My cellphone's alarm suddenly went off at exactly twelve midnight, snapping me awake from the sweet sensation of literally falling asleep; something that I worked hard for after hours of tossing and turning on my bed. My hands blindly groped across the bedsheets for the infernal source of a tinny music clip, taken from a song that sounded catchy a couple of years ago. I had to endure the irritating sound for almost a full minute,  until the fingers of one of my hands managed to touch my candybar phone, silencing it with one press of my thumb.

I then willed my sleep-addled eyes to focus on the text that flashed on my phone's LED screen: Second anniversary.

Second anniversary. The very thought pretty much undid all the hard work that I put into falling asleep that night, as I did most other nights since that day. Not even the man who contentedly snored on the same bed that I slept in was of much use in wearing me out enough to help me to Slumberland. Second anniversary.

I dialled my sister's number. It was already late, but I knew that my sister - half-sister, I corrected myself - was probably staying up late playing her video games or doing whatever it was that fancied her in the Internet. True enough, Lilian picked up on the second ring. Just enough time for her to pause the game and pull out her mobile phone, I'll bet.

A woozy voice greeted me. "Mao?" I was actually surprised; Lilian usually slept around two in the morning or thereabouts. I knew because she always kept me awake when we once shared an apartment during our college years. "What's wrong? It's already...oh."

I could hear a muffled, faint voice of a man in the background. She most likely worked late hours with someone and somehow got carried away during break time, but I quelled the urge to confirm my suspicion. "It's already the second anniversary, Lili," I said, cutting to the chase, not willing to spill any information just to jog her memory.

She paused for a moment, stuttered a bit, and finally whispered her answer. "All right then," she said, her voice strangled, as if resigned to something that was tantamount to getting the death sentence. "The papers will be done by noon."

Without any farewells, I put down the phone and carefully burrowed underneath the sheets, taking care not to disturb my fiancé. I decided that there was no need to wake him up and inform him of things of which he absolutely had no say.

Realizing that sleep was already next to impossible, I turned on my side and laid my eyes on Lawrence's sleeping figure. The way he peacefully slept, as if he was already my husband and had all the necessary rights and privileges to share the same bed with me, made me wish that I were planning something for our second anniversary as a couple. Unfortunately, that was not the case; our fathers - business partners - arranged our engagement only a month ago, and we barely talked with each other before that. We probably wouldn't even last enough to merit a second anniversary. No, this second anniversary was about something else altogether.

Why did we end up on the same bed again? A Latin text that I frequently encounter at work gave me the likeliest answer: Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences? Lawrence probably thought something along the lines of not delaying something that he deemed inevitable.
 
posted by Mai at 9:10 AM |


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