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Late Night Reflections

by Joshua Mason 2 months ago in healing · updated 2 months ago

A drive to think

I sat straight up in my bed wondering what woke me and what time it was. I lean over in my bed finding my phone and hitting the power button. Dropping it when the light from a thousand mini suns hits my eyes causing me to jerk away. I curse silently to myself for my own stupidity now actually getting out of bed to find my phone. I finally manage to find it clicking the power button again this time facing the phone slightly away from me. I groan when I see the time, "Really two in the morning? And now I'm awake."

I go sit on the edge of my bed thinking about what to do when I have an idea. Time for a night drive. It was something I used to do a lot right after I first got my car and as I'd gotten older the habit had slowly faded. Just something about driving around in the middle of the night with no goal in mind was perfect for deep reflection. Given my past week and what was happening tomorrow it seemed like fate had sprung this on me at the perfect time.

I managed to find some comfy clothes amidst all my piles of laundry. Loose but not falling off was ideal for the weather. Autumn had come and I'd be able to have the windows down and enjoy the cooler breeze but I wouldn't freeze. I gathered all the essentials. Keys, wallet, phone, and a large thermos of warm tea. I had already managed to spend thirty minutes just getting ready but that was fine, not like I had anywhere important to be.

I hopped in the car and checked my phone one more time just to make sure nothing had popped up and then I left. I started driving north out of town and as soon as I hit the outskirts of town my mind began to drift. This past week had been a bit of a rollercoaster and tomorrow was going to be either an absolute nightmare or one of my great triumphs.

Earlier this week coming out of my classes at college I decided to go get something from the school cafeteria. This was a rare decision for me seeing as I'm normally too broke for such things but scholarship money had come in the week before so I could afford it for now. It was how I was going to afford the gas for this trip.

After I grabbed a sub I started looking around for a place to sit when I saw a young woman off in a corner. The reason she caught my eye was because she was reading a comic book featuring one of my favorite heros. She had brunette hair done into a pixie cut. I couldn't see much more of her because she was curled in on herself buried in her comic. I steeled my nerves and walked over, "Hi there. I couldn't help but notice you're reading the newest Razor man. Mind if I sit with you and maybe we can talk about it after you're done? I'm never able to talk with anyone else about him because nobody else seems to like him."

She looks up, her face scrunched in slight annoyance, "Fine sit down. But if you say one word before I'm done then you can leave. I don't like my reading time disturbed." I nodded, mimicking zipping my lips and sat down beginning to eat. I couldn't blame her for her annoyance. I hate having my reading time disturbed as well. After about fifteen minutes she reads the final page and then closes the book. She then reaches into a tote bag pulling out a dust cover sliding the comic book in and then putting it away. She now turns to me, "Hi my name is Sarah. I'm sorry for my behavior earlier but this is my only real time to read."

I laughed waving my hand, "It's no problem. Apology accepted. I one hundred percent understand. I'm a random guy who came to talk to you during comic time. I would be a little rude too." As I close my mouth I realize what I just said, "Wait not that you were really rude! I'm so sorry. God I wish I thought before I spoke." I look down diving back into my sandwich with gusto eating it within another three bites. It's only then that I realize I have nothing to occupy my hands. So I just sit there hoping I haven't shoved my foot too far down my throat.

She laughs at my whole bit watching me before finally speaking, "So then why did you actually come over here? Were you wanting to ask me out because I'm a girl who reads comics? Hoped maybe our shared interest might help?"

I bite my lip thinking and then just decide to go for it blurting out, "Yes actually. You're a young woman who reads comics specifically, I see you reading one about my favorite obscure hero. I did hope that maybe I could ask you out and we could see if we're actually compatible besides comic books? If nothing else, I'd like to be your friend."

She smiles at me, "Sure. Thank you for being honest with me about it. Actually how does tonight sound? It's my one day off from work and school. Grab a coffee and talk?"

I blink once then again before shaking my head vigorously, "Um yeah sounds great. I have to admit I wasn't expecting that to happen. How about seven at Bills coffee shop down here from the campus?"

