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After Sunset.

I instantly wake from a deep sleep struggling to breathe and drenched in sweat, instant heartache and fear takes hold of my body. I feel it approaching, it comes closer, closer and it sings to me the same way a mermaid would to lure pirates, except this is not as pleasant. I see it making its way through my slightly opened window, not bothered by my white, almost transparent curtains that flow with each whistle of the wind. Not anymore even on the stormiest of nights. 

As it approaches, time slowly comes to a standstill, the ticking of the second’s hand on my bedroom clock slows down. With each second dreading on longer and longer, each tick straying further apart and each tick becoming quieter and more of an echo than the last. It slowly floats towards its favorite spot, the side of my bed. It likes to stand there and just watch me, judge me but never utters a word, the silence is as daunting as if you were alone in a graveyard on the creepiest of nights. It levitates beside my bed completely still, like someone would do if I were in a hospital bed and it is my only visitor like its shift for visiting hours will never come to end. Every second turns into an hour, with each one passing I can feel it creeping over me and slowly swallowing me up, trying to consume all of who I am. Every second it stays longer, it grows stronger, more powerful, and penetrates me even deeper. Every second that passes with it beside me, the emotions I feel grow stronger: my heart beats quicker as though it will explode out of my chest, my hands get clammy and my ears are overwhelmed by the deafening sound of my heart racing as I struggle to catch my breath, my heartbeat sounds louder than the high pitch scream just before a bomb is dropped. 

I take my hands and place them over my ears, squeezing my head as though I’m making freshly squeezed orange juice, hoping that everything will become silent and just fade away. Everything quickly closing in around me, trying to swallow me up. I sit up with my back pressed against my cold wall, while covering my ears I rock back and forth trying to slow down my breathing. I attempt to concentrate on each breath as I sit there rocking, tears suddenly and rapidly fills my eyes making my surroundings one big blur. Every night that it comes, I ask myself the same question. Every night I ask myself with teary eyes, “Why does it come for me? Why does it want to consume me?” But I never get an answer, just icy, bone-chilling silence. 

I still have absolutely no idea what it is besides darkness, or why it has come for me. Every night it takes a completely new form, a different unique shape, after years I do not know what it truly looks like. Every night when it comes to visiting, I try getting a glimpse into its eyes but all I see is complete darkness and stillness. I stare at it, a slinky, tall, harsh black smoky figure that is always so creepily yet beautifully illuminated by the blindingly bright, mysterious moon that lights up the dark night sky… fear consumes me. 

I can not figure out where its eyes or face are, it is complete darkness. Dark like a black hole, so powerful it takes away any possible light that may be near it. I’ve finally realized that not only is it here to steal my “light”, consume me, but to also take me. It already started doing this years ago: it steals all my fondest memories and deprives me of any good emotions I have ever once managed to grasp with my fingertips. Leaving me to walk around day to day as a shell of a person that constantly feels hollow, empty, upset, angry, and feeling as though I have never felt the slightest glimpse of joy. Going from day to day in constant fear, even when there is nothing to fear. It has consumed me to the point that during the day if I experience the slightest glimmer of hope, a tiny spark of joy, it takes it away faster than the speed of light. It has consumed me as a person, it has deprived me of my personality, stolen everything I had as a person. I have lost who I am, I am stuck between not liking who I am turning into and just accepting it completely by losing myself. 

The craziest part is, night time always used to be the time where I would be most calm, felt at ease, I could breathe and I could just be me. I loved being awake whilst everything was quiet and still except for the slight rustling of the trees when a cool breeze would whisk through the neighborhood. No one was around except for me; it was silent and peaceful. I loved the silence, I embraced it and loved getting lost in it. I used the night to think, I used the time for myself. 

I used to wait excitedly for nighttime, I craved the feeling I got from the stillness under the night sky. But now, as I see the sun disappearing, I am scared because I know it won’t be long until it comes back. 

Blogpost by Simmonne Malan.