The tears surprised her. The surprise wasn’t that she was crying, it was that she felt them. It had been a lifetime ago, or so it felt, since anything had penetrated the numbness. Suddenly, another feeling—a stab of fear that the pain would engulf her again, waves and waves of unbearable pain, breaking against her body like physical waves from a wild stormy surf.
Convulsively she closed her eyes again and tried to will herself back to sleep, seeking the unconsciousness of the only altered state she could access. The blankets were comfortingly warm and she was still settled into the mold of the mattress her body had spent the night making. Just a few moments ago, she had lain clasped in the delicious grasp of sleep but now it fled, an elusive nirvana, lost to her for another endless stretch of time.