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 I hate it when I can't sleep

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Sparkyjade

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Posts : 27
Join date : 2012-12-28
Age : 41
Location : Austin, Tx

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20130114
PostI hate it when I can't sleep

Sometimes at night, I can't sleep. I'll lay there for hours trying to shut my mind up but it doesn't. It's like listening to a thousand different scenes all at once in my head. Usually shit I don't want to remember anymore. I try to listen to the quiet of my van, but all I hear is my heart beat and my own breathing. Sometimes I can hear the wind blow and the van creak. Nothing but time and silence. Tonight it's been a real bitch to sleep. Even after hours of karaoke, lots of booze and a hot shower. Sleep.. is evading me tonight. Thank goodness I changed the sheets after Luc passed the hell out in here. I swear that man needed to shower, blegh. I've got enough problems getting to sleep without the aroma of corn chips and baked onion in my bed. I looked up at the roof and tried to count my pulse like sheep, even closing my eyes to make shapes out of the tendrils of light behind my eyelids. I rolled each wrist, feeling the bones slide around then pushed each hand down against my forearm until they popped. They always get stiff when I spend too much time drawing without a break. That's it I'm up and up I sat, swinging my legs off the little bed and onto the floor. I looked at my smokes and zippo on the metal tool box, the little tin I use as an ashtray and just sighed. For years I've been ok but don't know why every time I look at my zippo now my heart aches and my memories keep coming up. I reached over and grabbed that lighter. I turned it over and over in my hand. I felt it's design in the mostly dark of the van. I chuckled just once and I felt how bitter it was before the sound reached my ears. I flipped it open, my thumb flicked the flint wheel lighting the wick and I set it on the toolbox. The smell of lighter fluid floated through the van but I didn't care. Its a comforting and familiar smell. I watched the flame dancing like a candle for a very long time and again the memories swam to the surface, demanding attention.



I was 19, been out of high school for nearly a year and thinking that I owned the world. I was working with my teacher still, Mark. The South of Time shop was buzzing and busy. Then one day, the physical embodiment of my undoing walked through the door. 1.5 meters tall, dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. A cocky almost arrogant attitude like he knew all the world's secrets, held them in his pocket. I swear I dropped about 50 IQ points just watching him walk from the doors to the counters, with a quiet, otherworldly and almost animal grace. He walked in a bubble of confidence that seemed to come from experience like he'd seen it and done it all. I watched it all in rapt fascination and I think I quit breathing as he smiled. It wasn't a dazzling starry eyed smile, no.. it was slow and easy, a little sad, a little serious but all real. He was shaking Mark's hand like an old friend. I had completely forgotten I was doing a half sleeve at the time. Funny thing, no one else seemed to pay attention to him. Not even the woman I was working on. She looked at what I was staring at and turned back to me, snapping her fingers in front of my eyes to get me back on track. I just shook my head to clear it and went back to work. That is, until Mark took him to the back office and I had to see how his pants fit in the back. I must of been staring again because feminine snickering made me turn back around to the woman. She laughed at me and smiled.

"Whaaaaat?" I asked her, very embarrassed and uncomfortable. I turned back to my work and she was still cackling away.

"Ohhh Raine, you have it bad. Lightening has struck and fried your brain" she snickered at me. I stared back in open mouthed horror. Then I felt the burn on my face all the way to my ears and down my neck. It made my chest a little tight and I groaned. Which all but made her nearly die of a heart attack laughing so damned hard.

"Oh stuff it, Katie." I growled at her. I grabbed her arm, wiped it down, put some ointment on it and called a break. Vinnie nodded and moved up to the counter. I could tell he had questions because Katie still couldn't shut the fuck up and quit laughing at me. She was still catching her breath while I pulled off my gloves in a hurry, tossed them in my bin, and slide my chair to my station. I grabbed my smokes and got up. I turned and grumbled as I proceeded through the back of the shop with my hands in my pockets. I was hitting the back porch for employees only. My face still felt like it was on fire and even my foot steps sounded mad to me. I kept my head straight but I could see Mark left the office door open a crack. A brief moment, a space of time and I looked inside as I passed. It was the worst thing I could do because in that briefest of seconds that guy had turned his gaze to see who was coming. He was eased back in the chair and had that smile. It was slow and easy, a little happy, a little embarrassed. I swear,my heart jumped up and tried to strangle me because I tripped on my own sneaker and almost face planted. I quit staring, got my feet underneath me and ran for the back door. I didn't want to know if either of them were coming out of the office and I didn't wait to find out. I hit the door at a dead run and had to screech in my sneakers to a halt. Once outside I took a deep breath and slowly let the door close.

