The first thing she heard was the distant call of the owl as it sat across from her bed in the dry tree. The paper thin leaves had left the tree long ago, and the sound that disturbed her the most tonight was that which came from the familiar bird. He was ALWAYS there every night. He guaranteed that tired exhaustion did not become the restful sleep that she needed. Ashleigh tossed and turned, as the moon rose in the sky. 

“Ugh,” she groaned, as she threw her tennis shoe close the window pane. The owl lit from the tree branch and Ashleigh got up, grabbed her robe, and put on her slippers. She crept downstairs, where she silently turned on her computer. Her restlessness had kept her from sleeping, but she knew that Hannah would be online to talk.

Ash2018: ZZZZzzz

Hlove: clearly you are not

Ash2018: i wish

Hlove: Sup

Ash2018: sisterfun

Hlove: tell me all about it

Ash2018: New car….

Hlove: NEW…like NEW NEW, and never been used…..WHY DOES SHE GET A CAR?

Ash2018: #favorite

The door creaked slightly and Ashleigh jumped from her seat. It was 12 am and she was due for swim practice at 5:30. She instantly dimmed the light on her monitor, as her Dad asked, “Sweetheat, why are you up at this hour? Did you take your medicine tonight.

Ashleigh nodded, hugged her father, and took the stairs up to her bed room. Everything in the room was loud. The digital numbers buzzed on the clock. The fan screamed a rhythmic hum. Her heart pounded relentlessly in her chest. She opened the drawer in the shabby chic nightstand by her bed, and shook loose the little white pill. She knew that this would help her sleep tonight, but they never removed the thoughts. Everything from the minor embarrassment of wearing her sweater inside out to first period, to the impending English exam this Friday. The thoughts danced and twirled in her head – the medication only slowed their tango until her solutions and apologies did not matter. The thoughts stripped her of happiness, creativity, and fun. The meds did not bring that back,


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