Time’s Up

by Danika Vergara-Abreu


   No sleep.

   Baggy eyes.

   Same pj’s from the past week.

   The small remains of fast food for breakfast and lunch scattered around the table area.

   A cup of warm, yet slightly cold coffee sitting on a coaster.

   A small lamp and computer light were the only things keeping her eyes open.

   1:30 in the morning.

   It hadn’t been the latest she’d stayed awake, nor had it been the earliest she would have gotten up to start working.

   The clicks and clacks of the keyboard being tapped away on a loop that had lasted God knows how many hours now. 

   Even having grown a particular pattern from all the repetitive actions being taken;

   Double clicking.




   More adding.

   Double click.



   And on, and on, and on, and on, all to fix one single draft.

   A single draft yet to be accepted.

   ‘Accepted.’ The word repeated in her brain again.

   If she was spending so much of her energy on it, then perhaps this time it would be accepted. Or else why spend so much effort into something only to be said no to? Why spend so much life and time revisiting the same godforsaken draft, giving up everything that stood in her way only to be given the same email kindly rejecting her?

   Rejecting her energy. Rejecting her effort. Rejecting her ideas. Rejecting her working nights. Rejecting her flexibility.

   Rejecting her time.

   ‘Time.’ The word spiraled around in her brain.

   Five years of working on a story she’d started writing almost eight years ago. Spending her mid-twenties looking over the outline of the story, feeling fatigued each time she saw her character’s name appear in a sentence.

   Who in their right mind would read about a girl living in a house in the woods by herself? The concept by now was beyond ridiculous, though for some reason she pressed on with it. Something about saying that it was a passion project of hers that she’d been committed to seeing through to the end, though that thought had been an aspiration by this point.


   The amount of hours a day she’d spent just trying to finish the first draft had seemed unmatched with the time being spent just to edit it. Finishing the first draft seemed almost so much easier than looking back and editing the same things over, and over, and over, and over again.

   ‘The flower that never died continued illuminating in the sunlight, basking in the long-awaited morning light.

   The sudden flashback of simply working on that single line came to mind.

   What a stupid subplot.


   No, a bright idea.


   There was too much time spent on detailing and outlining the importance of that idea, why delete it now after so much hard work?

   But if the work was rejected and time wasting, why have it?


   Note to revisit the topic later.

   ‘…Never died.



   Mid-twenties weren’t so far from thirty, thirty wasn’t far from fifty, fifty wasn’t so far to death.

   Adulthood had arrived, death would be around the corner soon. If not soon, then at the very least someday soon.

   ‘Someday soon.

   Something about those two words seemed familiar. Perhaps it’d been written at some point in the story.

   Search the phrase.


   Perhaps an earlier draft.

   The third?

   The fifth?

   The first…





   ‘Beep, beep, beep, beep

   The woman that never slept found herself waking up by an alarm she’d put up. The empty flower pot on her desk shining in the sunlight, basking in the long-awaited morning light.