Six-thirty as usual. Not a moment of hesitation. She stretched, sat up on the side of her bed, greeted her cat and headed for her destination. Feed the cat, come out of the bathroom fully dressed. Clean the room, can’t work with a mess. Then she takes her place at her desk. The desk where her suffering would pay off someday. The desk where countless hours of studying will make her a better version of herself than yesterday.
Take a seat in the reclining chair as the cat takes his place on the windows ledge. Open your laptop, your notebook, select a lofi playlist; the plants in the way, push it to the edge. Put on your headphones…what’s this? You hesitated; you never do. You wouldn’t waste time, that’s not like you! Especially when your assignments are due! Put them on. The headphones whose eyes googled over you more than me. I let out a sigh of relief as you placed them on your silky brown hair, and you smiled with glee.
I knew you wouldn’t waste a moment of time, our time…then it happened. Slammed the laptop shut, grabbed her purse, made a sandwich, called out to the cat, and grabbed a few napkins. This isn’t right! This isn’t you! I raced down the stairs of my complex to talk some sense into you! Maybe she needed utensils. Pens, pencils, a laptop charger perhaps. There’s no way the Lofi Girl would waste time, she doesn’t even nap.
When I got to the streets, I searched for her among the crowd. Where is she? I only needed to spot a green shirt and a red collar that stood out so loud. There she was. Orange cat on her head, walking down the street without a care in the world. I put on my hood to follow, who else could protect this girl? She must make it back to her desk safe and sound in a reasonable amount of time to get work done. The Lofi Girl I know studies all day, she doesn’t have time for fun.
I saw a bookstore up ahead, surely that’s where she was headed, but pets aren’t allowed, if she takes him in, she’ll regret it. I guess I’ll watch the cat as she…no! She walked right past! It all happened so fast! What on earth could she be doing? I started to shake; on my nails, I started chewing. Hesitantly, I followed behind down a long hill, which lead to a winding road. Leaving the city? Why? The only things out here are weird people, bugs, and bumpy toads.
The cat hissed when he saw me. By the time she turned around, I’d already taken shelter behind a tree. I didn’t want her to think I was one of these weirdos, no I care for you. Me? Invade your privacy? No, you just happen to be part of the view. Watching you work everyday relaxes me, it makes me better. No matter what, you’re at that desk. Holidays, clear skies, and rainy weather.
She made it to the park and took a seat on the bench in front of the lake. Perhaps she just wanted a change of scenery. Following her was a mistake. At any moment, she’d take her book from her purse and write. Right? Right, Lofi Girl? Write! I wanted to yell,
“Get to work!” but I must stay out of sight. She took off her shoes, sat at the edge of the lake and put her feet in. The cat swiped at the fish as they nibbled at her toes. She laughed as if she heard a joke from an old friend. Why? This isn’t what makes you happy, you like to study. I’ve never seen you leave your room, play video games, or hang out with buddies!
This went on for minutes, but I couldn’t take it for too long. I walked over to the lake, the cat hissed, but I stood strong.
“Calm down Bengal.” She said as she stroked the cat in her arms. That Angelic smile, the voice I’ve never heard, she could do no harm. “Hello.”
“H-hi.” I spoke nervously, with no nerve you see, I felt nauseated, like I was a drift at sea. My heart raced like a freight train as she smiled at me.
“Getting some fresh air too, huh? She asked. “Same, I had to get out of that stuffy room, it felt like I was trapped in class.” She looked at me sideways. “Haven’t I seen you before?” A cold bead of sweat raced down my back. I couldn’t say,
“You’re the one I and 10,000,000 others adore.” “I-I live in the complex, across the street. I see you studying everyday as you feed your cat a treat. That is, before I leave of course.” She laughed saying her cat was very curious, but I didn’t follow you for a laugh, my mission is serious. As she talked, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. The harder I fought the urge it got stronger.
It was like a crack in a dam. With gallons of water being held back by a piece of gum.
“Why aren’t you studying today?” I said it. How dumb. She gazed across the shimmering lake, before turning to me and saying.
“Everyone needs a break.” I got goosebumps as I stared in her eyes, it was if a blank canvas got a new scene. She then said, “You become a slave to time, if you get sucked into the same routine.”
(Voiceover by Johann Wic)