“I’ll just have to accept my temporary insomnia,” she says with a forced laugh.

She lays in bed, on her back over a duvet that she sweat clean through. Every night the same dreams wake her. The same nightmares shake her consciousness until her pores open; heat and sweat try to wash away the feeling of utter aloneness. Tossing and turning because laying on her side reminds her of an arm that no longer wraps around her waist, she resigns herself to insomnia.

“It’s temporary,” she thinks.

She doesn’t want to see herself as a victim. She doesn’t have problems. She’s normal, just like everyone else that cries themselves through semi-sleepless nights. This is the hardest kind of grief. She doesn’t know when it will end or if it will fade because her body knows it’s only temporary. Four months. The arm that keeps her safe and tethers her to the earth, her anchor, will be back before she knows it. If only she knew when time would start moving quicker.

Photo by: Ela Angevine

Morning always comes, but that just brings a long day with it. Non-stop errands and interactions that make her skin crawl with discomfort because everything is new in a new place. She doesn’t like making mistakes. She doesn’t like standing out.

She sticks out like a striped, pink zebra in a crowd of flamingos in this new place. The language is hard for her, and she feels like everyone around her judges her for not knowing. How dare she go to a place not fluent in the language and expect to get by? It’s not her fault. She tries, but it’s frustrating when learning has come so easy in the past. It’s frustrating when language is her passion, and she wants to give up.

She never thought that she could feel so lonely while being so loved. Back home she is awaited impatiently, painfully; it’s hard for her too. But when everything is new, and she just wants a comforting hug to tell her everything is alright, tears betray what she can’t have. Choices made in the past for reasons that made sense then, don’t make sense anymore. Insomnia creeps in like a cat ready to pounce.

“It’s temporary,” she repeats to herself until sleep crumbles down from the mountain it was resting on so out of reach.

Melancholy whispers out to her, but is not heard. It will be hard tomorrow, but she must focus on the now. It will be impossible, but her phone sits on the bedside table waiting for a special someone to ring. They made an agreement. Phone when needed. She will always be there for her. Maybe that’s not enough, but it is for tonight.

“One semi-sleepless night at a time,” she said to her, “They’ll eventually add up to the time I get to see you again.”