His world, as he told me, was always gray. He snickers at me as he spins a pencil quickly between his fingers continuing our earlier talk. “Tall Sky Scrapers are built on every inch of this world. So tall that I can’t see the ground. I stand on one of the tallest buildings yet, some other buildings tower above me. Here, it’s always raining nonstop. Heavy rain, black rain, gray rain, all sorts of ‘happy’ rain” He snorts as he says the word ‘happy’. “It rains too much here that the entire world is submerged in black pools of water. As high as I was, the water could still reach my feet. In a blink of an eye I saw the entire city submerged in water. I was submerged in water. The hard surface beneath me was no longer present and the surface seemed so out of reach, as if the surface no longer existed”. He stops spinning the pencil and stares at the air behind me avoiding any eye contact. He continues saying, “Its okay there once you get used to it”. I blinked twice, as if by doing that it would clear away the creases that were embedded hard in his forehead. I stared hard into his eyes trying to get a glimpse of the world inside him. To try to put a finger on the turmoil of emotions breaking him down, but I couldn’t. The sound of silence between us was piercing and I didn’t like it. “And the sun?” I asked. “The sun?” He retorted, “She’s never been a friend of mine” Still staring at the nothingness behind me. “Did you try to befriend it?” I asked sheepishly. “I tried” he answered, “And it worked…for a while”. He turned his charcoal eyes toward me, fixing mine in place. Breaking that gaze seemed like an impossible task to me. He continued saying “You see, I tried to trick the sun. I told her that I was better now. That the wounds are perfectly healed and that I am ready to move on. I even told her that I loved the rainbows it sent dancing across my skies. That I loved the way the glass of the scrapers gleamed beneath the waters, I even told her that I liked her warmth and oh I did. The sun bought my lies. She shone day and night and I felt extremely elated, or so I thought. I walked around my world for the first time in the streets, no rain, just the bright yellow. I even saw some green here and there and I imagined few birds chirping as well. It was an inexplicable feeling. But I noticed one flaw in my plan. It was that when I stopped walking, I would feel an ache in my chest and the sun would notice and get worried. It was because when I stopped walking my wound would get more animated, livelier. Therefore, I vowed to never stop walking for I need as much sun as I can get. Months flew by, I kept walking, the sun shone, the birds chirped and the trees grew. It felt natural. I felt at home and as fake as that was, I still felt happy and that was the only thing that mattered at that time. One day, everything fell apart. From the middle of nowhere I heard a silvery voice, so silvery that it could be mistaken for music. Pleasant music. It said “Your soul sees right through you. Your artificial smile will dissolve and you will be naked”. That’s all it took for everything to return to its initial state. The trees, the birds and most importantly the sun accused me of deceit. They were enraged and decided to desert me. The dark clouds collected quickly, happy to be back in place. The rain started hammering against my back and the glow of the scrappers died.” He broke his gaze and I was relieved for I heard the pain in his words and felt it in my chest. He looked down and buried his hand in his hair and speaking in a matter-of-a-fact-way saying, “The wound gushed more blood. The soul was weeping and the heart was withering. That brief period of happiness wasn’t mine for the taking for happiness can’t be achieved by tricking your soul. Happiness is for those with a happy soul and painting a smile on my face wasn’t going to fool it. It might’ve fooled the outer world but my soul knew the truth along the way. It kept quiet for a while but when the agony was too much to bear, it let out one shriek to burst everything into flames”. He locked my eyes one last time and said “There is no need for any more words. I have said enough and there is nothing new for you to say. It’s all said and done”. He got up leaving fine traces of misery hanging in the air.