the bed’s soft. too soft. if anything, the burrow I’ve inadvertently made over the night only serves as proof. I nestle deeper into the small dent in the mattress, trying to go back to sleep, but dreams and nightmares alike melt away, along with the faux sensation of being well-rested. I frown slightly, not only at my fleeing drowsiness, but at the morning sunshine seeping through my eyelids. I bury my face into the pillow, shutting out the unwanted brightness.
slowly, my senses return – from the small patch of seeping cold under the blanket to the unusually soft and clean feeling of the bedsheets to the low murmuring of my parents’ voices. against my conscious will, I start to pick up on the lilt of their words. there’s a sudden realisation that this is unlike the multiple times I was the only one awake throughout the night – the lack of snoring, lack of unsettling stillness and lack of too-hot duvets sends a sudden jolt through me.
it’s only then does a pit of dread start to bubble within me, threatening to overspill with each muffled thud of my sister’s bare feet slapping against the carpeted floor. the last straw is when she rolls back into bed, throwing me deeper into the too-soft mattress. I finally blink awake at the unfamiliar walls of the hotel room and inch towards the edge of the bed, knowing the streaming sunshine and audible conversations to be warning signs of being woken up against my own volition.
ignoring the slight chill on my legs and everyone’s look of pleasant surprise at my being awake, I glance at the clock: 7.36AM. I bite back a groan of displeasure. if this was meant to be a vacation, why did I have to be up so early?