Chapter 1 Prologue
Chapter 1 - Prologue
The dark expanse, lighted only by the faint glisten of the moon, shone outside the dark-colored window to the side of me. My eyes, face, and entire upper body, illuminated by the blue-tinted radiance of the computer screen in front of me, awfully continued to move and to type away at the soulless text displayed on the screen.
“You finishing soon William?” The happy-sounding voice of one of my colleagues resounded from my right, his hand quickly landing on my shoulder, lightly tapping it to signify he was ready to leave.
“I should be finished in a second. This damn old lady still doesn’t understand how an email works. I’m getting tired of having to explain it to her every single time.”
“That one again? You really ended up being unlucky today. None of us like to deal with those kinds of people. They’re still stuck in the old century, having to explain everything to them is something no one wants to do.”
Even as he humored my complaints, my colleague still did not wish to offer a helping hand to finish the job quicker, instead, he just kept hurrying me to finish, saying that there were others already waiting. It would be over much quicker if he helped, but saying that to him would do me no good, it would be like asking help from a tree.
No matter how I looked at it, I wouldn’t be able to finish this job so quickly. There were still a bunch of tasks to do before I would be able to call it quits, and even after I finished with those, I still had to do the checkups to see if everything was fine or not.
“Why don’t you just go witho-“
After thinking about it for a little longer, I realized that it didn’t matter in the end. Whether I finished or not was of no importance, at most, it would slightly hinder the work of someone tomorrow, or the day after, or maybe it would annoy the customer and make them complain to my boss. All of these were viable options for what the future could be like, but all of them just seemed so unimportant to me.
At second glance, walking home with these people now seemed way more important and something that I definitely didn’t want to miss out on. It was very important that I enjoyed myself even if only a little bit more today.
“Wait for me, I’ll be down there in a second. I just need to grab my jacket.”
“Finally, those guys must be tired from waiting for such a long time. You better apologize.”
“If they demand it.”
Taking my jacket with me, I headed down the stairs, leaving the office as the last employee, like I usually did.
The fresh outside air and the small glimmer of the moon dancing among the sky was a sight that once again fascinated my eyes as the many smaller lights illuminated the streets outside. Even though there were so many smaller, brighter lights, the presence of the moon remained in the sky, unchanged for centuries.
I wondered if the moon would have a mind of its own, would it mind that there were so many more lights illuminating the earth at night? Or would it simply not care, and enjoy the freedom it had to glow, even though there wasn’t much necessity anymore.
“You finally finished? We were starting to get worried you would never come.”
“This guy needed longer to finish. Who cares about that anymore, let’s just go already. I’ve been looking at this building long enough today.”
Needing no introduction of my own, as I was already familiar with everyone present, I greeted the two guys and the single girl waiting for me at the exit of the building with a smile. Immediately, all of us set off, beginning small conversations that I did not partake in.
“Whew, finally. I can’t even express how long I’ve been waiting to leave that place for…Today was literal hell. Why is it that we have so much work to do on Fridays anyway? Can’t they just like leave it for another day or something?”
“The closer the weekend comes, the more nervous people get to fix their problems, and because of that, they all get impatient and call us multiple times to fix their problems.”
“If only those people called earlier in the week, all of us would be having an easier time.”
“You can’t expect such rationale from our customers, I thought you already knew that. Haven’t you been working here for a year at least? You should have gotten used to their unreasonableness already.”
“I am used to it, but, every Friday I’m reminded just how unreasonable they are…”
Small conversations raged on between the three males present, as I simply watched and monitored them as they walked forward. It’s not like I couldn’t get involved in the conversation, I simply had nothing to add to it, and as such, I much preferred to stay on the sidelines and simply listen and observe.
But, my observation did not last long, as soon after the three started a conversation amongst themselves, one that seemed to create an atmosphere that was hard to penetrate, the lone female of the group, Zara, approached me.
“Beautiful night isn’t it?”
