Peace. Silence. Serenity. Dom awoke feeling refreshed and very well rested. Even more so than usual. The night before was a distant memory, perhaps even a dream. Or a nightmare: Trudging silently down seventeen flights of stairs, gradually surrounded by a greater and greater number of similarly afflicted strangers, all marching sombrely together like they were heading off to war. Trying and failing to at least enjoy a cigarette when he finally left the building, only for it and his last remaining spark of hope to be extinguished immediately by the vindictively heavy rain. There was no fire. Of course there wasn’t. Dom had known it before he’d even got out of bed. It was just some pissed up idiots on a dare at three in the morning.
Dom opened his eyes slowly, cautiously accepting the bright morning sunlight as it beamed through his bedroom window. He reached for the bedside table to find his phone, but he couldn’t feel it. It wasn’t there. He opened his eyes fully and turned them towards the table, but this time he couldn’t see it either. Then he remembered. He’d taken his phone outside when he’d evacuated. He must have forgotten to take it back out of his jean pocket when he got back up to his flat.
Dom got out of bed, which was a thousand times easier now than it had been last night and walked over to the jeans that he’d left in a pile on the floor. He reached into his front left pocket, where his phone spent the majority of its time and pulled it out to check the time. It was dead. He pressed the home button. Dead. He hammered the home button. Dead. The power button? Dead, dead, dead. His phone was dead. It was as dead as the chicken in the madras ready meal he’d enjoyed last night and could somehow still smell, probably because it’s container still lay open on the bedroom floor, complete with residual sauce and chunks that appeared to have congealed over night.
A thought then occurred to Dom and that thought was this: He had forgotten to put his phone back on charge after the evacuation and it was subsequently dead, the only victim of a non-existant fire, meaning that if the time to wake up and go to work had been and gone, the alarms that he’d set on his incredibly dead phone would not have gone off, due to it’s being dead. Dom suddenly became very aware of just how bright the sunlight coming through the window was. Work started at 8. Dom had absolutely no idea what time he’d woken up.
Heart hammering in his ribcage, Dom ran to the kitchen. Well, it was more of a kitchen-come-living room, one of three rooms that comprised his supposed luxury but actually suspiciously tiny flat, along with bedroom and bathroom. He ran straight to the microwave, the only other method he knew of checking the time. His heart sank. The digital clock in the corner read twelve minutes past ten. He’d overslept. He’d overslept a lot. He was extremely late for work.