Writing prompt courtesy of Writers Write: “Write about being alone at night.”
Her melodic laugh fills the room and inspires all around her. Her smile, bright and wide, forces a sort of sparkle in her eyes that draws you in and begs you, too, to be light and airy — happy even. It is like an infectious virus permeating every cell of your body. She is the best friend of your dreams. Always positive. Always upbeat. Always encouraging. Always supportive. Always accepting. Always showing you the bright side of everything. Always there for you. Dependable. Reliable. Adorable. You love being around her.
You love her.
But you don’t really even know her.
No one loves real Alice, her brain affirmed as she lie silently staring up at the ceiling.
It was here, alone, at night, in the safe confines of her home where her true self was revealed.
During the daylight hours, out about in the world, at work, at social gatherings, she was whoever she needed to be for whoever needed her. All things to all people. She offered all the right words and gestures. People gravitated toward her like moths to a flame. Unaware of her true self and the war raging within.
Alone, at night, the tears streamed down her face. Her mind raced with crazy, wild and illogical thoughts. The years of her youth came back to haunt her. Every sound incited a flight response that left her heart pounding and her mind wild with exaggerated and unlikely scenarios.
In the daylight hours, her colleagues congratulated her on presentations. She was treated to dinner and drinks. She shone like a bright beacon of hope to all the interns who admired her uncanny ability to always know and do the exact right thing to close a deal. The organization had grown leaps and bounds ahead of its competition since she was hired. She was self-assured. She was successful.
Alone, at night, she was a distraught and tortured bundle of nerves and obsessive thoughts. Never good enough. Replaying every scene, situation and conversation of the day over and over. What could I have done better? Why am I so stupid? What was I thinking wearing that? Seconds dragged on for hours while she beat herself up.
This particular night began no different than any other. [to be continued…]