It was a lonely night for Leila. It was also the last hours she was officially spending as a teen. You do become an adult at 18 but you still have the teen at the end of your age. In a couple of hours, Leila was turning twenty. She didn't care much for birthdays or age. Life just went on for her. No day was important and no age made a difference. She focused on her work as a freelance editor. She sat on a comfortable cushion placed in front of her low desk as she typed away, editing someone else's novel. While she worked, she listened to an album she was addicted to recently, it was called MITO. The only light that illuminated her small room came from a desk lamp next to her. It emitted warm yellow light and was faced downwards so that it would shine on the keyboard. She enjoyed a dark ambience but she still had to see the keys in order to work.
Leila had worked for a couple of hours until she felt hungry, maybe it was simply boredom from the novel she was sent. She rose up from her seat and made her way to the kitchen. It wasn't far as it was a small apartment, just a door away. Her house was only 500 sqft. Adding to that, Leila hadn't used the space well enough to make it seem bigger. On the contrary, it was crowded with furniture and useless objects and thus looked even smaller. The apartment was composed of a bedroom where she kept a single bed, a desk with a cushion to make up her work corner and a Tv to keep her entertained. The door lead to a space where only a kitchen was visible. The living room should have been next to it but Leila didn't see the importance of it. She never had planned to have guests over and spent most of her time in her bedroom. Leila was a bit of a loner though it was by choice. She preferred complete solitude rather than interactions within a world she hated. She didn't like her reality or others' reality. Standards in society equalled limitations for her. For her, the sky was never the limit, it was society. Leila wasn't always this dark or perhaps pessimistic. Sadly, along with others, she had become an adult. With the eyes of a child, she had only seen what she wanted to see. Now, with the eyes of an adult, she is seeing the world in its true colours.
Although the kitchen took over the space of the living room, it was still very cramped. The kitchen stove was stuck on the wall and in front of it was a small table accompanied by a chair and next to it a regular-sized window. The table and chair are the usual plastic white ones you find on a balcony or a garden. Behind the chair was a fridge, there was barely any space to open it. She always had to move the chair to be able to open it. The last space in the apartment was the reason Leila chose it, it was the bathroom. Although it is small, strangely enough, there was a bathtub. She fell in love with the vintage and cozy-looking bathtub. With her budget, she didn't have much choice, to begin with, but luck was on her side that day. Once she had seen the bathtub, her decision was made with no hesitation. She took many relaxing baths in it, it was the best part of her day.
Leila made her way to the kitchen and naturally moved the cumbersome white chair out of the way. She opened the fridge to find some bread, almond milk, leftover pasta, a half-eaten salad and a large tub of cherry yogurt. Nothing was interesting enough for her. She closed the door and went to check the cabinets under the stove. There she eyed a bottle of ground coffee. It was late at night but that didn't matter to Leila. She had most of her coffee intake at night. Leila was immune to its effect. She scooped the ground coffee and placed it in her coffee machine. Added some water, pressed the button and waited. The waiting time for the coffee to be ready was always so painful. In the meantime, she had prepared her favourite coffee mug, "The Night Owl's coffee" was written on it. The coffee had brewed and was immediately poured into the mug by Leila's impatient hands. She quickly made her way back to her room with a warm cup of coffee. Across her bed was a small night table which had three drawers. The first drawer was filled with random knick knacks and the two last ones were filled with various snacks. They almost overflowed and most of them were sweets. Leila had quite the sweet tooth. She grabbed a pack of butter cookies to munch on as she sipped on her coffee. She never works and eats simultaneously, therefore, she decided to take a break and watch an anime. That hunger was formed by boredom thus, only snacks and entertainment could satisfy it. She sat down on her midnight blue carpet and turned on the television. She usually spends hours and hours watching television but instead, she works very hard during the other hours. Since she is mostly home, her time is clearly divided. She works, eats, watches Tv and sleeps. But even for a homebody like, it had started to get repetitive. It felt like living the same day over and over. Just as she picked up another cookie, Leila heard her phone vibrating next to her.
She lazily picked it up to check the notification. It said: "Happy Birthday Leila, for this special day, gain 300 coins extra with every battle won." It was a promotion for a game she played times to times when she was bored to death.
"Right, it's my birthday," she carelessly said.
The notification came right at midnight, the day when she turned 20 had come.
"Well… It's not any birthday, it's my 20th birthday. Might as well do something." Leila said as she felt the need to welcome her twenties. It was true that she did not care for age but this time, it felt different. Or at least, maybe she hoped it would be somehow different. She stood up from the carpet and opened the drawers of her night table. She brought out a couple of snacks and went to the kitchen. She took out a small and round white plate from the cupboard and sat down at the balcony table. She proceeded to open the small cakes and cookies and placed them on the plate accordingly to form a small birthday cake. In a minute she was able to complete the cake. There were two mini cakes stacked on top of each other, stick-like cookies surrounding them and the last touch, crumbled colourful cookies on top. Leila took a serious look at it and remarked something. She thought something was missing. Soon enough, she realized it was a candle. Although Leila wasn't into birthdays, she enjoyed the part where you had to make a wish before blowing out the candle. Never once did her wish come true but it was a form of hope to her. It's a possibility or a chance. In her darkening world, hope had left a while ago. But strangely enough, This once in year's event is her ray of hope, it's something that she doesn't have to work for, it's something that comes after having lived till this day.
Leila went back to her room and looked under her bed, there were many things that she didn't use anymore or simply threw under to make space. There were crumpled pieces of paper, decorative boxes which contained small items resembling trash, books whose covers were hidden by layers of dust and many more useless items. In the midst of this mess, Leila was hoping to find the scented candle she received for free as part of some promotion at the mall. The last time she had gone to the mall had probably been a year ago. She had never used it before simply shoved it under her bed.
"There it is!" She exclaimed as she grabbed the scented candle that was in the left corner.
Pleased, she made her way back to the kitchen and took out a candle-lighter from the drawers. Now that the candle and the cake were ready, it was time for her mini ceremony. She lit the cherry-scented candle and shut her eyes tight for a couple of seconds.
"I wish to wake up to a different life," she quietly said before blowing out the candle. And just like that, it had ended, she put the snack cake in the fridge to eat it for breakfast the next day. Her wish was vague and short, Leila had much more to say but she couldn't. With time, her ambitions, goals and desires had started to fade. She had always wanted to be a writer but gave up on that dream. She didn't believe in herself and always thought that she would fail. With that kind of mentality, she had no motivation to write and thus eventually gave up. She was now just an editor who helped writers achieve the dream she couldn't. Ever since that decision, her days had been a repeating routine. As her life was always dull, she began losing meaning and was lost. She had a dream, she had things she liked very much and things she wanted to accomplish but reality had another plan for her.
After having returned to her room, she had worked on her computer for a few more hours before calling it a day. It was already four in the morning. For her, it was the usual, or maybe earlier than usual. There were some days when she went till eight in the morning. After quickly washing up, she hurriedly went to bed. Even though she was tired, falling asleep wasn't going to be easy. She had insomnia, sleep was hard to come. Every single day, she rolled in bed, fought to keep her eyes closed and gave up. Her life was in a loop where the same day kept repeating itself. After many hard nights, Leila discovered that the voice of a person helped her fall asleep. Listening to someone was comforting for her, it told her that it was okay to fall asleep. Tonight again, she heard someone talking through a video on her phone in hopes to fall into a deep sleep.
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