Vol. 1: The Fall
0xA26D
December 24th, 2021

Chapter 1

[343 Days] Before The Fall

“What stops things from falling?” This question plagued T as he admired the neon lights that covered the front of the building. The hotel sat in the center of Nu Siobuya where it had become known as a creative haven for the uninspired. He turned toward the sky as he heard someone land on the roof.

“What stops things from falling?” The answer felt like it simultaneously existed on the tip of his tongue and at the furthest edge of the universe.

“Hey!” & a pinch from behind as T turned to see Her. She was as beautiful as the first day they met, the first day this question ever entered his mind…

[365 Days] Before The Fall

There was an electricity in the air as people scurried in and out of the lobby entrance. T took note of a few kids as their IDs were rejected from the SelfServ.

Two women caught T’s attention as they walked through the giant lobby entrance. Their struts were in sync as they seemed to float across the floor. They were almost as impressive as the hanging bonsai tree.

Everything about this place exceeded expectations. The air was prettier, the acoustics were amazing, even the walls seemed to have a glow. Amidst this scenery sat a woman reading what appeared to be a book on the psychological effects of fashion.

She spoke as is if She knew Her words had a gleam of magic to them. He wanted to listen to every syllable but couldn’t stop replaying the last. Everything about Her was captivating.

“How does the tree in the lobby remains so still? It seems like the leaves never fall.” A silence fell as She nudged his leg, T had not realized how far he had drifted. Their eyes locked as he turned to answer. Something about Her was different.

“I don’t know, what stops things from falling?”

Chapter 2

[335 Days] Before The Fall

Waves broke against the sand, slowly dispersing seashells across the beach floor. The horizon was not quite in view as T stopped to examine a shell from this paradise. A sudden blast of water splashes against his face - another in quick succession!

This broke his meditation.

He turned to see Her cupping water in Her hand while attempting to olympic launch it out of the tub. A wave of frustration halted in its tracks, as they locked eyes. Her sky blue pupils appeared sea green in the soft sunset lit bathroom.

It’s been a month since they met in the lobby but it’s felt like a decade.

“Throw me my towel.” She instructed him with a soft laugh knowing T’s mood. He slowly obliged.

It had been 47 days since the last verse. 47 days since the last anything. The longest music drought he could remember. He had arrived in the city of creatives and couldn’t create.

There was no time to think about that. Back to the fever pitch dream at hand. There was no worry about lack of verses when She was around. She took that all away and put herself in its place. It was freedom to have someone who cared not what you made but for what you are.

She collapsed into his arms pushing them both onto the bed. The smell of Her skin overtook his senses just as She rolled Herself off.

“Uh uh!” She managed a louder laugh this time as T began to think about the other thing he had been going weeks without…

Chapter 3

[297 Days] Before The Fall

Orion’s belt drifted across the sky like a  — a splash of water hit T in the face.

“Why are you always splashing me?”

“Why are you always spaced out?” She kicked back into the pool before he could answer.

The pool seemed to stretch to the end of the hotel as he watched Her swim amongst the guests like Princess Ariel. It had been two months and still She held every molecule of his attention. Her words echoed in his head, “always spaced out… spaced out”. The paradox of true balance between work and play still eluded him. No music. Nothing.

As She exited the far edge of the pool and water dripped from Her breast to Her thigh it became clear a decision needed to be made. There was no progress on either front yet She was still here. Music had abandoned him when he needed it the most. The words escaped from his mind as if they were never his to begin with.

[She would never.] She could be his home & that was evident. God body. The divine feminine. T wrapped the towel around Her as he led Her back to the room. She knew something was different, his energy had shifted.

Chapter 4

[254 Days] Before The Fall

“No matter how many times we go, I’m just not going to catch food that’s thrown at me.”

“You’re being such a guy.”

“Hibachi tastes great, but I don’t want men throwing things in my mouth.”

“Or you’re just worried about being cute.”

A bump in the road drew their attention to a passing street performer. The night sky had just reached its darkest & the GPS had a 3 minute ETA. T shifted gears as date night came to a close.

They were greeted in the lobby by the Prince of Paloozas, Charlie. Charlie had blocked out the whole 4th floor for his birthday & the festivities were already underway. They moved to the freight elevator at the back of the hotel where he had deactivated payment processing on a SelfServ. They rode up to the 4th floor and into Nu Siobuya’s notorious Coka Cabana.

The Coka Cabana was a nostalgic tribute to the psychedelic upper class vagabonds who ran through 70’s New York.

