The next things I am aware of: a door slamming, a woman's voice "Allan!", a car engine revving, wheels on asphalt. I reach for my phone beneath the pillow and check the time, it is 5am. Good Lord, I mutter to myself. I go out of the room to the kitchen and splash some water on my face. Something is up with the neighbors. I go back to the room and get my pack of cigarettes. I think about putting on some clothes and then decide against it - more natural to stay in my boxer shorts.
Penny, my hot, beautiful, nice neighbor who sings in a band is at the balcony, crying.
"Morning," I mumble.
"Morning," she replies. "Can I have a cigarette?"
"Sure." I offer her my pack. Fortune Lights. I was feeling cheap yesterday.
She takes one and I light it. As I do so, she cups my hand in hers to steady the flame. Her hands are shaking. "Why is it like this?" She asks me, tears forming in her eyes.She tells me that she and her boyfriend have been fighting, and that today, finally, Allan took his stuff and left. She tells me about her work/lifestyle, about her romance with him, about his womanizing and how she tolerated it. She shows me the scars on her wrists and apologizes for waking me up. I nod and listen. I don't know this girl. She moved in two weeks ago and I've talked to her just once before. Penny says it's destiny that I woke up so that she could have someone to talk to. That's how she got the scars - having no one to talk to. I talk to her. We smoke and we talk and finally she manages to laugh. I know it's forced, but it's good medicine. And then it is 7am and she decides to turn in. She's been working all night and she's tired. Before she goes back to her room, she hugs me.
"Thank you," she says for the umpteenth time. "I'll text you in two days."
"No problem. I'll be here."And then I go downstairs to have breakfast: pan de sal, a cup of coffee, and Atom Araullo giving me the traffic update. Waking up early is the shiz!