The lights of the club flickered and flash radiant hues across the spectrum. Patrons convulsed and swiveled across the floor, their inhibitions lost to the beat of emblematic rave rhythms. A loner, no more than twenty looks out to the floor with a cheerless, yet expressionless face and sighs into his glass of warming alcohol. Standing, the man places a small amount of various coins next to the glass and begins to walk away. Suddenly he stops, something holding him in place, tethering him to a satirical land of unhappiness. Turning, he finds the blue-mascara eyes of woman no older than himself, and as he stares, her lips move incomprehensibly and mistakenly he nods, only to find his feet moving forward towards the dance floor.

The lights flashed in anti-epileptic pulses, flooding the room with the most vibrant colors of all, only to repeatedly pull them back to the darkness and test the dancer's optic nerves as it burst forth once more. The man, no longer alone, followed the erratic beat as best he could, but watching the woman dance so close, he realized the key was not in mimicking the music, yet finding your own path around the music; more or less, avoiding the key patterns, going against the grain. After all, that's what this place was, a club in the middle of the business distract. The echoing thump of bass drums surely spread in a tremor fashion throughout the adjoining walls and buildings for miles around. Yet no one cared.

The lights dimmed somewhat and the woman came closer, the beat conformed to the anti-motion and swelled with a love song remix. He smiled, it could never last. The dance would move forward and then, much like the rest of life, the memories would turn to just that: memories.

Predictable.

The music dropped, the lights flickered on and off, the fashion returned with a burst of light and scratching discs. The woman parted with a kiss, a sweet goodbye. Her hand lingered as she moved away, falling only as she gained distance, disappearing into the crowded sea, never to be seen again. And he smiled, but one of those sweet and sour smiles, as if he just received a birthday gift from a relative and was almost a hundred percent sure it was nothing but socks.

Moving through the crowd slowly, he found the wall and traced his way to the restrooms. One last stop and he was gone.

The door slammed shut behind him, yet there might as well have been no wall, nor door, for the music found itself comfortably within its confines none-the-less. He shuddered, trying to pee while the entire bathroom shook seemed much less of a good idea now, but was dirty enough anyway. The sink went untouched, the music was too loud anyway, and who cared? He was going home anyway.

He found the outer wall again, traced it from the gap and made his exit. A far less impressive exit then he had always hoped. A brief flicker of girls draped on his arms flew through his mind at the moment he passed by the bouncer, who nodded politely at his passing, and for the first time all night, a real sigh passed through his lips.

A cold breeze blew off the west, ruffling hair into his face and newspapers down the street. A slight frown pressed onto his face as he glanced into the sky and pulled a wallet from his pocket. He held it at his side for a moment, then thumbed it open and looked down at the words printed beside his face and read aloud, "Name: Dominic Maddox. Sex: Male. Height: 5'11". Weight: 168 lbs. Hair Color: Brown. Eye Color: Brown." He laughed lightly, pulling the identification card from its place and 

again, spoke to no-one, "Not for much longer." And he tossed it to the wind, watching with that half-cocked smile and half-hearted frown as he watched himself fly down the street.

A loud noise came from his left, Dominic turned as the cab approached and shrugged, but it was quickly approached by another. He shrugged and stepped back, but the figure turned to him with blue-mascara eyes and ushered him to the open door with a smile. Obliging, though a bit hesitant, Dominic sat and slid across the seat, followed quickly by the woman and a slammed door.

The back of the cab-driver's seat was covered in graffiti; this person loves that person, whoever forever, you suck, etc. Dominic chuckled at some of the more vulgar writings, not noticing the woman speaking with the driver and the automobile lurching forward. Dominic's mind began to drift; the woman looking at him with idle eyes, watching his chest move in and out with every breath…it was a cold night. The coldest it had been in awhile, Dominic's eyes glazed over as he watched the blocks roll behind them as the cab moved forward unto the night.

It was only when the woman let out an apprehensive sigh that Dominic's pensive stare was broken and he turned back to her. She smiled at him and Dominic spoke to another person for the first time in hours, "My name is…" and he stopped, but only for a moment, his thoughts shooting back to when he tossed his ID into the street. Perhaps he had paused too long, for the woman spoke, "You don't know your own name?" She laughed: cheerful. Dominic flushed and shook his head in a childish manner, "I'm Dominic." He stammered out at last, and her smile stuck with her reply, "My name's Juliya; nice to meet you Dominic."

