synecdoche

United States

Message to Readers

written for an ex-girlfriend; was, and still is, titled accordingly. I refuse to change the name.

Shannon

January 15, 2017

FREE WRITING

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I woke drenched in sweat.

The air conditioner had long since turned itself off; you still had the thick woolen hotel blanket pulled up to your chest. 

Moonlight shone in through the blinds; the only other light was from the previously rumbling, now silent air conditioner under the window—it displayed an 81 on its screen. The light it gave off made it hard to see anything but the 81, even after you'd looked away from it, or closed your eyes. 

I tried to ignore the heat, out of laziness, but after a few seconds of squirming around on the bed, and throwing all my clothes on the floor, I gave in. I pushed myself up and hobbled over to the unit; I let the little green 81 light my way. When I got there, the buttons almost refused to press, and every time I managed to click the temperature down a degree, I was beeped at harshly, and the temperature stayed where it was. I glared at the 81 with blurry, angry eyes. 

I walked back to the bed, defeated, and put my shirt back on. I walked back to the door, suddenly awake and filled with determination, I unlocked the chain. The carpet was cool around the opening and there was air coming in from the gaps on the floor. When my hand touched the doorknob, the door flung open.

I gasped, and stepped back. The wind blew in and brought tiny drops of dew with it; they landed on my eyelashes and left droplets on my cheeks. I blinked. 

I was met with a vast purple, red, and navy blue swirl, with glinting silver specks of stars and entire collections of miniscule crescent moons lining the tops of the trees. It seemed as if fairy lights had been hung between the planets, and floated around weightlessly; they moved around slowly, making loops over themselves and knotting together so often that certain spots were just jumbled white light. 
    My mouth dropped open and I called your name, but didn't seem to hear. I tried to get you, but I couldn't move—I could only feel myself slide down to the ground. I could only feel the cool air, and the sting of tiny concrete pebbles wedging themselves into my hands and legs. I stared for minutes, unable to take my eyes away, until, eventually, I had to blink. 

And then I woke, drenched in sweat.

You had sat down on the bed, wrapping a towel around your hair. 

"What was with last night?" You asked. 

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I woke up because it got hot and you were just—just staring at me. Like. You didn't blink or anything. You just stared, and when I tried to wake you up, you went back to sleep. It freaked me out a little bit."

"Oh. I don't know."

"I don't either."

     
    

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