Dream | Teen Ink


January 17, 2011
By M.Young SILVER, Santa Cruz, California
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M.Young SILVER, Santa Cruz, California
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

The author's comments:
The selection in [[double brackets]] is his dream.

Jack didn't bother to pick up the cereal that he had accidentally spilled on the floor when his phone vibrated with the all too familiar buzz on his fold-out card table. Jack knew who it was. Without even looking at the caller i.d. he pressed the ignore button. He had checked a thousand times before to see the name “Mick Paris” in blue light. The last time he answered it, Jack and Mick went down to a bar and got smashed, making fools out of themselves like so many times before. He had known Mick since high school, but lately Jack wasn't in the mood to go to bars, or even talk to Mick. He told himself he was too busy, working on writing his new violin composition.

Jack turned his phone off and left it on his table as he picked up his violin and sat in his office chair facing out the window. He looked out his seventh story window at the traffic below. He watched yellow taxis drive past so peacefully. The busy street looked so calm from hundreds of feet in the air. Looking at the cloudy sky, he gently touched his bow to the strings of the violin. Jack closed his eyes as he began to play. He spun slowly in his chair and gradually opened his eyes to his dimly lit apartment. The trash and clutter that had gathered around his apartment was of little concern to him. He had no room mates, no visitors, no reason to clean it.

Jack sat in his chair and played his violin all afternoon, staring out the window, occasionally adding a few notes to his developing piece. He wrote compositions for violin for a living. It didn't pay much, but Jack didn't spend much. Even though he played violin every day, he never really enjoyed it. His father bought him a violin when he was ten years old and forced him to practice every day. Eventually he became good at it and growing up, he decided to stick with what he was good at. Jack had always wanted to play the guitar, but when he told this to his father, he sternly forbade it. He was told to stick with what he was good at instead of being mediocre at everything.

Looking at the clock mounted on his otherwise bare white wall, he noticed that it was 8 o'clock and decided it was time for his dinner. He gently placed his violin on it's stand and walked back over to his card table and poured himself another bowl of dry cereal. He had run out of milk so he just ate it without. After taking his first bite he decided to turn his phone back on. “3 new messages” it read on it's blue outer screen. Jack frowned and quickly deleted the messages from the phone's memory. He did not want to think about Mick, he just wanted to pretend Mick didn't call, didn't exist.

After eating his dinner, Jack stepped out onto his balcony for a smoke. He lit up his cigarette and took a long inhale, feeling the smoke travel through his body. He looked out at the twilight sky and the miniature cars below. Closing his eyes, he listened to the gentle sound of traffic hundreds of feet below. He leaned over his balcony railing and stared at the people walking on the sidewalk, watching them for as long as possible before they turned a corner or became too difficult to see. Too distracted by the street below, Jack didn't notice his cigarette continue to burn until the flame started to tickle his fingers. He put it out in the ashtray, took a last look over the balcony, and returned to his apartment.

Jack walked into his bedroom and immediately collapsed onto his bed. He lay there in his jeans and t-shirt, just starting at the ceiling. Jack never changed his clothes for bed, he always thought it was unnecessary. He liked to wake up ready to go out without changing his clothes. He couldn't see any stars in the cloudy night sky when he looked through the small square window in his bedroom. It was a warm night but he pulled the covers over himself out of habit and rolled onto his stomach. He listened to the sounds of the soft footsteps from the apartment above him as he drifted off to sleep.

[[Standing on the rooftop Jack could feel the cold morning breeze on his face. He took a cigarette out of his pack and lit it, using one hand to block the wind. He sat on the ledge and looked at the sidewalk below. There were a few people, not many. He took a deep inhale from the cigarette and looked around at the surrounding landscape: the trees, the hills and the small river in the distance. The trees on the street below swayed leisurely in the gentle breeze. Jack took one last puff of his cigarette and stomped it out on the ground. He stood up on the railing, feeling so vulnerable. He loved the feeling of the wind blowing through his hair, the way it gently blew the leaves through the air. The street below seemed suddenly empty. Jack closed his eyes and could hear his heart beating louder and louder. The wind seemed to pick up and Jack took a step out into the air. With eyes shut tight, he fell for what seemed like minutes. He smiled as a leaf brushed his face, just before he hit the pavement.]]