T had no idea when he had gotten this drunk but he was sure he couldn’t walk in a straight line. He passed through people dancing, talking, skiing & taking shots all while not spilling whatever was in his cup. He noticed Her posted in the corner talking with two girls he had never seen before. As he made his way toward them, all 3 pairs of eyes scanned his body with devilish intentions.

“You’re just in time to hear about lucid dreaming.” The brunette to the left of Her chimed in before T could speak.

“She’s been telling us all about it.” Remarked the other girl.

“He knows, I’ve been helping him practice.” She mentioned sarcastically.

He watched as the conversation progressed making sure to keep everyone hydrated. As the party spilled from the Cabana through the hotel, Charlie was seen zooming through the halls on a hoverboard with a bottle of tequila. Unsure of what he just saw T asked Her to head out.

The girls huddle before agreeing on something T is not aware of.

“Pool” She yelled as they raced down the hall.

By the time T caught up to them they had already jumped in. He admired their bodies before catching a very detailed tattoo of a spider on one of the girls chests.

[253 Days] Before The Fall

A tattoo of a spider slowly came into view as T struggled to open his eyes. As he realized that the light beaming on his face was the sun, it became clear the person attached to the tattoo wasn’t Her.

“Where the fuck is my phone?” Groggily he pondered while stumbling out of bed. He turned to reassess and realized there were other two other women on his side, She was one of them. A brief moment of pride followed by a dying need for water, T darted for an unopened bottle of water on top of the nightstand.

*THUD*

Oh shit.. the phone was propped up against the water bottle. There’s a bombardment of messages and notifications but none seemed out of the ordinary. His memory started to return as he looked at the three women in bed.

He realized the phone wasn’t just propped against the water bottle, it had been recording.

Chapter 5

[209 Days] Before The Fall

[Her] 4:31PM: Good Luck 💎💋

[T] 4:33PM: Thank you! I’m hype…Train just left, 3 hours to go.

[Her] 4:33PM: 🤗

[Her] 4:35PM: What do you think it’s going to be like?

[T] 4:42PM: Insane. The studio overlooks a canyon or something. I couldn’t really tell exactly from the picture but it was ill

[Her] 4:43PM: Oooooo I did like those.

[T] 4:46PM: I’m just excited Wale hooked this up. It’s been so long since I recorded, really needed this boost to get back in the groove.

[Her] 4:47PM: I know! You only play me the stuff from before we met

[T] 5:08PM: Cause I haven’t made anything good since then 😔

[Her] 5:10PM: Well you’re about to now babe, so hush.

[T] 5:13PM: You’re so fucking right. I’m about to knock so I’m rested when I get there but I’ll text you when I get in!

[Her] 5:17PM: Okkkkk 🥰

[Her] 9:31PM: Hope you made it in ok, just watched Midsommar…probably should’ve waited for you for this one.

[208 Days] Before The Fall

[Her] 12:58AM: Goodnight 🖤

[T] 3:33AM: Mi amor, this has been crazy already. The service is just super spotty in the studio space, I’ll tell you all about it in the morning!

[Her] 3:35AM: I’m still up babe!! Ugh you had me worried but I’m glad you’re having fun. You can tell me some stuff now & then more tomorrow?

[T] 6:20AM: I didn’t think you’d still be up, I literally jumped out cause I realized you were probably worried but then I went right back. About to sleep and then come right back tomorrow, I’ll call you when I’m up.

[Her] 12:04PM: ‘(3) Missed Calls from T’

[T] 12:05PM: Figured you’re still sleeping, rest up snoring beauty.

[T] 7:47PM: Everything good babe?

[Her] 7:47PM: Yeah sorry I’ve been busy! Let’s talk tomorrow, heading out with some friends for this party. Forgot to charge my phone, so I’m off of it.

[T] 7:50PM: Yeah all good I’ll hit you tomorrow when I’m on the train.

[207 Days] Before The Fall

[T] 1:11AM: (18) Missed Call from Her

[Her] 1:12AM: Why sent you answering me

[Her] 1:12AM: Where’ve Gunna dean with my friends

[Her] 1:14AM: * Dance 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽

[Her] 1:15AM: Why do toy hate me

[Her] 1:20AM: Someone bet else wld give me attention, since you won’t

[Her] 1:28AM: BE!!!!!

[Her] 1:45AM: * Bye

Chapter 6

[207 Days] Before The Fall

A flurry of emotions had fallen over Her by the time T had finished talking about his trip. All She could hear was “One month.” That’s how long he would be going back for.

A mixture of joy & frustration. They talked for another hour, before She realized that this wasn’t a discussion. It was him telling Her he had to go.

She could see how excited he was, She wanted to protect that. Ok. He’s going.

