I don't own the characters, I just play with them . No copyright infringement intended.

01. Prologue

It is late and it is long overdue, but the thought finally enters his mind and it is the first one in a long time that feels clear, true and untainted. At first, it freezes him still, then it slowly seeps into the tiniest part of his being and firmly takes hold, and he knows it's there forever. Panicked, he shrugs it off and decides to ignore it, but it is persistent and refuses to be pushed away. He tries a different approach and ridicules it; then it makes him angry. It is pointless anyway, so why bother? He tries to read, but the thought comes back, again and again, until he gives up and finds a pencil, underlines those few lines that provoked it and scribbles something next to them. He removes the postcard that marks the page, shoves the book into his back pocket, stands up and starts walking, as if to run away from it and leave it behind somewhere where it can't catch up with him. But it follows, like a shadow, and slowly takes over his mind and pushes out all the reasons why he should fight it. Disgusted with himself for being so weak, for not being able to stay away, for wanting something that is so far out of reach, he walks for some twenty blocks until he finds a place that is open. The woman at the counter is reserved and distant, and never even looks at him as she straightens out and counts the crumpled bills he slides under the glass. She hands him his change and returns to her magazine.

He leaves quietly and walks aimlessly, accompanied by the familiar feeling that is sadness, desperation, anger and a profound sense of loss all rolled into one. He realizes that he had lost this particular battle with himself, like he would probably lose any others like it that he would face in the future, because it is something he just can't fight, not by rationalizing, not by pride, not by escape, not by any means he possesses.

It's not as if he didn't try.