Afraid To Sleep

He is afraid to fall asleep.

It seems there is something he forgot
That he really needs to do
But doesn’t know what it is.
It is something the morning won’t allow.

He feels that if he stays in the night, here, safe,
All would be quiet and calm
And there would be no confrontation.
He is afraid to face the noise, to face faces.
Every minute of sleep brings him closer to faces.
He is afraid to dream of memories that sting;
Those can ruin everything.

His wakefulness is running out.
So are the hours of night.
The sun will rise and demand an answer,
As if it has come to collect a debt.
“You don’t get to rest!” It says.
“You think you can evade the day?
Ha! Think again.”

He checks each room and its corners
Looking for some clarity of this internal warning.
When he reaches the second-floor bathroom,
There is a note upon the door: DO NOT ENTER.
He turns the knob to go in,
(After all, it’s his house he owns)
And finds his legs can no longer hold up his body.

He remembers,
He had just went to lay down, for a minute.
The baby, his son, was splashing in the bath.
There had been headlines soon after, screaming: Accidentally Drown.
Now, he balls his fists and pounds and pounds
On the never-been-used-since tub
Until he fractures his wrist.

His wife hears this,
Wonders if he’ll ever have self-forgiveness.
Calls the doctor again.
“Another episode, yes.”

And she is afraid to fall asleep.

32 thoughts on “Afraid To Sleep

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    1. Hey Aquib, AA WRWB! Thank you very much, bless you for those amazing compliments. I have much respect for your blog lately and have found the posts very important recently (well, always but recently in particular if that makes sense). Also, I was thinking about bringing a second blog that I have had for a long time out of private mode. There, I have talked about life and loftier things (like religion and God and gratitude) Do you think you would be interested in seeing it? Should I make it public? You have inspired me to speak more openly about where my heart is–with God. I maybe was shy before but if I designate that second blog for that, then readers who are uninterested, don’t have to have it mixed in with this blog which is about mostly fiction. What do you think? I would love to have other Muslim readers to talk to me about those topics. It is extremely important to me. Thanks!


      1. Yeah, you should Rachel InshaAllah.
        Do what your rightful instinct says (amalSaleh) and always pray to Allah for guidance (I am sure you do 😁😁).
        I am very much interested it would be helpful for me as well as a Muslim.
        I too have a great multitude of respect for you and look upto you MashaAllah, so yeah.
        And i guess you should consult your imam or teacher as well for better insight (I am still very naive 😁) .
        Keep smiling Rachel InshaAllah.
        Remember what Allah said in Surah alHashar.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Was the implication of his recurring amnesia clear enough? Like he keeps forgetting about his baby’s accidental death but it can be triggered by seeing the bathroom again. Anyway. Thanks for your comments that make clear to even me what has been created with this stuff and it helps me focus and improve. Have a great day! You’re the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. FFP I’ve been wracking my brain to devise a response to this lovely piece. Some things aren’t meant to be figured out, clarity is sometimes not an option and self-forgiveness is impossible- life’s mysteries are not meant to be deciphered of deduced intelligible language🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually agree Jeff. The most tragic things are not meant to get the “why me?” question. Of course, we cause problems by our own hand at times, but mostly we don’t know the exact reason God has orchestrated things in each of our lives in the way He has. He speaks the language of silence mostly. and it just reminds me that there are things I will never understand and that is what I have to accept. And I am in awe of the feebleness in me up against the grandness of Him. I hope I didn’t speak too heavily. Am I making sense?

      Also, THANK YOU so incredibly much for your compliment that it was good enough to make it hard to respond. I am so humbled and wonder if I earned that level of praise. It’s so surreal to be the author receiving that type of compliment. WOW. in disbelief. But so grateful and appreciative. Bless you. Hope you are well and God protects you and your entire family and the world as well. Much love and appreciation, always dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The sun will rise and demand an answer,
    As if it has come to collect a debt.

    That’s right in there with the best sunrise and sunset motifs. Boh of them afraid to sleep completes the cycle. Nice work!


  3. This was dark, mystifying, sad yet beautiful in its own way. Loved reading it, very well written and a very amazing way to portray this idea. I’ll try to read all your previous posts and tell what I think about them. May Allah Bless You! 🙂


    1. Assalamu Alaiykum. Bohat bohat shukria janaab! That is so amazing. All those compliments. Wah! I have been trying out some experimental narrative forms I’m inventing lately. But the classic, stripped down prose is always great too. I truly appreciate you coming to read this and enjoying yourself. Allah Hafiz…uhhh I’m sorry Idk your name. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I look forward to reading more of your work, too. I’m afraid I’m not super active on IG, but I’m trying! I’ll give you a follow back!


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