I learned the truth years ago; she revealed it to me. Sleep is not something we fall into. She is a being that hunts us. She lays in wait in every shadow, waiting upon our readiness for her. Once we have been prepared by our desire for rest. Once our eyes are closed and her presence cannot be detected, then she approaches. She touches us, strokes our mind with her invisible fingers. When we are helpless, she starts to feed.
I was nearly dead, when I first saw her. Laying in a drug induced stupor, foam dribbled from my mouth. The needle was still in my arm. Sleep was all I desired. When I looked around the room, everything swam and swooned. Yet, there she was. She watched shyly, unsure, curious. She approached me, ran her fingers down my face. Unable to move, I looked up at her, tried to talk. Her black eyes, her long dark hair. I wanted her, to feel the warmth of her body against mine. Somehow, I knew her seduction would end in my demise. Yet I could not resist.
Before the drugs wore off, Sleep had already left. The desire for her had faded from my eyes, removed by her feeding on the buildup of tiredness that the drugs had induced. I walked in the daylight, unsure of what I had experienced. Yet that night, as I prepared for bed, she returned. Unafraid, she sat on my blankets. She stroked my forehead. She kissed my lips. And as I fell into her embrace again, she filled my dreams with her fantasies.
We became lovers. She visited me each night; I slipped into unconsciousness in her arms, but when the morning came, I always woke alone.
Months passed, but my dreams turned sour. I woke in the night screaming. She gazed upon me. Her form had turned pallid and pale; she was ill, sick from our association. She could not remain. She left, looking back as tears flowed down her face. Her kind were never supposed to fraternize with the awakened.
Now she haunts me. Watches me from across the room. I still want her, yet we both know that we cannot be together. Never again will I feel the warmth of her embrace, only the pricking of eyes so heavy with the need for her, that I can barely keep them open.