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Sleep, of course, did not come.

The single most ironic aspect to Gabrielle and Adriel’s marriage was that even though she was with her husband practically twenty four seven he could not communicate with her during the darkest part of a day. Demons of doubt and fear danced around her head in the early a.m. but Adriel could no longer speak without his voder nor give physical comfort of even the platonic kind. When life and light were at their darkest she was most alone.

Janis Joplin’s words, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,” kept circling relentlessly in her head until she thought she’d scream. She stilled her breathing and listened intently to Adriel’s.

Months ago when his breathing had taken a sudden turn for the worse his doctor had told him he needed a CPAP to insure that he would not suffocate in the night. He had calmly thanked Dr. Shane and said, “I’ll keep it under advisement.”

Once they had left the doctor’s office she had challenged him on why he wouldn’t wear the airway pressure device and he’d said, “I weary of the fight. I haven’t quit but my time is running out.”

The tears that had finally stopped flowing after her earlier confession of infidelity and misdirection began again as she thought of the few grains of sand that remained in their shared hourglass. Assuring herself that he was sleeping peacefully she got out of bed and slipped into some clothes. She needed movement to release herself from the Incubi of her imagination.

The known territory of her workout room was an easy answer to her need to punish her body but her own home made her feel claustrophobic. Venturing out alone at night was an odd paradox of her ability to perceive her world equally no matter the time of day versus other people’s inability to see her. Going out at night was riskier than in daylight because she was even more responsible for her safety than she would be when folks could easily see her. Her white cane offered no clue of a need for caution to those around her if they couldn’t see it.

‘Screw this,’ she thought. ‘I have no patience for caution. I need air,’ and with that departing thought she slipped silently into the night.