She was stressed, she was tired, she was lonely, and she was not hungry. It seemed she was never hungry anymore. She barely slept anymore as well, despite the unyielding exhaustion. Her head would lay softly on her red-pink pillow, body warm under blankets and her mother's quilt, arms wrapped around the teddy-bear everyone told her she was to old for. She would lay there, enveloped in her exhaustion, motionless save for the whirling of her preoccupied mind.

When she slept, if she slept, she dreamed. There were always dreams and they filled her rest with uninvited stress. She would awaken tense, toes curled, fingers straight or wildly grasping, her neck taunt. She would stop breathing – a sharp intake – hold, hold, hold – explode. Realization that it was only a dream would slowly come to her, and for one rare moment, she would relax. Sleep would come again, restful for moments, tense for hours.

Strangely enough, the only escape from the stress was him, and yet, he also caused it. Some nights she would fall asleep in his arms, head riding the pleasant rise and fall of his chest. He was steadfast and as she became more frantic, only he could calm her. She worried about her future, about their future, about college, her job, and the size of her thighs.

And yet, she hoped.

She would stress and worry and plan, yet when she thought of the boy, her sould would fill with warmth and light. She would daydream of a small, happy home filled with their love. She wanted a dog, a well lit kitchen, a large inviting bed, and him.

For a time, her stress and discomfort would continue, but slowly it would subside and her hopes for the future would rise. In the years to come, she had faith in her path, her love, and most importantly, herself.