I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind the gauze screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red, amber and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keeps us awake but a sigh that there’s life beyond it.
But there’s no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It’s the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I’m losing. But it’s all leaving my body as quickly as it’s sent, forming a black deep ocean of its own around me where I’ve fallen.