It is known as a time for rest, and yet our brains will work even harder than when we are awake. Of course, this is just my own baseless theory, but I always thought that besides organizing our memories and processing the day we had, sleep gives the brain a time to play. Or, well, to practice. Doodle. Stuff that we had no idea that brains could do.
Because of this, I was greatly reluctant to take naps as a child, since I didn't want my brain to develop faster than my consciousness and inevitably eat my very being, but you aren't allowed to stay up late as a kid, and my parents always found a way to trick me to sleep in the end. Without realizing it, I developed a hatred of sleep, or else a fear of the ever approaching tomorrow.
So I didn't sleep for my first time in that bed. I watched the shadows rise and fall through the shutters of the window, led by the rise and fall of both the moon and sun. The moon's shadows were black and indistinguishable next to the glare of fluorescent lights coming from the corridor, making me inclined to stay absolutely still. My eyes were fixed wide open towards the smooth white ceiling above, as though I could still see the stars obstructed by the oppressive smog of the city.
13 hours before
Today is Tuesday. High schools in the district I lived in had their classes an hour or so later than usual on this day, but the amount of tardies were ironically the highest on these mornings.
Some students use the small amount of extra time to sleep in or take long showers, while others like to go out and buy breakfast at the farmer's market. Some spend their morning scribbling through homework for their first classes that they had either forgot or didn't manage to get to, and the rest show up at school at the same time as they normally do, since there is no other place for them to be at this time.
I, however, had simply not gotten out of bed.
I didn't linger under the covers for a chance of sleep though. I stayed in bed because exiting the bed meant accepting the day before me. I considered myself to still be immersed in yesterday and had kept my eyes closed to find a way back.
The feeling of that precarious moment was as though I had accidentally ran faster than my shadow and wished for the race to stop.
Oh, but also hatred. Yeah, there was a lot of unnamed hatred in that morning.
I was building blocks in my mind to keep myself from thinking. My phone was across the room, still attached to its charging cord and of no interesting value to me at the moment. I rolled around and kicked my sheets in a mess, frustrated over something so stupid I couldn't even imagine it.
In fact, most mornings are like this.
Then the light that passes through the curtains of my window inexplicably faded from blue to yellow, and the slow pace of a person climbing carpeted stairs echoes through the walls. I reflexibly turned my face down into my pillow and slowed my breathing.
The door to my room opened, and someone stepped inside.
This is my mother. She is one or two centimeters taller than me, but I can't bear to hate her. Somehow, I can't manage to love her either. You must know that there is not a kinder, well-tempered person in this world like my mother -- she's a devout catholic-christian woman who managed to absorb all the good stuff about God and Jesus without any of the hypocrisy nor the muddle-headed politics. When I first taught her how to use the alarm app on her phone, the first thing that she did was set dozens of alarms for different parts of the day just for prayer. I remember there being times where I would startle in my sleep for no reason and find myself being unable to fall back until an hour later, when my mother would sing her favorite hymns of that year.
Those Christian hymns are rather dreary and always take after a harmonic minor scale, but her voice is good and full of faith, and I am not bothered by it.
Of course, religion isn't her entire being. She also adores kids and likes working with them. They don't dare act spoiled with her for fear that she would stop liking them if they did. She's able to cook, clean, and account for all the household assets everyday without complaint. She keeps in touch with her friends and her family and manages to make friends with strangers no matter where she is. It's not an exaggeration to say that my family had all wronged her by taking her for granted.
So my bottom line is this woman. In this strange sentiment that is not quite love, I had long ago decided that she should not be saddened, especially not through myself.
But this is where the error lies.
"I made you egg with naan again, go downstairs right now, okay? Mahuhuli ka na."
You are going to be late if you don't get up.
Her hand pets my head and it is difficult to not avoid it. It's wonderful to hear her speak, but suddenly, I can't bear to face her.
"May sakit ka?"
Are you sick?
I think I am, but I don't know what you'll do if I tell you what it is.