Years Without Sleep — Part 3

(This is part 3 of a 6-part story. From my short story anthology, Naked Ladies: Seasons of the Heart.

“Maybe you need one of those bedroom makeovers,” my best friend Jan suggested the next day. “You know, get a new color scheme, new sheets and a comforter, some big pillows. Put up some netting and light the candles. Get a new mattress. A new mattress can make all the difference, both with sleep and with sex!”

“Really? Did you get a new mattress, Jan?”

She blushed. “Yeah, right after Jace turned three and we decided not to have another kid. It’s been eight years. Maybe we ought to buy another again!”

The bedroom makeover sounded like a good idea, and so I bought a new mattress, new sheets, pillows and a comforter. Then I hired someone to repaint the bedroom. In a week, the room looked entirely different.

When Dan got home that night, I insisted he come back to our bedroom. He peeked in the doorway then promptly went into Tim’s room and closed the door.

“Well, do you like it?” I asked, pounding on the door. “I did it for you. I surely will sleep better with the new mattress, and the light blue and cream color scheme is very restful.”

“If you have redecorated for your love, I’m assuming you consulted with him first,” he said from the other side of the door. “You sure didn’t consult with me. I liked our bedroom the way it was.”

I pressed my forehead against the door panel and closed my eyes. It didn’t seem possible this was happening.  Maybe this whole thing, the whole sleepless two years, was really just a bad dream. I wanted to wake up! But first, I wanted to sleep!

I crawled onto the new bed about nine and shimmied in between the sheets. The pillow-top mattress felt so good, I thought I might go right to sleep. I was so drowsy, and so comfortable. The pillow was just the right puffiness, and my body was in its favorite position, on my back with one knee bent to one side.

Just as I was dozing off, the door to the bedroom opened. The glow from the hallway nightlight silhouetted Dan’s body in the doorway. Seconds later, he crawled under the new comforter and scooted across the bed to nuzzle my neck.

“Is OUR bed comfortable? Are you sleeping?” Dan whispered.

“It IS comfortable. I was falling asleep,” I said, pulling away from his kisses. My eyes were so heavy, and the bed was so cozy. It was incredible. “Dan, I am falling asleep. Can tis wait for another time?”

His hand on y right breast stopped moving. “Another time?”

I opened my eyes and looked up at him. My eyelids were so heavy; I could hardly keep them open for even a few seconds. “Yes. I’m so tired.”

Dan shot out of bed and out of the room. He slammed the door.

My sleepiness vanished. My night time saga began.

Light sleep. Turn over. Turn over. Turn over.

Light sleep. Turn over. Turn over.

Get up. Got to the bathroom.

Go back to bed.

Turn over. Turn over. Turn over.

Light sleep.

It went on all night. I kept remembering how I had rejected my husband just because I thought I was falling asleep. It had all been for nothing. I didn’t get any sleep, plus I had missed out on great sex and had made him mad.

The next morning, by the time I was up, showered and ready for work, Dan had left the house.

At work, Adele had more suggestions. “Okay, now, hon, if you stay up at night until you just can’t hardly keep those eyes open, and then finally let yourself go to bed just before you’re going to drop off on the sofa, maybe that will help. Watch some of those pitiful late night shows. They’ll put you to sleep.”

Adele was right. Late night TV left a lot to be desired. Once the Late Night ‘Kings’ were finished, programming was crappy. But it still didn’t make me sleep. And because I was starting the whole night process later, it was even harder to get up in the morning. I pushed snooze on the alarm clock too often and was late to work – again and again.

(Part 4 is set for Friday. Hope you come back for more!)

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