Something had nudged me from sleep. The night was still with us. I imagined that I could hear the other boys sleeping deeply in their rooms as I had been doing before a noise had crept into my sleeping space and encouraged me to sleep no more. My curtains had been open as I don’t like to sleep closed-off from everything. It was part of my routine to wake in the early hours of the morning, those hours which had still retained the tint of night. I liked this space, the time when nothing moved without a reason. Some of the boys dreamt aloud whilst others just snored loudly. I could pick out each snore and identify its owner. Peter was the loudest. His snores resonated throughout the school. Some of the evening staff even said that they could hear them whilst they were on the long driveway; smoking was not permitted in school. Of the others, there was Sean whose snores were like baby whimpers. If you hadn’t known him, his snore would have led you to believe that he was a cute little being that was crying out to make a connection. Sean swore a lot and got into fights with boys and staff.
I was told that I couldn’t say that last thing a staff did not fight. But it didn’t stop Sean from trying to hurt them when he thought he had a reason. A reason could be anything and, in the wrong mood, they were. He even sought out fights over things that had happened in his dreams, the ones that were accompanied by the baby whimpers. Most of us gave Sean a respectable space around him. We spent some time reading his movements and seeing what he chose to have for breakfast. Cornflakes were good, toast a little unsteady, sausages were the mark of madness, even though we never called it that. If a sausage came out of the early morning air it meant that they day was going to be rocky. It also meant that we would have to finish off breakfast as quickly as we could.
Of the other snorers, George was the most acceptable. His was just the steady snore of blessed sleep. In fact, George’s snores were quiet possibly that essential for everyone’s sleep. He was a soundtrack that played softly throughout the long hours of night. When he stopped snoring, the rest of us tended to wake. When I woke up during this dark passage of hours, I focused my hearing in the direction of George’s room and I heard nothing. Likewise, I heard nothing from either Peter or Sean; the world was in silence. And when silence visits it’s time to get back to sleep, get up for a pee, or investigate. I chose the last option.