Chapter 1: Tomorrow?
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“Does the sun set first before the moon rises?”

That’s an interesting question to ask.

There are so many thought invoking questions, yet there isn’t really a conclusion to them all. I wonder what it would be to know or even live out even one of those dilemmas.

An asphalt road slowly winds into a dense forest. Streetlights line both sides road leading up to it. The yellow glow of incandescent light bulbs lights up the path. Beside the winding road are the living areas and condominiums of the area. Late in the night, not a single person walks the streets. I lug the few possessions I have brought along with me, stored away in my backpack and luggage. With every step I take, I hear the gentle sounds of someone pacing down a road, paired with the sound of grinding plastic on asphalt.

It’s almost one in the morning. The voices in my head begin to talk to me. At night, the once-bustling city sleeps. Yet I am here, seemingly wandering around aimlessly. I look ahead to see that all the structures in the area cut off abruptly at a certain point. The asphalt road narrows into the dense forest ahead of me, shielded by large trees, their leaves stained yellow by the streetlights.

“The train leaves in ten minutes. Il have to walk faster.”

I proceeded to walk into the narrow path. There is barely enough space for a person to fit through. At the end of the haphazardly laid down asphalt path is the figure of a building. Through the thick greenery, I eventually arrive at a clearing. At the back end of that clearing is where I headed – The train station. Its presence seems out of place. A track snakes into the station but doesn’t exit it. The lights from the night city behind it give it a luminous glow. The views I can get from here of the city are mesmerizing. Living in such a light-polluted region, this station must some of the few areas where you can still view the stars in the night sky.

I walked up to the entrance. Within the steps, I see an overly bright interior. Seats flank both sides of the track. The walls are painted a shade of grain peach. Not a single person except me is treading on its mirror-like tiled flooring. The entire station is empty. At one end is the entrance and exit of the tracks. It leads into a tunnel. The other end is closed off.

As I place my luggage and bags on one of the empty seats, I look for the announcement panel of the station. On its dusty screen is the serial numbers of some of the trains that will transit to the station. There are only one of the trains which are highlighted for departure.

-Kachak- Kachunk!

A faint yellow light shines into the station from the tunnel. Its glow slowly grows stronger and stronger as the sounds of wheels running on metal tracks slowly become audible. I reach to my belongings and proceeded to the boarding section of the tracks. The train emerges from the tunnel and approaches the station. I feel a breeze blow by as the train slows down to a halt. The doors of the train are now in front of me.

The doors slide open in an instant without a sound. Cold air escapes out into the station. I shiver from the cold as I board the cabin. The entire cabin is empty. I walked over to the seat number assigned to me and placed my luggage in the luggage collection area as I pass it. I worry about what I have possibly left behind as I watch my luggage slowly descend into the luggage compartment of the cabin.

Travelling around like this at night definitely is tiring. I wonder, just how much time would I spend there, this shift?

There is a feeling of loneliness, especially when you have the entire cabin to yourself. I’m used to travelling around like this, but yet the feeling lingers on. After all, even if I had the money, I can’t just buy another passenger to ride along with me. Things just don’t work like that.

I slump down back into my seat and stare out into the night sky. My thoughts run endlessly as the train prepares for departure. The PA system on the train warns on any passengers to keep away from the doors as they slam shut. Everything seems to blend together into a monotonous mess.

The train goes into gear and starts moving, I try to take in as much of the night sky as possible. The city seems so peaceful. A half-moon, hanging, flowing around the endless azure skies. Abruptly, the clandestine atmosphere is shattered as the train enters the tunnel. The views now cut into pitch-black darkness. No matter how much time I get to look at the night sky, it’s always never enough.

I sink back into my seat. As I stare at the ceiling, I think about what will happen next. It would be hours more until I reach my next destination – the immigration checkpoint.

“Why did I have to choose the night shift of all things?”

“I feel so tired.”

This endless routine. I hope for something, anything, to break this cycle. My eyes sting the more I try to open them. In a few minutes, I fall into a deep sleep. A few adverts run on repeat on a screen at the front of the cabin. One of them read:

[Welcome to Entelechia! A place where the night never ends! This is a newly discovered realm, so worry not about issues with big crowds! Little is known about this place, but doesn’t that make it more exciting to explore a new world? Join us to uncover those burning questions of yours and uncover those mysteries of this newfound world! Be the first to set foot upon a world no other has been to! But always remember, tread lightly and follow the rules of your universal regulation region number, WZ080505!]

My mind goes numb as I slowly dose off. Again, this cycle, rinse and repeat. The entire cabin goes pitch black as the cabin lights go off, one by one.

I always worry too much.