In silence, the ride continued. Neither person knew what to say to the other, uncomfortable silence, they both wanted to speak, they had so much to say and so little time to say it. The night was old, the first sun rays would sun break through the horizon and it would be over. He wanted to tell her she was beautiful, her jet black hair offsetting the pale of her skin, and she wanted to tell him how intriguing he seemed and she wanted to know everything. Yet, they said no words, no gleeful back and forths, no silly little games of truth and dare; only silence.

"I think…therefore you exist."

Juliya's head turned to Dominic, his eyes staring boldly out the window. He could feel her eyes on him, so he turned, "I think therefore you exist." She smiled. It wasn't a bouquet of roses on a special day, it wasn't a beautiful proposal, it wasn't even a drunken one-liner in a bar. But it was different and Juliya liked different.

"I think therefore you exist."

She retorted with a sly grin, to which Dominic replied sheepishly, "Prove it."

Juliya hailed the driver, who had been rolling his eyes the entire time, to pull over at the corner of the next block. She arose from the car and pulled Dominic out with her, who in his haste, tossed a few too many bills to the driver who eagerly sped away without waiting for the back door to be closed.

"Is this where you live?" He questioned, but Juliya shook her head.

"Two more blocks." She replied.

"Then why did we get off here?" He asked, slightly confused.



Juliya didn't answer, but grabbed Dominic by the arm and spun him to face the opposite side of the road.

The moon, much lower in the sky then earlier, cast a magnificent white reflection across the water before them.

"The Lake De'triumphe." Juliya said softly, but Dominic knew what it was.

Arm in arm, they walked towards Juliya's house, all the while admiring the beauty of nature that sat before them so soundly. Perfection is never meant to be perfection for long; the entire concept is flawed, perfection is flawed in itself and therefore cannot exist. Such a contradiction, the world is full of them.

Dominic held Juliya's arm tightly and they came to a halt. The black figured moved into the shadows before them, but clearly looked in their direction. A gleaming object emerged from the shadows, pointed and razor sharp. The shadow dared not to move, yet neither did the Juliya, but Dominic stepped forward.

"Get lost."

His words echoed down the road, his voice tough and spirit revitalized. The shadow budged not an inch, but the glinting blade moved back and forth in the dark.

"Not tonight buddy."

Dominic stood tall, his chest stuck out. He had to bide his time till the shadowed figure made the first move; it was the only way to deal with a weaponed enemy. Yet, the figure refused to move an inch, the fight imminent, but neither wishing to participate.

"Raison d'être! Raison d'être! Raison d'être! You have a reason to continue your existence in this pitiful world. Are you so brash that you would throw away your one chance at true happiness for a couple dollars?"

Another voice, deeper, retorted.

"Raison d'être? This is a kill or be killed world we live in. There is no reason for existence anymore. You do as you must to survive and if you die, the world goes with you, so no big lose."

The sharper voice snapped back.

"How can you even say that! This world may have become shallow, tainted with bigotry and hypocrisy, but that is in no way a reason to throw your life away! Not if you can still find something that makes you happy! The raison d'être is just that, it is there to keep you going, it is what makes you happy and reminds you that you are a human being!"

The deeper voice replied, calmly.

"Pointless rabble from a romantic. Like anyone cares. He'll do as he wishes."

The sharper voice agreed.

"So he shall."

Dominic's muscles twitched the figure still unmoving. His peripheral vision caught Juliya, her eyes shaking with moisture, and her body shaking in fear and cold. No, no more, Dominic would not allow this to go on any longer.

"Have it your way."

He took a step forward and the knife clanged into the sidewalk, Dominic's fingers around the figure's throat and his off-hand bending the man's arm into a vision only a contortionist could dream of. Walking forward slowly, pulling the squirming and muffed screams off the man with him, Dominic approached a light post and slammed his assailant's forehead into it. The road echoed the metallic bang and he fell silent and unmoving to the ground.

Juliya came close to Dominic, who had stepped clear from the body and was allowing the adrenaline to rush out of his body. Her hands found his arm once more and her lips his cheek, she smiled and pulled him forward.

Perfection. It was overrated anyhow.