Chapter 1 – Coffee.

Syaoran Li – POV

I had a patient once who asked me a peculiar question; however I felt more reluctant than obligated to answer.

He had avoided eye contact with me the moment he walked through my door, and it had been months since then. He came on his own. He was old enough to make his own decisions and his parents played no part whatsoever in his visits. He always sat at the end of the couch, fiddling with his watch, his eyes on the ground. He always replied to my questions with short, typical answers.

Though, one day, after our simple question routine, asking how college is, if he has any new interests, etc, he stayed absolutely still. I remember not noticing at first. He stayed quiet for a few moments and I could hear him breathing steadily, a strange steady, like absolutely nothing in this world mattered to him.

When he finally spoke his voice was soft but sharp, and the control it had almost frightened me.

He said, "Have you ever loved someone so much, you want to completely and totally disengage yourself from all aspects of reality?"

A part of me hesitated a bit, the words repeated themselves in my head and I tried to make sense of them, but eventually I asked him what he meant.

He smiled softly, and his eyes drifted a bit with his slow reply. "You want to dedicate every word to them, every moment, every feeling you've ever felt, until you completely disappear."

I was at a loss. It's not as if I didn't know what he meant, I could classify it in some sort of medical term if I wanted to, but I felt it was useless. I felt that what he had said to me wasn't something anyone could place.

"No."

He looked at me and said, "Well, I do."

That was our last conversation. He never came back after that.

I went to his parents' house quite some time after that in hopes of seeing how he was doing. After talking with his parents for awhile they told me about the accident he was in with his girlfriend seven years ago. He wasn't injured; however his girlfriend fell into a coma. She hasn't woken up. According to what his parents told me, that's the only relationship he's ever had.

I tried to connect the incident to his question, but eventually I gave up and let it rest.

At times I think about what he said exactly, and I wonder why I replied the way I did. I felt maybe I was afraid of what he might have said if I had related to him. Maybe that's all he wanted, was someone who could relate to feeling that way, whether it might be suicidal or insane or just borderline-depressive, he wanted to know that someone else had felt or could feel the same thing.

After thinking about it for a long time, I realized I have loved something to that extent. I loved the idea of loving someone to that extent.

This terrifies me.