I miss the early morning hours when nightmares had plagued
me and you were my savior. Neck sticky with sweat and fists clenched, I would
wake to a flash of worry across your eyes. “Hey, hey,” you would tenderly
whisper while I curled into your embrace. “It’s just the bad dreams again. I’m

In those days, I was a slave to my innermost worries, and
anxiety gripped me like a cheap plaything between a pit bull’s teeth. Each
night posed a daunting challenge of a minefield of dreams. Like clockwork, I
descended every slumber into a misty terrain promising only anguish or

But you had a way of making things better. Your knowing
awareness. Your soft glance as you wiped away stray tears. My cheek against
your bare chest. You used to make tea and honey for the two of us, even though
you knew it would keep us up until morning. Me, Darjeeling. You, Earl Grey. I
think back to those nights when I hear my tea kettle whistle. Blowing ripples
across the surface of our hot tea. Lips upon our mugs. Quiet smiles as we
chatted until sunrise.

These recent days feel like those bad dreams, a level of consciousness
where I am trapped in a cycle of increasing traumas. And I yearn for your
familiar touch, an antidote to hurtful truths and a painful reality. I struggle
to pull myself from those same worries, ever present and threatening. Nights
have become more difficult again, and sometimes it is easier not to sleep.

When I wake, the air is still. Morning peeks through the
window blinds. I have slept through another night for yet another day. And the
tea kettle remains silent.


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