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by IXB about a month ago in excerpts
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the relentless thoughts of a sleepless night

The fan spun. The light shook. How long until the tension became unbearable? Until the ceiling caved, succumbing to the fan’s propellers?

If only she loved him. She was everything. Blonde hair, blue eyes, a bold smile with a sheepish grin. She loved people, she loved to host, she was smart. She was everything. At least everything he wanted. But – Damnit – she wasn’t his.

An unsettling noise. The fan’s beads bumped against the glass centerpiece. Relentlessly. But the heat persisted, unbothered by the spinning blades. He thrust the comforter down to his feet.

Sheets only tonight.

But why? Why wasn’t she his? He had done everything right. Flowers. Communication. Romantic gestures. Long drives. And, the thing is, he didn’t even try this time. She demanded it. Her beauty, her drive, her love for life.

He burst from the sheets, grabbed the cords of the fan and tugged 3 times. ‘tic. tic. tic.’ That should do the trick. The fan slowed; the sound faded. He settled back into the sheets, and flipped the pillow. The underside hadn’t remotely cooled. Of course it hadn’t. It’d only been 3 minutes since the last flip. He turned to his right—maybe his cheek had cooled. It hadn’t.

Green lights stared him down.

3:07 am? 3 hours until I wake. Damnit, and I haven’t even slept! Tomorrow (today?) has so much. Tomor—ef it, let’s call it today –has the exam. The dreadful calculus exam. He might fail. Would the teacher let him fail? He studied. All night. Specifically that one equation, the – the – crap what was it called?

He flipped over, tugging the comforter back to his shoulders. Something about the weight. He needed it to sleep. The fan sat silent. The air grew stale.

He tugged the cord just once.

Was his nose getting stuffy? Ugh. Where are the tissues? Where is sleep? Sleep was the only thing he longed for more than her. Her. Man, how could she walk away from this? A dynamic duo, a team drafted by the gods and yet split by human fears. Maybe she’d still come back. Maybe time was all they needed.

The fan moved softly, a faint whisper in the air. ‘tuht.’ The air loosened, and the comforter snuggled him like the caress of his mother’s hold he dare not admit he miss. ‘tuht.’ no way. ‘tuht.’ Who knew the Blue Man Group was in his room tonight, making sounds with every object?

The beads kept bouncing.

C’mon! Sleep damnit. Where are you? Oh gosh. What If I’m too tired now? What if I sleep through the alarm and miss the exam? Should I set another alarm? Should I just stay up?

The room warmed again. The noise persisted. A bedroom transformed into a fruitless jungle. He tugged the cord twice. If the fan was to keep on its sudden percussionary passions, it may as well cool him along the way. The propellers sped up, alarmingly. Again.

A plane ready to fly right at his nose.

I’ll count to a hundred. Or one hundred sheep? Whose idea was sheep anyways? What a cliché. Is it because Jesus saved sheep? Am I sheep? Meh, I think I’ll count books. I do love reading. I love reading more than math. More than that equation, that – nope, still not there.

He flipped the pillow. Again.

Still not cold. Again.

His eyes grew heavy. His thoughts, heavier.

The fan whizzed on.


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