Don’t wake me up

4:00 am.

“Kyungsoo-ah, wake up. It’s time for you to go to work.”

“Let me sleep Chanyeol…”

“But you have to go don’t you, you will get your salary plus, if you don’t go, he might scold you again, worse, might even fire you.”

Kyungsoo groaned, but opened his tired eyes.

The cracked ceiling, a little too low, stared down at him in the dark room, having only an orange light bulb at the small dining table, and the fogged window at the end of the room as their only source of light.

It was drizzling, and the unpleasant nauseating smell of drainage behind their apartment took over the delicious savour of doughnuts and coffee.

The sound of the train blaring passed through the thin scraped wallpapers.

The stench of last nights spoiled milk was still swaying under his nose.

Kyungsoo ran his rough hands through his greasy hair, further disheveling it and got up, slowly placing down his feet on the creaky fractured board of their studio apartment. Cold.

Underneath his eyes were circles, darker than Chanyeols and his eye lids were heavy, making his toes appear wrinkled.

A tune played in his ears, vague lyrics, and sometimes a bit too high. It was Chanyeol singing.

“I will be going now. Be sure to eat your breakfast before you leave okay?”

Kyungsoo habitually nodded.

Chanyeol wore his black worn-out jacket, slipped a cap with the post-office company’s name on his head and with an abused brown case he left the room.

Kyungsoo’s breakfast everyday was canned food, since it stays longer and costs less. A bottle of water, and a sticky note stuck by Chanyeol before leaving was beside it, “Eat well Kyungsoo-ah!” Perhaps to make Kyungsoo at-least nibble on it.

It always drizzles. The damp, muddy roads digs under Kyungsoo heels. The sunless sky mocks him every second of the day, and the dark clouds hide its beauty from his sight.

Under the flickering streetlamps, a group of flies played around spherically.

Abandoned houses lay dead, albeit it rains, the sun never shines and sadly, the wetted flowers bow down.

The rocky road stretched far until his office, and looking at his second-hand watch, 4:10 A.M, he only had five minutes to reach his destination, otherwise like Chanyeol said, his grumpy boss might fire him even if he’s a minute late.

So he ran, anxiously and fast but slipped.

Cursing himself for sleeping for even a minute, he got up and ran again.

4:16 am.

“You think that you can slack off all day, do nothing and I would just give you your pay?”

“I’m sorry sir…”

“Sorry? This is the second time you’re damn late!”

“I’m re-really sorry sir…it won’t happen aga-.”

“I’m cutting off half of your pay! This is the last and final warning Do Kyungsoo.”

“Yes…Sir.”

“Clean up the front and the bathrooms, take out the trash and set the files under my desk. I have to leave early but if I see any work undone, you’re fired for good, understood?”

“Yes sir.”

“And don’t you sleep in my office again. I don’t want to smell your filthy stench when I get back in the morning.”

“Yes sir.”

“Man why do I always get people like you!” The boss clicked his tongue and left with his brand new briefcase.

For seconds, Kyungsoo looked down, momentarily, droplets of water blotted the pale floor and sniffs from time to time could be heard by the few workers outside.

“I hate my life…” He once said to Chanyeol.

“Huh? Why?”

“Because this is not the life I want to live. I don’t want to clean the bathrooms, or broom the wet leaves. I want to work in an office, maybe be a bank employer and drink coffee with freshly baked doughnuts. I want to give my mom the life she wanted. Give her money every month, feed her nice food, and take her out on vacations.”

“Then can’t you do that now?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I just can’t. I can’t figure out how.”

3:50 am.

Kyungsoo walked back to his apartment after a tiring day.

With his spare key, he opened the door and switched on the lights, but saw Chanyeol in a deep sleep as usual.

Quietly closing the door and switching the lights back off, he tossed himself on his untidy bed.

The ceiling appeared in waves like the ocean, his eyes burned and hurt and he knew that closing them now would only make him fall into oblivion.

So, he opened the drawer from his bedside and took out a bundle of sticky notes and a pen.

“Wake me up at 4:00.” He scribbled and stuck it on the table, hoping that Chanyeol would see it.

4:00 am.

“Kyungsoo-ah, wake up. It’s time for you to go to work.”

“Let me sleep Chanyeol…”

“But you have to go don’t you, you will get your salary plus, if you don’t go, he might scold you again, worse, might even fire you.”

Kyungsoo groaned, but opened his tired eyes.

Without forgetting Chanyeol would wake Kyungsoo up, and still not being able to complete his sleep, he would get up and rush to the office.

The same routine went on for days, for weeks and for months but the urge to sleep for Kyungsoo would never end.

Under his eyes were circles, even darker than Chanyeols and he had stopped eating the canned food, though at times Chanyeol would force him or place a cute message on the sticky note beside it.

Once he had even bought Kyungsoo a chicken sandwich from the amount he had earned for his hard work, and seeing how deliciously Kyungsoo was wolfing it down, he had decided to keep bringing him something even more appetizing.

Kyungsoo’s boss was happy to see him come to work every day on time. The front and the bathrooms were always clean, the files were always stacked neatly and the trash would always be empty.

