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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

A letter to: lost sleep and my open window

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The view from my open window on a day in fall.

I can’t sleep with my window shut. 

Even in the winter, even when I wake up with frozen hands and misty breath, I need to crack it open or I’ll be awake forever.

I don’t know when it started, really, but sometimes it feels like my window has been open my whole life.

I have the smallest room in my house. It makes sense, I guess. The youngest child, smallest room, back of the house.

I have the smallest room in my house and I never really care, except that sometimes it feels like I’m suffocating.

Sometimes my room is small and cozy and my own, but sometimes it’s too small and too confining and the air is hard to breathe and there’s no noise.

Sometimes I walk into my room when my windows shut and it feels closed off and abandoned. 

I can’t sleep if my window is shut.

At 3:30 in the morning with my window open, my room is more alive than it is in the middle of the day when it is closed. 

I can hear day-old rainwater dripping from pipes. It hits the grass below me in a rhythm that matches my heartbeat. 

When my window is open, I can hear the world turning around me.

Every ten raindrops, another chaotic thought leaves my head, with every sound from the life outside my wall, I fall further into the welcoming blanket of sleep. 

Every night when I was little, I would force my parents to leave the hallway light on outside my door until I fell asleep. 

When 7:30 was my bedtime, the hallway light was a confirmation that there were more people awake in the house than just me.

If I woke up from a nightmare, the hallway lights calmed me down more than anything else.

I’m not alone. Someone else is awake. I can go back to sleep.

Now I go to bed earlier than almost everyone else in my house, the hallway light doesn’t stay on past ten o’clock, and instead of my door, my window is left constantly cracked open now. 

The crack in my door used to let the light from the hallway pour in; now the crack in my window lets the sounds from the rest of the world lull me to sleep.

When my window is open, I can hear the world turning around me.

I’m not alone. Someone else is awake. I can go back to sleep.

I lay in bed and instead of counting the lines of light created from the glowing hallway, I hear cars drive by on the street outside my house and remember that I am not the only person awake right now.

I can’t sleep with my window closed.

And there’s an owl in the woods behind my house, and there has been for years. Sometimes I think it’s the same owl, haunting my woods and my sleepless nights, and sometimes I think I’m too sentimental.

But there’s been an owl outside my window for eight years and I don’t know how long owls live, and I don’t really want to look it up. 

And there are cars that drive by. At least one every night. And I’m sure it’s not the same car, but it had to have been at least once, and I never would’ve met you if I kept my window shut. 

There is life outside my window, and for some reason, I can’t fall asleep without knowing that it’s there.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Alt, Copy Editor
Evelyn is a sophomore entering her second year on The Central Trend. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends. Her other interests include playing with her cat, Minerva, and going to Barnes and Noble with her sister, Millie. She is excited for another year writing on The Central Trend staff and looking forward to everything in her future. Favorite color: red Favorite food: anything chocolate Favorite season: Summer Favorite books: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio  

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