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INSOMNIA - a short story by Alfred

   Once upon a time in a place much like where you live right now, a nice little boy felt the weight of the desire to get a good night sleep upon every tired bone in his little Eight year old body. His eyes hungered desperately for sleep but it was as through the ability to sleep had grown feet of its own and walked out of his body, going to God knows where.
   Yes! The Desire was there, but the Ability wasn't there; and it had been that way for the past few days.
His Parents lay awake in their own room. They couldn't sleep too. It wasn't that they too suffered from the inability to sleep, it was that they suffered from their son's inability to sleep. It made them worry. Too Worried, Afraid & Burdened to sleep.
   Mum was too afraid to check if her son had fallen asleep. She was sitting up in bed with the room light turned off but the adjustable reading lamps at both sides of the bed turned low.
Mum turned & looked at Dad. Dad could read the look in her eyes. He didn't need her to say what she was thinking. Everything that was bothering her has been bothering him too.
Dad, understanding what Mum was saying without speaking, started to get up out of bed. Mum placed a soft grateful hand on Dad's hand. Dad paused instantly. He knew what she was about to say next.
   "We'll both go", Mum whispered.
   They both crept out of bed and tip-toed as quietly as they could to their son's room.
   They both peeped in silently. To their dismay, what they had feared was so. Their little boy wasn't asleep. He still couldn't sleep. He just lay back silently in bed with eyes wide open, staring straight at the ceiling.
   Mum & Dad quietly tip-toed back to their room. There was nothing they could do. Going into their son's room to console him would only help him stay awake and not fall asleep.
"What would we do?", Mum said, with tears now rolling down her eyes as they had gotten back into their room.
   Dad kissed Mum on her forehead and wiped the tears away from her eyes like streaks of cotton wool softly run over an open wound.
   "Everything thing we can, my Angel, Everything we can", he replied.
Dad pulled Mum closely to himself like a protective bear trying to shelter a frightened baby bear from all the problems of the world.
Mum's head sunk into Dad's chest, and she wrapped her arms tightly around him as an assurance that things would be fine flowed into her soul like a cool soothing breeze.
   The next day, Mum & Dad called into their son's school & told them that their son won't be coming to school that day. They didn't give a specific reason to the Teacher over the phone, however the Teacher already knew.
   The lack of sleep had showed in their son's activities & performance in school. All the teachers who cared to know knew what was happening. They had seen it get worse and worse and worse with each passing day.
   Mum & Dad spent the next week going from one specialist to another, all the drugs & recommendations they gave didn't solve the problem. The few drugs that would manage to put their son to sleep would end up creating a terrible side - effect that they would need another drug to take away the side - effect but end up lessing the effectiveness of the previous drug's ability to put their son to sleep.
It was pure darkness for the family.
   They tried psychiatrists & hypnotists reluctantly but the results were even worse than the doctors'.
   Mum & Dad started getting frustrated, it began to look like there was no Hope. They all lived the the darkness of jumping from one medical prescription for their son to the other.
   It began to look like they would continue that way for all of their son's life.
They decided to put their son in a special school with other kids with a plethora of 'special challenges.'
   One day, a celebrated Brain Surgeon showed up at Mum & Dad's doorstep. He knew nothing of their son's condition. He was in the neighborhood and decided to drop in in his old college roommate.
   Dad, being a Gentleman introduced his old college buddie to his wife, brought out the best non-alcoholic wine along with some food,  and also resolved not to say anything about his problem.
   The talk about fun times & new revelations of Dad's athletic & wacky adventures put a much needed sincere smile on Mum's face. There were a lot of funny stories indeed.
   Mum & Dad had thought they had done a good job in masking their troubles but a Doctor is a Doctor.
It's difficult and even almost near impossible to hide medical problems from a Doctor that is in the same room with you for more than 20 minutes. Much less, a celebrated Brain Surgeon.
   Dad's friend cut to the chase two hours later and told them that he noticed they both hadn't gotten any sleep in weeks and yet they don't seem to have any other symptoms of someone suffering with insomnia.