She needed to go too. Go anywhere outside of that room. It felt like with every second the oxygen seeped further and further away as he explained how great this next month without Her would be. At least that’s how She heard it.

How could he be going somewhere for music for a month? How could he so easily toss Her to the side? These questions played out across Her brain like an old drive in theater.

[1,096 Days] Before The Fall

[The Ex]: “I’m not myself with you anymore.”

For a split second it felt as is if Her world had collapsed. 2.5 years down the drain with a simple text.

& with this simple text, She gave up…

[202 Days] Before The Fall

She stood frozen, as he tornadoed through the room looking for old notebooks & hard drives. He would stop to acknowledge Her presence before being distracted by a missing item. It was like his mojo had returned. A chance to get back into music & have his favorite person with him.

This opportunity had come and it was great, She knew that, but he was different. There was a glow to him that She had never seen, a vibe he never shared with Her. He looked at Her the way every girl wanted to be looked at but She could barely look back.

Before She knew it he was packed & gone.

“If you truly love something, let it go.” What a stupid fucking saying She thought to herself. She couldn’t find the words to explain why this upset Her, so She said nothing at all. The past 24 hours had been a whirlwind & it wasn’t that She minded, it was that he didn’t ask.

Chapter 7

[164 Days] Before The Fall

The first day T skipped school was the first day he remembered his mother yelling at him. An otherwise calm woman, the sound of her screaming “I didn’t know where you were!” rang in his ears for weeks.

Fast forward 20 years later — different woman, same words.

She started a shouting match over the storm as She struggled to capture his attention. T had been back for 4 days and for 4 days She told him how miserable the past month had been.

He stared blankly at the contract trying to review it for errors. He listened to everything She was accusing him of before finally getting tired.

“Do you know what Cognitive dissonance is?” He questioned clearly meaning it as a jab.

“Wha— what are you even talking about? That’s your move make me feel dumb?” She mocked him “cOgNoTiVe DiSsOnAnCe.”

Ignoring Her he continued “It’s when your thoughts & beliefs don’t add up to how you act. Like saying you trust me & then calling me a cheater because you didn’t get a text back.”

“So you can like sluts’ pictures on Instagram but not text back. You see how I’m confused?”

Thunder crashed just as the heel graced T’s head and crashed into the desk. Her once soft eyes turned fiery as She threw the room at him.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” He questioned while using the couch as a shield.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” She managed to yell back while throwing a lamp & bowl at the same time. T watched in horror as She began using anything She could touch as a weapon. T dove for cover behind a wall but not before getting clipped in the leg with a rogue iron.

“Calm down!” He pleaded.

A silence.

“Fuck.” T muttered under his breath as he went to turn around the corner, just barely missing a kick to the face.

“CAN YOU STOP? PLEASE?.” He got up using the table to divide them. “It was work I keep telling you.”

“Your priorities are all shit! You treat me like I’m work, like I’m something to be checked off.”

“MY PHONE DIED! This isn’t even that deep, you’re blowing this out of proportion.”

A remote went soaring clear over T’s head. Her superhuman reflexes seem to have went away.

“You’re just like the rest of them.” There was something about Her voice that T knew She meant it. It hurt. She sunk to the floor clearly exhausted.

He paused taking in the damage, first the room then Her.

It’s never clear the last time you’ve done something with someone. In less than a week  your everyday life had become filled with “lasts.” Last breakfast, last drink, last kiss, last party, last fight. Those things end and you continue on whatever else it is you were doing.

For T, that whatever else was music. It was like he had his mojo back. The writer’s block from before was just that, “before”. She hadn’t called since that night, hadn’t responded to any of the texts and hadn’t been by the hotel. It was as if She had completely erased him. For a split second he had everything, but life remained a true comedian & gave him balance.

Chapter 8

[1 Day] After The Fall

She moved the hair from in front of Her face, finessing its placement before shining a smile toward the camera. T stared blankly into his phone wishing for Her to call, knowing that could never happen. It still didn’t make sense, why or even how She did it.

“Time heals all wounds, unless you die first.” T never noticed that inscription in the doorway on the 8th floor. He had been roaming the halls for hours analyzing every decision to see how he could’ve fixed this. This wasn’t his fault, he did everything he could to stop it. Over and over and over he told himself. It was the truth but it didn’t make him feel better.

[22 Years] Before The Fall

[Her earliest memory]

She is awoken by voices somewhere else in Her house. Her bright pink room had a dull glow as the moon shined through Her window. She snuck out of Her bed trying to identify the sounds.

