AN: Collecting a bit of nonsense, a bit of hints, and a bit of fun. May my obscurity, or lack of, be forgiven.


"I just remembered today that I was supposed to celebrate my birthday," I said as the rain fell down with a deafening crash on this unsuspecting summer, "now that it's on my mind I know I'll stay anxious till I get down to it, so here I am. Help me out with the cake. I told 'em, oranges and coffee. I didn't think they'd actually make it, but I still wondered how it would taste. It's actually really really good. Dude, you got to try it." He stayed stern as he always was with me, but he sat down regardless. "It was months ago," he said, staring at the cake.

"I know, but, y'know... it's something I have to do right?"

He sent another stern look at me as he forked a piece, "This is actually," he paused, only to say further, "really really good."

She weeps, her eye showing a snowy ethereal fluorescence. Stars vanished underneath her veil.

The city sleeps, most of it anyway. I mean, I'm still awake. And he's awake too. We're both awake, eating cake. Other people are probably awake, but it's really dark outside. I think the cake making people are still awake, I just got back. I'll probably stay awake, he'll stay awake for sure. It's seeping in the usual places, and he prepared for that so the carpet stays dry and the guests sleep with peace. It'd be a bother if they woke up from the noise, walk out and about to complain, only to stumble in the darkness because he forgot that I would forget to pay for the electricity.

"I'm sorry," I said, "For everything."

He chewed slowly, staring downwards at the floor.

"At least the candlelight is kind of romantic," I said, unable to restrain a following chuckle. I sat on a small rocking chair. He was on this rather big black cushy chair, kind of like a throne. Between us is a small glass table, with the cake, and his cup of tea, and my mug of coffee.

"The night is young, and so am I. This building is young, and so is this business. One complaint and we'll go to the rooftop. Then we jump," a sip, "Happy birthday."

"You're calm."

"It will be painful, but it will be over."

"I'm sorry," I had a smile subdued, "For everything."

"Do we just wait?"

"Yeah, I think so. We'll be found eventually, I'll be found. I have to stay waiting, until everyone else is found. You'll be fine. I guess I'll just have to keep eating cake. I won't be able to be what I am now, or be any other, until I have to become what I was... that destined, constant, me."

"That is a shame."

"And you'll still jump and I'll still follow, because you're you and I'm me and we met."

The rain continued. He waited, staring at the darkness. I was almost finished with the cake. The candlelight became brighter, became dimmer. The flame swayed.

"Ah, I'll miss this sound," I said.

"Why do you like the sound of rain?"

"It entrances me with eternity," I finished the cake. It really was really really good, "I feel like, when it starts, it should go on endlessly. But when it ends, the sky eventually alights and world appears to me anew."

"It's as if we can wait forever," I added quickly, only to realize my own dark joke. I attempt a rebound, "Actually, the darkness helps hide the fact that the roof is leaking," I then remembered: fixing the ceiling to prevent future leaks was my job. Tired of my own folly, I asked, "Wait, they didn't notice?"

"They? No, no one noticed."

I suddenly felt strange, as if...

"Hey, did anyone check-in on your shift?"

"No," he responded.

Wait. Now, I'm feeling familiar.

"Where's the log book?"

"Underneath the counter. The usual place. I never encountered any incoming or outgoing guests. No one showed up to inquire or complain either. I left it untouched."

I moved to retrieve our ever precious book full of important, in terms of nurturing potential prosperity in this job, people, "You should at least check. Aren't you curious of who might be staying here?"

"No. You said, 'take care of the guest' as you left. I had the morning shift and no one entered so on your shift I assumed..."

I finally remembered the most important, most critical, most life changing thing as of this moment: there were no guests.

"I was talking generally, in case a guest did come along," I said despite the fact that I was talking to him, instead of someone else.

All of his stress, for nothing. It simply was washed away. He settled on his chair, and gave me one last stern look, "I'm glad you were born Lance. Good night. Fix it all tomorrow."

Without even waiting for a reply, he quickly feel to sleep filled with comfort and security (a sharp contrast to the mood he bore tonight). He wasn't angry: he was him and I was me and we met. The how and why will resurface and seize my mind on those eventual occasions, but it forever holds in my heart a clarity that is defiant of the surreal existing Outside.

"Good night, Gabriel," I whispered as I blew out the candles, returning her son. I peered through the curtains, seeing a flooded world underneath the summer sailor sky. I watched a woman on a gondola drift helplessly. With a sigh, I fetched some tools and went to the rooftop.

My lungs filled with alleviation, I yelled at her and at the everything behind, above, and beneath her, "Lovely morning to you!"


AN: The transitions seems lacking, no? Let it be, I told myself.