The brittle air envelops him, the rain arrowing his skin. Blood dripped from his arm as he stumbled, crashing into the walls from side to side.
It was dark. Only the cold pavement ahead. He can see nothing more. In the distance, a cat howled, trash cans clattering after it.
Finally, he came to a rest. He dropped, knees-first, to the pavement, its wetness bringing relief to his feeble body.
His breaths grew shorter as he struggled up. Slowly. Slowly. Crawled and leaned against the wall, seeking comfort in its sturdiness.
The rain continue to splatter, relentless. The pain in his arms ached further, not helped by the gap in his shoulder. Crimson leaked there, patchy.
The rain gets there too.
He clutched himself, holding in his stomach, hoping the insides would remain so. Pain snaked its way through, the venom a drug he couldn't live without. The drug of life.
He had never felt more alive.
Most people don't get here, he thought. They don't get anywhere. They sit where they are comfortable in their zone, confident in their stride.
Afraid of living. Afraid of pain.
What is living without pain? The definition of life, the fuel of civilisation, the very catalyst of society itself.
Everyday, everywhere, everyone, one way or another, is hurting. But someday, somewhere, someone will be hurt enough to do something about it.
Pain cracks its whip, and all that lives will move.
Not him. Not this time. There he is, all of the pain in the world telling him to move. Telling him that he has been a stupid boy, to leave and drop everything just like that. Patience. Good things come to those who wait.
What if you have nothing to wait for?
Pain is telling him that he will die. Soon, if he does nothing about it. Pain is telling him to get up, to move, to go and seek help. To scream out and shatter the metaphorical silence.
He did none of it. He is no longer subject to pain.
It is no longer his master.
Not long now, he thought to himself, revelling in that rare, visceral pleasure that those before him felt when they realise that there is nothing left.
He looked down, chin resting against his chest.
Not long now.