Resultantly, he gave a day off to Kyungsoo, after all, he did earn it.

Kyungsoo, feeling blessed and overjoyed ran back from the filthy road to his apartment.

Unlocking the door with his spare key, he switched on the lights and saw Chanyeol in a deep sleep.

Quietly closing the door and switching the lights back off, he tossed himself on his untidy bed.

The ceiling appeared in waves, like the ocean but now he could finally close his eyes and sleep for the rest of the day.

Keeping in mind the note he had stuck months ago, he removed it since undoubtedly Chanyeol would wake him up.

So, he opened the drawer from his bedside and took out a bundle of sticky notes and a pen.

“Don’t wake me up.” He scribbled and stuck it on the table, hoping that Chanyeol would see it.

“Kyungsoo-ah, wake up. It’s time for you to go to work.”

“Let me sleep Chanyeol…”

“But you have to go don’t you, you will get your salary plus, if you don’t go, he might scold you again, worse, might even fire you.”

“He won’t…he gave me a day off Chanyeol…”

“A day off? But you can’t take a day off, what about your pay? What if he cuts today’s pay huh? That’s not fair right?”

“Chanyeol…just let me sleep, let’s talk about this later…”

“But Kyungsoo-ah, you have to go to work-.”

Kyungsoo’s body shook as Chanyeol forcefully woke him up.

“Dammit Chanyeol let me sleep! Didn’t I stick the note saying not to wake me up?!”

He got up, flinging his hand with the pillow and bit his lip to prevent himself from cursing his best friend.

His head was dizzy, and his vision fogged.

“Let me sleep alright!” He yelled and slumped down again.

Chanyeol didn’t speak anything, maybe because he was sorry for waking him up or angry at him for throwing a pillow,

However, all Kyungsoo heard before he fell asleep was the sound of the door clicking shut.

“Kyungsoo-ah, wake up. It’s time for you to go to work.”

“Let me sleep Chanyeol…”

“But you have to go don’t you, you will get your salary plus, if you don’t go, he might scold you again, worse, might even fire you.”

Kyungsoo groaned, but opened his tired eyes.

One day’s sleep wasn’t enough for him, but work was work and he was gratified to his boss for even giving him a day to himself.

Hence, to repay the kindness, he shunned his sleep, slowly placing down his feet on the creaky fractured board of their studio apartment. Cold.

Underneath his eyes were circles, darker than Chanyeols and his eye lids were heavy, making his toes appear wrinkled.

A tune played in his ears, vague lyrics, and sometimes a bit too high. It was Chanyeol singing.

“I will be going now. Be sure to eat your breakfast before you leave okay?”

Kyungsoo habitually nodded.

Chanyeol wore his black worn-out jacket, slipped a cap with the post-office company’s name on his head and with an abused brown case he left the room.

A bottle of water, and a sticky note stuck by Chanyeol before leaving was beside it, “Eat well Kyungsoo-ah!” Perhaps to make up with Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo’s boss was happy to see him come to work every day on time. The front and the bathrooms were always clean, the files were always stacked neatly and the trash would always be empty.

Having a change of heart, he decided to give Kyungsoo a promotion. To work a real-time in front of the computer with the other employees.

As to keep the surprise still in the bag, he walked with Kyungsoo to him home, both leaving only after the others had left.

Confused on what the reason might be for the boss to come over to his house, he was more than afraid that he wouldn’t be able to give him anything to eat, or in any way give any means of comfort.

Nevertheless, he remembered the chicken sandwich Chanyeol had bought for him yesterday. That would work.

The tarnished apartment welcomes the boss in an unwelcoming way, the lift being too small for more than one person and the lobby poorly-lit.

Unlocking the door with his spare key, he switched on the lights and saw-no one.

The bed Chanyeol sleeps in was empty.

Kyungsoo reasoned that maybe he was working late again, like the previous day and the day before that.

“What’s that strange smell…” The boss asked as he walked in further into what had seemed like a room.

“It must be the drainage behind our apartment. It always stinks.”

Kyungsoo’s eyes slowly grazed upon the chicken sandwich which was in a plastic bag.

He took a peek inside and saw a white layer covering the bread and tiny yellow insects feeding themselves off of the chicken.

The unbearable rotten smell made Kyungsoo quickly wrap the bag and throw it in the dustbin.

“Ah Kyungsoo-ah, I don’t think you should live in this place anymore. It’s not right.” The boss said as he sat on Chanyeols bed.

“Pardon?”

“Since I’m giving you a promotion, you need to live in a place that’s more suitable.”

Kyungsoo’s eyes widened, pupils dilated and time stopped.

“Moreover, you really need to change the way you dress. Be more like an employee now than a worker. Got it?”

“I…” Kyungsoo fell on his knees and bowed. Not because he had to or wanted to, it was just an unwitting act. “Thank you very much sir!”

“Don’t be late tomorrow.”

“Yes sir.”

With smiles hidden behind growling stomachs, Kyungsoo saw off his boss out of the apartment.

He wanted to inform Chanyeol about the good news, see a smile on his face because the last he remembers, their timings had gotten a little off to converse, even if it was just for ten minutes.

