Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Eat. Work. Eat. Eat. Play. Play. Play. Sleep. Sleep.
That would be the ideal routine for a Rin, a budding young writer. Unfortunately, her reality was far worse than her ideal. She signed up for column writing; manga, anime and game reviewing; blogging and even started to write her debut novel. She loved writing and she was happy writing for a living but all she wanted now was some sleep. Her job didn’t confine her to office hours or the workplace, so she all had to do to get paid was to write at the comfort of her home and email her transcript to her editor who will then take care of the rest. She thought it was easy but before long, she realized that she was awake for most hours of the day.
Rin said (4.51AM): (つд｀) Sleeeeeepy~~~
Stretching her arms towards her ceiling, Rin looked at the widget clock on her laptop’s screen. She bobbed her head repeatedly, acknowledging the time as being “JUST” 4.51AM. She tabbed over to iTunes and changed her playlist to something more soothing to her clamorous mind. She stared at the screen and at the blinking short vertical line on her blog, wondering what she should write next. Minutes later, she was messing her own hair and tried to pull a handful of them out in frustration.
Rin said (5.13AM): \(≧◇≦)/ I give up! Off to bed~!!
As soon as Rin stood up from her chair, she felt her world spun in dizzying circles and she giggled at the way her room looked like the squiggles she used to draw on her notepad when she was in kindergarten. She felt herself hit the wooden desk and the intense pain that she felt hours ago multiplied in her head, but at that moment, she wanted to do nothing but to close her eyes and sleep. She knew she would wake up on a bed anyway, seeing as her piles of stuffed plush were littered all over her room and the floor, turning her actual bed into just another decorative item. The black eye-beads of a pink frog eyed her from amongst her scattered collection.
Rin said (5.14AM): (￣Д￣;) For some reason…Froggie’s smile seems evil tonight.
Rin squirmed in her deep sleep in annoyance as footsteps echoed in her ears. Chatters bounced off the walls and seemed to not want her to get any more sleep than she just had. The frown she had on her sleeping face deepened as she pulled the pillow from beneath her head and covered her face, trying to kill the sounds. A pair of footsteps stopped right beside her and the sound of flipped papers could be heard.
“Are you awake?” a deep voice asked. He sound concerned and gentle but Rin wasn’t in quite the talking mood as her precious slumber had been greatly disturbed by uninvited sounds. She squirmed in annoyance but she knew it was appropriate to reply, even if she would sound rude.
Rin said (8.12PM): (＞人＜;) No. I’m skydiving! Leave me alone!!
He chuckled. “Since you ARE awake, would you mind telling me how you are feeling?” he asked as he sat down on the white armchair beside her. Rin turned away from him, deliberately ignoring him.
Rin said (8.13PM): (ﾟoﾟ)? Wait, why is there a man in MY room!?
Rin threw the pillow away and bolted upright. Her brown eyes burned from the sudden flood of white light but she still stared at her room. Turning her head everywhere, trying to decipher how any villain would want to renovate her colourfully messy room into a plain and boring white room. It was too much of a hassle to even tidy it up, never mind clearing everything away and repainting.
Rin said (8.15PM): ＼(◎o◎)／WHITE! Everything’s white!!!
She didn’t mind the handsome addition to her room though. In fact, she almost drooled at the sight of the young man, dressed in a white lab coat. He was neatly groomed with his short brown curls falling short of his ears, highlighting his strong jaws. His dark eyes were hidden behind a pair of glasses. She squealed.
Rin said (8.16PM): ♪───Ｏ（≧∇≦）Ｏ────♪ OMG!! A HANDSOME GUY WITH GLASSES!!!!!
Hiro, a young doctor currently in charge of a rather eccentric female patient, was taken aback by the sudden outburst of statement. Rin wasn’t the first person who called him handsome, and he was wearing glasses. So her statement was quite acceptable, but the way she squealed it was not. It was definitely not a reaction he expected from a patient who had just recovered from a 40 degrees fever, and one who just woke up from a 15-hour sleep.
“I’m going to take it that you’re feeling much better than before you were hospitalized?” he tried to talk to her despite her wild grin and continuous squeals. He thought he saw pink-coloured hearts flying out of her head for a moment. He shook his head ever so slightly and they vanished. The girl's attitude was probably making him hallucinate.
