Midnight was approaching; we were getting drunk. I had not planned on it, but who plans for it? The crowd was waning, and everyone was slowly getting home, partly because I assumed they had enough to drink, too, but mostly because it was about to rain. Just then, I stared at the night sky from the balcony of the bar we were in, and the static of rain had already begun to fill it quietly. I do not remember whoever said whatever from that point on. There was but the sky to watch in its soft light beauty, and to be honest, what do people say anyway? The server asked me if we had a last order since they were approaching closing time. I laughed and said I was expecting him, and we ordered an old fashioned each and some dessert which we ended up not eating, and I was glad for it. Stating it was “out of your way” and declining the invitation of being dropped home, I booked a ride and trotted towards the little booth where all the guards sat. I asked them if I could wait there. They did not mind.
I think it was then that I felt this extreme wave of loneliness crash over me. The cemented courtyard, usually brimming, was now as drenched and empty as I was. The neon lights from all around created a separate world in the reflections, one which I could not inhabit and which felt more real than the one I was living in. This heaviness in the drops that rapidly fell into the fountain pool right ahead of me like a barrage of shells fired into enemy lines took me by surprise, and it made me feel every sadness I had felt all at once. Then, the driver arrived, and I got in and apologised for getting the seats all wet. When we passed the clock tower, its chime echoed over the empty, slippery wet town, and I checked my watch; it was thirteen to midnight still.
“Why do you think it chimed early?” I asked the driver.
“I have no idea, but if it helps, I checked the time, too,” he said and laughed.
“It does help,” I laughed too, and we did not say anything till we reached.
I reached the apartment two minutes before midnight. I left the wet clothes by the door and slept within ten minutes of changing. When I woke up in the morning, though, the sadness had not left me still.