Cities, Heterotopias & Science Fiction (F19)

Short Story - Draft 1

I can’t remember the last time I slept so restlessly. This is the fifth time I've woken up. I wonder what this time’s restlessness end result is. I groggily open my eyes to find myself sideways at the end of my bed. Ugh, I need to sleep. No position feels right. Every little noise seems amplified to the point of driving me insane.     

I finally give up on sleep and slowly sit up to look around my room for something to distract myself with. The familiar and comforting room is lit up by the soft glow of my lights in sleep mode. They are supposed to help people get to sleep, but they are failing miserably tonight. I glance at my walls with its  white base color with turquoise and black decals in the standard computer circuit design, the signature of my city. I see my bookcase with my collections of textbooks and guides from my schooling. It’s standing in the same place as always, to the right of my desk covered in my study materials. 

My eyes finally reach my clock sitting on my desk and notice that it’s 5:23 in the morning. Thankful that it’s late enough that I can feel justified in getting up I swing out of bed and cross my room to sit down at my desk. If anyone mentions that I look awful today or lack focus, I can just tell the truth and say I got up early to study. I guess I nobody would really blame me though, I mean my Life Test is tomorrow. 

Maybe it is the test that made me lose sleep, I mean it’s pretty reasonable. Even though tests in school never caused anything like what’s happening now, this test is different. It determines the rest of my life, my perfect place in society. My head fills with thoughts of tomorrow as I skim through the pages in my notebooks, excitement preventing me from retaining anything that my eyes are passing over. I sit there for another twenty minutes before I finally give up on productivity. 

“This is stupid,” I say while quietly chuckling at myself under my breath. “There’s no point in reading this if I’m not going to be able to keep it in my head for more than five minutes.”

I stand up again and stride over to open my balcony door. I lean on the glass railing and take in the scenery of my neighborhood. From my eighth floor bedroom balcony I can gaze down line of white and turquoise buildings lit by the soft glow of white lights lining the paths. I breathe in the cool, salty night air and it immediately helps clear my head. I may be excited but I can’t let that distract me from my Life Test. I can be excited after the test but for now I need to focus on doing the best I can. I can just make out the deep darkness beyond the light and sounds of waves that indicate the ocean that surrounds the city. I sit down in my chair just listening to the sounds of the night and breathing in the smell of the ocean. I feel myself calming down and eventually doze off into nothing. 

 

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