Jonathan: A New Chapter

[19 September 2022]

He awoke. It was already past dark, and the candle he had accidentally left on before he had fallen asleep still flickered, melted down to a glossy puddle that spilled out onto the desk and drip drip dripped onto the floor unceremoniously.

What time is it? he asked himself rhetorically, not bothering to check for an answer. He didn’t need the answer, and, based on the way the dim candlelight eerily bounced off the white walls, he knew it was already too late.

The, however, point was unavoidable: he had overslept. Again.

Jonathan stretched aimlessly, not because he needed to but because he felt he needed to do something, and curled back up on the bed again, halfway in and halfway out of the thin cotton blanket he had wrapped around himself. He always slept cold but couldn’t bear to switch out the thin blanket for a warmer one.

The light on the wall danced wildly, and Jonathan glanced at the candle. It flickered as it dimmed as if determined to cling to life, to protest its fate, or to fulfill its purpose right up to the end. For a moment, it even grew bright, and Jonathan wondered if he had misjudged how much life still remained in the candle. The burst, however, lasted only for a moment and then sputtered out without aplomb. Though he couldn’t see it, Jonathan could tell it had given up the ghost – a brief wisp of smoke hit his nostrils before escaping out the half-cracked window.

He turned and pressed his nose into the pillow beside him, trying to rid himself of the scent of smoke. He inhaled. Nothing. Oak, maybe, and a touch of grass and bread dough. Not enough to hold onto. Not enough to keep him warm at night. Still, he buried his face in deeper, trying to absorb every last fragment of him before they were all gone.

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