It had been a long day. A really, really long day. Even though there were plenty of empty seats on the tube, I didn't want to take one, sure that if I sat down I would sink into the irreversible slumber.
I chose instead to hang from the hand rail like a marionette, swinging and swaying with the rattle of the train, as soothing as a rocking crib. I must not fall asleep.
I jerked my head up from where it had dropped onto my chest and let go of the rail with a gasp. I had almost-
I gritted my teeth and set my feet on the floor, staring strait ahead through grimy eyes. I tried to make a game of swaying with the train, pushing my exhaustion to the back of my mind, a cloudy, dark place. I forced myself to focus. I was nearly home. I could make it.
It's your own fault, my companion hissed, but I ignored it. I had this whole thing under control; I would make it home, take my pills and then... It would be like the last few hours had never happened.
I stared at my reflection without seeing, as the dark wall of the tunnel rushed passed and the lights in the train flickered.
How I wish I could go back from this; I had never meant it to go so far. It was your choice, my companion hissed again, you did this to yourself, and now you can't go back. It's true, so I didn't bother to argue, but I still regret it.
The train suddenly began to brake and I stumbled, nearly falling. The few people on the train took no notice, my near fall experience nothing compared to their papers and books and voiceless worries. I furrowed my brow as the slowing station seemed to twist before my eyes, the doors opening in a sickly spiral, instead of to either side like normal. I felt a cloud of dread blossom in my chest; I was exhausted. I needed to get home.
I stumbled off the train and onto the swirling underground platform, each move sluggish and lethargic.
I stared around in confusion. I had taken this train, gone through this same platform, every day for the past four years, but right now, I might as well have been in another country for all the sense it made. Your not going to make it.
I clenched my left fist and with only the slightest hesitation savagely pinched the back of my hand, twisting and pulling and digging in my long nails. The sharp pain brought some sense to the world, and a bright green EXIT sign caught and held my withering attention. I made for it before it was lost again.
The next thing I knew I was outside, a blast of cold air and a misty curtain of rain chilling me more awake than I could have hoped, sending the warm, enticing cloud of sleep far back in my mind.
That showed you, I thought. But my hissing companion was gone with the cloud and I was, for the moment, alone in the majority of my head.
I took up a swift stride, all of fifteen minutes and I'd be home.
Nothing of note happened as I walked; the world was wet and cold, devoid of people for the most part, and those in the minority, out and about in the frigid rain seemed to drift like wind driven clouds, keen to be home with the rest of them.
I came upon my door without even realising, near enough walking right into it. My door was dark green, dappled with brown dots of mould and flecks of sickly yellow from were the paint was peeling and bringing to light the previous owners bizarre choice of colour.
I had seem my mottled door every day of my life, each interesting pattern found and memorised, star signs and half pictures sunk into the benign. However, as I looked today, the flecks and speckles were swimming in front of my eyes, growing and shrinking in time with my heartbeat. The world was suddenly warm and close, and a weight was pressing hard on my chest, making my breathing low and shallow.
I heard the dull thud of my head on the door, before I registered that I had slumped forward against it. The world seemed to rush skywards, as though the door step was swallowing me as I crumpled into a heap, asleep before I'd hit the floor. I hadn't made it. You didn't make it.