Mark was a miracle mix of business man, landscaper, artist and scoundrel. He was my mentor, my best friend, the one to actually let me be me. Right at that moment I was blessing him for the simple pleasures he indulged in and spoiled us with. A private back patio that he built. It was almost like a half gazebo the entire width of the shop. Two of his trees grew out of the deck and through the roof. He had strung Chinese lanterns of different colours around the edges and through the middle of the patio. In the far right corner he put a simple koi pond and comfortable hand carved chairs. And plants.. the man fucking loooved plants. Flowers, bushes in different stages of fruit, small fruit trees and elephant ear plants with leaves almost as big as myself.

It was raining and a little chilly but it felt good to be in this small sanctuary of spicy smells, soft colors and the sound of water. I moved to the far back, jumped up to sit on the wood of the railing. I faced outside so I could watch the rain soak into the little backyard. Why the hell did this bother me so much? Because it felt like I was side swiped by a goddamed train. I don't like surprises that huge. I was head blind as I call it. It's like getting hit right between the eyes or socked right in the jaw. Chicken fried in the brain pan. I must of been thinking way too hard while trying to light a cigarette and probably cursing too loud at my failing lighter. I didn't hear him, didn't sense him at all until I heard a quick click of the metal lid, the rasp of the flint and a small flame was burning to the side of my vision maybe a yard away. I squeaked and jumped away. Did I ever mention Grace is not my middle name? Yeah.. it's Rose shhhhh.. either way he scared the shit out of me so bad I nearly fell off the railing. I say nearly because like a bad romance novel, he caught me before I fell backwards. He'd caught me by my back and put his hands behind my knees to get me off the railing. I didn't struggle, in fact I relaxed, feeling safe. He'd only carried me against him for a few seconds but it felt like something clicked inside me and I didn't want him to put me down. What?! Who the hell falls for corny shit like this?! Woooork brain, c'mon!

"You ok Miss Davis? I didn't mean to scare you. I honestly thought you'd heard me. Mark sent me out here to see if you were ok." he said while he bent then stood up to his full height after putting my feet on the floor. He looked down at me and I looked up. There was something in his face I couldn't look away from. I'd like to tell people that I said something really witty, smart assed and snarky but that didn't happen. I think I said something like this...

"Wow... tall.. uhh.. What?" Yeah.. that was probably it right there. I don't really remember because for the third time in less than an hour I was hit by a ton of bricks. Whatever I'd said made him laugh. A little sad, a lot of happy and maybe a bit boyish. I immediately smiled back and wanted to hear him make that noise again. What I got was the sound of a throat clearing and I snapped my head to that familiar and highly amused man. Mark grinned coyly at me and patted the other man's shoulder hard enough to make him sway.

"Sooooo Rosey... I see you've met Jonathan?" He simpered and crooned at me. He knows I HAAATE being called Rosey. Annoying me was helping me swim out of my stupor. I stood up straighter and glared at Mark a moment until I could compose myself.

" We were getting to that, Marcus." When a woman can talk perfectly through clenched teeth that's usually a clear sign to quit fucking with her. Mark took the hint and played gracious host.

"Raine, I'd like you to meet Jonathan Henderson, Fostern Godi known as Umbral Hjärta and my new Apprentice. Johnathan, meet my former apprentice, Raine Davis, Kin of Fenrir. Let me warn you right now, she's armed and won't hesitate to carve you a new one. Well.. with how she's all doe eyed right now.. she'll probably snog your lips off."

I stood there stunned and it was by total instinct that I reached back and plowed my fist into the meat and nerves of Mark's arm. He grabbed his limp arm,cried like a girl and Jonathan laughed again. It was a joyous sound, a sound children usually make before the world squeezes the happy out of them. I stopped mid-swing and just looked at him. Mark quit making a scene and shut up. Mark stood there looking at us both as I couldn't help but laugh with Jonathan. He smiled at me and reached out to take my fist in his hand. I noticed how rough and big it was, how warm it felt. I opened my fist and shook his hand.

"It's nice ta meetcha, Jonathan." There, polite, professional and I even smiled without the goober running loose in my head.

"Call me Nate, or what everyone else calls me, Scott. It's my middle name. I promise I won't call you Rosey until you give me permission." I did think about making a really sour face to let him know that under no circumstances would he get that right. But something stopped me. I liked him, immediately, immensely and I wasn't afraid of it anymore. I quit worrying about why he got such a reaction out of me and just let myself feel it.

"Aiight Scott, call me Rai or Raine, most call me Rai around here." I still hadn't let go of his hand and he didn't let go of mine.

*************************

I'll always remember that moment, vividly. That memory chased itself around in my head while I clicked the lid closed on the zippo, his.. zippo. I looked to the window of the van to see the sky starting to lighten and laid back down to surrender to sleep finally.

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