The silence was screaming louder than the sound of whirling fan above, and the loneliness was the only companion she had that night. The only colors she could register before her were black and pale yellow. She lay down, eyes glued on the wall of her bedroom as she counted the fake stars that glowed in the dark, in hopes that she would fall asleep.
One, two, three.
She had counted more than twenty small stars, but her eyes still refused to shut. She kept staring at the stars, hoping that they would sparkle like the ones her parents and friends had been telling her about. But the ones before her eyes weren’t sparkling.
She’d been yearning to count the real stars, the ones that adorned the night sky and sparkled around the moon lying below the horizon, and not the ones her mother had bought for her from a random shop. Her heart fluttered at the thought of laying on the grass, making a wish if she ever saw falling stars and talking to random strangers about life and death until the sun rose in the east.
But she knew it was impossible when her mother was around, always checking on her to make sure she didn’t do anything stupid.
But tonight, she knew she had to do something. She had to see the outside and count the star. She didn’t care if she got caught by her mother because she’d been yearning to do this. She couldn’t stop wondering how it would feel being outside, especially during the nights because she’d never had a chance to do so.
As the clock struck midnight, she silently padded across the room and reached for the window latches. She glanced over at the door, making sure that her mother wasn’t there, invading her room at this ungodly hour. She made sure her sweater was zipped up and even brought a thick blanket with her to keep warm.
It had been a while since she last opened the window of her bedroom at night. The yellow curtains were fluttering slightly against her tired face as the night air welcomed her, causing her to freeze and shudder slightly before she decided to close the window again. She was slightly surprised by the sudden cold air that hit her face, because she wasn’t used to this. The night really was freezing. Perhaps, she should’ve listened to her mother’s words.
As her fingers drew the curtains to hide the night sky, her eyes caught a shadow dancing under the pale moonlight and flickering streetlamps. She stayed, training her eyes on the stranger. She opened the window again and leaned over the windowsill, ignoring the sudden pain that grew silently in her chest.
It was reaching midnight, the darkness stretched about and the streets were quiet, but the air around the stranger gleamed, lighting up the streets in a furtive way. She could hear the stranger whistling a lullaby, dancing slightly to its rhythm, shoes almost not touching the damp ground. There was an unsettling feeling in her heart, so she watched and watched, a strand of her hair covering her dark brown eyes. She kept her gaze fixed on that stranger until the figure disappeared into the darkness. Once the sounds of the footsteps were long gone, she closed the window once again.
With the disappointment still lurking in her heart as she recalled the tune of the song, she fell asleep and dreamed of the stranger. It was going to be a long night.