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Every Day

Imagine all the ways to cope
I close my eyes, that gives me hope
It cures the silence

~Stevie Nicks

The routine was the same, every morning.

Alexander Lavelle Harris awoke in a cold sweat, his body springing up into a sitting position as the air whooshed out of his lungs. He sat, breathing heavily, eyes screwed shut, shaky hands running through his hair, for what seemed like hours. However, only minutes passed before the alarm clock next to his bed beeped irritatingly, and Xander reached a hand out to silence it by stabbing blindly at the buttons on the top. He finally hit one that stopped the noise, and groaned. Five hours of sleep did not a happy construction foreman make.

He slowly slid from his sweat-soaked sheets, and after looking forlornly at the inviting bed, made his way to the shower. He stepped into the stall, under the scalding spray, and washed his hair and skin. He shaved with his waterproof electric shaver, sent another silent thanks to Dawn for that little Christmas gift, and stood under the spray to let the heat seep into his muscles. When the water began to cool, he turned off the taps and stepped out, drying himself thoroughly before loosely wrapping the dark green towel around his waist and shuffling back to the bedroom to get dressed.

A T-shirt and faded jeans, and a checkered lumberjack coat to finish the ensemble, and Xander was on his way to the kitchen, where he started the coffee pot, fished out a bowl from his disorganized cupboard, and poured a bowl of Frosted Flakes. While the coffee was brewing, Xander went to the door of the apartment, unlocked the chain and deadbolt, and slipped the door open. He bent, picked up the morning newspaper, and closed the door before heading back to the kitchen table to pour his coffee. He laced it with cream and lots of sugar, and sat down to eat his breakfast and read his paper.

He read the sports and stocks, the headers and horoscopes, the obituaries and the comics. He finished by reading the want ads, more out of habit than wanting to change jobs. He had a job he enjoyed, made good money at, and could be proud of.

He finished his breakfast, put his dishes in the sink to soak because he didn’t feel like washing them in the mornings, and quickly put together a sandwich, a doughnut, a thermos with the rest of the coffee, a pudding cup, and an apple, then placed them in his clichéd stainless steel lunchbox. He put on his steel-toed work boots, grabbed his hardhat and keys from the counter by the door and left the apartment, locking the door behind him. He deliberately did not think about the parts of his nightmare that he couldn’t remember.

The routine was the same, every morning.

Back to Mercy
First Chapter - "Diminished"