Lan pushes up to stand as he looks at the latest damage, no security deposit anymore. He could care less, tossing his empty can at the gun embedded in the wall, wandering to the kitchen and getting a fresh beer.
  He pulls open the sliding glass door, stepping out into the still-oppressive heat of Tokyo in August. His neighbor is crying, as to why, Lan has passed the point of giving a shit. About her, the world, he rests his forearms on the railing of the balcony, watching the world go by.
  Leaning against the wall that divides his and Saya's apartment, he looks down at the lane below him. No traffic, a blinking street light.
  It's only when he catches sight of a few cats playing around in the storm drain does he perk up, squinting as they play hide-and-seek in them he remembers his toy.
  Lan scrambles back into his apartment, into the kitchen as he yanks open a drawer, pushing aside pens, pencils, notepads: Ah, there it is. He picks up a laser pointer with a keychain dangling from it. Leaving the drawer open, he thumps his way back to the balcony, leaning over it. They're still there, good. He thinks.
  Pointing it at the opposite wall, the cats take interest immediately, both of them darting their vision side to side as Lan moves the pointer slightly. He grins and takes a long sip from his beer. I wonder..
He angles the red dot onto one of the cats, catching the attention of the other one. A little wiggle.. and the one watching tackles the lasered one, who yowls out and fights back at its attacker. Lan laughs and points the dot up against the wall again, capturing the wrestling cats' attention yet again.
  “Seems kinda mean.” A voice croaks next to him, Lan fumbles with the pointer and his beer, putting the toy in his back pocket as he leans over the railing of his balcony to look next door.
  He couldn't quite see her, just her silhouette, but she was there. “To.. tease them like that.” She said. “I mean, I don't know, I haven't.. had a cat in a long time.”
  To her surprise, an arm reaches around the divider between their balconies, holding a cold beer. Saya takes it out of his hand and looks at it. It was nearly six percent alcohol, she hadn't had a beer that actually advertised how fucked up you could get. She did smile a bit at the offer, though.
  “Thank you, Lan.” she mumbles, cracking it open and taking a drink. It was strong, she can almost taste it by the burn it leaves behind.
  “How was your day?” Saya asks the can she holds in both hands, though it was meant for Lan, standing two inches of concrete away from her. She didn't really care, but the less she thought about herself, the better.

  “Oh, uh..” I'm drinking myself stupid; did you know I tried to kill myself today? Maybe I'll be successful tomorrow; You're the only person I actually talk to these days; my world ended last year wanna talk about it? He thinks and grits his teeth, shaking his head clear of all those internal thoughts. “It was.. we went shopping. To.. stock the fridge. Reo comes and.. helps out every month.”
  Well, now you sound mentally disabled, he shakes his head. “I mean, I'm no good with making meals, so he helps out.”
  But she wasn't answering, but she was still there, he hadn't heard her door slide open and closed.. maybe she wasn't in the mood for it.
  “How was your day?” he asks in return. You stupid motherfucker, she was.. you utter asshole, he bites his closed fist to not reprimand himself out loud at such a stupid question, knowing she was crying a while ago.
  To her credit, she laughs a bit at the question, “It was.. not one of my best days, you could say?” He can hear her drink from the beer he gave her, breathing out slowly. “A boy.. that didn't want to be here, and.. the girl that thought everything was alright.”
  Lan rests his chin in his hand, listening. The boyfriend? Someone had shown up to their complex before, but he couldn't remember what they looked like. All that came to mind was Reo, which made his upper lip curl in disgust.
  He pushes up and walks to the kitchen, opening the fridge and gathering four cans, two in each hand as he walks back out to the balcony, leaning over the railing and holding two to her.
  She laughs and reaches up, taking both and setting them on either side of her. “Listening is so easy if you provide the alcohol, isn't it?”
  Lan smiles to himself and turns the unopened can in his hands,

  “No, talking is the hard part.”


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About the author


Bio: apologies for everything about me, it might get better.

updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)

feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.

[email protected]

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