I’m still awake. It’s 3 AM. With the lights on. The air on blast. I’m in bed and I have forsaken my comfy comforter in favor of my couch throw.

I have my reasons.

When I close my eyes, I’m still there: Freezing cold air. Top bunk, Tiny slat of a window to my left.
The window is my savior & provider of sunlight and glimpses of green grass and one of those puff flowers you blow on and make a wish. My weak wish hits the glass and bounces back into the room, filled with people and bunks.

The lights were always on there – even when I was trying to sleep.
The noise was as constant as the lights.
My heart, beating anxiously.

Now, in my own bed, the comfortable pillow beneath my head, confuses me. When I close my eyes, I remember gathering my few belongings and squishing them in a ball. I stuffed this mangled ball into my clean t-shirt and used it as my pillow.

I’m haunted that I’m home…
I’m haunted that the faces I saw in the bunks around me are still in that place – day after day, after month after month…

At first all I saw was a bunch of strangers, but what I remember are the eyes of individuals.
I ache for them to have books & yoga & ice & napkins at dinner.
I want them to feel human.
I want my friends, who have so much more than them, to understand how BLESSED they are.
I want… to share with you the faces I saw, of the forgotten.

The faces that haunt me.


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