He got up and pulled on the sneakers, it was time to start his daily nocturnal ritual. Today also the surroundings were no different, everyone was asleep, except a teenage kid who was still busy reading 'Murder on the Oriental Express'; it was unlikely he would sleep before the dawn breaks.
Neil started walking, rocking with every step. This is what he liked the most, this child-like fun while he walked and everyone else slept. He was careful not to touch anything around, leaving no marks or traces of his presence. But he soaked it all in. Everyone breathing, and sleeping, and alive.
He walked along, stopping once in a while to look around, but never long enough to be noticeable. There was enough thrill in what he was about to do and there was little sense in spoiling it for a face half revealed, an eye only half shut or an arm hanging out as if calling out to him. But he did risk it everyday, knowing when the sleeping senses would be perceptive enough to notice this presence, and he always moved ahead before that.
Today was a special day for him because there were many nines in the date, just one less than last year. And he liked this number still. A lot.