The room is so crowded, every foot of it is covered with this crowd. I feel as though I am standing in the dead center of it. Everyone is laughing, drinking, and dancing the night away. The sweat dripping off of everyone’s bodies is disturbing and I want to scrub my skin clean. Have you ever felt so alone in such a crowded room? I am alone in a sea of people. The closer I try to get to the door, the more people crowd around me. I can’t escape and as each second goes by it gets harder to breathe. Maybe I should’ve gotten drunk tonight, then I wouldn’t be conscious enough to feel this disturbed in my own skin. Perhaps I would’ve fallen smitten with a handsome stranger, who would get me a new drink whenever one emptied and moved his hips along with mine. Instead, I am sober, fully awake, and cringing in this place.

I am trying to remember why I decided it would be a half-decent idea to come here in the first place, but I can’t. I never minded ringing in the new year alone, why did I bother to change it this time around? A new year, a new me? I doubt that. None of these faces are familiar and I feel as though I am a stranger in a new city. Lost with all these empty faces surrounding me, forcing me back to the center of the room. I can’t get out and I keep trying to find a clock so I can see how much longer this has to go on for. I’ve never wanted the countdown to the new year to come faster, except the one year when I had someone to kiss. I never saw him after that night which is why I never try to cling on to someone around midnight.

I’m always better off on my own. No expectations to live up to and no one else to let my own expectations down. I need to crawl out of this room; I need to escape somehow. I’ve never felt such a bigger sober regret than coming here tonight. I take a deep breath and decide the only thing I can do is push everyone aside; I can’t look back, I just need to look forward. I still can’t see the clock, but I know what time it is.

“TEN, NINE, EIGHT…” I hear everyone begin to chant. Faster; I need to go faster. By the time they reach “one,” I am stepping foot out of the lousy apartment and into the cold air. Who ever said that being alone had to mean I was lonely? Sometimes being in a crowded room can feel like the loneliest you have ever been.

 

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