It’s been ten days since the last time I slept, ten long and almost neverending days since I first saw that mysterious woman. It was at an office party and we both seemed out of place there. Me because I don’t like parties and the only reason I attended was because I was forced to. Her because she was a complete stranger, one nobody recalled inviting but how could anyone forget such a thing was beyond me.
She was lovely, ethereal even, a six-foot five impossibly slender blonde temptation, tight green backless dress inviting people to stare. I know I did. I was not the only one but she turned my way, tantalizing lips smiling at me. As I tried to approach her, perhaps strike a conversation, she backed away, a hint of a song reverberating in the air. I pushed both co-workers and clients aside to reach out to her, yet my feet were too slow, her gracefulness too quick. She disappeared into a balcony that held no evidence of her even being there. Leaning against it, I sighed, the moon up high shining its stolen light on the rippling waters of the ocean below.
Ever since that unexpected encounter, I haven’t been able to function straight, plagued by this constant insomniac state. I can feel it everywhere around me, eating away my strength and sanity in a slow and deliberate fashion. The song I believe I heard plays on the back of my mind over and over again, yet it’s not the only thing haunting me. There are also the visions, the daydreams, the recurring images of her, sometimes dressed, sometimes naked under a blanket of rain. I see her whenever I turn on the TV, I see her walking down the street when I look through the window, I see her standing in front of the computer I’m using to type this: an ominous phantom with a strange message for me.
“Say the words and you can sleep!”
Words? What words? And why would saying them would change the state I’m in, suddenly giving me permission to sleep? It makes no sense. Nothing does. The meaning of this sentence still eludes me. What are the rules of this wicked game I, somehow, got entangled in? I’m so tired of thinking, analyzing, deconstructing… I need to…
Suddenly, I hear water running in the bathroom, and I run to the door only to be confronted with the most enticing of visions.
There she is, in my bathtub, a blonde temptation enjoying the sensual pleasure of a bubble bath. I’m awestruck, confused… I must be delirious… My consciousness is once again playing tricks on me because I’m unable to rest.
“Who are you? How did you get here? What did you do to me? What do you want?” I blurt, knees trembling, cold sweat all around, unable to stop the frenzy from growing and expanding beyond the borders of language.
“Say the words and you can sleep!” she replies, looking right through me. She knows my body is weak, my mind a filthy mess, and seems to be enjoying it all. A splash of bubbly water falls next to my feet and I catch a glimpse of a green and a purple tail waving from side to side.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about!” I cry out in pain. The sleep deprivation is too much for me to handle, and I feel like I’m about to implode.
“Of course you do. You’ve always known them. The words you need to say have been deep inside you ever since our paths crossed. I came here, today, because I know you’re ready to say them out loud…”
Her conviction is overwhelming. There’s power in every syllable she utters and power isn’t anything without control. It’s perfectly clear she has both. Because of that, I find myself on the verge of a revelation and a confession like no other rushes to my dry lips:
“I must obey.”
“There you go… was that so hard?” she says, batting her curvy eyelashes at me.
No, it wasn’t, and the consequences of what I just said can’t be avoided. I’m bowing right now before her, but this simple gesture is turning into something else by the second. My legs are heavy, pulling everything above them into a liquid abyss in which I’m sure I’ll drown. I yawn, and the sleep I had longed for drops in fast, numbing self-awareness and the will to resist her ever again. Sweet darkness takes its place, eternal servitude, oblivion….