Jack awoke with a start, feeling rather uncomfortable. He threw the covers off of himself and sat up. He ran his hands over his face and through his short, blond hair. He could feel the sweat on his fingers and as he stood up his clothes stuck to him. He walked to his bathroom and washed his face. He looked at himself in the mirror, frowning. After going back into his bedroom, he removed his sticky pants and shirt and lay on top of the blanket on his bed. He lay on his back look up at the ceiling. -It was just a dream- he thought to himself -don't be stupid about it, it was just a dream.- He closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

The next morning Jack woke up in a daze. He decided to take cold shower and put on fresh clothes, throwing the old ones in the dirty heap in the corner of his closet. Sitting down to his morning bowl of cereal he couldn't help but think about the dirty, sweaty clothes in his closet. -I don't want my whole closet smelling like a gym bag- he thought to himself as he ate a spoonful of his dry cereal. -I should probably just get those washed today-

After eating, Jack took out a large garbage bag and stuffed it full of his dirty clothes. He reached into the jar on his nightstand and pulled out a fistful of quarters and stuffed them into his pocket. He grabbed his house keys and slung the large bag over his shoulder and headed out the door and down the never-ending staircase to the street. He walked slowly along the sidewalk, irritated by the noisy traffic. He watched the cars on the bridge over the river become increasingly angry with each other, honking and yelling.

Jack was never a “people person”. It made him uncomfortable to be walking down such a crowded street. He walked quickly avoiding eye contact with anyone on the street. He walked for blocks managing to avoid looking at anyone by concentrating on the surrounding landscape: the birds, the trees, the slow moving clouds. Finally he came to an intersection; the only intersection he had to cross to get to the laundromat. He stood waiting for the light to turn alone until a short, pretty girl walked up and stood next to him.

-Oh God- Jack thought to himself -What if she talks to me? What would I say?- He tried to turn in such a way so that he would be impossible to start a conversation with. He stared at the bushy trees across the street and watched the leaves slowly fall to the ground. The sidewalk below had accumulated piles of leaves and broken branches. As he stood anxiously, trying to ignore the girl behind him, he felt something lightly bump the back of his leg. Jack instinctively whipped around to see the suitcase the girl was carrying just next to his leg. -No!- Jack thought -She must be going to the laundromat too. It's going to be so awkward. God I hope she doesn't talk to me- Jack swore under his breath.

“Did you say something?” the girl asked him.

“No, nothing,” Jack stammered wide-eyed.

“Gloomy weather we've been having huh?” she asked.

-NO!!- Jack thought to himself grimacing. “Yeah I guess,” he replied looking away.

“My name's Taylor by the way,” she told him.

-Why are you talking to me? I am so uncomfortable- “Jack,” he replied.

“You heading to the laundromat too?”

-Oh my god. No. No. NO. NO.- “Oh uh yeah”

“Oh cool,” Taylor said as she smiled at him.

Jack watched as the light of perpendicular traffic slowly went from yellow to red. -Finally!- Jack thought as his light turned green. He stepped off the curb quickly, hoping the girl wouldn't walk as fast as he did. He felt relieved as he stepped onto the curb on the opposite side of the street without the girl right next to him. He continued to walk fast, making sure she wouldn't catch him. He still felt nervous, feeling her gaze on the back of him. However he preferred it to the potential awkward conversation.

Jack threw all of his dark clothes into the washing machine and began the first cycle. Just as he was about to sit down on the bench someone walked into the laundromat. -Ahh!- Jack almost screamed as Taylor walked past him smiling.