Rin said (8.17PM): (ﾟдﾟ)? Hospitalised?
“You ARE in a hospital, in case you haven’t notice,” he told her, “I’m Dr. Hiro and I’ll be in charge of you, for now.”
Rin said (8.20PM): (´∀｀) Oooooooooohhhhh… so this is a hospital…
That awkward two minutes of silence was heavy. Hiro had been looking at her for a response but she only looked around her one-patient room, her head moving around like a pigeon resting in a new foreign park. A black backpack was laid on its back on the two-person white sofa. Her parents probably packed some clothes along with some books or magazines.
Rin said (8.20PM): (*￣ー￣)ゞ …………looks like a ☆☆☆☆☆ prison
“Well, I’m not sorry that you feel that way,” Hiro replied, trying to hide his snicker, “It is a better prison to punish you for over-exhausting your own body.” He cleared his throat and neutralized his face, “How do you feel?”
Rin said (8.22PM): ヾ(*ゝω･*)ﾉ)) Love at first sight!
“E-Excuse me?” Hiro looked up at his patient from the report form that he was supposed to fill. His pen fell off his fingers and clanged loudly onto the floor in the deadly silent room. He stared at his patient and at the outrageous confession. He had to admit that she was quite a young beauty despite her sickly pale appearance but it was still his job to ask. “I-I-I meant,” he stammered, “Your body.”
Rin said (8.24PM): Oh… hmm… （；￣ェ￣）…like usual?
“What is your definition of ‘usual’?” Hiro had to ask as she was being very vague.
Rin got into thinking mode and cocked her head sideways. Hiro faintly smiled at her. He knew from experience that her body had probably rested more than it was usually allowed to but she still seemed weak to him. He pondered if he could talk a little more to her before getting her to rest for the night, even though she had just woken up. It wouldn’t be very wise to keep a patient awake more than a doctor should but she was a very intriguing patient, one of the first in his short medical career to exhibit such loudness in the hospital. Most patients he knew, no matter how loud they were outside of the hospital, they were all meek and weak in the hospital.
Rin said (8.27PM): （；￣ェ￣）hmmm~~~ …like I can do another 16 hours of work without taking a break?
Hiro inhaled, trying to douse the flame inside him. He scribbled something onto the report and stood up abruptly. Rin felt an oddly murderous aura flowing out of her doctor but she feigned ignorance. She looked up at him and met his angry eyes. Hiro was glaring at his patient.
Rin said (8.31PM): (ﾟДﾟ;)!!
“You. Sleep. Now.” he said. “Doctor’s order.” Hiro slid his pen into his breast pocket and turned away. He took two steps away and his hand rested on the light switch on the wall.
Rin said (8.32PM): (;￣◇￣) Eeeeeeeeeeeeeehhh!? But I just woke up!!!
“No ‘buts’,” he warned and when he turned back again, he was attacked by the last tactic he thought he would ever encounter in his career: the “tearful puppy look”.
Rin said (8.34PM): (ﾉ ◕ ω◕｀) Pwease?
All anger in him was instantly blown away by the cute tornado. He mentally shook his head and tried to look as stern as he did but those puppy eyes that stared back at him were melting his heart. He couldn’t believe how easily his emotions got swept along by her pace as leniency found its way into him. He resigned with a sighed.
“I’ll come by again in two hours,” he said, “Be asleep by then.”
Rin said (8.37PM): (⌒▽⌒)ﾉﾞOkay~!
“I’m serious. Sleep,” Hiro repeated before turning to the door. He flicked off the lights and walked out of the room. Rin smiled and waved at him as he closed the door behind him. He chuckled as he walked away from the odd patient’s room. “I hope she will be able to fall asleep,” he muttered softly to himself.
Rin said (8.38PM): (΄◞ิ౪◟ิ‵) …not a chance…
Rin grinned as she slid down her bed and tiptoed, even though she had no need to, towards the couch in the dark. She sat down, unzipped the backpack and retrieved her iPhone along with the earphones, then climbed back onto the bed. Once she settled comfortably on the bed, she covered her ears with the earphones and went through her long list of playlists, most of which she had never listened to. She grinned widely in the dark.
Almost two hours later, Hiro finished his round and approached Rin’s room. He opened the door almost soundlessly, and peeked into the room. He thought she was asleep as she had her back to him but he had a second thought when he saw light coming from the other side of her body.
