I’m awake.

My body is waking up

I knew because my mind was asleep, and my thoughts were groggy, but my limbs were awash with life and

Movement.

I look at the clock – it’s 3 am, why am I awake? Did something startle me? Was there a noise?

Nothing stirs, nothing whispers. Even my curtains are asleep, lulled into dreaming by my ceiling fan and ventilation system. It’s too cold for opening windows.

Close my eyes. Dozing…almost there…

I’m awake.

I rub my eyes with my hand and

Freeze.

Where’ s my tattoo?

My bird, my raven, the one who holds the olive branch who has lived on my right wrist for three years.

Where is she?

Oddly, I squint into the gloom of 3:10 am, and I hear a rustling under my sheets. I lift the covers.

Two eyes are staring at me. I smell herbs.

Lightly tiptoeing her way towards me, she lays the branch on my tussled sheets, and cries softly.

My ankle itches.

I reach down to scratch and my hand. My palm comes back to me with a leaf. My ankle is covered in my roses, I got them when I was 18, what is going on?

I get a call from my best friend. Yes? What? Where did your quote go? The ink has leaked onto the sheets, your music notes are stained, hang on, I’m getting another call, what? The peace sign you got has moved across your back, your wings have sprouted; your ex’s name has walked off your hip?

A wave of exhaustion hits me. Where did this tiredness come from, this tsunami of sleep that is threatening to drown me, crush me underneath its strength. I feel my raven nuzzle into my wrist, crooning me to softly shut my eyes, to breathe, deeper, slower. Sleep.

 

9am. I’m awake.

My raven is on my wrist. She remains in her everlasting landing-pose, the olive branch clutched between her velvet toes, her eyes looking into mine knowingly. I can almost feel her croon within my skin.

I slide on my shoes.

This was just a dream.

But.

As I walk out the door, I catch a glimpse of myself in my mirror.

My ankle is missing a leaf from its maze of roses. The leaf that had been by the biggest thorn, the one that had would leave a scar on my finger from last night.

Last night?

My finger is still healing.

The leaf is on my neck now. I must have fallen asleep before it could find its way back.

I’m awake.

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