“Oh hey Crista,” she said as she spotted her friend oh the other side of the building.

-Thank God!- Jack thought.

“Oh hi Taylor,” said her friend, “wanna grab a coffee while we wait. I just put this load in.”

“Sure why not?” Taylor said, “just let me get this started.”

Jack quickly picked up a magazine from the ground to ensure that they would not make eye contact as she left. He pretended to read an article as he listened to the girl and her friend make conversation as they walked out the door. Jack took a sigh of relief and put his feet up on the bench, leaning his back against the arm rest. He lazily flipped through the magazine, pausing at the interesting pictures. Quickly finding himself becoming bored, he set the magazine back on the ground and tried to lie down comfortably. He just lay there staring at the ceiling, listening to the sound of his clothes being tossed around in the machine. Jack closed his eyes and tried to relax.

[[Jack was alone in a dimly lit hotel room, sitting in a brown recliner with his blue les paul on his lap. He didn't feel like playing, he just sat listening to the hum of the distortion through his amplifier. He gently stroked the strings with his fingertips, staring at the painting on the wall. He got up, turning off the amplifier and setting the guitar down on the bed. He walked over and looked at the painting and discovered that it wasn't an actual painting. It was a printed copy of a famous painting by Monet, just a gentle pond. It looked so peaceful, so distant, so surreal. Jack picked up the pill bottle sitting on the night stand just in front of him. Upon removing the cap he discovered it was empty and he threw it across the room. He quickly walked into the bathroom to look for his other bottle. He desperately ruffled through his bag until he found his other pill container. He took out two pills and quickly swallowed them. He looked in the mirror with disgust, looking at his dirty, dyed-black hair. He stared at himself for a few minutes and then took out two more pills and swallowed them. He walked out and lay on his bed, looking again at the painting of the pond. Something about it was incredibly captivating. He stood up and took the painting off the wall, setting it gently on his bed. He hovered over it, looking at each little detail. Suddenly he stood up again and walked to the bathroom. Frowning at himself in the mirror he took a handful of pills and swallowed them without even bothering to count them. He angrily threw the bottle down on the counter and stormed back out. He picked up the painting, holding it inches from his face. He stood there for a minute scowling at it. He suddenly felt weak, feeling the blood rush to his head. Jack staggered for a moment before falling to the ground, shattering the painting on his face.]]

Jack jumped as he woke up, falling off the bench and onto the floor. He hit his head hard as he fell. -Ahh! That hurt so much!- he thought to himself as he slowly climbed to his feet.

“Oh my god are you okay?” someone asked as they rushed over to him.

“Yeah, fine,” Jack said as he turned his head to see who it was. -Oh my God its her! What's she doing here?-

“Your head's bleeding!” Taylor told him, “Just sit back down for a minute. I'll get you a bandage.”

“Really I'm fine,” Jack told her, -Ahh my head!- Jack thought to himself. -Oh God this is so embarrassing! She must think I'm an idiot-

“Here put this on,” she said taking a bandage out of her purse.

“No really its alright,” Jack tried to reassure her. -I feel blood dripping down my forehead.-

“Please?” she asked as she sat next to him, “it would make me feel a lot better.”

Jack looked at her, for the first time not just out of the corner of his eye. Just for a moment he looked into her big blue eyes. They weren't just pretty to look at, they were genuine, sincerely concerned.

“Okay I'll put it on I guess,” he said as he took the bandage and put it on his forehead.

She smiled and made a face that Jack knew meant “I'm sorry about your head. You look pitiful.”

“Thanks,” Jack said as she was walking away.

“Yeah of course,” she said as she turned back briefly.

Jack stood up slowly, making sure he wouldn't fall over. He walked over to the washing machine, put the wet clothes in the dryer, and put the remaining clothes in the wash. He secretively glanced over at Taylor, who was packing up her things and getting ready to leave. She crammed all of her clothes back in her suitcase and started to walk out the door.

