Together Alone

by Insomniac Mummy on January 28, 2010

The orange glow of the street light shines through the gap in the bedroom curtains. A taxi pulls up outside, it’s rear doors open and out pour two late night revellers. Noisily, they stumble through gates and fumble for keys whilst shushing and giggling. A phone beeps, a lock is opened and the revellers disappear behind a slammed door, returning the street to it’s late night still.

Elodie stirs momentarily in her cot.

I hold my breath half expecting to hear her tired, staccato cry. She turns, rolls onto her back and her tiny chest begins to rise and fall once more, accompanied by the quiet purr of her soft breathing.

I relax back into my pillow.

In the middle of the bed, between my husband and I, Ethan lies with his right leg wrapped around my waist and his fingers unconsciously twirling my hair as he slumbers. His sleep is punctuated with bursts of movement and mumbled words as dreams spill from his unconscious and leave him in that half awake limbo in between.

His Daddy, the tallest of us all, is afforded an inch or two of mattress to cling onto at the far side of the bed. Despite the precarious position in which he finds himself he manages to sleep deeply and is not roused by the stirrings of the children, myself, nor the street outside. His snores gradually build to a crescendo, he coughs, scratches his head, and the cycle repeats, and repeats.

I lie awake. Ears ringing with each rhythmical breath and murmur. Creating a nocturnal lullaby that cannot coax me to sleep. Listening to the low buzz called silence that will eventually bring the dawn.

Together. Alone.


This post was written for the Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the Weak using the prompt ‘Together’.

Image courtesy of SXC

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Ellie is a working mum. In her spare time she spends far too much time waffling on the internet. She's a Twitter addicted Facebook fanatic, and an all round social media butterfly. You can also find her on Google + as Insomniac Mummy. She once walked across England and is planning on walking 100K in one day in May 2014 for Cancer Research. All she really wants is a good night's sleep...

Drop Ellie a line, if you like!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

TheMadHouse January 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

This is so how I feel on nights when I can not get to sleep


1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books) January 28, 2010 at 11:11 am

I went through a year or so of this sort of sleep, a few more of just me and Son sharing the spare bed and now, quite suddenly, he's actually sleeping all night, alone in his bed. He's doing it to earn his 'golden time' with me or Husband after Daughter's gone to bed and now – having achieved my aim in getting him to sleep in his own bed – I find myself missing my own 'golden time' of him cuddling up next to me.


april January 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

That is beautiful and perfect. I went through that when my little ones were younger and now I never feel quite so alone as i do awake at night in a flat full of people asleep *hugs* beautiful writing


Jordan January 28, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Beautiful post, xx


Noble Savage January 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm

This is so beautiful.


Michelle January 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

ahhh you conjure up a real cosy image. If only you could get some sleep too! Mich x


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