Sliding between the sheets, my exhausted body sinks into the mattress. Inhaling the scent of freshly laundered sheets, I allow my heavy lids to close. That’s when it happens. Just like always.
“Leila.” the voice calls, stirring me from those first precious moments of sleep. “Leila, come on, we’re ready.”
Pulling the sheets higher, I clench my eyes closed, as if I can somehow make the voices disappear. Never ones to be ignored, they persist, growing ever louder.
“Leila, come on. Leila. Leila.”
I can’t remember a time when the voices weren’t inside my head. Relentless, loud, unforgiving.
I bet you think I’m crazy. You’re probably right. Some may call it a gift, others, a curse. Me, I’m not sure. As tiresome as they can be, it’s hard to imagine a life without them. They’re always there, pestering, nagging, tormenting.
“Leila, Leila. Come on. Come on.”
Every move I make; shopping, dinner, the kid’s bathtime; is done to the background din of voices. Dinner is prepared to the sound of real and imagined voices competing for my head space.
“Leila, Leila. Come on. Come on. Hurry.”
Succumbing, I climb from my warm cocoon, pulling my robe tight against the Autumn chill.
Making myself a vat-sized mug of tea, I flick on my laptop and open the file. I flex my fingers, allowing them dance across on the keyboard. The voices reach a crescendo, each one vying for my attention, each one desperate for their story to be told.