Come home to me" his voice is deep and low in her ear. "What?" Simone is hardly able to speak, or even to breathe. He brings her trembling fingers to his lips again, "Come home to me Simone". He drops her hands and turns, giving her the vast expanse of his back. She can only watch as he lopes away through the crowd like a lion into his pride until he is no longer in sight. 

"He asked me to come home with him and then walked away, can you believe that?" Simone recounts the night at the bar with verve as she reclines on a black leather couch with her bare feet curled beneath her. She and this couch have a weekly appointment that she hasn't missed in years. "That does sound rather bizarre Simone. Forgive me for saying but men don't ask women who look like you to come home with them and then walk away before you respond; especially not if you kissed him back."

Dr. Harold Miller leans forward onto his elbows from behind his mahogany desk, the same desk he'd been leaning forward onto for years, as far back as Simone can remember. His light blue eyes had begun to turn a little gray and his salt and pepper hair had long since gone silver. His build always reminds Simone of Mr. Roger's from television, but just a little sterner. His usual garb of khaki's and argyle sweaters didn't hurt the illusion at all. "I know Dr. Miller! I mean to be honest, if he would have stuck around I might have gone home with him, or least had him back to my place." Her voice is excited, as one might expect it to be with only a childhood girlfriend. "Really, that doesn't seem like you at all Simone. What about him made you feel that way? I've never known you to be that brash."

Dr. Miller's eyes are as concerned as his voice. He'd been Simone's psychologist for thirteen years and had developed a warm fatherly affection towards her that always made him a little uncomfortable when she discussed men and sex in their sessions. Part of him just wants to plug his ears and try to reflect on her younger more innocent days. "I don't know really, it was something about the way he looked at me, how he held my hand that made my heart want to stop. I've never even seen this man before, and I haven't seen him in a week and I've dreamt about him every night. Is that strange?" Her comment piques his interest. One of his thick black eyebrows rises in a tell tale sign. They had stayed black when his hair turned, giving him a unique look.

"You dreamt about him? Does that mean that you've finally been sleeping well, without the nightmares?" A smile crosses her ruby painted lip that eases Dr. Miller's angst. "I did sleep well actually, with no nightmares. I took my pills, got in my bed and went straight to sleep" Simone comments with pride in her voice, indicative of having reached some great accomplishment. For her a good night's sleep is just that, an accomplishment. She'd been on prescriptions to help her sleep for years, and the pills did little more than knock her out. Rest is a concept that she knows little of. Her mind would paint horrible pictures when ever she closed her eyes, or just leave her feeling trapped and shrouded in darkness until her eyes would reopen and a new day began. Simone despised the night and the dark because of it, they only represent the torture she suffered in attempting to rest.

"Tell me about these dreams Simone, what is his role in them?" Dr. Miller is almost afraid to ask and have Simone regal him with some sordid sex tale. She tells him her personal life shamelessly because he is the one person she trusts with it. Simone's smile softens and she tugs at her fitted jeans and readjusts them before speaking.

"He's just there most of the time. He holds my hand, he runs his fingers through my hair or he just holds onto me. All he ever says is ‘come home to me'. It's kind of weird." Harold jots down some notes before continuing on. Simone refrains from speaking to let him catch up although she knows she is being recorded. Watching Dr. Miller and some of the other professionals she'd seen over the years is what taught her the excellent note taking skills that she utilized so often at city hall.

"Okay Simone, that night at the bar when you met this mystery man you mentioned that you were there with co workers. You mentioned Tom and Kara specifically. What did they have to say about this guy you met?" Simone pauses for a moment, considering when she'd spoken with Kara just a few minutes after he'd left her at the bar. "Kara said she didn't see him. She must have missed it." "And what about the rest of your co workers, did anyone mention him?" Simone shakes her head no; her long ponytail sways across her shoulders with her answer. "If they had seen him wouldnt they have brought it up?" "Are you kidding, the way they love to gossip? They'd have been hooting and hollering like teenagers the second I came back to or table. That's what I thought was going to happen, but no one said anything" She shrugs off the thought as insignificant, but can tell by Dr. Miller's contemplative gaze that he does not feel the same way.

"So no one sees him, no one mentions him, and you don't see him at the bar for the rest of the night?" Simone's cheeks heat in embarrassment beginning to understand what Dr. Miller is getting at. "I did not make him up Dr. Miller." Her voice is stone, ready to defend herself.

Dr. Miller exhales wearily thinking of the correct way to word his response without offending Simone too badly. "I'm not suggesting that you're lying to me Simone. What motivation would you have to lie to an old man like me? However, I do find it very unlikely that he was there and no one saw him. Especially with the way he's been appearing in your dreams all week just as clear as he was at the bar" "That still sounds like you think I'm lying" she rebuts still feeling defensive.

