Friday 23 December 2022

Snoring by Judith Skilleter, whisky mac

Freya and Tim have not been married long. And they are happy enough apart from one problem, Tim snores. Tim snores from when he first falls asleep, usually when his head hits his pillow, until he wakes up. Of course there is an occasional break in his snoring when the snoring itself wakes him up and he has to get back to sleep again, something he usually manages reasonably quickly. As for the snoring it is continual, with both every exhalation and inhalation, and is continually loud and angry and even occasionally explosive.

Freya knew about the snoring issue before they were married. She and Tim had lived together for some time before their wedding but the snoring had not been so much of a problem as Tim then worked on the oil rigs and he was away a lot, two weeks on and two weeks off with other combinations, depending on the oil rig need. Freya therefore used his time away to catch up on her sleep and recharge her batteries.

But now he is permanently at home and Freya has no respite from the noise in the darkness. Every night she tries to get to sleep before the racket starts, sometimes she is successful but more often than not the noise begins before sleep comes her way.  Also there are times when she is comfortably asleep when one of the explosive snores wakes her up and, very often that is it for sleep for the rest of the night.

I have to say that this is a joint concern, Tim is as upset as his wife with the snoring development. Apart from anything else their intimate life has taken a blow. When tearful and exhausted his wife is not keen on love making.

Together they tried all sorts. Nose strips – didn’t work. Things that dissolve in the mouth – didn’t work. New pillows – didn’t work. Anti-snore pillows – didn’t work. Mouth guards – didn’t work. Masks – didn’t work. Hypnotherapy – didn’t work and ear-plugs fell out. Even moving to the spare room didn’t work as Freya could hear the snoring thunder through the walls. A nasal spray didn’t work – it just made Tim sneeze noisily and a throat spray made him cough. Herbal sleeping pills for Freya didn’t work either, but prescription ones did work but she did not like to fill her body with strange chemicals night after night as she hoped to start a family soon. They were soon stopped.

Night after night, or I should say morning after morning, usually about 2 am, Freya would be downstairs drinking warm milk and trying to stem the tears of exhaustion. It was affecting her work and it was noticed that since her marriage her ability to concentrate and take part in office discussions had suffered. Her colleagues thought it a huge joke and imagined Freya and Tim making love from bedtime till the alarm went. “No such luck” mumbled Freya as another unnecessary comment was made in her hearing. (She was having a nap at her desk at the time and woke up just in time to hear what was not meant for her ears)

Christmas was fast approaching and Freya was looking forward to daytime naps in her planned break. She and Tim were staying at home – to rest after a busy few months. Of course, on hearing this, her friends and colleague assumed that she and Tim would be trying to make a baby. “No such luck at this rate” said Freya to herself as she imagined and wished for more than 30 minutes sleep at a time.

Christmas morning came. Tim had two beautifully wrapped small boxes for Freya. The first was a bracelet. Gold and delicate and tasteful and totally gorgeous. Freya loved it and put it on immediately. The second contained very professional looking earplugs, very expensive and very complicated. Not the usual sort where you warm then and squish the plugs into shape so they fit into your ear. These were a fixed shape with a small semi-circular attachment to prevent them falling out overnight. They came in a neat little box and there were two pairs, two earplugs labelled for the left ear and two for the right ear. Both Freya and Tim were impressed by this attention to detail – and ear shape.

“We can only give them a decent go” said Tim. Freya nodded, dubious but determined and willing to give these two strange shaped plugs her best shot.

Bed time came and Tim said he wanted to be the earplug manager. He would put them in. All she had to do was tell him if they were comfortable – or otherwise. They were OK and they had a thumbs up from Freya. Oddly Freya and Tim found this ritual both amusing and serious. They felt a lot depended on those two small objects.

Freya settled down and when she woke next it was 6am – she needed a pee. She could not believe she had slept seven hours without the need to go to the spare room, go downstairs for a warm drink or scream at Tim. She took out an ear plug and there it was, the loud and rhythmic racket coming from her husband. She peed and settled down again, with both plugs firmly in place and when she woke up for the second time there was Tim looking down at her with such love and desire.

“Fingers crossed this continues” she said laughing and they fell together with delight and relief.

Nine months later they had a daughter – Martha. A healthy, beautiful little girl and Freya found herself once again up at all hours and looking exhausted because once again she once again was not getting enough sleep. But she didn’t mind one bit. 

About the author

 Judith Skilleter is new to writing fiction after a long career in social work and teaching. Her first children's novel The April Rebellion, has recently been published. Judith is a Geordie, who settled in East Yorkshire forty-five years ago and is married with three grandchildren.  
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