Another day

Vic did not lead a very interesting life. He used to, but these days his life was solely focused around waiting for Noah. Even though he had just obtained full ownership of his childhood home, he had already been paying for everything for two years now-as per his agreement with his parents. Aside from things being much, much quieter, nothing had really changed.

After finishing his dinner, Vic headed straight to bed. He would not sleep, he knew, but he never slept well on the 12th night of February. Noah had vanished from his life on this exact night exactly ten years prior. What time Noah had vanished Vic was not entirely certain, as he had been tired that night and went to bed early. Now all of February was a difficult month for him as he became depressed and unable to sleep. He knew the cycle well by now: he would get no sleep on this night or the next, but after that he would eventually regain his sleep schedule.

This year he had played it safe and even requested time off the following week to recover. Last year had been a disaster after he fell asleep in a very important meeting with his boss and his boss's boss. Vic was still surprised he did not get fired that day, but it had been a close call...

After a sleepless night of tossing and turning, dozing off and then jerking awake in a panic, Vic was already up and ready for work by the time his alarm went off. Another day was about to start...

Coffee time.

As his coffee brewed, Vic sleepily began to package up the left overs from his dinner. He added in some grapes he had chilling in his freezer and a few bottles of water. He pushed everything into a plastic grocery bag. He then moved to the living room and begin to sip at his coffee. Waiting for it to cool a bit, Vic stared dazedly out the front window as the sun slowly made it's groggy appearance and a neighbor jogged past. Noticing him, the man waved in greeting. Vic rose a hand as well before returning his blurry vision back to the coffee.

A little while later Vic was awake enough to head out. It was well before the time he needed to get going, but he figured this way he could at least work done early and hopefully head home early-a plan that never seemed to actually work out for him. Vic placed his cup into the sink and, as was part of his habit, headed for Noah's room.

Just outside the room, however he stopped. Ten years, it had really already been ten years. Noah had made him promise to wait, he had sworn he would be right back but...did Vic really have to keep waiting? He had gotten past the grief, past most of the depression, and now he was just waiting out of habit. His entire life since he was 16 had circled around making sure everything was ready for when Noah came back, but...he had to admit, ten years was a really, really long time.

How much longer did he have to wait?

Ten years was a really
really long time...

Vic dropped his hand. The gifts he had just ordered would be the last ones, he promised silently to himself. With a sigh, Vic turned away and went to grab his coat from the coat rack by the door. He fumbled around in the pockets until he found the car keys, grabbed his lunch, and headed out to work.

The day was just like any other, only there was a lot more coffee involved than usual. Molly and her husband-his only two friends from work-joined him for lunch and they chatted about their dinner the night before. A lot of their department's employees had gone and apparently even the company's president had shown up.

"We are all planning to go out drinking on Friday in honor of Valentine's day, you wanna come Vic?" Molly asked.

Vic glanced up from the remains of his ninth coffee and stared at her blankly. Jacob, Molly's husband, laughed awkwardly and waved his hand in front of Vic's dead eyes. Vic shook himself back into alertness and straightened.

"Uh, sorry, what did you say, Molly?" Vic asked awkwardly.

"Don't mind it too much, Molls. Vic gets like this every year around this time." Jacob whispered.

"I was just inviting you to join us on Friday to go for drinks since you missed dinner yesterday. There will be less people this time," Molly tried again.

Vic fell silent once more and the couple exchanged looks. Jacob reached out and shook Vic gently.

"Stop it, J, I'm just thinking," Vic snapped, smacking away his coworker's hand.

"Wait, you're actually considering it?" Jacob asked with surprise.

"Yeah, maybe...I could use a little spice in my life...It's getting lonely without my parents around." Vic smiled a bit bitterly, "Just don't put me down as going 100%, okay? I still might not go..."

"Wow, you really might come?!" Molly exclaimed excitedly, he expression which had been set up for the usual rejection, brightening.

"Maybe." Vic emphasized.

"Hey man, if you come we'll pay your tab. Everyone will be excited to see you." Jacob teased.

"Uh uh, sure. You still owe me from last week's lunch you stole." Vic chuckled and drained the last few drops of coffee.

The trip made small talk for awhile longer before Vic's phone alarm went off. He got up and bid them farewell before heading back to the office. He generally had lunch before most others, so not too many people actually knew about his friendship with Molly and Jacob. He was fully focused on his work during the day and did not like to make small talk, wanting to get everything done as soon as possible. However as soon as he was off or on break, things were different.

Vic finished off the day, but due to his exhaustion he made mistakes and was not able to leave early like he had planned. In fact he forced himself to stay and hour after with his boss to go over everything to make sure it was alright.

"Not getting enough sleep, Victor?" Nick asked as the two of them finished up.

"That obvious, huh?" Vic asked with an uneasy laugh.

Nick could be hard on his employees sometimes but very lenient at others. Usually his mood depended on how well behaved his kids had been that morning. Lately things had been okay, so Vic was hoping that since his boss took time to help him out the man was in a good mood.

"Yeah. Here, take some of this tea. My wife swears by it when she has insomnia, why don't you try it?" Nick offered, pulling a packet of tea from his pocket.

Vic eyes the little back with obvious suspicious and Nick laughed. The older man forced it into Vic's hand.

"Actually I noticed you've been under the weather for a few days now, I was just tying to find a way to get this to you without drawing too much attention. I need to full of energy, Vic, so try to take care of yourself, okay?" Nick explained.

"...thanks, Boss. I'll see you tomorrow." Vic attempted to say with gratitude.

"Sure thing, see you tomorrow." Nick nodded and sauntered off back to his office.

As soon as he was out of sight, Vic brought the tea packet up to his nose and gave it a sniff. It was very fragrant and flowery. For a moment he could not place the scent, but it filled him with a nostalgic feeling so he took another deep breath. Deciding it couldn't hurt to try-especially with all the coffee he had downed, Vic put the tea bag into his pocket and headed home.

As soon as he got home, Vic dropped his coat off on the coat rack in good spirits and began to follow his usual routine. This time, however, instead of randomly picking out a recipe in the binder he reached into the very back of a cupboard and pulled out a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese. In no time at all he had water boiling in a pot and was dumping the noodles into the pot.

Not long after that Vic had a pat of Marconi and cheese with a heaping pile of Parmesan cheese on top. He did not wait long before he dug into the food. As he ate, he took out his phone to text his moth asking her to bring some side dishes as he would be supplying a ham for their dinner. with that done he began to browse on YouTube for a random relaxing music playlist and let it play.

Once he had finished eating, Vic went to the sink to do the dishes and began to make his way to his room. Just as he was about to make his way into his room he paused. His entire body tensed when he realized what he had just passed. He spun around to look at the door to the room opposite his. The phone dropped from his hand when he realized that the door was open.

"Noah?" Vic squeaked.

There was no reply from the room. Vic rushed over to the door and pushed it open all the way. His heart nearly stopped when he entered the room.
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Did you notice 'it'? ;D