i just want you to be happy.

Mornings are always so, so gloomy. There are the creeping tendrils of light, photons forcing themselves through the translucent sheets of her curtains. There is the rough-edged, chilly wind tracing the smooth surface of her window, lightly rattling its metal frame. Ghosts clamouring to get in before the roaring ball of fire consumes their ethereal forms.

And so she sits at the threshold of dawn, specks of yellow colouring her face, like orange freckles against the darkness, her features stoic and devoid of light. She sits, hands cradling a lukewarm cup of instant coffee, three fingers through its curved handle. Like an oversized ring, encircling her slender and long fingers, entrapping them in tempered, painted glass. Her glasses lay by an unopened, untouched paperback, pages still smelling fresh, recently plucked from a bookstore. There are smudges on its lenses, unnatural patches of translucence on its otherwise shiny surface.

It is noisy. Not literally. At least, not in the real world. The observable universe around her is quiet, serene, the world waiting with bated breath for the sun to rise and infuse everything with life and warmth again. The kind of quiet that can only exist in the hours before daybreak, a special kind of silence that is just slightly different from the silence that hung in the air the day before, and the day before that, and the countless of days and silences before them too. The noises in her head buzzed, hummed, quivered within the confines of her consciousness. She could not sleep, despite everything she had tried. A vain attempt to lull the voices within into a dazed, reluctant slumber. And so she sits in her empty kitchen, surrounded by an empty silence and encircled by an empty house. The morning stretches on languidly, filtered sunrays changing the scene from black to yellow. Slowly but surely.

And so with only coffee to keep the fringes of her mind awake and not-so-screamy, she sets off into her room to get changed for school.