It was already very dark when Sandra woke up. She missed the daylight again. She checked her watch and saw it was already seven o clock. Only two hours left before her shift starts. She opened the water heater while brushing her teeth and prepared the clothes she was going to wear afterwards. She turned on the tv and changed the channel to the station she works for. The evening soap opera which she edits would start as soon as the evening news finishes. She felt the same anxiety every time the program was about to go on air. Worrying if she forgot anything crucial. Sometimes no matter how many times she reviewed the finished product some glitches still get overlooked. She cringed to think of seeing even one error on her work.
She checked the water in the shower. It was warm enough. The same feeling of depression sinked into her again as soon as she stepped under the spray of water from the shower. One year of spending her waking hours at night had distorted her psyche and plunged her existence into a surreal reality. Her life felt like a long dream. Perpetually dark without color. Everything that happens to her, occurs in the shadows or under the bright offending florescent lights.
Going down from her apartment she came across her neighbors who was just getting back from work. She knew none of them. Still, she politely nodded her head in greeting. Their work weary expressions a stark contrast to her freshly scrubbed glowing face. Stepping out of the condominium and into her car, she felt her days constantly moving in reverse. Even as she drives to work numerous cars always filled the other side of the road, all of them rushing to reach their houses in time for dinner. Sarah sighed. One by one she saw the lights in the offices she was passing, turning off. The night street vendors carrying baskets filled with balut, penoy and boiled quail eggs standing in street corners also ready for their graveyard shifts.
Her routine at five o’ clock in the morning after her shift was over also went in reverse against everyone elses. As the rest of the population wake up she would be punching out from work trying hard to shake off her drowsiness. And on the road again while she drives back home the other side would be busier with different vehicles on their way to work or towards what ever errands demanded their attention for the day. Wearily, sticky from midnight sweat she would get off the elevator and bumps into her freshly bathed neighbors. Coffee in hand and chattering cheerfully. She would always feel too morose at this time of the morning to greet anyone.
The sun barely showing its bright happy face as she hurls her exhausted body to bed plunging into a dreamless unsatisfying sleep. Waking up eight hours later the cycle begins again.
Sometimes she thinks she would go mad. She could not shake off the feeling of gloom that follows her everywhere. Day offs were especially hard. When she would wake up almost at midnight, not knowing what to do. Nowhere to go. Restaurants and shops already closed except for a 7 eleven or mini stop.
Going to a bar to drink with friends only aggravates the onset of depression spreading in her whole being. Her boyfriend had left her when she refused to give up her job. Her supervisor had begged her to stay on with the night shift for another year since she was the only one who was still single and had no family to go home too.
She never knew how essential the sun and the bright daylight are for her happiness and vitality until loneliness settled into her being permanently and she found herself crying for no apparent reason. Until she drowned in unknown sorrows just by listening to some random sad songs. Until reason left her and made her act erratically. Until one day she loss the will to leave her bed.