How much time had passed since I’d heard the door creak closed? How long have I been the lone inhabitant? How much longer will I have to be here? Only distant sirens and the repetitive tip and tap of keys broke the silence, no comforting quiet chatter. Just like myself, the room longed for sleep, for peaceful darkness. Instead, the endless rows of book-filled shelves cast a grid of shadows, my screen’s harsh blue light the room’s lone and aggravating light source.

I pull off my glasses and rub my eyes, nervously glancing at the time. “01:45. The last time I leave it this late”. Every student’s favourite lie. I’m just writing nonsense now, the ever-elusive word count and fast approaching deadline encouraging a “quantity over quality” philosophy. I’d stopped even reading what I’d written, my usual perfectionist trait buried deep under layers of stress and caffeinated fatigue, the gravestone of enthusiasm lingering overhead. RIP.


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