The Night Before

Alex wakes up and takes a deep breath, he knows today is the day. He gets up from his bed and realizes the sunlight is not there yet, sees his watch, 4:45 am.

His morning routine is sacred, no matter what, from 5:00 to 5:20 he works out, from 5:20 to 5:40 he meditates, from 5:40 to 6:00 he reads a book. It’s been two years since he started doing that every single day, and for him, it is already almost impossible to stop that routine.

Today is the day. He thinks to himself while taking a hot shower. Nothing can go wrong. I just have to stand in front of that audience and be myself. He feels confident, he is sure nothing is going to stop him from succeeding.

Alex takes his 800-dollar bike and gets ready to go and face his day. Riding a bike to work is also a habit he would never stop doing. While he’s riding, he is picturing himself in that conference. There will be at least 200 people there. He thinks as he starts feeling a little bit of anxiety.

Alex thinks carefully about everything in his life, he would never do anything randomly. Everything he does during the day is planned the night before, and he would never betray himself by not doing something he expected. That is unthinkable. The sole idea of changing something he already planned is almost a sin for him. Nothing, nobody, will prevent him from doing exactly as he planned the night before.

He’s putting his bike in his office as usual and receives a text message from one of his most trusted colleagues; “Hey man, you are going to do great today! Guess who is coming to see you?“. Alex puts his helmet on the table and looks at the ceiling. It can’t be her, it’s impossible. Why would she come to see me? Deep inside, a battle began; one side of Alex wants to see her there, but at the same time, another side of him, the more strict and serious side, is hoping not to see her, as that might mean a break in what he already planned for the day.

Hey bro, thanks for your message and good vibes. I’ll do my best today!” His stricter side wins, and he didn’t even bother asking his friend about that person who is going to show up for his speech. I am not going to fall in temptation. He concludes, and with a confident smile in his face, he walks out of his office and goes to the auditorium.

As he walks through the hallways, greeting and smiling, his more natural side of him is not giving up, trying to see if she is there, somewhere. I am going to talk and then leave for the day. Another conclusion from his more formal side. His steps are faster as he gets closer to the auditorium, the big two-door entrance awaits, nothing can stop him from doing what he has to do.

There aren’t any empty chairs available, as usual, the auditorium is full, he is known for always give great speeches, and this day is a special one, as he is going to talk about his research on “How to Beat Procrastination and Own Your Life.” Nobody wants to miss this, not even her, who is there, 2nd file, 3rd chair.

The battle inside him gets messier than the battle of Waterloo that Napoleon Bonaparte had more than 2 centuries ago. He saw her, with that perfect smile, those incredible eyes, that hair. Oh my god, her hair. He thinks while grabbing the mic.

“Welcome everybody. It is a… It’s a real pleasure for me to be here with you today.”

He unconsciously looks at her again and feels his natural side just won a round.

Damn it! He thinks and then realizes he has been silent for at least 30 seconds.

“I’m sorry. As I was saying, thank you for coming. Before I start, I have a question for you: on a scale from 1 to 10, how much of a procrastinator are you?”

The audience is silent as he looks for a volunteer to share. After a few seconds, she raises her hand; “I have never thought about it, but I think my number would be 5“.

He stares at her and listens, but not to her words, he listens to her voice, that beautiful melody gets into his mind like a drug. Suddenly, a big sound from the speakers disrupts the formality in the auditorium. Yes, he dropped the mic.

“I am sorry about that. Thank you for sharing. Someone else wants to share?” He asks, looking at other people in the audience.

“Excuse me, sir. Are you going to let me explain why I said my number is a 5?” She strikes again.

Alex is again hypnotized by the sweet melody of her voice. He stares at her, and memories he has been refusing to forget come to his mind. One more time, the speakers wake him up. This time, the sound continued, he had to turn the mic off, and then on again.

“I am so sorry. Sure, please tell us why you said number 5”. He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, as he looks at the love of his life. While she talks, the Battle of Waterloo inside him is coming to an end. His Napoleon side (the formal side), is giving up, he can feel it, just like what happened more than 2 centuries ago.

“I am sorry to say this, but I can’t do the speech today. I don’t feel good.” He drops the mic, not caring about the third uncomfortably loud sound of the speakers. He runs to her and takes her hand. Both of them escape the building like teenagers, while in the audience, everybody starts talking about what just happened.

He looks at her and kisses her. Nothing matters anymore, just that moment.

“You don’t have to stop your speech, you just have to accept me in your life, and love me as much as I love you. I will never stop you from doing your planning and whatever you feel is the best for you”. She looks at him, hoping he will finally decide to stay with her.

With tearful eyes, he starts stepping back, little by little, step by step. “I can’t. Please, I don’t want to betray my planning! This is not supposed to happen! I didn’t plan it this way! Go away! Go away! Leave me the hell alone! AAAAGGHH!”

Two security guards take him as he is violently trying to release himself from them. She cries and leaves the place, keeping the memory of this day, the day they saw each other for the last time.

The next day, the bridge is high enough, and as he is flying, a smile in his face tells him that he is doing exactly as he planned the night before.

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