18 May 2014


I can’t even imagine how to begin but I’m going to have to start somewhere. My eyelids usually get heavier by the minute the clock reaches 10 or 11 at night. No matter how hard I try to stay awake, my body, already on the couch in the living room will always surrender to the messed up biological clock I’ve been having since the start of the semester break. I’ll find myself awake at one or two in the morning, alone and scared because the TV is turned off and the lights are too. Sometimes, I find myself wrapped in a blanket, unknowingly put there by my mom.

I fear the dark so I’ll get up as quickly as possible. If my phone is with me, I’ll be reaching it to ease my way to the light switch by turning it on. As soon as I flicked the switch and the mild, orange wall lamp lit up, I let out an exhale, relieved by the sight of the empty TV hall.

But then there’s the huge kitchen behind me; dark and almost too big. It makes me feel like a scared five-year-old. But I overcome my fear anyway as soon as I went to the open archway and turn on the light. It takes approximately three seconds for the light to actually switch on. Three seconds is long enough for a person who is scared of the dark. So I will stand there, hands on the wall, fingers on the switch, staring into the kitchen that seems very much endless in the dark until I finally see everything.

After the fear got washed away, I sit on the hard couch and reach for the two remote controls that my father so very neatly place in this sewn pocket hanging at the arm of the couch. One is for the TV and one is for the Astro decoder. I turn both on and usually flip over straight to TLC or StarWorld. If the program is interesting enough, I stay there to watch and if nothing entertains me, I head over to the front living hall and turn on my laptop to watch movies that I've repeated over and over again.

As I spend my hours silently watching the movies which are usually comedy while silently laughing in my head, I can’t help but to glance at the kitchen. I hate that place from eleven at night until five in the morning because my mom won’t be there. I won’t feel safe. I keep glancing to make sure that I’m still alone. I’m a coward. I never felt safe.

But this solitude usually reaches its heaven peak whenever I decide to shower. Since the bathroom I use is at the very back of the kitchen, I’ll open every light possible, reach for my towel which is sometimes upstairs in my room, hanging at the back of my door or flung over on the arm of the staircase. I bring my phone with me too. I put on soft, soothing music; mostly from Taylor Swift’s album Red. I listen to sad, sappy, dragging love songs and I sing to them while the warm water runs over me. And when I’m done showering, I’ll find myself rather fond of how I look and feel the confidence I don’t feel during the day. My skin will look much better at night, probably because the sun is asleep and so is everybody else.

I’ll do anything to consume the time, I eat, I read, I write, I draw until it is 5 o’clock. Because that’s when my mother comes out silently from her room and starts her daily routine. She’ll make me breakfast and tells me to go pray when it’s time. And by the time she’s going to work, I’ll be sound asleep on the couch, feeling like a five-year-old and wake up unhappy in the afternoon or late evening because all I want to do is feel another solitude and just waiting for the clock to reach the next one o’clock in the morning.