However, as idleness took over his body, no sooner was he was out like a light.

Kyungsoo’s eyes shot open and hastily he glanced at his watch. 4:10 A.M, he only had five minutes to reach his destination, otherwise like Chanyeol said, his grumpy boss might fire him even if he’s a minute late.

So he ran, anxiously and fast.

He wondered why Chanyeol didn’t wake him up, albeit he stuck the note to.

Now that he thinks about it, he didn’t come home yesterday as well, though fortunately Kyungsoo had woken up in time.

Was he that angry with Kyungsoo for throwing a pillow at him?

“Do Kyungsoo, just because I gave you a compute to work doesn’t mean you can come whenever you want to!” The boss shouted, slamming his desk.

“I-I’m sorry sir, this won’t-.”

“Happen again right?!”

“Yes-.”

“But you’re fired! No warnings! No last chances! Get out of my office right now!”

Kyungsoo’s heart began slowing down,

“Bu-but sir, it’s only been a day since you gave me promotion and-.”

“I said get out! I don’t want to see your filthy face anymore!”

The people outside couldn’t care less, rather they would work their butts off than waste time on such trivial matters.

Stream of cold tears ran down his soft cheeks.

He couldn’t feel his hands, or knees for that matter.

“I’m sorry sir…” His voice cracked, turning into a weaker one. “Give me one last-.”

“Do I need to call my men to kick you out now?”

The tears never stopped, nevertheless, Kyungsoo bowed deeply, not because he had to or wanted to, it was just an unwitting act.

As he got out of the office, he passed by a woman, wearing all black, with shades and a cigarette between her black teeth.

She was the new employee, the one replacing Kyungsoo’s spot.

And as he turned around to glance behind, he saw the disgusting happiness the boss was feeling upon seeing her.

“No…why me…why now…?”

Unlocking the door with his spare key, he switched on the lights and saw Chanyeol in a deep sleep.

He was relieved that he didn’t leave their apartment.

However, he didn’t want to tell him the bad news, not that he knows about the good news regardless.

Quietly closing the door and switching the lights back off, he tossed himself on his untidy bed.

The ceiling appeared in waves, like the ocean but now he could finally close his eyes and sleep for the rest of the day. He doesn’t have to go to work tomorrow, or the day after.

Keeping in mind the note he had stuck months ago, he removed it since undoubtedly Chanyeol would wake him up.

So, he opened the drawer from his bedside and took out a bundle of sticky notes and a pen.

“Don’t wake me up.” He scribbled and stuck it on the table, hoping that Chanyeol would see it.

4:00 am.

“Kyungsoo-ah, wake up. It’s time for you to go to work.”

“Let me sleep Chanyeol…”

“But you have to go don’t you, you will get your salary plus, if you don’t go, he might scold you again, worse, might even fire you.”

“He already fired me…”

“What?! He fired you?”

“That’s why let me sleep….”

“But you have to get up and find another job then right? You can’t be in bed forever.”

“Chanyeol…just let me sleep, let’s talk about this later…”

“But Kyungsoo-ah, you have to go to work-.”

Kyungsoo’s body shook as Chanyeol forcefully woke him up.

“Dammit Chanyeol let me sleep! Didn’t I stick the note saying not to wake me up?!”

He got up, flinging his hand with the pillow but stopped mid-way.

“Chanyeol?”

However, only thick air of darkness enshrouded around Kyungsoo, and the smell of drainage lingered in the room.

“Chan…?”

There was no one to reply him to.

Chanyeols bed was empty as well, his bed as neat as it was the day before, and the day before yesterday.

Slowly letting go of the pillow, he held his head with both his hands as rain poured down unto the cloudy windows.

The floorboards complained as Kyungsoo tears fell hard on it.

“No…Chan…”

He headed towards Chanyeols bed, flashes of past memories of many yesterdays played inside his head.

Gradually picking up the latter’s bed, he saw a body, tightly rolled in plastic sheet and on top of it were written words, in black marker, “Don’t wake me up.”

 

“Dammit Chanyeol let me sleep! Didn’t I stick the note saying not to wake me up?!”

He got up, flinging his hand with the pillow and bit his lip to prevent himself from cursing his best friend.

His head was dizzy, and his vision fogged.

“Let me sleep alright!” He yelled and slumped down again.

Chanyeol didn’t speak anything, maybe because he was sorry for waking him up or angry at him for throwing a pillow,

However, all Kyungsoo heard before he fell asleep was the sound of the door clicking shut.

The next morning, he had found Chanyeols body lying beside his bed.

As his unstoppable tears of regret and guilt drizzled on Chanyeols body, Kyungsoo once more grabbed the same marker and began scribbling the same words over and again.

“I told you to not wake me up…”

“Don’t wake me up Chan…”

“Don’t wake me up.”

 

As Chanyeol got pushed behind by Kyungsoo’s pillow, a floorboard was pried open right where he had stepped.

Losing his balance, he fell down, hurting his head on the rusted steel footboard.

His body became numb, and his brain as much as dead there and then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s