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Waiting for Midnight

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I tossed and turned under my heavy quilt to the beat of the ticking clock. Beads of sweat formed on my face and my eyes drooped tiredly. It was midnight now, and they still weren’t home. These Saturday nights were the only nights that I experienced the dead of night, the apex of hours of darkness. Earlier, I had gazed into the mirror, giggling at my mother’s sucked in cheeks as she brushed on smooth baby pink blush. I was fumbling with the gadgets in her makeup drawer, scribbling red lipsticks across my hand. She asked me to clasp her necklace and I nodded, taking on the honor with pride. My eyes darted up at the mirror to see my mother’s sparkling diamonds against her sleek black dress. Blink. I was back under the covers, trying desperately to entertain myself, whispering secrets to my blanket but hearing no answer. I even arranged my stuffed animals in a line, pouring imaginary tea into their open paws, but I tasted dry remnants of toothpaste instead of tea. 12: 30. When will they be home? I switched on the fluorescent lamp light and picked up my book. After a minute, the words blurred across the page in dizzying circles. If I had only let my eyes shut, let them fall slowly into a quaint doze, let my worries drift away to Dreamland... no. I couldn’t fall asleep. I needed to see them, to feel my mother’s soft hugs and my father’s reassuring voice. They had to have the last word. 12: 45. Thud. I weakly released the thick book and it fell to the ground. The rustling pages broke the midnight silence. What were they even doing? They never told me where they went. The sky was blanketed with stars before, like the diamonds on my mother’s necklace. I imagined her resting her head on my father’s shoulder, dancing slowly under that violet sky. I looked out the window, brushing the curtain aside, but the stars were gone now. 1:00. My lashes kept brushing my skin, reminding myself that I needed to sleep. Sigh. I switched off the lamp and embraced the cool darkness. I then leaned back onto the field of feathery pillows, letting the ticking clock fade into quiet. As my eyelids slowly dropped, I drifted off into serene slumber.
Although it was still dark outside, it was a new morning, and I had been waiting for it all night. I had been waiting all year. I realized that every lonely Saturday night becomes a Sunday morning, every hollow silence in bed turns into the clinging of pots and pans, the cracking of egg shells, the familiar melodies of old hits permeating the kitchen. I didn’t have to wait for my parent’s physical comfort anymore; I needed to create it for myself. I fell asleep that night knowing that my parents would return.




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