No sleep in heaven or Bethlehem

She lies awake, unable to bring herself to dream, because with those wonderful, sinful dreams, comes the morning. The mornings wrench her from beauty and the glory that cannot be explained. She finds no answers in musty textbooks that pile up in her father's locked study or in the fresh faces of the younger, still running around without stockings in the schoolyard. They laugh and shriek, high and carelessly while Wendla sits by the side, hunching over in her too-small kindergarten smock that doesn't cover her pink thighs. And so she continues to pull her mind from sleep, at least until this terrible, beautiful pleasure and paralyzing awkwardness comes to pass.

Perhaps she is developing pneumonia.