I’ve been waking up at 4 AM every morning, and I’m thinking it’s the fault of the fat lady in the mirror. I can’t prove it, but I’m sure she is there hovering over my bed just waiting for me to wake up and feed her.
She jostles the mattress, but I only stir and fall asleep.
She shakes my shoulder. Wake up she whispers in my ear.
"Mmmmmgh," I mumble.
Chocolate cake she murmurs seductively. Chocolate chip cookies. Ice cream.
I sit up in bed, look at the clock and groan when I realize that it’s too late to go back to sleep, too early to get moving. I grab my robe and head to the living room so I don’t disturb my husband.
Now I am not usually a nocturnal eater, but lately I’ve been starving. I’m sure it’s the suggestive talking of the fat lady – after all, I have the willpower of an ox.
I shuffle into the kitchen for a glass of water when I begin thinking about the baking chocolate in the pantry. Just one little square. It’s just for baking. Who will miss it. Everyone is asleep. It’s the perfect time to sneak chocolate.
I finish my water and walk clear around the long hallway to avoid walking past the pantry where the baking chocolate calls my name. I slouch onto the couch and stare into the darkness, willing morning to come.
You better hurry. They’ll be up soon and your opportunity will be gone. Then it’ll be coffee and toast instead of silky smooth chocolate. I give the fat lady a dirty look and tell her to go back to bed. She looks at me across the dark living room, her chin held high, her jaw tight.
What? Where did this come from? Usually when I am firm, she slinks back to her room to sulk and moan. I tell her to go away and leave me alone.
I’m not going anywhere until I get chocolate, lady. So dish some up, and I’ll be off to bed.
I sigh and get up, shuffling across to the pantry. Sometimes it’s easier to give in.
I am almost to the kitchen when I stub my toe on the ottoman. I yelp and sit down hard, rubbing my toe.
Oh, it’s just your stupid toe. Get up and get the chocolate. Hurry – it’s getting light outside.
I sit for a moment longer and watch the sky turn a glittering pink as a new day dawns. The automatic coffeemaker whirs to life as the radio alarm turns on to the news.
I wait for the coffee, thankful that the stubbed toe saved me from losing a battle. I watch the fat lady sulking on the couch. And I think that maybe some Nyquil will keep her at bay tonight. At least until she gets her attitude together.