she stared at the empty space...

She stared at the empty space on the bed and wondered where he was. She didn’t realize she had fallen asleep. She was alone in the room but the lights were on. The fluorescent light glowed intensely above her and she could hear utensils being tossed and chairs being pulled in the kitchen. Since the room had no windows she could only assume that it was already dinnertime.

She remained on the bed and tried to listen to the conversations outside. She could hear her brother and her boyfriend discussing about something on TV. She could hear them laughing about some girl and she thought of joining them but she was too lazy, too sleepy still. She felt hot and she could feel sweat trickling down her underarms. She tried to remember when she began to fall asleep but she couldn’t tell the exact point she began to drift off. All she could remember was that they were in her brother’s room playing some Beatles songs and that they have exhausted all the possible things they could talk about so they just sat there in their own little corners— her brother on the chair before the computer, strumming a guitar, her boyfriend on the next bed reading a magazine while she lay on her brother’s bed looking at nothing in particular. She could remember that the air was stuffy and the room was slightly hazy with smoke.

Her brother entered the room and lit a cigarette. He went to the chair where he last sat and clicked on the PC. She thought of asking him where her boyfriend was but she knew he was still in the kitchen eating. Her boyfriend ate like a pig but he never really gained real weight. She could hear his laugh and his spoon falling loudly on his plate. She considered talking to her brother but she couldn’t muster enough energy to do it. Her lips seem to have locked themselves and when she attempted to speak her words languished in her throat as if she was still in a dream. In fact, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, even the smoke that came out of her brother’s nostrils arched seductively before his face, before it floated upwards and disappeared completely.

She looked at the next bed again and surveyed the crumbled white sheet and the deformed cotton pillow and the tattered magazine that were carelessly tossed over it. She imagined her boyfriend sitting there, watching her sleep. She wondered what he could be thinking about during that time, if he was planning to sneak out and leave her there. Did he think of waking her when they decided to have their dinner? She tried to remember him before she lost consciousness. He wore a worn out jeans, the very same jeans he wore the day before in the mall, a small white shirt that she gave him last Christmas, and gray socks. He had his back on the wall, with his legs hoisted up, supporting the magazine was reading. He was silent and seemed particularly interested in the article he was reading. His face was scrunched in a grimace and his lips were tightly sealed. On the cover was a pubescent girl wearing a skimpy blue panty and the American flag for a top. She wondered if he was thinking of leaving her for her. This didn’t make her jealous or sad but it reinforced the fact that he would probably leave eventually.

Suddenly, she missed him. She knew that he would go home perhaps after dinner or perhaps after a few drinks in a nearby pub and she dreaded it. She thought of inviting him to sleepover but then she realized he would still leave her when morning came. He would have to go home and change and probably shave since he was the type who grew a beard over night. Thinking about it made everything gloomy. The room looked sadder than when she woke up and it only reminded her of the moments when her boyfriend was around. Although she could still hear her boyfriend outside she was already mourning him, just like when he was away on a trip or when it’s three am and he was already sleeping and she couldn’t get to him. She could feel the inescapable loneliness violently seeping in that even her brother’s presence wasn’t comforting. She tried to stand up but she felt so heavy that she found herself immobile. She looked at her brother who was silently ignoring her and thought again of asking him where he was, even if she could still hear his voice in the kitchen, chomping food while making chitchat with her father. She stared at the empty space on the bed again and though she was pretty sure her boyfriend was still around she still wondered if he was still there.

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