Chapter 1:

"Echoes of the Rooftop's Secret"

In the Shadows of Thanatopia

A strong breeze hits my face. I wake up. It was just a dream, I think. After all, even though things aren't going so well for me, there are still no leaks in my apartment, and the windows don't open on their own. I put on my slippers and decide to move on a bit. At the same time, I notice that they feel slightly damp. I decide to ignore that detail.

As I head downstairs, I hear my neighbors say they noticed the building's temperature had dropped quite a bit, and there was a strange humidity in the air. I didn't pay much attention.

I feel something pushing me, but it feels cold. I wake up again, but I can't find my pajamas anywhere. I'm naked. I hope I didn't go partying, because if that's the case... oh, no, she would be upset because I left her alone. But... that idea overwhelms me again. She's gone now, with him. Anyway, I have to go to work; now I have to take care of myself, or so I think. As I go down the stairs, I feel a gust of wind, and I notice a strange light on the floors leading to the rooftop. In any case, it's not my problem; the janitor should take care of it.

I don't see much, a couple of lights blind me, and I perceive a strange mix of sounds, and the breeze is drier. I wake up again. I think I'm going crazy every day, but at this point, that might be the best option. I'd rather believe that than think I'm out partying and coming back home naked. So, I decide to stay and meditate a bit more before heading to work. As I sit on the couch, I notice that my pajamas are by the window. It would make sense if someone, or maybe I myself, put them out to dry, but the only one who used to do that was her. I was always worried that she did things like that as a way to repay some moral debt she believed she had with me. But I never felt it was necessary; I was the selfish one who held onto her, even though people think otherwise. Anyway, I'm leaving now.

This time, the unusual thing is that I didn't dream anything; everything was in order. I heard a commotion outside; it came from an argument, and I noticed two voices. One was complaining, and the other belonged to someone young and confused, so it must be the old janitor and his new pupil who apparently lost something. I didn't want to dwell on it. But before grabbing my things to go to work, I looked at her fallen photo, and that's when I started thinking about all those months. My insecurity about her feeling her calling faded when I was here by her side. Unfortunately, unlike a guard dog, I couldn't just focus on keeping her company; I had to go to work now and then to pay for the medications prescribed by the psychiatrist. But no matter how much love and effort I put into making her feel safe, it was pointless if he was lurking around when I left. It's also true that she waited for him when I was gone. I was the only one fooling myself. After all, she rejected him that night on the rooftop, but she wouldn't do it a second time.

I returned from work and decided to take the elevator. When I got to my floor, I couldn't help but overhear my neighbors' conversation. That's when I found out what happened in the morning. It turns out that the veteran janitor had scolded his pupil the other day because the young man kept forgetting to lock the door to the rooftop on the top floor, and he finally did it the night before, but he lost the key. To everyone's surprise, the young man claimed there was a ghost that roamed around at midnight and went up to the rooftop. His theory was that the ghost must have stolen the key to prevent him from locking the door again. I can only think that it's a tremendous madness, and the poor guy must be delusional from some new drug. In any case, tomorrow is another day.

News Report: Eerie Scene! The same building that was in the spotlight a few months ago when a 24-year-old woman jumped, the 27-year-old man identified as her partner has made the same mistake and jumped from the rooftop. The only thing that is certain is that there are rumors that the Thanatopia apartment complex will have to close for a while, and it's a mystery what will happen to its current residents.