[Fiction] Long Dark Hair

She wakes up with a start, feeling her heart thumps against her chest. Slowly, she rises, pushes herself up to sit in bed, then grabs her throbbing head.

She doesn’t remember her dream.

Sighing, she reaches out blindly near her pillow in search of her smartphone to consult for time. 06:27 AM. Well, might as well wake up and get ready.

* * *

The thing that annoys her the most before leaving for work every day is seeing strands of hair all over her floor. They might not be too much that she’d fear getting bald at the age of 30, but it’s enough to worry her. It’s probably the stress, it was just her luck to land her on such a demanding job. Within just a couple of months, now she has hairfall problems.

Still, she cleans her room every day after work, making sure the floor is clean and hair-free. But then when she wakes up the next morning, there will be strands of hair again. Thin, fine strands that she probably missed while cleaning. But no matter how clean she thinks the floor was the night before, come morning there will be hair again on her floor, it’s starting to get frustrating.

There was a light touch over her exposed lower back, making her jerk lightly in surprise. Swiftly her hand came up to check, afraid if there was some insect running down her skin. But what she found was simply a single strand of long, dark hair.

She frowns. Must be her hair falling. She just washed her hair, after all. Her eyes than catches the corner of her room, just by the bed, where there lay long strands of hair in disarray. The amount is not so much that it shocks her, but it’s enough to forge her worries of getting bald spots so young.

“And I’m only twenty-five,” she sighs to herself, before making her way to search for a vacuum cleaner.

* * *

Leya lives in an old, but well-maintained apartment building. If there is a quirk, it’s the lights on her floor are always somewhat dim. Sometimes, they would even flicker on bad days. The management had tried replacing the lamps in the hallway, but then they figured it was some electricity issues. No one is actually bothered by it anyways.

Her unit is a studio room about 30sqm, a decent size with a real good price. Though the good bargain could be due to how thin the walls are. At night, she can almost always hear sounds like muted conversations or murmurs, sometimes even of furniture being moved around. It’s also not rare that the thin walls had made her think that the voices came from somewhere within her own unit—but that’s impossible, right?

These sounds often wake her up from the brink of sleep late at night, which contributed to her lack of sleep. Added up with the stress from work, she wonders if these have caused her hairfall problem to worsen in the past few months.

* * *

Leya looks at her reflection in the mirror, at her newly-styled front bangs. Her new hairstyle was indeed a drastic change from her previous straight-cut which reached her back. Now, strands of dark hair are framing her face in a bob style.

Well, her decision to cut her hair short probably wasn’t a bad idea, after all. She looks pretty cute, actually.

Satisfied, Leya then goes to clean her unit while she has time, making sure every nook and cranny is free of hair strands. She is ridding off her problem tonight!

* * *

The sounds again. Leya blinks her sleepy eyes a few times, convinced that now is still the dead of night, and she isn’t sure why she’s awaken. Then, she hears it, sounds like that of rustling fabrics. Slow, heavy. She wonders why such a sound could wake her up. She didn’t use to be a light sleeper.

The night is always cold around here. Leya pulls her blanket higher, the rustling sound of the heavy fabric blending into the sounds coming from—somewhere. Maybe next door. She’s too sleepy to think.

Creak.

There’s an added weight on her mattress. Her sleep-laced brain tells her someone is sitting at her bed, now, but a voice in her says it’s just your imagination, ignore, ignore, ignore…

She peers over her shoulder and in the dark and thinks she sees a shadow of a figure at the foot of her bed.

She chooses to listen to the voice and wills herself to fall asleep.

* * *

She wakes up with a start, feeling her heart thumps against her chest. Slowly, she rises, pushes herself up to sit in bed, then grabs her throbbing head.

She wonders if last night was a dream.

Sighing, she pushes herself up and stretches, before getting out of bed. Leya walks over to the window and pulls the curtain and opens her window, letting both sunlight and fresh air into her room.

Walking over her vanity, she combs her now short hair in front of the mirror, smiling to herself. That’s when her eyes catch something in the mirror.

She turns, walks over to her bed and—there, on her previously squeaky clean floor, lay strands of long, dark hair.

– NeverEnding –

*Some people believe that if your hairfall problem is getting worse, you should cut your hair. Short.

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