This prompt was a tough one. I’ve never heard the song before and though I’m familiar with Counting Crows I have not listened to them since, oh, 1993. But you know, I gave it a try and here is my attempt for a short story based and the song Angel of Silence.
I can’t say I’m unfamiliar with insomnia. Before he left, our fights would go on through the evenings. Why does he have to be gone each weekend, why does he want to watch TV alone, why does he busy himself to create distance between us? He never had the answers and I would push, he’d push back. This is when my nights became nothing more than laying awake, watching the clock numbers count away. Hoping he would climb in bed, say he was sorry. Hold me and tell me the cause of his distance was stress from work, feeling trapped from the long winter, or he has been feeling he needs a change whether we move to a new place or he picks up a new hobby. Whatever problem I could fantasize, I would spend hours coming up with a solution to solve them in a fictional world. Between the clock numbers and my imagination, had to lie the answers to fix our unhappiness. But he would only come to bed and sleep deeply as soon as his head hit the pillow. In his distance he was finding enough comfort to sleep where I could not.
Before long I had given him an ultimatum. He yelled and screamed. Threw my favorite mug into the floor and porcelain pieces fell to each edge of the kitchen. Never once did he apologize, tell me he loved me, or try to compromise. Instead he bullied me. Telling me I was unimportant, unappreciative, unsupportive, uncaring, and we had agreements together I was breaking, him being more concerned about the cell phone bill I had in my name than the fact I was giving him a month to move out of the apartment. That night he moved into the spare bedroom and I locked the door after he had taken the last of his things. There was no fooling him, he knew how to unlock the bedroom door from the other side but I felt better, more in control with a locked door.
This was the first time I saw the movements on the ceiling. I would watch them float and weave, their colors pearlescent. I thought perhaps it was from my tears built up in my swollen eyes. But they came again the next night and night after. I tried sleeping pills, anxiety pills, hot baths before bed, stretching techniques, reading books, anything to train my mind to slow down and fall asleep. Each night they were there. Watching me. Whispering to me in words I could not understand.
At months end he was gone. The apartment wasn’t as barren as I thought it should have been. I hadn’t realized how much we had built together over the years was simply me on my own all along. I dusted, burned the candles he always thought smelled too feminine for his taste and opened the bottle of red wine that had been sitting, waiting for the special occasion that never seemed to arrive. That night I left my bedroom door opened and wondered if the images would be gone tonight. Within a few hours they had appeared once again. Brighter than before. Their light made my head feel heavy and my eyes closed, shielding the sudden illumination. My body felt weightless. A voice whispered and for the first time I understood the words, “Why did you leave us until you’re only good for…” The rest I don’t remember because for the first time in a long time, I finally slept.
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