“Well I'll see you around,” Taylor said turning back to Jack, “Take care of your head. I mean it.”

“I will,” Jack replied, “thank you.”

She smiled at him.

“Good bye,” he said.

“Bye Jack,” she replied as she turned around and walked out the door, her wavy brown hair flowing in the soft breeze.

Jack sat back down on the bench, making a point to not fall asleep again. After putting his second load of clothes into the dryer, he felt suddenly antsy. He wanted to go out for a walk but didn't want to just leave his clothes in the machine so he just sat there, fidgeting. Every few minutes he would stand up and start pacing up and down the aisle of washers and dryers. Jack was used to sitting for hours, but for some reason today it was very difficult for him.

After the torturous wait, Jack threw the newly clean clothing in his garbage bag and slung it over his shoulder as he left the laundromat. The weather seemed to be a bit clearer than it had been earlier so Jack decided to walk through the park on the way back home. Normally, Jack would have been anxious to get back to playing his violin, but there he was, walking through the park. There had been some remodeling done since the last time he was there, years before. It all looked so new and modern.

Jack jumped as something hit the chain-link fence beside him. He looked quickly to see a young boy in a blue jersey, about 13 or 14 years old, running after a basket ball. He and Jack made eye-contact for a split second before the kid picked up the ball.

“It was out on you!” a boy in a white t-shirt shouted from the court.

Jack watched them continue their game as he walked by, but then decided not to stare and to just keep walking. Jack was relieved to see that there weren't many people around. The sun wasn't even down yet and the sidewalk seemed to be almost completely clear of people. It seemed a bit eerie but Jack didn't over-think it, he just kept walking back to his apartment.

A few blocks from his house, Jack heard a siren in the distance. He looked down a street to his right to see a police car pull up to a huge crowd of people in the parking lot of a hotel. Jack stood and stared for a minute, he had figured out where all of the people on the street had gone to. Normally, Jack would have done anything to avoid such a large crowd, but something drew him to this one. As he got closer, he saw the crowd was larger than he had originally thought. A swarm of policemen and news reporters were all gathered around. There was a buzz of conversation in the crowd; it was difficult for Jack to figure out what was happening.

After standing on the edge of the crowd for a few minutes Jack thought about leaving, having forgotten what drew him to the crowd in the first place. Just as he was turning around, the crowd fell silent. Jack turned back to see the double-doors of the hotel open and a person on a stretcher be wheeled out. Jack dropped his bag of clothes on the ground and stood transfixed. -That man looks just like me!- he thought to himself. He pushed his way through the crowd to get a closer look at what he thought was himself on the stretcher. There were so many people that Jack could only catch short glimpses as he made his way through. Just before the stretcher reached the ambulance, Jack saw who it was. It wasn't him. After he got a better look he could see that it didn't look anything like him. The man had long black hair and dirty clothing; his face was was all cut up and bloody. He watched stunned as the medical technician zipped up the body bag and loaded him into the ambulance.

Jack slowly walked back down the street thinking about what he had seen. He watched as a news reporter began to tell the story.

“Johnny Cricket, the lead singer of the popular rock n roll band Black Thunder, was found dead in his hotel room this afternoon. The current police statement is that he overdosed on his pain medication and then in his delirious state, he accidentally shattered a picture frame on himself. He was alone at the time and was not discovered until house keeping...”

Jack stopped listening as he walked away. -This isn't possible- he thought to himself as he continued to walk down the street. -That guy was in my dream earlier. How is that possible?- He shuffled his feet toward his apartment continuing to wonder about what he had seen. -It was real. But how?- He climbed the stairs to his apartment and sat down in his chair. -I had never heard of that man before in my life. How did I dream about him? How did I know it would happen? Would it have happened if I didn't dream about it? What if it happened because I dreamed about it?- Jack couldn't stop thinking. -I feel like I'm going crazy! This is impossible! I know it is!-

Jack sat staring out the window for hours. He became frustrated at the lack of logic in his life. -Every question has an answer- He told himself. -Everything happens for a reason- Jack sat in his chair, wide-awake into the night. -This is crazy. It has to be a coincidence. I'm just imagining things. I must have hit my head a little too hard. I must be making things up in my head- He walked outside to have a cigarette to calm his nerves. He took big inhales from the cigarette, smoking it much more quickly than normal. With each puff he took, he would flick his cigarette and watch the ash lazily float off the balcony until it became too difficult to see.