She walked toward the basement hoping to get a peak at her mom’s friends & their late night parties. A dark blue light shone under the door as She got closer. As Her ear pressed against the door, the quiet speaking had become an unintelligible chant. Unable to make out the sounds, She put Her cheek against the floor to try and see under the door.

WOOSH.

The door flew open and She looked up at Her towering mother, a stern look garnished on her face. Something was off. She had a long black robe on and seemed to be wearing stones around her neck. As she looked past Her mom and into the room other women in matching garb were crowded around a candlelit table.

Her mother grabbed Her hand and led Her into the room.

The Fall

Lucid dreaming had become second nature for T. To end busy nights he would envision a small oasis tucked into the side of a mountain, where he would relax on the lake and recap his day. The mountain sounds reverberated at a perfect frequency as T allowed his mind to drift.

He felt his foot hit a snag as he swam along the lake. Before he could react he is sucked under the surface struggling to breathe. He knew he was dreaming but he couldn’t wake up. The water filled his lungs as he heard his mother’s voice singing his favorite song. The song began to fade as the ceiling came into his vision. He flung himself off the bed spitting up a gallon of water in the process.

Ping. Ping.

T noticed the notifications filling up on his phone. It’s Her sister & she’s hysteric…She was found drowned clutching a picture of T.

Chapter 9

It played back like snippets in his head. Their greatest adventures all bundled together for his viewing pleasure. Museum trips, wine tastings, board games & monopoly  arguments, sex in the VR Room, closing down the bar, racing down the speedway, chefing each other’s favorite meals…all soon to be distant memories.

He looked down onto the city but it wasn’t quite Nu Siobuya. It was like a dream city, the details obscured by shadows, the buildings an impression of themselves. He watched as he floated through the window and down toward the street. The cars passed him by streaking with glowing lights, violet & beautiful. T is entranced as he moves his hands through the light before noticing a girl moving swiftly through traffic. He dodges the incoming lights to give chase as she nimbly sways in between the cars.

He watched as his chase proved pointless and she got further and further away. A harsh reality began to set in as he awoke on the bed of the penthouse.

There was something to be said about the silence in the room.

[315 Days] Before The Fall

T had no idea She would be into riding the bikes before She suggested it for date night. He closely followed behind Her as they climbed the back stairs toward the roof. The wind was perfect for flying as they came to the top of The 11 LIT3S Hotel. The view from the hotel stopped them in their tracks as they scanned Nu Siobuya’s skyline.

“I haven’t been on one of these since I was back home. My parents had a ton.”

“A ton? Sheesh. Okay Princess.” He teased.

“Shut Up!” She demanded with a laugh.

“You ready?” He questioned as She got on the back and wrapped Her arms tightly around his waist. They jetted off toward the harbor leaving the rooftop in the distance. T maneuvered seamlessly through the skies careful not to disturb his precious cargo. He would carefully sneak a look over his shoulder to see Her mesmerized as they soared over the city. They came up onto the harbor just as a massive cargo ship was docking.

“Can we get closer?” She whispered in his ear.

T immediately dipped down toward the ship providing Her first thrill of the trip.

“STOP!” She yelled as he nosedived toward the water, he pulled up just as the tip broke the surface and watched as waves of water split on their sides as they cruised along the hull of the cargo ship. Nu Siobuya’s harbor had some of the most sophisticated shipping centers in the world but few people got to experience the port like this.

Clearly over their wild water adventure, T returned to the air speeding up just enough each time She went to yell at him.

[237 Days] Before The Fall

“Would you rather be able to play every instrument perfectly or speak every language fluently?” She asked as T came back into the room.

“Every instrument, easy.”

She chuckled. “Language is the right answer.”

“There’s no right answer.” He responded, offended.

“Here there was. Language is universal you could communicate with every other human ever.”

“I don’t want to argue this one. Different question?”

“It’s not an argument…you ask me one.”

He paused before he thought of one “Would you rathe be super successful in your career & lose it all or live a regular life with no major trauma?”

“No trauma?”

“Nope, kids healthy, mortgage paid, happy marriage, 1.5 vacations a year, no issues. Regular and safe.”

“1.5?” She questioned.

“An average.”

Her face lit up, She seemed even more sure this had a correct answer. “Super successful. I’m a supernova, burn bright die young. Everything falls eventually. It would get boring never worrying about the fall. Why would you want to stop that?”

A slight chuckle from T.

“What’s so funny?”

“You’ll say I’m just trying to be “fake deep” again but I’ve been trying to answer that for a while now.”

“What, be successful or have boring life?”

“No, what stops things from falling?”

Vol. 2: TBA 2022

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