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HENRY BINS IS ONLY AWAKE
FOR ONE HOUR A DAY.
THE 3:00 A.M. SERIES
3:00 a.m., HENRY BINS BOOK #1
By Nick Pirog
One hour. Sixty minutes. Three thousand six hundred seconds. That’s how long I get each day. How long I’m awake.
I won’t bore you with the science of it all; I’d rather get to the story. And what a story it is. And I only have an hour to tell it. But just know that I have seen every doctor and taken every medication in the book and nothing helps. I wake up at 3:00 a.m. each morning and fall asleep an hour later. Then I sleep for twenty-three hours. Then repeat. It isn’t much of a life, but it is the only one I know.
By my age, most people have been awake for over two hundred thousand hours. I’ve been awake for less than fourteen thousand. According to the doctors, there have only been three people in existence to ever have the condition. Condition, that’s what they call it. Not a disease, not an illness, a condition. A young girl in Taiwan has it. And another guy in Iceland. But it’s named after me. I had it first. Henry Bins. That’s what they call it. I’m Henry Bins and I have Henry Bins.
Anyhow, you might be wondering how I can string two sentences together if I’ve been awake fewer hours than a normal three-year-old. Well, what can I say? I’m a prodigy. And maybe because God gave me Henry Bins – I’m Henry Bins and I have Henry Bins – He found it only fair to compensate with a brilliant mind.
It’s now 3:02. I’d better get started.
I open my eyes with a jolt.
It’s April 18th. I know this because yesterday was April 17th. And the big electronic clock on my dresser tells me so. The glowing green embers also tell me it is 3:01 a.m.
One minute gone.
I rip the covers off and jump out of bed. I am fully clothed. I’m wearing gray sweatpants, a maroon hooded sweatshirt, and lime green Asics. Next stop, the kitchen. My laptop is sitting on the kitchen table. I hit the mouse pad and the black screen vanishes, replaced by the frozen picture of a castle. I’ve been watching Game of Thrones in ten-minute intervals. I hit the spacebar and the show resumes. Keeping an eye on the screen, I open the fridge and remove a sandwich—roast beef, heavy on the mustard—and a peanut butter protein shake. Both have been premade by Isabel, a Mexican woman who cooks, cleans, and does countless other things I don’t have time for.
I pick up my cell phone. No calls. Three text messages. All from my father. Two are pictures of his dog. I message him back that he needs to find a woman and sit down to the computer. I devour the sandwich and the smoothie as I open a separate window and log into my E-Trade account. It’s all about multitasking. I can’t help but glance at the clock in the bottom right corner.
Four minutes gone.