When was it, I wonder? When I've felt this much peace? When time seemed to stand still, while I gaze at the stars, as I am doing now. Closing my eyes, I reminisced, thinking back to when I first felt such tranquility.

I remember. It was an old mountain cabin. The smell of soil and earth permeated around me. I enjoyed the natural aroma. Droplets of rain still dripped from the rooftop, adding to the soothing calmness.

It was a retreat from the busy life I had in the city. I wished upon the silent stars of the night, while enjoying the taste of my warm tea, the sensation enhanced by the nature around me; a scarcity in the city.

I sighed at the beauty of the night skies. The artificial lights from the city had made it rather difficult to catch a glimpse of those diamonds. I wished that I could hang on to this relaxing experience to the day I draw my very last breath. Away from the stress of society, from the hectic lives they led. Away from humanity.

I chuckled in disbelief. It was such wishful thinking. There was no way such a thing could ever come to realization. I continued sipping on my cup of tea, taking in the ethereal atmosphere amidst the arboreal landscape as much as I could, as I knew I would miss it dearly.

Paperwork. Mountains of paperwork. I would very much prefer the literal mountain. My fears weren't unfounded. It's a given that as my brief vacation came to an end, so would the peace that came with it.

My nights were plagued with assignments after assignments, tasks after tasks, projects after projects. They were as mediocre as they were menial as they were bland as they were unending. Yet they have to be done should I survive in this society.

There was but one instance of respite aside from the compulsory vacations the company allowed their employees to have, and that was when they decided to have what was called a "company party" to celebrate a successful milestone.

I was not one for parties, and so I declined the invitation with the excuse of feeling under the weather. I was a model employee, so the boss didn't mind my absence from the party. It only meant there was one less guest to cater to.

I hunched in the balcony of my humble apartment room. Rent was taken care of that month, so there was no need to worry about the landlady knocking on my door to request or remind me to pay. No worry for interruption of silence, or so I thought.

The streets were bustling, rife with incessant noise and cacophony. The starless skies did nothing to console me of this matter either, so I retreated to my room, muffling the noise outside as I slowly descended into slumber.

I woke up to a raging headache and blinding sunlight invading my room.

If this is how I were to live the rest of my life, a thought surfaced, I'd rather not live at all.

It was Sunday. Most, if not all of my peers should still be hung over. It would be quite tyrannical if the company decided to return to the regular schedule after a party.

I dressed up. I decided to take a walk to ease my headaches.

Daytime aggravated me. I had read various articles claiming mornings would rid me of mournings. I begged to differ, there's a reason they're homophonic.

My walk around the city had little effect on my sour mood or my head.

I ended up leaving the city on foot to arrive at the nearest nature park; the mountain cabin was too expensive and time-consuming to afford, I had to save up money to visit that place again.

In the meantime, I would have to make do with the nature park. It was beautiful, no doubt, though it could do with less infrastructures and less crowds.

It didn't feel the same.

I stayed in the park for hours, just observing the crowd. I periodically moved as not to arouse suspicions. I learned to do so the hard way after someone claimed I was "planning to kidnap" them simply because I observed them for too long. I wasn't particularly interested in a certain type or a certain person. I was simply passing time.

Some plucked and arranged flowers for fun. Others were playing games with one another. An abundance of hobbies was also present in the park. They were all commonplace. None of them interested me anymore.

I looked up at the sky. It's bright. Sickeningly so. I had to squint to get a good look at it.

I walked back 20 minutes before the nature park closes to avoid any officers kicking me out with sweetened words. The walk back home was arduous, and noisier.

I would have to wake up and work again for the next 6 days, rest on the day after, and repeat this cycle until my next vacation. Knowing that made me sigh in frustration.

I'm glad that I no longer have to feel such frustration or stress ever again. My job is complete. I can now spend the rest of my time here, where The Sun doesn't reach.

My observations allowed the research team to scrutinize the human's social life they're so invested in for some reason. I couldn't care less for why they sent me there. I'm just grateful that they won't send me back as I've completed my task in a timely and thorough manner. They've granted me a lifetime of retirement.

The only takeaways I accepted as a reward from that planet is the cabin I stayed in on a private corner of the planet that I earned from that mission, the trees surrounding it, the beverage they called tea, and the earthy scent of the forest after the rain. These are replicated and implemented into the corner I dare call my new home, in fearsome details. The research team never fails to disappoint.

The stars, too, shine bright as always, in the sky that will forever portray an eternal night.

I sipped my tea and let out a sigh of relief.

This is the life.

April 24, 2020 19:15

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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