It was the open window that did it, I’d been careless earlier in the night and forgotten to close it, and now it woke me.
I shifted in the bed, drew my body closer to the wall and reached across. My fingers found purchase on the sill climbed blindly upwards and clumsily pulled it down. All movement ceased and silence returned. I found my place amongst the sheets, the slight indentation my warm body had made, and fell back into an easy sleep.
I like to be woken by the sun but in the process of changing each night and going to bed opening the blinds is a step I often miss and am instead woken by the sharp and repetitive ping of an alarm clock. It is a sound I have quickly come to accept and sleep through and one that has become a part of my dreams, manifesting in different ways; the ringing of a school bell, an emergency evacuation or a dangerous situation that I do not necessarily wish to escape. Sometimes those dreams thrill me and fear builds in my throat at the seemingly limitless scope of my carelessness in the imaginary.
This morning was no different. The alarm blazed at 6.03 AM and I slept on through. My housemate, whose tolerance to the sound is considerably less, firstly tried to telephone me then proceeded to bang on the door. At once softly and with care then persistently in that harried way that only a person desperate for sleep can. I woke, mumbled apologies, and pushed buttons. That was the end of our conversation that morning and I quickly forgot about it till much later in the day.
It wasn’t until I found myself on a plane, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, eleven hours north-east of Australia and three hours west of the United States that I remembered.