Switch off

She tossed and turned and no sleep ever came to her. She was trying to sleep, like her friends did, but she could not. It was so easy for them; they had not to worry about losing a job, a sick father and being alone during the cold nights thinking if they could pay their rent. It was easy for them, gathering at that small house by the lake for fun.

The only reason she was there was because they would not let her in peace. They forced her. “You should come with us, it’s our aunt’s house, so we do not have to pay for rent. It will do you good to switch off, to forget all that has happened. To enjoy yourself for a bit.”

Switch off. She hated that phrase. How on earth do you switch off? She imagined people having a huge red button hidden somewhere underneath their clothes. Oh, I am going on vacation, I should switch off all my worries and anxiety of my job, life and problems. Let us press the button. Prissss…I worry no more! I am on vacation mode! Well, her parents forgot to include the switch off button when they made her.

She turned again for the fifth time in the last five minutes. She tried to focus on her friends’ breath, in and out, in and out and she could not relax. She started thinking if she could sneak out and go home. She could be doing so many things, catch those deadlines, or…

Her bed sunk all of a sudden. A drift of cold air hit her back and then she was warm again. A hand touched her back and then pulled in her in an embrace that was hotter than an oven.

“What are you doing here?” she asked Jacob.

“I am protecting you.”

“From what?”

“From all the monsters that you have in your heart. You are safe tonight, safe in my arms. Do not worry, I take care of everything”.

“Yeah, right” she wished it was true. But he did not go away, stayed there with her, holding her in his hands. She could not tell if it was his warm breath or the lie that he told her, but she finally fell asleep.

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