Chapter 7:

The Swift Breeze on a Starlit Night

For When Morning Comes and the Sun Doesn't Rise

“Oops, must’ve fallen asleep.”

Slowly, my body had decomposed into the bath tub until it finally reached a state of atrophy. My legs and arms had given in, unable to move from their resting spot. It must’ve been my old age combined with a lack of nourishment and physical activity for the last 15 years.

“Now that I think about it, I turn 30 soon right?” My question echoed into the hollow bathroom.

Finally after mustering up the rest of my strength, I rose from the heavenly bath, my fingers and toes all pruny from soaking for too long.

“Someone used to nag me all the time about falling asleep in the bath… Who was it again?”

“…” Not sure why, but I half-expected a reply.

I wiped myself down with a towel. Twisting the door knob as I let myself out, a cold rush of air made it’s way down my spine. Shivering, I cowered into a feeble position, preserving as much heat as possible. Steam from my long bath began to leak out of the bathroom, into the hallway. At least I’m not so groggy anymore. Never mind, I was trying to get to bed. Bad thing.

So as to not lose anymore body heat, I quickly threw on a fresh set of clothes. Despite being the beginning of spring, it was still really cold. Maybe paying for my heating bill would help…

After getting dressed, I found myself sitting in the firm seat again, staring not at, but into the blank paper in front of me. Unlike before my bath, my brain felt refreshed. With a few swift flicks from my fingers, pen in hand, the paper slowly came to life. Words sprawled across the page, neat and orderly. It felt like a rush of adrenaline, a rush of emotions.

Setting down my now finished tea, a sense of relief flooded my consciousness. Even though several pieces of paper had been filled top-to-bottom with precious words, I was far from done. Yet, for the first time ever, the words on the pages felt worthy.

The aged wood desk felt cool on my forehead. As I recall, it was lent to me by a co-worker as well. Turning to my right, my gaze rested on the watch on my desk. To me, it serves as a good luck charm, one of the only things I keep of my past. I wore it all throughout high school after all. It may also be the only thing that I properly maintain, taking it into a store every month to make sure everything is mechanically-sound. Closing my eyes and tuning my ears in, the quiet clicks resonated in my ears, every second a new tick.

“It’s already one in the morning?”

Empty cup in-hand, pacing, I made my way back to the kitchen. On my way out of my office, I tucked the finished pages into a folder and turned off the lights. Shortly after setting the cup in the overflowing sink, productive Kazuki kicked in.

“That should do it.”

Not only was the sink now completely empty, the sink itself was spotless. All the dishes, pans, utensils, and cups were neatly tucked away in their specified locations. Interlocking my fingers and stretching straight upwards, I let out a heavy sigh of relief.

“It’s been a while since I had such a relieving sigh.”

I pulled the covers over myself, patiently waiting for the heat produced from my body to warm up my sleeping space. Looking out at the balcony to my right, my eyes wandered from star to star. Lately, astronomy had become a hobby of mine. More specifically, the fact that there was much more out there than our world alone. The billions and billions of kilometers that extended past our living earth. What could be going on out there?

Taking my leave after realizing I was no where close to falling asleep, I slipped into my winter coat and stepped out onto the balcony. Reaching into my coat pocket, I fished around and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

I leaned back on the cold railing, lighting the cigarette in my hand. A slight breeze wafted it’s way through my hair. The streets were silent, only the flickering of a weak street lamp could be heard up ahead. The calm, peaceful night helped me relax, it felt nostalgic. Craning backwards, my eyes found their way into the clear night sky.

Do you see that? That’s the MinamiNoSankaku, the Triangulum Astrale.” Is what I’d say if I had him by my side.

After letting out my final breath of smoke, I squashed the cigarette in the ashtray that I kept on the balcony. Before re-entering, I turned once again to face the sky.


A swift breeze stole my last word, carrying it into the bright starlit night. 

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