Six 'o clock
by Michie


Sometimes he'd wonder why he bothered.

Every morning would start in the same way, he'd wake up at six and see the ceiling. Grab a cup of coffee, brush his teeth, grab another cup of coffee, and leave. (He never finished the pot and would have to dump out the cold, worthless remainder when he returned home.)

He would take the stairs down on the way to class, always.


It was odd, but he when he woke up, the clock pointed to six and twelve. It wasn't his clock, either. (He only kept digital.) It wasn't his room either, and it was oddly dark for six am. (It turned out that it wasn't six am either.)

He didn't really know what happened until later, though he had a vague recollection of waking up before his alarm and a flash of pain. The storm had hit in the night, starting several fires and wreaking havoc. (Some fool in the apartment below him had kept both lit candles and potted plants on the balcony. He had been struck by a piece of the balcony railing; that was the source of the pain. He had breathed in smoke, the lack of oxygen was what had knocked him out. He was lucky, they told him. (He privately disagreed.)

The marks it left could be easily covered, if he always wore pants.

But you could tell; he could tell, he felt it in the way he felt as he moved. It felt limited, he felt limited. The doctors said that he'd always have a slight limp, and to expect pain with changes in the humidity.

He was out of a career plan. And out of a condo as well, for that matter.

A new plan was quickly formed; he wasn't exactly thrilled with it, but there wasn't much to do when one was majoring in history and not interested in research.

The loss of a condo left him with a more difficult problem to solve. He couldn't really afford to get a new apartment yet. The fees associated with acquiring a place of residence were much steeper then the cost of keeping one.

He hated having to rely on the kindness of others. (It's okay, he said. You can stay with me, he said.)


He'd still wake up at six, but it was a different ceiling and getting out of bed was a bit more difficult. He'd grab a cup of coffee and drink it, black, while going over papers to be handed back today. He'd take another cup as he left (someone else would finish the rest of the pot, but that someone wasn't quite up yet) and would be disgusted by the current state of the elevator cars. For all that they were supposed to be a convenience, they were awfully slow.

At dinner, they would talk for hours about nothing, which amounted to a surprising amount of conversation. Perhaps silence would have been less awkward; he always wondered about the point of this useless talk, but he never brought up. (They never talked about the rackets, tucked away on a dusty shelf in the closet.)

On the weekends, he could sleep in, but didn't. He'd wake up at six (he couldn't help it) and would stare at the ceiling. He wouldn't look at the one in bed beside him. Early mornings had the cruelest hours, it seemed like one had all the time in the world to think. At times like this, he wondered why he even bothered.

There was no purpose, really, except, maybe, to see tomorrow.



Notes: I blame lack of sleep. Tenses are still awful and the word "he" appears entirely too much. I like parentheses.


The End

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