"No, but I am wondering if after all these years something has triggered your memory. I'm wondering if maybe that part of your mind is coming out of hiding." Simone is silent, she hadn't thought of the prospect. She had gotten comfortable with the fact that she wouldn't ever remember anything before she was found wandering on the beach thirteen years ago in Santa Monica wearing what looked like a prom dress that had been run over by a lawn mower. It was a long flowing, wine hued gown that was ripped and torn out of recognition.

Her furthest memory is of the police officer who had stopped her that evening. She'd said that she could tell Simone was lost by how confused she looked. Officer Christina Garcia is the first person she has any recollection of speaking to in her life.  After just fifteen minutes of questioning Officer Garcia realized the teary eyed girl in the ripped dress wasn't lying to her, all she could remember was her first name: Simone.

"No, no that can't be true" Simone begins, not willing to believe that. She had stopped wanting to remember long ago when considering the prospect that something horrible had to happen in order for her to forget. Post traumatic stress syndrome always points to some kind of trauma and she'd long since stopped wondering what it was. "I was just 15 or 16 when I was found. If that man I saw was a memory, he was a romantic memory. I was just a kid back then; he was a grown ass man. Why would I have a memory of some grown man kissing me like that?" Dr. Miller doesn't respond, knowing that she could answer that question for herself. God only knew what event had landed her on the beach in those beat up clothes lost and confused; abuse was one of many speculative theories they had discussed.

"No, the man I saw wasn't scary; this wasn't one of my nightmares. If he was a memory of someone who'd hurt me, I would have been scared, I know that. There are so many things that I have been afraid of in my life with no explanation, and you know that. You told me yourself that they are probably connected with some distant unpleasant memory. Hell I'm 30 years old and I'm still afraid of the dark Dr. Miller! I can't sleep on my own without medication. The smell of tea nauseates me, I get nervous in small spaces, and let's not forget the unusual fascination with storms I had when I was younger. How many foster parents reported having to fish me out of the rain during a thunder storm? He was not a bad memory, I know that!" Simone hadn't felt the tears that had begun to stream down her caramel toned cheeks or how her hands had began to shake.

Dr. Miller stands from his seat behind his desk and joins Simone on the couch. "Simone, look at you dear." He takes her hand to comfort her as he speaks. "You are crying and shaking like a leaf. You're able to sleep through the night without any nightmares. Something is changing; something is going on up there." He taps her forehead gently, eliciting a smile from amongst her tears.

"Maybe your mind is ready to open up to us. Maybe you are finally ready for the truth. You know the facts Simone, there is no brain damage or anything physically or chemically wrong with you that is causing your amnesia. You are in perfect health, the only blockade stopping your memory, from what I can tell, is you. This could be a good thing, seeing this man. This could be your brain playing back memories for you. We could discover your true identity, how old you really are, maybe find your family." Dr. Miller does his best to encourage Simone, knowing full well this would be no small endeavor for her.

"But I'm scared Dr. Miller, I'm afraid to remember why I'm afraid of the dark" Instantly Simone is that young girl he'd met thirteen years ago who was afraid of her own shadow.  When they finally had her tested for scholastic aptitude all those years ago, she tested well above high school level, but they'd had her enrolled in as a sophomore with honors, simply because there was no way she was older than 16 according to her physical examinations. She'd grown over the years into brilliant young woman, and a promising young politician despite all she'd experienced.

"I know you are Simone, but you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You work with politicians and lawyers all day every day, the way I see it, nothing could be harder to do or scarier than that." Simone laughs despite her emotional turmoil. "You see, you'll be okay. Besides its not like your entire life is going to change tonight Simone, these things usually take time. Let's just start small. Let's try you trying to go to sleep tonight without your meds. Let's try that baby step. Maybe that's what all this is about, you needing to let go of that crutch and sleep independently. Do you think you're ready for that?"

Laila hates taking pills to sleep, and hates that she can't sleep through the night without them. The night had become her prison and her sleeping pills her prison guards, being sure she couldn't escape. "What if it doesn't work?" she asks more to herself than to her doctor. She'd thought of going without her pills few times before and even tried it once. Unfortunately she woke up to a dark room in a dark apartment in some half awake dream like state, terrified. She felt like someone was there watching her, waiting for her to move to attack her. She just lay there all night awake and afraid until the sun came up and the darkness fled.

"Then leave your pills under your pillow with a bottle of water and take them the second you wake up. Or sleep with all of your lights on so you know it's safe. You could even try sleeping on the couch with the television on or music. Remember we tried those out before you got your pills? Maybe you're ready for one of them now." Simone nods, not nearly as confident in her own strength as her doctor is. "Maybe I'll try it, when I'm ready." "Only when you're ready Simone, only when you're ready."

The End

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