Literary Journalism Assignment: A Non-Fiction Vignette
Something wakes her up again. Days passed by since she last ate and she must’ve been hallucinating because she heard a voice calling her from the guest bathroom. Fully alert, Ally carries herself out of bed and drags her weight through the darkness in search of the doorknob.
Once out, she walks past her mother, who made a habit of staying up late until fajr prayer.
It’s unclear why she woke up early. A night owl like herself is usually fast asleep by now and yesterday’s hang out should’ve drained her batteries.
It’s 4 a.m. I might as well get ready for school; the thought almost exhausted her.
Finally, she reaches the source of the sound that woke her up. She stands in the bathroom, staring at herself with enough pity in her eyes; her uniform is on, her hair is tied back in its usual messy bun and she’s unsure of what she’s meant to do.
For once Ally ignores the dark circles under her eyes, admiring her clear skin and the small fragile frame she worked so hard for. At least, that’s all she recalls doing before she found herself lying on her back on the other side of the bathroom.
Ally wakes up in fear; her eyes are sewed shut and she’s unsure if she’s unconscious, awake, or if her body is preparing itself for death. Her ears are screaming in terror, her brain is trying to break through her skull but everything else is numb.
Even with her eyes closed, she sees her restless mind spinning around her.
As her senses rush back to her, she begins to feel a piece of metal resting underneath her head and the hair on her arms saluting the cold as it travels down her skin.
She finally builds up the courage to open her eyes but they’re fogged up and stained. When her vision clears up, she’s greeted by the bathroom ceiling, followed by the marble counter she’s lying beside.
Her body is void of pain or bruising. She convinces herself that she’s dreaming.
In confusion, she picks herself up and walks to the bathroom door only to fall again and again once more.
Ally wakes up a third time to finally realize that she’s been passing out. After denying reality, something reminded her… I haven’t drunk water for 13 hours.
The realization hit her hard, her breathing is heavier and sweat is pouring out of her almost as though it’s mocking her state. She gathered up all her might to head to the door but right before she stands up, her vision fails her.
It’s pitch black.
Horrified by the possibility of losing her life, or worse, her mind, Ally drags herself to where she recalls her dresser sits. She reaches the bathroom door, leans on the wall and walks to the left of the room until the sharp wooden edge of the dresser punches a hole through her thighs.
In a panic, Ally grabs onto what she was certain was her mother’s favorite clock and knocks it on the wall: once, twice, thrice… hoping she’d capture her mother’s attention.
She hears her mother’s voice approaching her, followed by the sound of the door swinging open and as it does, comfort sinks into her chest, her muscles loosen up and her vision returns.
She let herself fall into her mother’s arms.