Boredom. I don't know.

~jrlrock


Once there was a woman with seven sons and seven daughters, and she was very blessed, so much so that she was granted the gift of immortality. There was only one condition, though- one of her children (or, in time, her grandchildren or great-grandchildren) had to close her eyes and wish her a good night every evening at twelve (or so). She would fall asleep immediately, and awaken ready to live on her immortal life. It wasn't a curse, either- to stop her immortality if it became torment, all that she had to do was tell her children to leave her be, and she would fall asleep in about two hours naturally and never reawaken. She was unable to close her own eyes, however, and never blinked, which proved to be a haunting image if you stared too long.

The woman's youngest daughter was a young and rebellious teenager, and it was her responsibility to put her mother to bed that night. Her father had passed away years ago and her mother demanded to be left alone after eleven each night, which meant that if a child forgot it meant death. However, the children were very good at keeping track - they had to be - and had organized a system where those that still lived with their mother had to care for her about every week.

It was this daughter's day, then, but it happened that the child also had a sleepover that night. She had planned to sneak out since her mother disapproved of these friends, and so hadn't told her siblings or mother so that they could organize the schedule around it. The girl gave her friends the items she'd need to sleep over during school and then left home at around seven, heading out to enjoy her life and completely forgetting about her mother. She knew that her mother would not look for her with so many kids to care for. Besides, they'd already had dinner, and her mother rarely left her room after that.

The girl had an excellent time at the party, and became very frustrated with her mother for disapproving of her friends. For a quick moment, the girl remembered her mother and the schedule, but a friend sat her back down and, with the loud bass and alcoholic tint in the drinks, had her forget her responsibilities and decide to stay. When she went to sleep at around two a.m., she had no idea that her mother was sitting alone in her room, trusting in her daughter to come and see her and so refusing to get help from one of her other children. Her faith overrode her common sense, and she decided to wait patiently for her daughter's aid. It never came, and both fell asleep at about the same time, early into the morning.

Only one would awaken.

It was nearly noon when the girl awoke. Her makeshift bed on the couch had made her back hurt, she was hungry, she smelled, and her hair was a mess. After getting herself looking suitable, she was driven back home by one of her friends and snuck back in through a window. It was a Saturday, and the sun was shining. She decided to go talk to her mother about her sneaking out, even though she was sure to get into trouble. Her friends really weren't that bad, she decided, and she wanted her mother to know them better before judging them.

When she entered her mother's room, she saw the woman sitting there, completely still and eyes open. Her mother was smiling slightly but sadly, as if disappointed. Panicking, the girl ran downstairs to check the chart. For yesterday, her name was there. She'd forgotten, and her mother was dead. She ran back upstairs, climbing the steps three at a time, and saw the same picture she'd run from. Her mother was dead because of her. Guilt began to tear scars into her heart that would never truly heal as she slowly walked forward, touching her mother's face and closing the woman's eyes for the last time.

She would always hope, for the rest of her life, that her mother would finally get the rest she needed and wake back up. Her mother never did.