This is a short character sketch I did few months ago when I was feeling very triggered. It unfortunately paints a pretty accurate picture of my time as a teenager. The character's name is Amalya, and she has developed into someone that seems quite a bit like myself. So here goes a little personal vulnerability in prose.
She woke in a panic during the night. Adrenaline pulled her violently to her upright even
as her eyes were opening. Darkness met her gaze as she stood poised on the balls
of her feet, her breath coming in short raspy gasps as she swiveled her head,
scanning the familiar confines of her room for the cause of her terror. The
room was silent. Nothing disturbed the air around her. The only threat to the night’s
serenity was the pounding of her heart in her ears.
She relaxed, dropping her alert stance until she stood with her feet flat on the
floor. With a conscious effort she forced her breathing to slow, methodically
counting off her exhalations until her breaths came at a normal, steady rate.
She rolled her shoulders forward, then backward to loosen muscles that had tensed,
and then took one more glance around. Smooth darkness broken only by the darker
shapes of her possessions strewn with precise carelessness about the space was
all she could discern as her eyes acclimated to what little light came through
the blinds from the street.
Through the rest of the house the night continued without interruption, but Amalya knew
she would not return to sleep until the sun rose, so with practiced steps she
made her way across the room; dodging effortlessly the objects in her path,
until she came to her desk. Easing herself down onto the chair silently, she
switched on the tiny lamp that was designed to illuminate only the small
writing space before her. She reached into the cabinet and pulled down the old
beat up notebook that still wore the label of algebra on it from high school
The yellowed pages held information much more important to Amalya then those
equations and solutions ever had all those years ago. Now the entire center
section held her log book, a record of the nights she couldn’t sleep, or as
tonight, had been torn from sleep by some nameless, faceless fear. Also noted
in the entries were details of the preceding day, what she had worn, eaten,
done, seen, or felt; as well as a thorough analysis of her feelings at the time
of wakefulness. Amayla was seeking a pattern, a clue to the terror filled
paranoia that had plagued her since early childhood, and in keeping with that
goal she picked up her favorite pen and thought back over the day before for a
full five minutes, then finally, with a practiced detachment, she began to