Sleep was always elusive for her. Her battles were fought when she was awake. She lived the consequences during her sleep at night. She had fought too many battles. This last battle had marked her deeply. It wasn’t over yet. In fact, it had barely begun. She was divorcing her husband of many years. They had not gotten along in years. So many years, she was surprised he wasn’t relieved that she wanted a divorce. Then again, she’d always known he’d stayed for money. She had been right.

She finally had to have a break from the animosity between them so she had come to her favorite place for awhile. She had found tonight that the night terrors were especially bad so she was out walking. She could hear the palm trees shake in the wind and smell the ocean. She felt the crunch of the sand beneath her feet instead of the squish of the clay dirt back home. She had no fear walking at midnight on this island in the Gulf of Mexico. She would never have done this at home. She hoped the sound and smell of the surf would chase away the latest bout of night terrors where her husband played a starring role.

Wasn’t it time for her? No one knew how much time we had left. She didn’t want to spend her time with a man who made her miserable. Sure, she loved him but like her family, not like a mate. He didn’t even realize he was abusive. There was no one who had been in his life who had been a role model. She needed years of peace while she still had years to spend.

She knew she’d have no one when the divorce was over. Her family was mostly gone with only a few remaining by her side. Friends tended to vanish when you became that one single woman in their lives. They didn’t quite know what to do with you then. She’d witnessed that at Christmas this past year. She thought she would probably sell her house and move down here, where the sea oats bloom. Make a new start. So what if she were alone during her golden years? Did it really matter? She didn’t think so. Contentment perhaps mattered more than anything. It was time to depend on just herself.

As she was walking back to her short-term rental, she thought of another alternative. Making it work would be elusive. Perhaps it was the answer. When she wrote, she could write under a pen name. No one would know who she was. She would simply just….vanish.



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