Chapter 1:

Cold Nights

Cold Together

“Thank you everyone! Without you, this company wouldn’t exist!”

Even after all these years. Still, these empty words.

Of course this company wouldn’t exist without us

I glanced around the magnificent ballroom. High above were chandeliers bathing in light illuminating its beautiful crystals. Below the the floor was marble as pale as the clouds. Circular tables were set thoughtfully apart from each other so that everyone was able to view the stage. Everyone seemed to be drunk with pleasure dancing, eating, and socialising.

Except me.

Déjà vu.

All I ever do is just watch life pass before me while I sit idly like a forgotten doll. I scream and cry yet no one hears this forgotten toy.

Not even if I complete all my work ahead of schedule. Not even if I complete the group project by myself to an impeccable degree. Not even if I bring the company profits up by thirty-eight percent.

All I get is hollow platitudes. Simple “Thank you” and “I really appreciate the help”. If you really appreciated it maybe you would’ve made an effort to show it instead of using your meaningless words. I don’t need a trophy or my face hung on your wall. I just…I just…

I just want it all to end.


The cool night breeze brushed against my skin. It felt…


I turned to face her. Maybe it was because I was tired or maybe because the alcohol was getting to me, but I couldn’t make her face out anymore. But I know that it was probably the most beautiful person in the world standing with me. Her hand held mine harder.

A jolt of warmth rushed through my body. I peered below us. An endless expanse of night reaching towards us.

“Don’t worry”

The gripping around my heart loosened allowing it to take slow breaths. She stared deep into my eyes. Her glare seemed to penetrate into my mind as she slowly dissected my thoughts. She gave me a smile.

She could see me. Not just physically but knew me somehow. I could just feel it. Like she was a surgeon who had cut me open to examine every single organ and even my mind, then memorising it with impeccable grace. But in this ER it was only me and her in this world full of mindless shadows.

The two of us.

She took a step forward moving ever so slightly towards our unceremonious demise. The icy nights caressed my skin pulling me back. No. I was afraid. She pulled my hand. Then a little harder. Then harder. I couldn’t move.

“Don’t you love me?”, the melodic words seamlessly flowed out of her lips.

“I…I do”, I whispered softly.

“Then let's go together. Just you and me. No one cares anyways if we just disappeared”, her hand was gently holding my chin raising my head. Her blurry face leaned in towards mine. I felt weak in my legs. My heart had a strange feeling flying around. My head dizzier than ever.

But it wasn’t so bad.

The cold grasp of the night loosened as I felt a warmth grow inside me. No. It came from her. She gave me her warmth. Her hearth.

“Our hearth”, she pulled me closer towards her. I followed obediently. She was right. Who cares about me anyways? I might as leave this world with her. After all, life just goes on without me. It’s always been this way hasn’t it? In the distance, the cheerful cries of children began creeping in.


The playground was enveloped by the giggles and chatter of children. They pushed and shoved trying to be the first onto the slide as they slid down waving their arms screaming in allegro notes. Over at the golden sandpit, the girls were gossiping again. If you listened hard enough the pianissimo conversions might just slip out.

This chaotic melody filled the warm afternoon sky. Everyone had a place in this anarchic orchestra.

Except me.

I guess having musical anhedonia just means I can never belong. What's to the world one less unappreciative audience member anyway?

I was sitting alone below the window of a classroom. Alone at the same bench for my entire life of schooling. Always alone watching the invisible conductor guide and lead my peers in their unruly performances while I watched, never invited to join in.

“Hey wanna join us for a game of soccer? We need a few more people”, his voice was at a strong fortissimo. It was a boy who had a pungent odour of sweat about the same age as me asking.

“No”, I replied bluntly. Of course I get picked when there’s no other choice. Saying yes is basically admitting to him that I can be pushed around right? There’s no way anyone would want to play with me right? Everybody hates me, don’t they?

I’m alone, aren’t I?


That’s right I was alone. Even now I’m alone. No.

I have her now.

We held hands together by the ledge of the building. Face to face again with the all-consuming abyss of the night. Yet somehow it didn’t feel so dark and frightening anymore. It felt bright. Cheerful. Hopeful.

I turned to look at her hoping to at least see the eyes of the woman I would die with. Oh how beautiful they were. Black. That is the only word possibly able to describe it. Black. Painfully black. Hopelessly black. Gluttonous for my attention sucking in all my consciousness not letting me break free of her gaze even for one second. Such a beautifully deathly stare. A stare only for me.

What a comforting thought.

“Ready?”, her lyrical words echoed throughout the night.


My left foot left the ground gently floating in the air as I slowly let the weight of us pull me down. Finally, I can leave with someone by my side. Someone who cares about. We can end it all together. After all, we don’t belong in this world. The world moves forward without us.

WAIT!!!”, a voice, with a powerful fortissimo echoed throughout the night.

A crack in my world.

I turned my head to see who it was. A man in a black battered suit was leaning against the door to the roof, clearly out of breath.

“What are you doing here? Why did you just disappear like that everyone is worried about you”, the man could barely huff out those words.

“I’m leaving, with her”


I gripped her hand tighter hoping for the strength she had given me before. But I felt nothing. Only the cold night's air and my own sweaty palm. She was gone.

“What’s wrong with you, did you drink too much”, the man had now composed himself and began approaching me.

“STAY BACK”, I screamed feeling the freezing grip of the night suffocating my heart again.

“Woah calm down dude come on let's go back to the party”, the man took a step forward. Then another. And another. Closer and closer. My heart pumping harder and harder.

“GET BA-”, the ground beneath me disappeared. That’s not right. I slipped.

I’m going to die alone without her.

I peacefully closed my eyes awaiting the cold embrace of death. Seconds flew by. Then what seemed like minutes. I slowly opened my eyes. The world seemed to be flipped upside down. I looked up. Above me was a sea of darkness. Then I looked below me. My leg was being held onto by a pair of hands.

The hands began tugging me. My legs were scrapped against the rough cement. I felt the skin beneath my pants slowly tearing apart. But I didn’t care. After a few more minutes of tugging, I was now sitting by the ledge of the building. No longer facing death.

“Why”, I whispered defeated.

“Because I can’t let someone I’ve known so long die just like that”, he picked himself up from the ground, opened his arms and…hugged me.

His embrace wasn’t warm. His body was cold just like mine. Yet somehow I felt. Reassured? Safe? Who was this person again? His face looked so familiar. Those deep blue eyes. Soft mellow skin. Rugged hair that smelt of sweat.

That’s right he went to school with me. He asked me to play soccer with him. He always asked. It wasn’t just that one time. I always refused because I was alone. No one wanted me. Did he really just ask me to play because they always needed one more? He was also the one who always thanked me for my hard work on group projects and end-of-year parties. Was I really always alone?

“Eros…thank you”, my voice was shaky.

“Huh? Who’s that? Did you have too much to drink? Come on let's get you inside”, he took my hand and began walking towards the door back into the building.

I followed him obediently.



                                I didn’t.

                                                      I didn’t follow him obediently like his dog.

We walked together…

Cold Together