I was temporarily distracted from hitting the print icon by the sight of two undergrads coming my way, holding hands and laughing loudly. That used to be me and Beatrice, I thought and felt a pang of pain in my chest. I examined the hall of the university’s library. Some people looked engrossed with their computers, others chatted animatedly, and some searched for vacant computers. Everyone seemed alright. I wasn’t. The blend of thrill and bliss that was the expected feeling of someone who had completed his thesis just wasn’t there. 
In fact, I was unhappy that the major project was over. Working on it had been a major part of coping, or for that matter, not coping with Beatrice’s demise. It had been two months now and I hadn’t found a way around the grief and guilt, the latter stronger than the former. Honestly, trying had been too painful so I had adopted an avoidance technique that involved embracing other distractions which included taking as many shifts as possible at my night job, nightclubbing and shagging random sexual partners. 
Self-made online experts said smoking calmed the soul so I gave it a shot but my abhorrence for the taste and smell reinforced the embargo I once placed on it. On one clubbing night, when the guilt was particularly unbearable, I had resorted to downing a variety of alcoholic beverages.
The following morning, I had woken up in my briefs and a massive hangover under a tree in a public park. The unhealthy popularity and tales of my drunken escapades I had received from strangers deterred me from going drunken master ever since.
Now I needed another distraction or distractions to fill in the void once occupied by working on my thesis. Getting another job wasn’t an option as I was constrained to twenty hours of work as an international student – even though I was now doing ten extra illegal hours. It struck me that I had always wanted to learn how to swim. This would only take a mere hour or two days but it was a start. I clicked on the print icon and proceeded to the printer stand. 
My fingers combed my tousled hair as I rose reluctantly to a sitting position on my bed. ‘Another dud dream,’ I said to myself. I had had a dream but it had absolutely nothing to do with the dream: something about balloons, a green park, airplanes and telephone conversations with some high-end client. The frequency of the dream had dulled to an infinitesimal once every week. This saddened me because I had formed a bond with it like some blockbuster movie that I couldn’t seem to get enough of. To rub pepper on a fresh flesh wound, there was no indication of it coming to pass. I had been to three fun-fair carnivals, my radar searching for any sign of a reality re-occurrence of the dream. No Mr. Right, No wailing kid, No nothing.
Sometimes, I had wondered if it was just a big fat joke played on me by my subconscious.  I had spoken to Edna about it and she had said: ‘Patience, it will happen at the appropriate time.’ In truth, I found my yearning for this manifestation surprising since my life had been quite comfortable before the dream. It had awoken a need that I didn’t know existed. An exhale escaped my mouth. At least, my performance at work hasn’t been affected…yet. But at this rate, how long would that last?

Time to prepare for work. I got out of bed.

Kreate is a budding Nigerian writer with a flair for fiction. Writing for him began sometime in secondary school where he dabbled in poetry and plays. He has authored two self-published short novels. He is a banker and lives in Surulere. Read more interesting pieces at KREATEATALE