When he was finished he tossed the butt into the ashtray and went back into his apartment. He looked at the clock in his living room. It was difficult to see with all of the lights off in his apartment but he could see that it read some time between 2 and 3 a.m. He lay on his bed, trying to silence a million thoughts arguing in his head. He closed his eyes. -It was nothing. It was your imagination-

[[Jack sat on a beat-up blue couch watching late-night t.v.

“I'll be right back,” he told the kid sitting next to him, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Alright man hurry back,” said the kid in the blue jersey, “its going to come back from commercial soon.”

Jack slowly walked through the house, looking at all of the pictures on the wall. He could tell he was alone with the boy watching t.v. Jack walked past the bathroom and into the master bedroom. He flicked on the light to reveal a large room full of beaten up antique furniture. Jack walked over to the closet and flung the doors open. There was a rack full of shirts and the bottom of the closet was lined with all sorts of shoes. Jack turned away from the closet, his eyes searching around the room. He walked over to the dresser and began searching it, drawer by drawer. In the top drawer, there seemed to just be a lot of old junk. Jack pulled out everything he could find and set it on the bed; everything from picture frames, to old news papers, to books and magazines. Jack pulled out the empty drawer and set it on the ground. Jack pulled out the next drawer. Pants. The next had socks and underwear in it. Finally, Jack opened the last drawer. It was empty. Jack kicked the dresser in frustration, knocking over a picture frame that had been set on top of it. Jack pulled out the drawers again and began throwing clothes across the room. At the bottom of the drawer of pants there was a small box. Jack took it out. He slowly opened it smiling, knowing he had found what he was looking for. He pulled out the small handgun and checked to see if it was loaded. It had a full clip of eight shots ready to be used at Jack's will. He walked silently back to the room where the boy was sitting on the couch, keeping the gun hidden.

“What took you so long?” the boy asked.

“Nothing,” Jack replied coolly.

The boy went back to watching television and Jack clutched the gun in his hand. Jack didn't sit down. He stood there clutching the concealed gun.]]

Jack suddenly awoke. -Ugh what's that noise- He stumbled out of bed to find the source of the noise. He walked over to his table to see it was his vibrating cell phone making the noise that woke him up. He picked it up and saw the name “Mick Paris” in blue light. -Why are you calling me so early? Honestly, if you behaved like a normal person I would be more inclined to talk to you- Jack thought as he silenced his phone. He checked the clock as he walked back into his bedroom. 8:47 a.m. He went back into his room and fell back asleep.

[[Jack sat on the beat-up blue couch watching a late-night t.v. program. He looked over at the boy in the blue jersey, who was half asleep. Jack watched the low-budget programs until he could hear the boy start to snore. He glanced over at the boy. His eyes were shut and his head leaned against the back of the couch. Jack slowly pulled the gun out from under the cushion of the couch. Jack stared at the boy and aimed the gun at his head. He paused, keeping the gun steady. He inched closer and started to squeeze the trigger.

The boy suddenly woke up.

“Dude, what are you-”]]

Jack sat up in bed. -It was just a dream- he thought to himself. -It was just a dream- He got up, sat at his table, and poured himself a bowl of dry cereal. As he picked up the box, he could feel the weight of it and decided that there wasn't enough left for another meal. -I'm going to have to go to the store later- he thought to himself trying to get new thoughts in his head. After eating, Jack sat down in his favorite chair and stared out the window. He picked up the violin but suddenly didn't feel like playing. He sat with the violin on his lap, just staring out the window.

