Veronika's comrade

If he - like Veronika - decides to die, then many things that had mattered to him would no longer matter so.

He would no longer fritter his time away on people whose opinions he does not value.

He would no longer be nice to everyone. Niceness, he feels, is too boring, too plain, too meaningless.

He would dance and sing and draw and paint and read and not eat. He would do things that he felt like doing without restraint, without fear of retribution or punishment.

Just the other day, he had walked home barefooted. He held his slippers loosely in his right hand, enjoying the novel sensation of the uneven grounds against bare skin. The asphalt road radiated warmth and surprisingly, the cement footpath was comfortably cool. He shuddered when he accidentally stepped on a slimy seed pod.

It was a secluded street and he met few people. And all of these people had eyed him with interest. What is that weirdo doing, they must have thought, did he escape from Woodbridge? But by behaving abnormally, he felt very normal, very sane and very happy.

He wondered if any of his friends would visit a shopping center with him, traversing barefooted without a care in the world. He couldn’t think of one single name.

If he – like Veronika – decides to die, he would do all that he felt like doing.

Unfortunately, unlike Veronika, he chooses to live. He’ll continue to be nice to people who he doesn’t care for, continue to have his meals on time and continue to put on his footwear when in shopping centers.