“I thought I told you to sleep?” he said, loud enough to alert Rin of his presence. Rin jumped and turned to him, removing the earphone from her left ear.
Rin said (9.26PM): ¯\(°o ° )/¯ Huh…what?
“I said, ‘I thought I told you to sleep?’” he repeated. He left the door open wide, letting the light stream into the room, and stepped in. As soon as he was beside her bed, he saw the rectangular device lighting her face and gave her scowl. “Listening to music is not going to make you sleep,” he told her.
Rin said (9.28PM): ლ(T^Tლ) But but…
“No buts,” he warned her. Even with the dim light, she could see Hiro’s hand reaching for her iPhone. She flinched and hid it behind her, protecting it with her life.
Rin said (9.29PM): But it’s just sheep-counting tracks!! They usually put me into sleep mode.
“Sheep?” Hiro exclaimed, “Did you record your mother counting it for you when you were little?”
Rin said (9.30PM): (＞_＜) What!? NO! It’s a legit CD! For sale! And at quite the hefty price!
“…and you bought it knowing it’s not worth the price?” he sighed. This patient is getting weirder and odder the more he talked to her.
Rin said (9.31PM): Ｏ(≧∇≦)Ｏ Cuz cuz… their voices are very very very handsome!!
“It defeats the purpose of putting you to sleep if you are that excited when you talk about it,” Hiro commented. Rin’s excitement got splashed by an imaginary sea of water and she could feel fiery anger drifting towards her direction. She laughed nervously.
Rin said (9.33PM): (ﾉ ◕ ω◕｀) But it keeps my mind focused on one thing… cuz I’m always thinking multiple things at the same time.
“Being cute isn’t going work this time,” Hiro told her.
Rin said (9.34PM): (ﾉ ◕ ω◕｀) But it really puts me to sleep… 9 out of 10 times.
“Don’t show me that face,” Hiro tried to hold back his leniency. The puppy face had certainly rubbed off on him and he was finding it very hard to say no to that face. On the other hand, Rin seemed to know it.
Rin said (9.36PM): (ﾉ ◕ ω◕｀) (ﾉ ◕ ω◕｀) (ﾉ ◕ ω◕｀)
Hiro heaved an extremely long sigh and hung his head, “Alright. I’ll come back in another hour. Be asleep by then, please.”
Rin said (9.40PM): ( ^▽^ )ﾉ♪ Okay~
As soon as the door clicked shut, Rin’s smile turned into an evil grin. She put on her earphones again and fiddled with her iPhone.
Rin said (9.42PM): (΄◞ิ౪◟ิ‵) …iLied…
As the voice began to talk to her again, Rin rolled on her bed, squeezing the air out of her pillow in a stifled girly squeal. She fantasized that the 2-dimensional and pixilated man who was talking to her on her iPhone’s music playlist was real and looked at the air in front of her. She smiled from ear to ear as he materialized into her view. Slowly, he drew closer and closer to her, and gently whispered sweet nothings into her ears.
((( Ｏ (≧∇≦) Ｏ )))
The next time Hiro looked up at the clock, it was already 12.51 AM; more than three hours since he had last checked up on Rin. Closing the medical magazine he had been reading, he headed down the corridor towards her room. His footsteps were light and made soft echoes in the empty corridors. When he reached Rin’s room, he softly turned the knob and peered through the three-inch wide gap.
He saw the slow rising and falling of her chest and the closed eyes. He knew she must be asleep but he sighed inwardly at the earphones that were still in her ears. He stepped into the room and gently removed the earphones without waking her up. He reached for her iPhone and touched the “pause” button.
Out of curiosity, Hiro took the earphones to his ears and listened. As he sat for a full ten minutes of it, he watched as she slept. His mind laughed as he listened to the voice of a man talking to the listener, softly whispering romantic lines that any girl would fall for. It was no wonder that she was ecstatic about it.
At 6.10 AM, Hiro made his last round of check. He wandered around the floor, peering into rooms to see if any patients were awake and needed any assistance. Most were still asleep while some only greeted him. He purposely skipped Rin’s room and only came to check on her after he had punched out. When he walked into her room, she was already sitting on the bed, sipping on a cup of hot cocoa.
