12am. Midnight. A brand-new day had begun once again in darkness. It didn’t feel any newer to Arin. It felt the same to him. Another day in the seemingly eternal year. Was it Tuesday today? Or was it Wednesday? Did it even really matter? Did any of it anymore?
He was awake, as usual. The lonely moon was rising to the east. He could see it from a tainted window. It looked like a white blot in the dark abyss. Stars were rarely visible in the city sky. It was a bleak canvas of darkness. A lot like the hustling life that teemed on its streets.
Picking up a half-drunk coffee mug, he walked into the kitchen. The house was eerily silent and dormant at night. Over the past few weeks, he had come to like the silence. It felt soothing in contrast to the events of the day. At night, he could do anything he wanted. There was no plan, no schedule, no deadline to meet. He was truly living every solitary second. Like drinking coffee in the middle of the night.
He didn’t have to drink it. He just liked the aesthetic of it. To sit under the moon alone with coffee and a story. He liked that idea. He had to write it down; for yet another prose he would never complete. His laptop was overflowing with ‘sample’ proses and stories left halfway; mostly because he lost inspiration or was hit by another one. The smell of coffee wafted throughout the house as he stirred it in the mug. Roasted beans, he would have preferred those. Unfortunately, the only coffee he could afford was instant. Could people be awakened by caffeine through air? It seemed unlikely. I should know that.
Back to work. A thick book lay open on his desk, waiting to be touched. He had barely gotten any work done that day. Lounging about his room took up more time than he liked to admit, even to himself. It had been like this for some time now. He was hung up on a productivity block. He just had to find the right way to remove it. Forcing himself to read the first line; with great mental effort, he dropped his head on the desk. the book was cold. It smelled fresh and chemical. It was synthetic but, in a pleasant way. It wasn’t pleasant enough to motivate him to study. He took in a deep breath and sat up straight.
For the longest time that he could remember, he had been a good student. However, for the past few months, things hadn’t been easy. New college, new friends, different teachers, different subjects. Everything had changed suddenly. Change was not something he was comfortable with. Especially if it came announced. He had struggled with talking with new people all his life. A small circle of friends had been his only source of worldly exposure. Now, he had to deal with changing his circle of friends, or rather, making a new one.
1am. The clock seemed to run faster now. The caffeine was making him tick. He couldn’t sit anymore so, he walked around the room. It was a small room. He could go from end to end in three long strides. Those three strides were the most confident steps he took all day. He felt unbeatable in those three steps. He loved doing that; taking a turnabout the room. After a while, he felt dizzy walking around in circles. The bed looked quite cozy right about then.
No. he had to finish that chapter. He had to. Reaffirming his will onto himself, he sat back down. After what felt like an eternity, he got through with half the chapter. The notebook beside him was finally inked. The textbook was finally penciled in. It felt good. So good that, he decided to watch a movie.
2am. He couldn’t decide which movie. They all seemed daunting. It was quite hilarious that he thought watching a movie was a challenge, a tryst he had to complete. It was taxing on his mind to watch or read new materials. It made him anxious. It was like taking a turn which wasn’t wrong but, you don’t know where it led.
He shut the laptop. It was useless trying. He knew he would not watch anything after fifteen minutes of browsing. Like he never did. the outside world was asleep he thought. So silent. The night had grown brighter then. The moon was shining and the stars were visible too. He felt a cold blanket creeping up on his mind.
He closed his eyes shut. Furrowed his eyebrows. Held onto the cold floor. The tears were welling up inside his eyelids. he could feel them fighting their way out. Another battle for another night. His head was hurting now. Because of the crying or because of the thinking he couldn’t tell. He held it in his hands and wept. His soft sobs were like daggers to the quiet night. He wept alone, quietly. Like the silent night.
3am. The ceiling was awfully bare he thought. Laying on his bed, he wished he had put up those glow-in-the-dark stickers up there. Something to look at when he awoke from a terrible nightmare. He wanted to look at stars from his bed. Constellations he had never seen. Just look at them while he drifted to sleep.
His eyes hurt from the crying. They were probably blood shot. He didn’t bother to check in the mirror. The bed was too hospitable to leave. He just wanted to lie in it, with a noisy head and puffy eyes. His eyelids began drooping. The room got darker as he disconnected from reality. Sleep came, unfortunately, after a fight with temporary dizzy trance. He didn’t want to sleep. He never wanted to. Sleeping meant he would have to wake up and it would be a different day. A different day to live the exact same way. Sleep was funny like that.
A gentle cool breeze is the last thing he would remember the next day. He slumbered reluctantly and uneasily. A half-finished coffee mug sat on his desk. Unbothered by his life. Just waiting for another night.