Bedtime Coming of Age Fiction


   Something woke me. Or was it nothing? I wasn’t sure. We could only know the exact moment we woke up but never noticed it coming, and yet, we know sleep was coming but could not see it arrive. Is today the day? Is today the day I should do something to have nothing?


    When it was not possible to move any other muscle, I stared at the ceiling. Its whiteness smeared with a dandelion light from the early sun peeking through the curtains.


I could see the cracks which where two pieces of plywood meet to create a sense of whole and thought about the rumor of how Rene Descartes got the inspiration of his Cartesian plane by spending too much time in bed staring at his ceiling. Whereas I either have nothing or nonsense in mind when I stare at mine.


    Tired of staying still, I left my cold bed. In the kitchen I fired up the coffee maker before rummaging my fridge for bread and butter.


About five minutes passed, and everything was ready on the counter. Untoasted bread spread with butter, and fresh coffee in a white cup.


    I sat in front of everything, unmoving again. The smell of coffee tickled something warm inside me, but I didn’t want to eat what’s in front of me. Regardless, I held the buttered bread and nibbled.


         I didn’t want to eat it, and yet, here I was sitting by the window with my half-empty coffee and the empty plate in the sink waiting for the cup that was nestled warmly in my cold hands.


    The sun was so bright I wonder for whom it shines? Or maybe for no one but itself. But surely not for everyone as I am certain it wasn’t shining for me. Everyone but me, perhaps?


I had put too much sugar in my coffee, it was too sweet, but then again, who was I to complain now for a little sweetness?


Took in the day’s warmth one last time as I gulped the remaining coffee that had now gone cold.


    With my stomach no longer empty, the dishes washed, I went back to my room and curled up in the corner with my laptop, fleece blanket over my shoulders, and started typing away.


    Hours went by so fast. It was easy to fill the pages when there was nothing else going on outside of it vying for even just a moment of your time. And when I finally looked up, I could see through my window that the sun had half-way shifted to the west.


In just another few more hours, the day would end, and another will come soon after. But it seemed that I was staying exactly where I was the day before, and the one before that, and the other before it. Some infinities really are larger than other infinities. Who said that? I forgot. Is it important? The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here... The world will not even know.


   I could feel my stomach was empty again, so I stood up. Or at least I tried. I had placed my laptop on the bare wood floor, but my foot was caught in the blanket and I tripped and fell on my side... on the bare. wood. floor. The pain was bearable, but painful enough to know it was pain. I was so tired that I just dropped my head on the floor not wanting to ever move again. And yet, I did.


After rummaging my fridge for anything to eat, I decided otherwise. Instead, I made coffee. I sat and watched as the water was boiling, coffee was brewing, dripping, and steam was floating off the top. The sun was slowly creeping in through the window by the sink, and at that moment, I could feel the day starting to end.


The coffee had basically finished brewing, but I did not turn it off yet. I wanted every drop of water to either drip into the coffee pot or turn into vapor. Or maybe I just wanted to stay there, and use the coffee only as an excuse? But eventually I got up, grabbed a cup, and poured my coffee. This time, no sugar.


I stood in front of the kitchen window, the light barely grazing my belly against the edge of the sink. So many thoughts I could no longer think. Is today the day? Maybe later.


    When I finished my second coffee of the day, I went back to my corner, draped my blanket over my shoulders, looking like a gremlin, and typed away.


My room seemed getting darker as the sun outside slowly approaching its golden glow. Ironically, the light creates shadow. And the brighter it shines, the darker the shadows.


    Soon, the sun left. Leaving everything at its wake clinging unto whatever comes closest to it for light. Mine was the glow from the screen of my laptop. And not too long after, I let this light rest. Shall I let every light rest?

    I crawled up in bed, feeling the same. Nothing. I stared at my ceiling like I did this morning, but now, my ceiling was all dark. Or was I not really seeing my ceiling? Is tonight the night?


I sighed, then smelled coffee. I closed my eyes, I could see the dandelion ray on my ceiling, the sunflower in the sky travelling from east to the west, and the golden curtain clasping to every surface of the wall and floor in my room that it could hold on to.


The sweet coffee, the cold bread, and the bitter coffee.


The words stored away in my laptop. The soft and comfy fleece blanket still on the floor. Is tonight the night? Not yet. As it weren’t yesterday, or the day before, or the day before it.


Perhaps tomorrow? The day after? Or after that? Or the one after that? But not today. Not yet. I still have my coffee.


May 08, 2021 03:57

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Layla Trainor
05:00 May 22, 2021

ok i love this story and read it to my boyfriend every night but i don’t understand it, i understand the waking up and passing the day by but i don’t understand the “is today the day?” maybe it’s just like that but i’m curious


Jodie Althaia
14:57 May 24, 2021

Hello Layla, I'm glad that you loved it! And to answer your question: The narrator woke up and immediately asked, "Is today the day? Is today the day I should do something to have nothing?" Throughout the day, the question kept popping in mind. But in the end, the narrator decided, "But not today. Not yet." I hope this helps for the story to make more sense to you. Thank you again!


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