"Living has always been worse than death," a murderer once told me when I had the chance to talk to him on the rooftop of a tall building. "Believe me kid, I've seen people die with my own eyes... and I saw peace in their faces before they close their damn eyes for the last time."
I smiled at him as he handed me a bottle of ice cold beer. "You've killed people. Of course you'll love death."
"You're still a young man," he murmured as he drank some of his beer. "What do you know about life, anyway? This isn't a video game for fuck's sake. You don't live just to live then quit when you're tired. You still have to live even when you badly wanted to quit."
I sipped my beer as I gaze at the skyline below. City lights are starting to glow as the night gets deeper, creating a magical scenery from above. "And that's what you hate about living— the fact that you still live."
"I killed my whole family," he said with a tinge of sadness in his eyes that he's trying to hide. "I didn't know what happened. I was drunk... then I got home, got my gun then shot them one by one on their heads. The next morning, I woke up with my wife and daughters lying on the floor with blood on their faces... dead and the was gun on my hand."
I looked at him with concern as he drank some of his beer again. "I-I'm sorry about that. I... I didn't know."
"I almost killed myself," he added as he took up his shirt and showed me a long scar near where his heart lies. "I took a knife and tried to kill myself but there's this voice who told me to stop. So I did."
My eyebrows knitted as I ask him, "Who's voice was it?"
He stared at the stars then finished up the last sip of his beer. "She told me, 'Daddy, don't. Please... live. For me. For my sister, for Mom... for us. Live, Daddy'."
"So you lived," I said, fixing my gaze at the bright stars. "And now you're here."
He chuckled, opening another bottle of beer with his hands. "Not that easy, kid. I spent a decade in prison... with no one visiting me on holidays and no one to greet me on my birthday. But I was fine. Karma got me hard, I guess. I had been on stroke for months but thank hell I'm cool now. Haven't been out of that place in a while so I'm giving myself a break."
"I almost killed myself, too," I admitted, drinking my beer as I hide the sadness in my face. "My parents separated... I was an only child and I didn't know how to handle them. I... I've been a rebel. Getting myself into trouble, failing at school, almost shooting myself if it wasn't for that little kid who stopped me."
I saw him smile for the first time. His face lightened as a fresh breeze of air touched our cheeks. "We have our own problems, kid. We've all been there at the point where death is no longer a choice but a must. All of us got to that point."
"But we should still live," I said with a grin on my face. "Face our fears, admit we're weak, get defeated, fail on life, learn from our mistakes and live again."
He yawned as he put his beer aside and stared at the sky once again. "Living is the worst part of life. You have to act like living when you're already dying, having a life when you're already dead, getting to live when you're about to die."
"It's nice to talk to you," I said honestly as I got up and stretched myself. "Mind if I come up here again tomorrow?"
He smiled— a genuine one. A smile I've never seen before. "Anytime, kid. But next time, bring your own beer. Nothing now is for free."
"I'll stick that in mind," I said with a smirk as I headed straight to the stairs. "So, see you again tomorrow?"
He nodded, "I'll teach you how to get the girl of your dreams."
"I won't miss that."
The next night, he wasn't there. Not even his shadow was there. But he left a note on the chair where we sat last night.
A special note.
'Live when it's hardest to live.'
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