“... And that was the weather, Now on to other news. The Lische Art and Photography Hall will be opening a brand new exhibit featuring the latest works of a local artist, Arthur Hitami. Mr Hitami’s art exhibit will be open from October to…”
The news broadcast stops and the television turns pitch black. There's a reflection of a man sitting down on a sofa, though not very clear as the evening light barely brightens up the room. He turns towards an open window on his right, shaking his short spiky ponytail at the back of his scalp. The open window lets through a cool evening breeze and brushes the curtains slightly as the orange sunlight infiltrates the small balcony. It turns from orange to a warm red then to purplish magenta. There's a large amount of dust accumulating around a corner in the balcony. Boxes are stacked high alongside dismantled furniture next to the entrance. The room is deprived of any decorations whatsoever, a desolate space with a depressing atmosphere. The holes on the walls and rectangular outlines on the floor tells us that it wasn't always like this.
Looking back at the man sitting on the sofa, his face can't be seen at all in this kind of lighting. He lets out an audible sigh and pans his head around the room. The man puts down the remote he was holding on the sofa and gets up from his seat. A noticeable imprint is left. He walks over to the front door and accidentally kicks his left foot on the leg of the sofa, falling over and he winces in pain, clenching his knee to his chest in a fetal position. He looks up to a small circular mirror on top of a table. The man stretches out his arm and reaches behind the mirror. A "Click" can be heard from behind it. A circle of led lights turns on to illuminate its direction. The man lifts up his leg and rests it on the table to check for any harm. The man brings his face closer to his toe and with the light from the mirror, his face can clearly be seen.
It's Arthur. He looks quite… different. His facial hair is still patchy and although a few more hairs have begun to sprout on his chin it's still nothing close to a beard. The area under his eyes looks noticeably darker than the rest of his face but his hair did get longer. After making sure no harm was done, he checks out his clothes and deems it “Okay”. He picks up a coat that was hanging on the doorknob and puts it on. He quickly puts on a hat that was lying on a box before opening the front door.
Arthur walks out and goes to the elevator lobby. It takes a few minutes for the elevator to reach his floor but there wasn't any rush. Now at the first floor he makes his way to a bus stop in front of his short four story apartment. As he walked over to the bus stop a few people stared at him,he was used to this though. He waited a while for a bus to arrive and many people came in and out boarding and alighting out of a few buses, he wondered if it were faster to walk. However Arthur decided to stay and one bus did come eventually. He gets on the bus, pays the ride fee and takes a seat near the window to look at the view. As he stares off into the distance an old woman sitting next to him strikes up a conversation with him.
"Uhm… young man"
"Are you heading to the beach at this time? It can get quite cold y'know! I used to love watching the boats pass by while I sat in the sand in the evening, such a shame they don't come by anymore. Nothing like they used to be"
"Yes I know it can get quite cold at night but dont worry Im not planning to watch the sea lights, I'm going out for dinner at a friend's restaurant" He replies.
"That's lovely dear, but then how come you aren't wearing any shoes?" The old lady asks Arthur, looking down at his feet.
Arthur looks down and slowly looks back, he thanks the old lady and gets off the next stop and walks back to his apartment complex. He reaches home and unlocks the door. After quickly searching the entire room He finds his shoes left at the side of the sofa. His face tenses up, tempted to throw the shoes out the window.
Arthur leaves his apartment, and catches a bus at a different station. He boards it and calmly takes a seat. The only person to know his embarrassment was himself.
The journey took quite a while and when he finally arrived, the sun had already left the sky and the moon had taken its place. He makes his way down the street, following the same path he did the first time he came here. However the once hollow and forgotten market street from before has changed dramatically.
Clothing shops now scatter the street with mannequins posing in window displays, housing dresses and posters. Different kinds of restaurants have opened up on the street. There seem to be fewer fast food outlets. Other than the occasional coffee shops. The restaurants seem to have their own special themes. A maid cafe can be seen calling in customers while beside it, a store selling Thai noodles rakes brings in more people. On the other side, a bubble tea store frantically tries to fill out orders.
The sky holds a purple hue above the town, the clouds spread far and wide above the buildings.
Not too far away from the sea and just a short drive away from the mountain, Lische could be the perfect place to settle down. Just right in terms of climate and weather, for three months in the year, snow falls on most areas of the town, followed by a few months of rain and then four months of sunny weather. Tonight the sky is clear and not a single person holds an umbrella in their hands. Nobody expects rain.
Arthur stands in front of an empty doorway. The crowd walks around him, paying him no mind. There, motionless he stares into the staircase.