My room was bitter cold on that January night. I shivered as I updated my Facebook status with the message: Going to bed. Wow, my room is freezing.
I glanced at my alarm clock on my night stand. It was one o'clock in the morning. Not super late for a Saturday night, but definitely not early, either. I shut down my laptop and started to prepare my bed for the night. I added an extra blanket to make me warmer and protect me from the chill of the night.
I felt tired, but not really tired. My eyes hurt from being on the computer for so long. I sat on my bed for a while, just thinking. I lied back against my pillows, wondering what I should do tomorrow. I knew that I should probably study for finals because they were coming up that week, but I didn't feel motivated to study. Maybe I could go job searching because God knows I need to make some money. I closed my eyes for a moment.
Suddenly, something didn't feel right. Anxiety overwhelmed me for some unknown reason. My stomach lurched and I gave in as I rushed to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet, leaning over in pain. I took deep breaths to try to calm my stomach. I started to wonder what I ate that day that could have caused such heart burn. It was just anxious nausea for no apparent reason.
This sort of thing happed to me often. I had felt sick and ended up stuck on the toilet for a half hour. I had thought it was because I had a bad digestive system, but little did I know that my anxiety or heart burn pain went beyond that.
I was shivering and shaking. I felt fear rush though me. Every sound and feeling irritated me. I thought I was going to puke. There was a high pitched ringing in my ear. The sound felt as though it penetrated my skull. My eyes clouded over with what reminded me of static on a TV, except more colorful. The sparkles in my fringe vision gave everything an almost dreamlike quality, like a hallucination. It ended abruptly when I heard a knock on the bathroom door, causing my heart to jump into my throat.
"Jess, are you okay in there?" asked my mother. Concern filled her voice like ice water filled a glass.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little stomach ache," I replied modestly.
"You're not sick, are you? Should I bring some Tums?" she offered.
"No. It's alright. I'm feeling better already," I assured her.
"Okay. Goodnight, honey." She walked back to her room.
"Night," I said as she closed her door. I got up and walked quietly down the hall and into my room. I closed the door behind me and plopped down onto my bed. I wrapped myself snugly in my warm and fuzzy blankets, thankful to finally catch some shut eye after the Hell of a stomach ache I experienced.
I jolted awake because I thought I had heard my name. My skin felt sticky with sweat and my heat was beating a mile a minute. I was completely freaked. I knew that it was probably just a dream, but the wind that had started up outside was making odd noises. It was really creepy and I was starting to wish I had bought earplugs.
I tossed my sheets aside, got up and walked back to the bathroom. I turned on the water faucet and washed the sweat off my face. My pale face stared back at me in the mirror. My auburn hair clung to forehead, slightly damp. My hazel eyes look tired and afraid. I clearly needed more sleep. I went back to my bedroom and tried to accomplish that.
I decided to cover my head up with the blankets. I know that's something only a little kid would do, and I'm seventeen and too old for stuff like that, but honestly, it made me feel just a little safer. Safer from what? I had no idea. It was almost three in the morning. What could possibly sneak into my room and hurt me?
Besides burglars…rapists…murderers, maybe, but definitely not the boogie man. Not that there would be any of those people outside my window or even in the house at that moment. It seemed pretty unlikely, at the time, that anyone would want to break into my small home or even kill me.
There was a constant buzz in my ear. It was annoying me and making it hard to fall back into a deep sleep. I concentrated on the sound of my breathing, ignoring the scrape of the bushes on the side of the house, the whistling wind and the ringing in my head. I closed my eyelids and stared at the safe blackness behind them.