   "What is the matter?" Dad's Surgeon Friend asked, all of a sudden making the room turn cold and changing the whole course of their whole memory lane reminiscences.
Dad took in a deep breath. He looked at his wife. They both knew they couldn't change the subject. They knew they couldn't hide it anymore. They knew they couldn't pretend that nothing was wrong. They had nothing left to do but the tell him the truth.
   Dad told him everything.
   The Surgeon listened with keen interest.
   After Dad was finished, the Surgeon told him that he has some Good News for Dad.
Shifting attention from Dad to Mum, and back; he told them real life story accounts of people who had insomnia that known pharmaceutical cures couldn't cure, but another colleague of his who is also a Brain Surgeon was able to cure them with a new surgical procedure on the patient's brain that he invented.
   Mum & Dad both saw where this was going. They stopped him before he could go any further. They won't entertain any suggestion that their little boy go through any brain surgery.
   The rest of their time together was awkward, and even though all they knew deep down that they cared for one another, they where all glad when Dad's friend bidded Mum & Dad good day and left.
   Things continued like they always had. The life in darkness continued.
Weeks later, somehow, both Mum & Dad‘s relatives who had occasionally visited & sent consolation cards heard about the Surgeons offer and they where everything from outraged to upset that the offer was turned down.
   Mum & Dad's relatives pestered & pestered Mum & Dad for weeks & weeks, until Mum, Dad and some members of their extended family where directed to the waiting room of the hospital while the little boy was wheeled into the operating room on an operating table.
   5 heart - pounding hours later,  Dad's Surgeon friend walked into the waiting room and announced that it was a success.
   Everybody jumped & shouted for joy. It took a good while to clam the family down and remind them that they are in a hospital and should try to compose themselves for the sake of the nurses, doctors & patients in earshot of them. 
   The whole family crowded around the little boy when he was put back into his room in the hospital.
   Everyone thanked & thanked Dad's Surgeon friend and the brilliant colleague of his who actually lead the operation.
   The boy was to remain in the hospital over night & to be kept under observation. A safe medical contraption was hooked up to him and customized to monitor him and send a signal to 5 beepers when he fell asleep.
   3 of the beepers where given to the family, and the two Surgeons kept one each.
Even though the operation had cost Mum & Dad a fortune, not to mention the risk of the operation itself, but Mum & Dad where both happy that everything was alright now.
   Hours later, after some of the extended family had left, Mum & Dad and the remaining family members got comfy in the waiting room. They had managed to get Dad's Surgeon friend/ College buddie to bend the hospital rules and let them stay until after their child had fallen asleep. Which won't be long as long as the Surgeon was concerned.
   Time past & Time past. Soon, it was morning. 6.00 am in the morning, and their son hadn't fallen asleep since the surgery the previous day.
When all the doctors arrived that new morning they were all baffled that the boy didn't fall asleep. They decided to run more tests and try more remedies. Four days past and still nothing, the boy hadn't fallen asleep.
   Mum & Dad where very unhappy with Dad's Surgeon friend, they'd already wasted enough money, not to mention all the prodding & poking their son had had to endure.
Mum & Dad ordered that the hospital release their son, they are going to take him home.
   Some of the Nurses where even pricked with remorse & it showed lightly in how they carried out their duties.
   One of such nurses gave poor directions to a Gentleman named Alfred Benjamin King who had come to speak to the Head Doctor of the Hospital about purchasing the Hospital & adding it as a subsidiary to a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical conglomerate his Investment Group recently purchased.
   Mr. King found himself in the boy's room.
   The boy was in tears so Mr. King asked him what was wrong.
   After the little boy told Mr. King what was wrong, Mr. King told the boy about Jesus, led the boy to Christ & then began to pray for the boy both in tongues and in English; with his right hand placed upon the boy's forehead.
   At that time, Mum & Dad where matching furiously to the boy's room to take their son, followed in tow by the Surgeon friend trying to give excuses to the couple who where not listening & where quite fed up.
   As soon as Mum & Dad opened the door, they saw Mr. King standing over their son, and their son fast asleep.
   "WHAT DID YOU DO?", the Doctor shrieked in surprise.
   "Shhhh!!!" hushed Mr. King."I only said a Prayer" whispered Mr. King.


THE END

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