Beginning the conversation with a smile, the young girl of no older than 24 approached me, her eyes centered on me, and her white teeth glistening from the radiant smile she wore. Her black hair, the cover of night, flowed behind her back, as its length descended her back to just above her hips.
“It sure is…” I answered.
“We don’t usually get this much time to talk, the two of us at least. I noticed that you always hang around with John. Is there a story behind that?”
“I was just the one that helped him when he started working here. Ever since then, whenever he needed help, he always approached me for it.”
“I see, you must be a nice person then.”
She giggled a bit as she said that, her cute features on public display as her giggle left her small mouth.
“Do you like going out like this at night? I quite like it, the fresh air and the hustle and bustle of the city off in the distance, I think it’s quite atmospheric. It’s a scene you can only experience at night, and that makes it even more beautiful.”
Zara asked me for my opinion, whilst offering her own, whilst wondrously looking forward, seemingly engaged in the beauty her mind saw in front of it. Sadly, I did not see any beauty in this night. For me, the night solely signified the time at which I would need to go to sleep. Nothing more and nothing less.
“I don’t really care that much for the night. I’ve never really wanted to go out and experience the wonders of it firsthand.”
Zara seemed surprised, almost as if I had told her something wholly unexpected. Did she think that I also liked the night as much as she did?
“Sorry, you just seemed like a night person to me. I thought you and I might have shared one thing in common.”
“Sorry to disappoint you.”
It wasn’t my intention to disappoint Zara, but it seems like I had accomplished exactly that, as her shoulders drooped a bit, and the earlier smile disappeared from her face, replaced with a frown signifying her disappointment.
In this nightly breeze, I had to admit that I appreciated her earlier smile, which seemed to brighten up the mood and melt any man’s heart, I felt it a more fitting sight. A sight which, even through the cold of the night, managed to give off a small warmth to anyone who saw it.
“It can’t be helped I guess.”
Zara quickly corrected her body posture, seemingly moving on from the disappointment she had received.
A small mumbling left Zara’s mouth, the wind sweeping across the two of us denying me from hearing what she said.
With her trailing words leaving doubt in my mind, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by how she would continue. Putting two and two together, my mind began racing at what could be.
Is she perhaps, interested in me?
What would I do if she actually was? I was in no state to maintain a relationship at the moment. In fact, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to again. A girlfriend was something I always wanted, yet never managed to have.
Another unfulfilled wish.
Zara suddenly closed the distance between us, her mouth getting dangerously close to my face. This slight distance caused the hairs on my body to spike up, as thoughts of what would happen next spiraled in my mind.
Her mouth to my ear, Zara whispered a couple of words.
“Maybe I could help you appreciate the night more.”
What was she talking about?! Was this what I thought it was?!
My mind racing, my heart beating faster and faster, Zara continued, her soft tone like honey to my ears, her words warming up the cold wind of the night.
“But, only if you do me a favor as well. I’m not doing it for free.”
What did she want from me? It couldn’t be, could it? This wasn’t what I was imagining right? A situation like this couldn’t be happening to someone like me on exactly this day, right?
I nodded to confirm that I would hear out her request, swallowing my saliva nervously.
With a cheeky smile, Zara made eye contact, keeping her mouth as close to my ears as they were earlier.
If people were to see this, would they think that we were a couple? With the distance between us being this short, would they think that we were dating? I mean, if you were to see two people this close to one another, you would, wouldn’t you?
“This is a bit embarrassing to say…”
Zara blushed and averted her eyes before continuing.
Wait, wait, wait. I wasn’t ready. My heart wasn’t ready for something like this to happen today. I was already prepared to take that step. I had already made all the preparations. Hearing a confession right now of all times…it would destroy my confidence in that.
I couldn’t fathom the words that were going to leave her mouth. With a face probably as red as if I had been suffering under a fever, I looked at her, my eyes unable to leave the sea of hers, sinking deeper with every waking second.
“I decided that I would ask today…I can’t hesitate now.”
