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When Does the Loneliness Set In?

Saturday, January 12, 2019



The loneliness sets in at night, when you’re in bed with your eyes closed, waiting for sleep to take you into his arms. But in those fifteen minutes, when you are trying to drift away, you suddenly become aware of the emptiness around you.
There is no lover snuggling behind you, breathing warm air on your neck. There is no best friend, giggling next to you in bed. You feel no one when you move your feet across your four hundred thread count sheets, searching for warmth, or anything to stop your foot from making it across the entire bed. Tears invade your eyes when your foot falls off the edge.

Then you hear a sound. It could be the fridge humming, or a creak from the house settling, but suddenly it is terrifying. You worry that you forgot to lock a door and pray no one is breaking in. You hold your breath to listen to any possible sound.

Nothing. It’s silent. No one is trying to murder you, so your breath dramatically leaves your lungs. You consider buying a gun to feel more secure in your own home.

The diffuser on your dresser sprays the air with the scent of lavender, begging you to fall asleep. You stare at the ceiling and attempt controlled breaths to calm yourself down from the sound fiasco. Closing your eyes again, you roll to snuggle with your body pillow, allowing loneliness to surround you.

Now it is too quiet. You feel like you would be able to hear a fly buzz by your head because of the silence. The idea of turning on the TV calls to you like an old friend, but you know if you turn it on, you won’t fall asleep for a couple of hours. You so desperately need sleep, but you feel more desperate listening to the silence, in the dark, alone.

Just when the weight of solitude feels like it’s too much, you snuggle deeper into the bed and feel a bit of warmth next to your toes. That is when you remember, you are not truly alone. A small, warm ball of fur, in the form of a dog, rests next to your feet. You whisper to the fur ball, “Goodnight.” Her ears perk at the sound of your voice, but she quickly resumes her slumber.

Your dog breathes softly because unlike you, she has already fallen asleep. You can feel her body move up and down with your feet as she exhales her doggy breaths. This causes you to smile because suddenly you don’t feel so alone. You count her breaths and control your own, until the crushing loneliness subsides, allowing you to fall asleep to the smell of lavender.

Thank you for reading my short nonfiction work. If you would like to read more of my writing, click here

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