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The Ghost of Midnight Phonecalls

CHINA | Saturday, 24 November 2007 | Views [747]

It was almost 1 AM when I woke up.

Save for the faint light to the far left of the room, everything else was dark. It should be---it's 1 AM, after all.

But while the rest of the world sleeps on and dreams of a better tomorrow, my roommate's voice fills our room, her voice even stronger than the light being emitted. She talks on as if she wasn't like the rest of us, all of whom would be having their classes seven hours later.

Minutes later, I sat up.

Whether or not I might have looked like a zombie then, no one would have noticed anyway. My roommate's back was turned to me, and flicking on my own lamp, slipping into my slippers, grabbing my cup then walking out of the room didn't seem to make her wonder what was up with me. The room was getting too cold for comfort; I needed some hot water.

The windows were all closed, and yet for some reason the cold, bitter wind still swam through the hallways like an fierce sea snake, and the initial contact immediately sent a shiver through me, the below 0 degrees celsius temperature making the hairs on my arms stand on its ends. I touched my lips; broken, blistered and parched.

I reached the hot water station and slowly began to fill my cup. I needed to drink some tonight, the way I've been needing water my whole life. But no one just gets up in the middle of the night just to go get some hot water---especially in winter.

Save for my cup of hot water, everything around me felt bitter cold. I wrapped my palms around my glass of water and began my trip back to my room, still thinking about my roommate and her boyfriend(a relationship I had just recently discovered; I had initially thought they were just like those almost-couples-but-not-so, people with "mutual understandings." Guess not.). Envious? I wasn't, not at all. Happy for them? Of course I was. The heck; what was my problem? Why was I thinking of something that was not even my business?

I took a sip from my drink, and opened the door.

The room was still dark, but my roommate's voice still filled the airwaves like a song playing on Volume 3. My roommate's voice is like those Mandy Moore songs, you see: both melodious and child-like, so free and so full of hope.

I closed the door and returned to my bed. The walk had made me more awake than I had been; I was now on the border of Wake and Sleep.

I had reached a point wherein I had to make a decision. To stay awake and to do...something, or to go to sleep and join the band of dreamers who would be waking up less than six hours later?

My roommate giggles, and tells her boyfriend about her day.

I close my eyes, switch on the computer, and log on.

The cold was getting to me, and listening to my roommate chat away with her special someone wasn't making me any warmer.

"Internet connected."


I wondered if my own old friend was online then.

My roommate giggles again.

Nothing beats hot water on a cold night.

Tags: Just thinking out loud



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