Without playing one note, Jack set his violin back down and walked outside for a smoke. He lit his cigarette and leaned against the railing of his balcony. He smoked slowly, not concentrating on what he was doing. He heard a siren from below and looked over his balcony. He watched as several police cars and an ambulance sped by in the distance. -It's nothing- Jack thought to himself and continued to smoke his cigarette. He continued to stare into the distance, where the sirens had been coming from, until he spotted something odd.

-Oh no- he thought -no, that can't be real. Its not what I think it is- He watched as a boy in a white t-shirt ran down the street toward Jack's apartment. -No. It can't be. No- The sirens started to get louder and the boy ran into an alleyway. Jack sprinted out of his apartment, leaving his front door wide open. He sprinted down the stairs and out the door the find this alley. He came to what he thought was the alley where he saw the boy in the white t-shirt run into, still holding his half-smoked cigarette. He cautiously walked down it, looking everywhere for him. As he walked farther he started to hear heavy breathing. He followed the sound to behind a dumpster, where he found the boy sitting on the ground leaning against it.

“What did you do to your friend?” Jack shouted.

“I don't know what happened,” the boy said, “I swear I don't. Somehow I got this gun and then-”

“What happened?” Jack asked.

“I-I don't know. I shot him. But I swear I didn't mean to. I don't know how it happened,” he took a long stare at Jack, “I killed him.”

The boy pulled out the gun and put it in his mouth.

“No! Don't!” Jack shouted as the boy squeezed the trigger. The boy slumped over, gushing blood from his mouth and the back of his head.

“You didn't kill him,” Jack said as he fell to his knees, tears in his eyes, “I did.”

Jack had barely gotten back to his apartment when the police cars arrived. Jack watched as a squad of policemen ran into the alley, guns drawn. Jack sat in his chair. -I killed him. How could I have killed him? I was just dreaming. It doesn't matter how. It happened. I murdered him.- He paced around his apartment, thinking about what was happening. -How many people have I killed in my sleep? I can't go to sleep again until I figure this out- He continued to pace around his apartment. I need to do something to take my mind off of this.

Jack decided to walk down to the grocery store to buy more cereal for his lunch.

“Will this be all for you sir?” the large woman behind the counter asked him.

“Yeah that's it,” Jack replied staring into space.

“Mhm. You're a bachelor aren't you?”

“Yeah you called it.”

“That will be $3.79 please.”

Jack handed her a five-dollar bill.

“Out of five? So here's one, ten, twenty, twenty-one is your change. Have a great day.”

Jack just walked away. He had just gotten out of the store when he heard a familiar voice from behind him.

“Jack?” Taylor asked.

“Oh hi Taylor,” he replied as he turned to face her. -Oh my god what is she doing here?-

“How's our head?” she asked.

“Oh fantastic.”

“It looks pretty bruised. You should put ice on it.”

“Yeah I probably should.”

“Anyway this is my room mate, Jessica,” she said referring to the girl standing next to her.

“Nice to meet you,” Jack said shaking her hand.

“You look like you didn't get much sleep last night,” Taylor said to Jack.

“No I didn't,” Jack said.

“Well I hope you can get some sleep tonight,” Taylor said.

“Thanks,” Jack replied, “well, I should probably let you get to your shopping.”

“Yeah I guess,” she said, “it was great seeing you. Maybe I'll see you at the laundromat this weekend. I usually do my laundry on Sundays. Maybe I'll see you there.”

“Maybe,” Jack said almost smiling.

“Well I'll see you then,” Taylor said, “bye Jack.”

“Bye,” Jack said.

