"The Night Owl" beginning of a short story (1)

(This is my first attempt ever at writing that isn't something I've done at school (even then i usually abandon it after the first page). No it isn't some sexual fan fiction either, drag your minds out the gutter. 

I will write more (hopefully) when I can think of more to add so this isn't the whole thing.
Writing prompt from @the.plottery on Instagram)

(also just a WARNING for mention of mental health and suicide, so stop reading if youre sensitive to that)

When most people think of danger their minds are immediately drawn to ideas of bravery and risk-taking. Not laying awake alone at night, accompanied by nothing but your own thoughts, however painfully dark those may be. Yet those are the moments where we lie vulnerable, our minds playing the role of our worst enemy.

This was one of those nights. It was 2am, Flo Rotner was curled up sleepless on her hard mattress, awaiting the sun to rise for yet another miserable, repetitive day. Every day was the same. She often wondered to her self why she even bothered getting up in the morning for her just to enter this pointless, repetitive cycle. Was there any further meaning to life than this? Dragging herself around this pointless floating rock just to spend another night alone? She found the night time unbearable, with nobody awake to turn to for advice, forced against her will to listen to her mind recap every reason why she's a failure.

Her thoughts weren't any less depressing during the day either. Flo poured herself a bowl of cereal and placed in on the counter and just stood there, zoned-out, staring at it before eating; as if she was expecting it to move or burst into song. She threw on her jacket and flung her scarf around her neck as she exited her flat. 

There used to be someone else living with her, his name was Brian. Although they never really got to know each other, Flo still appreciated his company, even if all that was some days was a slightly forced half smile as they bumped into each other around the house. About a year ago Brian had suddenly disappeared, leaving behind a note explaining how he couldn't see any meaning to his life anymore, attempting to reassure Flo that he was making the right decision. She had thought about it every night since. Could she have made a difference if she had noticed any warning signs? Was it her fault? 

Now she lived alone. Isolating herself from everybody; too scared to get to know people out of fear that she would ruin their lives too. And when anybody spoke to her - if anybody spoke to her - she would try and say as little as possible, just nodding in agreement with whatever they said. She couldn't trust herself anymore, she knew she couldn't speak to people without making them miserable and she accepted it. As long as she felt like she was doing a favour for everyone else, it didn't matter to her what impact it had on her life.

She made her way through the high-street, on her way to another day of her low paying job working at the till of her local coffee shop where she faced frequent abuse from customers. As she passed by all the shops and restaurants she stopped for a moment, distracted by a group of women about her age laughing together around a table. 

She always felt envious of people in large groups, clearly enjoying life more than she was. How couldn't she? She could never grasp how they did it; how they stayed so confident and happy in a world of inequality and constant pain and depression. She would kill to be in their position. She didn't care if they were just brave facing it, the thought of that never even crossed her mind. How could someone with an ideal life feel as low as she did? How could someone, anyone, understand what it was like in her position? This is why she despised influencers. These rich Americans in huge mansions, owning more designer brands than she could even name, posting quotes like: "pain is temporary" and "life is precious". Why would she take advice from these people way more fortunate than her?

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