Midnight Hallway

It’s nearly midnight and I’m perched on my tall bed.

Computer balanced on my lap, cursor blinking where I’d left it, mid-sentence.

I’ve paused, hands in midair, listening.

In the hall, on the other side of the thick wooden door, something rustles.

I lean off the bed, watch the tiny space under the door for movement, shadows.

Nothing moves.

I turn, settle back onto my flattened pillow once more, run fingers over my keyboard; I’m about to write-

The sound once more. A silent hallway, devoid of voices, and yet something moves, crinkles, just beyond my door.

I slide off the bed, pad the two steps to the door, open it slowly.

Krista, also known as The Neighbor, looks up rather guiltily from her seat on the flat carpet across from my door.

A styrofoam cup of horchata next to her, taco clutched in one hand, her deep blue eyes crinkled into laughter before her mouth- temporarily full of taco- could catch up.

I laughed, too, sinking on the floor across from her, working to contain my amusement to a quiet-hours appropriate decibel level.

Of course, it’s a scene I’ve seen many times before: Krista, cross-legged in the night-lit hallway, laptop, textbooks, Bible spread around her.

But tonight I’ve caught her mid-bite in a midnight snack, the taco wrapper rustling with every delicious bit, and maybe it’s the hour,

or maybe it’s the stories, adventures, let’s-get-fancy-just-because nights we’ve shared,

but there in that midnight hallway, we can’t help but laugh.

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Dressing Up for No Reason Fall 2013.

~Natalia

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