She stood up now stretching showing off a rather lithe figure trying to hide under some nondescript baggy clothes. She looked at me with a little grin, "Alright smooth operator I'm off to my next class. See you later tonight."

I simply nodded trying to hide that I was trying not to stare, "Yeah. Me too." She walked off with a smirk on her face.

I was interrupted from my thoughts by bright LEDs burning my retinas from an oncoming car. I looked around at my surroundings realizing how deep in thought I had been. I had made it a good twenty miles out of town and it was wonderfully dark out. After the other car passed me I breathed deeply enjoying the darkness except for what's being illuminated by my headlights. My thoughts fall back to where I had been.

Seven o'clock came and Sarah and I met up at the coffee shop. We talked late into the evening about where we were from, why we were in college, and of course comics. It was almost midnight before we decided to head out. As we walked out from the shop Sarah grabbed me by the shirt pulling me close to her. "You really shouldn't be all that surprised that I said yes to this. You're cuter than you think and you're fun to talk with. Plus that honesty thing is a big plus." She leans in and kisses me. Not a regular kiss either. There was heart and passion in it to the point that I actually started to feel like I was overheating. After what seemed like a far too brief eternity she broke away from me, "And a good kisser too. Text me." Then she just strode away.

That was five days ago now and I had texted her twice since then. No response but she had at least seen them. It was something I guess. If after tomorrow came and went she still hadn't replied I'd try one more time. Let her know how much fun I had and that I would love to see her again. I saw the faint lights of a gas station coming up and after looking at the clock in my car it was three fifteen. Probably time to turn around and head home. I made it to the gas station and pulled in literally just to U-turn and head back the other way.

As I started heading back I thought about tomorrow. Tomorrow I was presenting my thesis for graduate school and I could not be more terrified. This thesis literally got to decide if I got to go forward in my field of physics. I had written on quantum entanglement. A particular branch of physics that I had fallen utterly in love with ever since I had been introduced to it back in eighth grade. Ever since that moment I had devoured every scientific paper that has been published on it. I had read every book I could find on it no matter who the author was. It was my passion and tomorrow would determine whether that passion amounted to anything.

Neither of my parents were excited about my career choice. They both had constantly harassed me about how if I was going to pursue physics I needed to go into an aspect of it that didn't already have so many big names in it. I needed to stand out by excelling in something no one else was doing. However I just couldn't. This field of work was where my heart was. My parents did finally accept this though begrudgingly but they made me a deal that if I failed out on my thesis then I would change my field of study to something more obscure. Their thought being I could excel if I had no one to compete against.

I had spent the last year working on this thesis. Talking the culmination of everything I've learned and actually coming up with a new theory on my own. I had run it by a professor that I had become friends with in England who thought it definitely bore some weight and should at least be investigated. I wrote over fifty five pages to this thesis outlining both my theory and what experiments I would run to prove it. I had checked it probably twenty times over for spelling and grammar mistakes. At the beginning of the week I had sent the paper to the three professors who would be judging me and tomorrow I got to go defend it in front of them.

I realized I had reached the outskirts of town seeing a traffic light and street lamps coming up ahead. It had been a productive evening all told. All that thinking and absorbing what was going happening had actually lightened my heart a bit. Sarah had probably been overly busy this week and I was going to ace my defense tomorrow. Seeing the lights of town again brought a sense of relief. I knew tomorrow was coming whether I wanted it to or not and all I could do was greet it with a smile. But first I needed some food and then I could get the rest of the day underway.

I would like to thank Gilmore, Rob for his photo that I used for the cover of this story. He actually posted it and asked for a story just based off of the picture. This is the source for said photo So thus this story was born. I don't feel like this story is done just yet so if you want to find out what happens next please subscribe and maybe give me a like. If you like this story then please take a look at the rest of my work.


Joshua Mason

I write because I'm always drifting off to other lands in my mind. I hope you enjoy my disjointed stream of consciousness. Please subscribe, like, and if I'm doing especially well please tip.

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