Jack walked back to his apartment completely forgetting about what had happened that morning. He sat down at his table and opened his new box of cereal. He carefully cut open the bag of cereal with his only pair of scissors and poured himself a bowl. He felt his eyelids grow heavier as he ate his cereal. He felt a knot become tight in his stomach. -I can't fall asleep- he thought to himself -I can't fall asleep-

[[Jack sat a wooden kitchen table beneath a large window. It was a mostly sunny day, enough to let the light enter and warm the room. He heard the sound of running water and walked into the kitchen. He leaned against the refrigerator and watched the short girl with long, wavy hair wash the dishes in the sink.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Taylor asked.

“Oh nothing, I'm just bored,” Jack replied.

“Oh okay,” Taylor said, “want to help me put some things away?”

“Sure,” Jack answered,” why not?”

Jack found the rightful place for all of the plates, pots, and pans. He stacked them neatly one by one. She started to hand him silverware and he put away all of the forks, spoons, and the knives. He had just put the last knife in the drawer when he silently placed it back on the counter and shut the drawer. He held it in his hand and admired it. It was about 10 inches long, serrated, and very sharp. He slowly walked over behind Taylor who was still cleaning the sink. She did not hear as he crept behind her.]]

Jack jumped to his feet as he was awoken by a loud siren passing by, knocking his table on to the floor and spilling cereal everywhere. -I almost killed her!- he thought -I can't sleep! I can't!- He paced around his apartment, feeling his eyelids get heavy again. -No! This has to end. I can't keep murdering people. I have to find a way to stop this- Jack went into his bathroom and took a cold shower. He turned the water so cold he started to shiver under the shower head. But as soon as he got out of the shower, he immediately felt as he did before. His eyelids drooped as he staggered out of his bathroom. -No! I have to stop this- He felt and anxious twist in his stomach, he knew it was out of his control. He felt powerless. He sat down in his favorite chair and picked up his violin. He started to play just as he had done so many times before. He played for hours and into the night. As his eyelids got heavier, he started to miss more notes. He began to get more frustrated, the knot in his stomach growing tighter. He knew he couldn't stop it. He had to sleep sometime. Suddenly, in a fit of anger, he stood up and threw his violin against the wall, splintering it into little pieces. He collapsed on the ground. -I'll set an alarm for five minutes from now. I can take a short nap. Nothing will happen- Jack set the alarm clock on his cell phone and lay his head on the carpet.

[[Jack sat up in bed and looked around his dark room. He could hear the sound of a girl softly breathing in her sleep on the other side of the room. Jack silently got out of bed and walked over to the girl on the other side of the room. She was lying on her back fast asleep, her long wavy hair covering half of her face. Jack walked back to his bed and picked up the pillow. It was firm, but soft. He slowly started to approach the sleeping girl's bed, holding the pillow in the air. He stood over her for a minute.]]

Jack suddenly woke up to his alarm. He reached over and turned it off. He lay on the floor for a minute and started to feel his eyes wanting to close again. -No! I can't fall asleep again! I almost killed her!- He grabbed the scissors off of the floor and stabbed his own hand.

“AHH!!” He screamed as blood poured down his hand. He stood up quickly to find a t-shirt to wrap his hand in.

“I can't do this,” he said out loud as he walked outside for a cigarette. -I can't fall asleep. If I fall asleep again I'll kill her- Jack lit a cigarette and put it in his mouth. -There's one way to make sure I don't fall asleep again- Jack leaned against the railing feeling his eyes get heavy again, but this time he didn't try to fight it.

[[Jack took a long inhale from his cigarette as he looked over the railing of his balcony at the street below. It all looked so peaceful from that high in the air. Jack knew that the street below was full of hectic traffic and angry people, but it just looked so calm from so far away. Jack took one last puff of his cigarette and put it out into the ashtray. I leaned his back against the railing and looked at the night sky. He looked at the stars and the moon. Jack loved the fresh breeze that gently flowed through his hair. Jack leaned back farther until he started to slip over the railing. Jack watched the leaves lazily drift toward the ground as he joined them in their perilous flight.]]

-Finally- Jack thought -its all over-

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