He’s a visiting musician, she’s lived in the city her whole life.
He has millions of adoring fans, she has none.
He can’t sleep at night and neither can she.
In the city that never sleeps, neither do they.


3. // part iii

{A short chapter. Favourite, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

shawn // part iii

The clock on the television box blinks an angry red at me, three am. The room heaves a tired sigh. The fridge buzzes, the air conditioning hums, the distant hum of traffic, the muffled pounding of loud music and the continuous drone of Calum’s snores consume the claustrophobic hotel room, but that isn’t the reason I am still awake.

I hate hotel rooms. I hate the way the bathroom smells of detergent and bleach, the way the crisp sheets wrap around the beds so tightly that you have to fight to wriggle under the duvet in order to sleep in the same bed shared with hundreds of people. And the little mints scattered around the room in order to make you feel welcome in the public bedroom, make you feel like it’s all part of the experience of the vacation you’re supposed to be on.

I feel like I’m drowning in the dirty white cushions that curve around my spine and suck all the will out of me and plaster it on the upholstery of the pillows.

I should go to sleep. I should stop thinking. I should shut down. But I can’t. I can’t because thoughts are whirring around my head like a broken record. They’re different thoughts to the ones that have kept me awake at night for the past few months, denying me of the sleep I crave.

They’re thoughts of the girl I met in the insignificant music shop today - I read her name on the brochure I picked up as Jasmine. My thoughts wander to the way her mahogany brown locks effortlessly cascaded down her back. Her big brown eyes rimmed with thick, dark lashes. Small ears with intricate silver studs pierced through. The small waist and long, tonned legs. The red kabbalah bracelet knotted around her small wrist. The way that she had the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen, perfectly aligned whites illuminating her face and accentuating the dimple in her left cheek. She smiled like she didn’t know how beautiful she really was.

I sigh and wriggle out from under the duvet’s tight embrace. There’s a small balcony outside the bay window of the hotel room, only just big enough to accommodate two garden chairs and a potted plant. I sink onto one of the rickety chairs which sags beneath my weight. The air out here is surprisingly clean for a polluted city, and I inhale it deeply. It awakens my senses even further and my body feels light, like a mere substance floating through the atmosphere.

My gaze scans the view beyond me, admiring the giant billboards with advertisements of beautiful women promoting the most exquisite things. I’m mesmerised by the airbrushed images that are scattered across the city, illuminating the evening like millions of pieces of confetti that shower the city. I watch the lights as they bounce off the glass surfaces of skyscrapers, making the dark exteriors glitter like diamonds.

“Shawn, what are you doing out here?”

“Couldn’t sleep.”

“It’s cold out here, mate.”

“I don’t think so,” I tell him honestly. The breeze kisses my cheeks bitterly and a dark cloud lurks overhead, so close I can almost touch it, but it’s nothing compared to Canada’s harsh winters.

 “Come inside,” Calum negotiates. “We had a long flight and you really need some rest.”

“I’ll be fine,” I brush him off.

I hear him huff out a breath in exasperation and picture him running a hand through his long, dark fringe. He’s given up. “Here, I brought this for you. I figured you’d want it. Good night.”

He drops a sweater on my lap along with a pen and the small object which I’ve pinned my dreams in. It is a composition notebook; one whose binding is bent far beyond repair and the pages are thick with scrawled, hopeful ink.

“Thanks. Goodnight, Cal.”

He raises a hand in my direction and slips through the door, back into our secluded hotel room. He draws the curtains behind him, muffling the faint glow of the lamp from inside.

Despite not being cold, I slip on the sweater Calum left for me and open the book to the next clean page. I twirl the pen between my fingers and concentrate intently on not letting it drop. Ideas and words and lyrics form in my head and somehow make their way onto the page, staining the white paper with what’s less than a promise but more than a chance.

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