Sleep

Disclaimer : I don't own Evangelion or the characters/places. That is the privilege of the lovely people at Gainax.

Morning. With morning comes the light that disturbs my fitful sleep. Is that a blessing or a curse? I sometimes wonder. Is it better to be awake and to face the horrors of the world, or to sleep, and face the horrors of my mind.

The floor is cold and unforgiving as always, callously jarring me fully into the world of the so called "living". Today is Monday, for what it matters. Mondays mean a visit to the doctor, needles and machines. Mondays mean having to be looked at by people. Maybe it is better to remain asleep.

The sunlight is almost like napalm. A form of intangible sarcasm that derides everything about my existence. Making everything else appear light and full of joy. Its like looking at the universe from behind shatter proof glass. I swallow the sick feeling in my throat and continue on.

Minutes pass into hours and slowly but surely, I edge ever closer to a sleep that the cruel light of day will never penetrate. It would be best if I just stayed asleep. I approach the building and the sick feeling returns, twice as bad as before. A few deep breaths and it will subside. At least until I reach the locker room.

The corridors are full of people in uniform trying their best to look like their saving the world. They greet each other, but no one greets me. I welcome that, it is much better to be invisible, it helps to numb the pain. Another fifty yards and turn right.

The door is slightly ajar. That means the gaijin is here. It could be seen as amusing that she managed to make it here before me, she is usually the last one here. Today, however, it is not amusing. I push the rusted door aside and walk in.

She meets my gaze as I enter. I believe she hates me for some reason known only to her. The feeling is not mutual. Perhaps a better word to describe my attitude to the gaijin would be indifference I make my way to locker fourteen and sit down. The sick feeling comes back again. I only need to hold it for a few seconds, until the gaijin leaves. My body does its best not to comply. For my valiant efforts I receive a mouthful of stomach acid as a reward. The gaijin leaves the room.

I open my mouth and give in to the waves of sickness that flood me. I see no point in trying to make it to the sink. The contents of my stomach now adorns my school dress. I peel the sticky garments from my skin and step into one of the showers. The stench of blood lingers in the air. It takes all of my effort not to be sick again. I clean myself as best I can and return to the locker.

The suit is still there. Staring at me, like some sort of evil twin. Should I surrender to its beckoning and once again pull around me the garb of death? So much blood. So much pain. The suit is tight once I pressurize it. Clinging to my body and causing uncomfortable sensations. Even the suit smells like blood.

I look at my hand. Hard to imagine how much destruction I have wrought with this hand. As a reflex instinct, my body snaps me back to attention as the powers that be enter the room. The intercom crackles to life. I don't even have to listen to what is being said. Same as always. I climb inside the womb-like steel structure and the hatch closes behind me. In that split second of silence and darkness I wonder if this is what death feels like.

The machines come to life and all around me is painfully light. The liquid seeps in. I watch, half in hope and half in fear as it passes my knees. Its warm. My neo-futuristic womb is filled with the smell of blood. As the liquid passes my chest, my body tenses of its own accord. No point holding my breath, so I let the liquid in. Swallowing mouthful after sickening mouthful. Whats left of my stomach contents is now floating in front of me.

I close my eyes, and for a second I will myself to drown. I know that wont work. The liquid oxygenates blood. Its like almost reaching the finish line of a race, and finding an impassable wall between you and your goal. I reach out and grasp the controls weakly. Somehow I feel that a part of me lives here. I see the other two out of my peripheral vision. The gaijin is talking, as usual. The boy is staring at me again.

My feelings for the boy are nondescript at best. He stares at me a lot. He thinks I don't see it, but then, many people think I am blind to many things. I would be lying if I said that it would be nice to say that his attention was due to genuine affection. For a time perhaps, his attention was welcome. A good painkiller. However it is likely that he shares his fathers dysfunctions.

The tests are over for them. My day however is only just beginning. One hundred and fifty yards down the corridor and take the elevator to the medical centre. Sixty yards down the corridor to the left and make a right. This door is far less rusty. The same cannot be said of the woman who waits on the other side.

Breathing in while in this room is enough to take years off your life. I drink in the smoke as deeply as possible. The doctor shuffles some papers, not even bothering to instruct me. This happens every Monday, I know what must be done. I don't see the point in stepping behind the screen, so I drop my clothes where I stand and await the doctors examination.

The stethoscope is cold against my skin. The doctor hasn't enough care to warm it. Nothing about her examination exhibits even the slightest care. There is an unspoken communication between myself and the doctor. She would happily see me dead, and I would happily submit to death. Only one man keeps that from happening.

Irony is not something I find much entertainment in. However the irony of the reason for the doctors hatred is not lost on me. The doctor believes that the man with whom we share a bond now finds me more to his liking than her. The irony is that the man has never done such a thing. Is it not ironic that the doctor garners no more of his affection than I? She, as all people, is merely a tool to be used at the proper time in the eyes of this man.

The needle jars me from my train of thought. The pain is an unwelcome reminder that I am awake. I watch in morbid curiosity as the vial fills with my blood. Secretly I hope that with the blood she steals a part of my life.

Without prompt I lay down on the bed. Quite why this part of the examination is necessary I know not. Its hardly like I would be pregnant. Surgical steel finds its way inside me, making me squirm with the coldness. The discomfort doesn't last and after a short while, the implement ceases its intrusion.

I rise from the bed and put on my clothes. Without so much as a word I turn to leave. The doctor tells me hewants to see me. I nod and close the door behind me. Back to the elevator. The boy is there. He goes tense as soon as I step inside. He's looking for something to stare at besides me. I find myself curious as to the nature of his interest in me. Is it sexual? Or the kind of fear driven curiosity that forces people to stare at the aftermath of a traffic accident?

I step towards him. There are merely inches between us now. He backs away. In my mind I see myself asking him if the desires my body. In reality I turn and go back to my previous position. The elevator comes to a stop, but this isn't my floor. The boy runs out, almost tripping as he goes.

The meeting with the man was the same as always. He asks a lot of vague questions. I greet them with equally vague answers. When he asks how I am coping I tell him I'm fine. The sad thing is that he is ignorant enough to believe me. How am I coping? What gave him the impression I was?

Finally after what seemed an eternity in the dark confines of his office come the words that set me free. Or at least, return me to the prison in which I feel most comfortable. You may go now. He says it with absolute certainty that had he not done so, I would have remained rooted to that spot. Sadly, I probably would have.

The journey back to my starting point takes me along the same streets, past the same buildings. The light is dying now, and I relish its demise. As I climb the dilapidated steps to my concrete cell, I relax a little. The room is as messy as usual. Everything as it was when I left it this morning. It's not late yet, but there is nothing to do. So I slip out of my clothes and into my bed. Laying there, staring into nothingness as I wait for sleep to claim me, I wonder if I will wake up this time. My eyelids grow heavy and once more I fall into the soft embrace of sleep.