23:59:57

It was a few minutes before midnight. You can see smoke rising up and some crackle of light coming from a small store here, a two-storey house there. The excitement is so heavy in the air. So heavy that I can feel it weighing down on my cranium. Outside, all lights are lit in anticipation of the final countdown. The old year is almost walking past behind everyone, forgotten and maybe forgiven for all its troubles, maybe thanked with joyful hearts or pursed lips.

I used to love the New Year. But not that evening. Not when the fireworks feel like they are all simultaneously bursting in my head, I can see them like electricity behind my eyelids. Not when the heat of so many busy calderos and stoves are inside my body cooking me up to a weak, sweaty mush of a human being. It physically broke my heart to know my family is a 3-hr flight and drive away while I was there hating every passing second as I hear the neighbors counting down to the New Year. I tried to count myself down to sleep amidst the all-too-familiar noise and confusion outside.

In the darkness, behind closed doors, I promised myself that never will I feel so alone as I did that night.

3…2…1. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cut Off.”

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