Sleep these days doesn’t mean rest, and there’s little enough of it anyway. Between working ridiculously long hours and caring for Lisa, I count myself lucky if I get five hours in bed at night. Even then, I don’t get to spend all that time asleep. Night after night, I lie awake worrying. Is Lisa okay? Did I remember to top up her pain relief before I left for what remained of the night? What if someone’s been snooping in the lower levels and found her? It’s one of my greatest fears; that while I’m not there, she’ll be discovered. I’m not stupid; I know there’s no way Harkness or his team would allow her to live. They wouldn’t understand, they’d see her as a threat, a monster, but she’s not. She’s still Lisa, my Lisa, all she needs is someone who can fix her, remove the implants and the metal; make her the way she was again.
Even when I do manage to drift off to sleep, my nights are spent tossing and turning, trapped in memories, reliving every second of that awful day. I can’t escape it, I’m back there surrounded by flames and screams and choking smoke every time I close my eyes, and I wake up sweating, shaking, expecting every second to hear those metallic voices again. Exterminate. Delete. As if humans are no more than a plague of insects, or faulty data to be expunged.
When my alarm goes off in the morning, I have to drag myself from the tattered sleeping bag I call my bed, even more exhausted than when I crawled into it a few short hours earlier. Shower, shave, dress, then it’s back to work to check on Lisa and carry out all the demeaning jobs those slobs are too lazy to do for themselves. They barely even notice my existence, which is probably a good thing. If they bothered to look at me, they might notice how tired I look, they might even start asking questions I don’t want to answer. So I keep my head down, do my best to blend into the background, to become invisible to them. Out of sight, out of mind.
The only thing that keeps me functioning these days is coffee. Well, that and my determination to save Lisa whatever the cost. I just need to keep going a little while longer, I think I’ve finally found someone who can help her and he’ll be here in a few days. When Lisa’s cured and we’re far away from Cardiff, maybe then the nightmares will fade and I’ll finally be able to sleep.