The Perfect Li(f)e

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Act IV. Sanity Drop's Eve

The video ends with Matt feeling like he was in virtual reality just now. He was sitting on the bed, in the dark room with no windows the whole time.

What… What was that? Matt thought, staring after the screen.

It felt like a video of unrest without saying what it was for, but Matt felt like he knew everything about it.

Grayscale identifies with a certain group of people so much, Matt thought. Wait, what? How did I know that?

Matt is pretty sure before that blood can’t be used like that, especially on what serves as the outer shell of his university. Then again, he isn’t sure anymore.

Matt is pretty sure before that no student has been beheaded, especially on a university that reports everything regarding the student body. Then again, he isn’t sure anymore.

Matt is pretty sure before that he doesn’t know who Grayscale is, especially since he doesn’t know anyone else here other than Erin. Then again, he isn’t sure anymore.

Matt is pretty sure before he knows what’s happening around him, especially because of his observant nature. Then again, he isn’t sure anymore.

The sound of little gears slowly spinning echo through the empty room, and a loud bang on the wooden floor, as if something heavy made of iron fell down.

The darkness only stares at Matt, just like everyone else in the room as Matt fixates on the screen, not bothering to check what it was.

The web page shows the web player now with a replay button on the middle.

Matt clicks the back button. He stares at his trembling palms. It was damp with sweat. He sniffles and then wipes his tears with the back of his hands. He knows for a fact that he never made those murals, but it felt like he was the vlogger.

Trying to go back to a calm state, Matt looks at the time. It’s 3:09 am. He always sleeps by 3:00 am. He laughs at himself as he remembers something he said to Erin a while back. In chat, of course. He said he sleeps at 5:00am when all he ever wanted was to keep the conversation going. It started from 12:00 am, from her innocent inquiry to a talk that made Matt realize how he always observed others but not himself, to an identity confirmation, to funny happenings in the classroom and into Erin’s sleepiness. Matt wanted to thank Erin so bad, for giving him someone to talk to. An interesting and very intellectual yet sometimes silly break from Matt’s own monotonous hell.

Erin is so perfect, Matt thought, perfectly aware of his fascination. But why doesn’t this feel a lot like love? Why doesn’t this feel like lust? Why does this feel like winter?

And like a soldier blinded by a flash grenade, he guides himself into ideas that he himself knows may be the wrong direction. Everytime he sees her in his news feed, he hears her “Oi” expression in her signature feminine low-pitch voice as her. It was like that show you like in that one channel whose showing time you find random. You know where to find your happiness, and you willingly wait and see if you can get a glimpse.

It definitely looks creepy when a guy awake in 3:09 in the morning thinks like this towards a pretty girl, Darkness thinks. It’s definitely creepier when he’s not the only one thinking of the girl at the same time.

Matt wanted to see his face, wanting reassurance if he had a chance with Erin in the looks department, but he was afraid to see his own reflection. A year of eating only in dinner time with Spam and boatloads of rice and softdrinks would make him look like a zombie. He didn’t feel hungry at breakfast and at lunch, mainly because he’s asleep until 3pm. Eleven hours of sleep, a sign of clinical depression. Not being able to go outside because of reluctance to let everyone see his zombified self, a sign of clinical depression.

Despite his often plunging into a pool of fever, he always thought depression was just always thrown around, and he never thought of cutting himself nor the act of suicide. He always thought those kinds of acts were irrational and disgusting. He thought depression is just destroying yourself.

That’s fucking ironic, Matt thought. I used to be sort of a guidance counselor to talk people out of their sadness or problems. Now here I am, living like a roach in the darkest of places. Living like I’m already dead.

He scrolls down and another link shows up. It says “Suicide Hotline recorded conversation.”

Why would a private and sensitive conversation like this appear for everyone to hear?, Matt thought. He begins to wonder the credibility of people posing for help.

A music web player takes the stage. A periodic ringing starts, and at the third beep, someone picks up the phone.

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