He walks alone, an outsider in the midst of so much noise, just clickety-clicking his way through the crowd, surrounded by darkness.

The others seem to sense it, and steer clear away from him, heads turning in curiosity as he passes, listening to them talking, laughing, hurting, living...

Maybe it would be easier if he couldn't, but he can't close his ears; he can't help feeling the songs leaking from someone's ipod as they vibrate at his feet and he drowns in melancholy, step by step, as he slowly disappears, his seconds slipping away.

Then there's another boy's ragged breath as he jogs past him, pushing himself to the limit, trying harder, fighting, always wanting more. He doesn't know whatever he's trying to run from isn't going anywhere just yet.

And a woman, her heels echoing on the pavement, her perfume dragged by the wind, mixed with something bitter, salty. Tears that speak of betrayal, which will take long to heal, if it ever does.

A couple's laugh bounces down the street, the animated conversation between them all smiles and butterflies and lowered eyelashes with a promise of something more building between them; growing, expanding, soon to occupy all their thoughts...

But all in due time. For now all they see is a certain glint in the other's eye, a flash of a grin, a feeling left unspoken, just out of reach on the tip of their tongues, saved maybe for later, or maybe not... Something floating halfway between reality and desire, which they don't dare say yet, for fear that it might disappear into the wind.

He remembers what that felt like, a million years ago, so he scrunches his eyes shut, even though it makes no difference, and wishes he could do the same with his ears, his thoughts, his life... Himself.

Wishes he could just stop drowning in his past.

And disappear.