Chapter 1

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The night deepened as tendrils of darkness mixed outside with a few stars as the night sky stood in its complete glory above all. Chanyeol stared up at the sky; his breath held. The lights in all the neighboring houses were already turned off, however there was still a little movement in the city – few bikes sped up on the roads, as people rushed to their houses. He could hear the distinct murmuring of some people in this stillness. Still, the loud voices of his parents conversing in their bed, thanks to the thin walls of their houses were audible.

Then the clock ticked and his alarm rung – 12AM. It was midnight.

Every soul stopped.

The voices of his parents came to an abrupt stop. The murmurings around the city stopped. The honking of the vehicles suddenly became a distinct memory to his ears. The silence of the night filled every empty space, as the whole world fell into the deep state of slumber, as it did every midnight.

All of it, except one soul.

Park Chanyeol.

His eyes were wide, and lips parted. There was some fear and unrest in his chest as it suddenly got harder to breath for him – knowing he was the only one awake.

It wasn't a new discovery – he had been aware for quite some time. He was sure of it ever since, he had kept his parents awake until midnight on his birthday when he was ten and they fell asleep simultaneously in the middle of their conversation.

And they didn't even realize it in the morning.

Same with his friends – nobody realized, except Park Chanyeol, who stayed awake. In the span of the past eight years, he had dealt with this discovery all right, but that didn't mean the phenomenon ever failed to render him breathless and mildly shocked. Every night, he'd sit by his window, watching the world fall asleep – sometimes, he'd be brave and go out for short walks before running home, crying, because in the night, where he was the only one awake, the silence and the dark seemed like his worst enemy. It was as if he was walking through a dead land, filled with breathing corpses and sometimes, he felt they would never wake up...

He blinked as he felt trembles beneath his feet. He was used to it – in the night, it seemed the weirdest of things happened. Maybe, it was a mini earthquake. He wasn't much alarmed, because in the night, when everybody would be asleep, it was useless to be alarmed. If the house fell, nothing could stop it.

Chanyeol got up from where he was perched on the window sill. That day, he had turned eighteen. He was going to try and be brave once more – maybe, this time he'd be able to enjoy the dark, the earthly glory of the sleeping world where only his footsteps echoed in the dark.

He locked the doors of his house when he stepped out – useless, but something that was a habit. He walked randomly, away from the house. If he lost his way, he had until 4:30 AM to find it again, when the spell of the sleep would break. His footsteps sounded heavy against the asphalt – they were only noises except for few loud snores that he infrequently encountered. He gulped, the cold air hitting the back of his throat and making him thirsty. He had always wondered why he was an exception but he had never arrived at any answer. He had categorized and re-categorized himself many times, but had never found anything different in him than others.

So, he didn't know.

And, since he was the only one awake, he would never know.

Chanyeol had walked really far away from his home and was currently walking in a highway sort of area. He already lived near the edge of the city, where there were more houses as compared to apartments in the city and now he walked further to the countryside, surrounded by huge farmhouses and spreads of green land. There were many silent, smooth, big and clean roads here that he felt he could walk upon endlessly. He didn't feel weirded out by the silence here, since the countryside was always silent, however, he did feel feelings of dread tug at his heart as he wondered how he'd get back home.

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