Rin said (6.36AM): ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ♪ Morning~
“Good morning to you too,” he returned her cheerful greeting with a smile. Rin cocked her head to the side and noticed his changed clothes. She was quite sure that he was wearing a white shirt underneath the doctor’s coat when she first saw him, but he was now in a white polo t-shirt and blue jeans. “I’m not on duty now,” he answered her unasked question, “If that’s what you’re wondering.”
Rin said (6.38AM): ┐(￣ー￣)┌ …oh. I wasn’t wondering anything at all.
Hiro chuckled at her foiled attempt to hide her curiosity and sat on the armchair, “I do wonder though, why do you talk like that?”
Rin said (6.39AM): (ﾟoﾟ)?? …like what?
“Like that,” he pointed out, “Like you’re talking out of a chat room. And your face shows all these emotions like emoticons.”
Rin said (6.40AM): (΄◞ิ౪◟ิ‵) Join the club.
Hiro said (6.40AM): No. (￣__￣) …wha…wait!
Rin said (6.41AM): (΄◞ิ౪◟ิ‵) Welcome to the club.
Hiro couldn’t suppress his chuckle at the evil face she was making. He had certainly never met a patient so cheerful despite her pale face. One after-hour meeting turned into two, then three, and even after Rin had been discharged from his care, he was still in contact with her. In fact, he still considered her to be in his care as he was always lecturing her on the time and that she should be in bed whenever he secretly logged into his social networking site at work only to see her online at wee hours in the morning. Their conversation usually went like this:
Hiro said (3.12AM): (#`д´) GO TO BED!
Rin said (3.12AM): ┐(￣ー￣)┌ Are you kidding me?
Hiro said (3.13AM): Go to bed now. Or I’ll see you here, at the hospital.
Rin said (3.14AM): (◎o◎) Aw~
Hiro said (3.15AM): Yes. So go to bed like a good girl.
Rin said (3.17AM): (￣▽￣;) Naw… I’m going to finish this column first.
Hiro said (3.17AM): (￣__￣;)
As much as he would like to, Hiro couldn’t stay online for long and he would usually log out hoping she would go to bed at most half an hour later. Both their stubbornness was equally matched and he was not willing to give in to her stubbornness to stay up, for reasons both as a doctor and as a friend. It didn’t take him too long to realize that he cared for her beyond that of a friend when he was forced to barge into her apartment to find her unconscious, again. Since then, he had the key to her apartment and he dropped by almost every day.
Despite Hiro insisting that he was there to bring her healthier food than instant cup noodles and to check on her, Rin was not as dense as she hoped to be and sensed the warm love in his attitude towards her. Despite remembering that she said she fell in love with him at first sight at the hospital, she kept silent about her own feelings but when Hiro let slip about his feelings for her, Rin immediately removed him from her friend zone and placed him into the one-and-only boyfriend spot. She loved having him around despite his villainy now that he had changed into the daytime shift.
Whenever she worked past 12.00AM, Hiro would stand in front of Rin and stare at her even though she was concentrating on levels of exceeding 100% on her desk. The disapproving and piercing look he gave her then would disrupt her thinking process and when she let her guard down to complain, he would kidnap her away from her laptop and toss her onto the bed. Every time Hiro did it, Rin would reach out to her laptop like a helpless damsel reaching out to her savior prince. Try as she might to escape, the handsome villain was strong and had a tactic up his sleeve to knock her consciousness into a frenzy. He inched closer to her and whispered into her ears in the deepest and sexiest voice he could muster.
Rin said (12.11AM): (╥﹏╥)
Hiro said (12.11AM): You know there is no escape…
Rin said (12.12AM): (◎////ω ////◎)
Hiro said (12.12AM): … no escape from my deep… sexy… voice.
Rin said (12.12AM): ((( o (≧∇≦) o ))) KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH~!!
The feeling of his breath on her skin made her squeal in girly excitement and she would roll around the bed in a frenzy until she became too tired for work. When she had exhausted her supper’s energy, she would then snuggle up to Hiro and recharge herself for tomorrow. But it was different on one night. She abruptly sat up, her eyes shining with newly lit fire of inspiration:
Rin said (12.20AM): (☆▽☆) I’m dating an evil doctor… This is going to be a nice short story!!
Hiro said (12.20AM): ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐ Come back to bed, you writing-freak!