Title: At Least There Will be Coffee
Author: Papergirl Nothing specific
Rating: Nothing offensive here
Category: Angst
Summary: It's late, Sam is snoring, and Dean has nothing to do but think.

Life is supposed to be easier than this.

Says who?

Says you. You say life is supposed to be easier than this, easier than lying in some hotel room, staring at the shadows on the ceiling as your brother snores quietly a few feet away.

Life's supposed to be easier than trying not to show any emotion in front of your brother, your father. Easier than lying to everyone, especially yourself.

As a kid you couldn't wait to be an adult. All the privileges and responsibilities and inherent coolness were an eternity away, an amount of time so vast that your young mind couldn't comprehend it. You thought it was one day, in the future, where you'd suddenly become a grown-up. Even if it weren't, it'd be like a birthday where you don't feel older but know that you are, and within a matter of days it sinks in and you forget that it ever felt any differently.

But you were wrong. About that and about oh-so-many other things along the way. The shift from adolescence was slight, imperceptible, in real-time. It wasn't one moment in time like you'd hoped; it was a series of moments, a chain of events linking together until you became trapped, ensnared, with no escape.

You don't wake up one day as an adult, but you do wake up one day and realize you're no longer a child.

You used to think life was linear; choices unlimited. What do you want to be when you grow up, for you can be anything, anyone. That's what your mom used to say. But there's a million jobs and billions of people and the choices are limited but still too vast.

And life doesn't have to move in the birth-school-college-
marriage-job-kids-retire-die formula you used to believe was rigid and unchanging.

With each passing day you realize that you might never get married, might never have kids since the only person you've been sharing a hotel room with is your brother.

And to top it off you've picked a career path that isn't Monday to Friday, nine to five, like the rest of the world: yours is freelance, with no security. And yet you pursue it, even if you doubt your abilities, because it's something that you know, and you're desperate for something familiar to cling to.

You're no drunk, so instead of drowning your sorrows you bury them like a corpse, deep inside, because if you do it right suppression lasts longer than a case of beer.

And you're so good that you bury feeling before you even have them, shoving the mere seeds out of sight in the dark depths of your lonely, wounded heart.

To all the world you look macho, confident, content. You pretend you're in control because you know you're not – not of your life, your feelings, your family, the world – and you long to be.

If you were in control, you could stop time, and rewind.

You could go back to when your parents were happy, and in love, and danced in the kitchen. A time when your mother was living and your father was alive, and your brother was little and innocent and not yet smarter than you, and monsters under the bed weren't real. Back when you fought with your brother over shotgun and who-poked-whom, not over life-and-death matters.

You could go back before you learned how to withhold your love, how to block your feelings so you don't get hurt, how to focus solely on ridding the world of bad guys and bad things.

You could go back to that one shining moment – and you would find it – when everyone was happy and life was simple and you were wonderful – and you could pause it. Not forever, but just for a little while. Just long enough to remind you of your past before time erases it completely from your mind.

No one ever warned you that moving on was part of growing up. You thought growing up would be rather painless and happen at once – like removing a Band-Aid in one fell swoop. But it's more like lifting it off slowly, pulling the hairs and skin cells, lasting longer than you want and causing more pain than necessary. Before you know it you're fast approaching thirty and your life doesn't look like you thought it would.

You want a time machine to travel to the past and warn yourself. But you wouldn't, even if you had one, because you've learned that life doesn't work that way.

Still... life's supposed to be easier than this, you say. And then you realize it's three in the morning and you're sounding like your brother. You shudder at the thought and finally close your eyes, willing sleep to come fast and quick, sparing you the dreams that haunt your days.

Life is always easier in the morning. And if it's not, at least there will be coffee.