Last Stop: Fourth Floor

As I opened my eyes, flickering red and blue lights infiltrated through my eyelids. They left me alone as soon as I gained my vision completely. My bed was oddly cold, I blamed it on the weather and pulled myself out of the sheetless mattress. My eyes gazed on the clock, trying to make sense of its lack of movement. It had stopped ticking.

‘’Odd…’’, I thought,

‘’Maybe it ran out battery.’’

Because I felt sort of freed by time, I went directly to bathroom instead of rushing to wear my suit.  I purposefully avoided looking into the mirror since yesterday was such a rough blur of a day. All I recall about yesterday is that I was taking my usual bus while there was a violent storm outside. I can’t even remember how I got home.  My brain must’ve erased the rest due to how tired I was. I’ve always hated how my eyes looked all swollen and old when I haven’t been sleeping well for a couple of days. I groomed myself best I could to look at least presentable and left my apartment which looked bizarrely lifeless.


The streets were empty, so it wasn’t much of a hard task finding an empty bus for my daily commute to work. My brain was screaming for me to step away from the bus and take a taxi instead. I paid it no mind and tried to place myself comfortably on one of the empty seats and failed miserably. I watched trees and lights pass by to ease myself. Something felt incredibly off but I couldn’t, for the life of me, put my finger on it. I tried to ask what time it was but got no answer. It was almost as if no one saw me, as if I was invisible. Just before I completely lost hope, a woman seemed like she had just realized I was there. Her expression of shock wasn’t late to be replaced with a distressed look. I asked the time for the second time but she started to shake her her head side to side while looking directly into my eyes, staring into my very soul. She said:

‘’You shouldn’t be here. Time should be the least of your worries. You’ve been through a lot, you deserve a little rest. Just keep climbing until the 4th floor.’’

I think I stared at her for an unusual amount of time, totally puzzled. She looked so saddened that I almost started to question what was so sad about me. I left the bus in hurry and walked up to my office.  When I entered the building all I got was strange looks from my colleages. Everyone was trying to lead me to the fourth floor. As I climbed up the stairs I started hearing faint calls of an ambulance. It felt as though the staircase was ceaseless. The faint ambulance sounds started to get more pronounced with each step up. When I finally reached the sign that said ‘’Fourth Floor (四)’’ the sound had gotten almost deaffening. I opened the door and couldn’t believe my eyes. I was met with an infinity of bright nothing but only a double headed road sign that said:

‘’Heaven or hell? Head where you think you deserve.’’

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