Gathering up her courage, Zara looked at me with newfound confidence in herself, nowhere was the shy girl from earlier.
“…Will you help me get together with John?”
Instantly, my heart dropped, and my mind went back to the place it had been before all of this had happened. Everything that I had decided to carry through with today, all of it would be done.
Failing to hide my disappointment for only a second, I managed to wear my usual smile, as I answered her question, seeing that she still expectantly awaited an answer.
“Sure. I’ll support you as much as I can. If you need my help with anything, just ask.”
Happily showing her gratitude, Zara breathed a sigh of relief, as the answer she probably hoped to receive actually came. With her getting louder, the stares of the guys in front also got drawn. Who then quickly decided to approach and break the two of us apart, also joining us and beginning a new conversation where everyone was involved.
I guess this is how it’s always been…That’s what I get for never really following what I want. Maybe next time…No, there isn’t a next time anymore. If anything, I can only hope to be allowed to restart everything…from the start.
Unlocking the wooden door, I walked into the apartment, dropping my stuff onto the sofa in the living room.
“I hope I did well enough…”
After Zara asked me to help her and John get together, I agreed and proceeded to try and find opportunities for the two of them to converse with one another. Using every chance I had, I tried to push Zara and John to be alone with one another and to have a conversation under four eyes.
“I’m such a loser aren’t I…?”
Exhaling deeply, I readied the table and sat down to have dinner. In front of me, I had all of my favorite foods, like ham and eggs, all readied for today specifically.
“Who cares…I at least want to enjoy this meal. I’ve been looking forward to this dinner the entire day.” I said.
Picking up a slice of bread and putting some butter on it, I placed hams and cheese to make it a sandwich. Then I took some eggs and cut them up, the golden shape of the innards, and the aroma emanating from it, arousing my nose as I laid them next to the sandwich.
A small smile appeared on my face as I stared down at my creation, a heavenly blend of white eggs and a simple sandwich. It appeared simplistic at first, but the meshing of flavors was like a coordinated dance in one’s mouth, almost to the point of making one drool when thinking about it.
Not being able to hold myself back any longer, I decided to dig in and enjoy the meal, the entire time a smile beaming on my face. First I took a bite out of the sandwich, and then I ate a piece of the egg, rinse and repeat until there was nothing left.
“Ah, that was heavenly. I wish I could eat it all over again.”
My happiness had reached a climax for today, as I put away all my dishes and looked at the clock hanging from the boring, grey-colored wall.
“I guess it’s time.”
Dragging over a chair to the middle of the room, I stepped up and looked at the ceiling, checking everything one last time.
“All check, it seems like there are no problems.”
Glancing out the nearby window, I saw the many different lights that flickered on and off in the city below. Many neon signs and billboards decorated the world below, painting the dark night into something much more beautiful, many times more majestic than this dark and gloomy room.
I wished I could go out and enjoy what the city below was showing me, trying to bait me to go out and enjoy the night, but sadly, I couldn’t. In the morning, there was work, and afterwards, I was simply way too tired to do anything else. Even on the weekends, I couldn’t go out, as the work that wasn’t finished on time, had to be finished until Monday morning.
None of it matters anymore anyway…
Focusing my eyes forward, I lifted my hands and readied everything, closing my eyes after everything was over with.
“…I wish I could do it over…all of it.”
With those final words, and with my eyes closed, only perceiving the darkness, I took that final step forward, tightening the noose around my neck.
Hmm? What’s that noise?
Could you shut up?! Even after all that, can I still not get any peace? What do I have to do to finally get-
In my anger, I accidentally slowly opened my eyes. Something which shouldn’t have been possible because of the steps I had taken to prevent it, was currently happening to me at that moment. What I was referring to, was of course the fact that light was coming at me, and a view of something colorful was being transmitted into my eyes.
What’s happening? What’s going on? Why am I seeing this? Why am I able to see something?
Chapter 2 ETA: When it’s done.
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