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Ruki silently watched as the raindrops fell like feathers onto his bedroom window. His gleaming eye noticed a particular one, on the left side. It was traveling down the glass much slower than the others. Like a snail caught in a race with rabbits. He smiled, gently, because for some reason, it reminded him of the importance of taking it slow. This world was always so rushed-- morning coffee before work, trying to catch the shinkasen before it sped off. Did anyone ever stop and think for a second? Feel for a second? See for a second? Smell, hear? This rain held so much beauty. Even just the gentle sound of it echoed through his ears, and it felt like a mother's loving embrace. He wondered if he was the only one taking the time to really appreciate its value. He liked how the combination of the moonlight and rain created a beautiful, blue-hued droplet pattern on his skin.

Life was beautiful, it truly was. However, something deep inside of Ruki refused to stop lingering. Swirling in his heart like a never-ending hurricane; slithering like a snake that bared its fangs. Loneliness.

Why did it feel like he was the only one of his age who hadn't found his soulmate yet? Even the raindrops had each other. Even the moon was accompanied by bright, shining stars. Ruki did have a few friends, which he was thankful for. Their warm laughter and smiles could make the frigid emotional pain in his heart temporarily melt away. But he also still lacked…the identical twin of his favourite hoodie. An incredibly soft, cotton striped purple hoodie that was supposedly given to both him and his soulmate at birth. Whoever that may be. It is the only two hoodies of its kind, for they had been both stitched with a unique symbol on the front. It looked like a white equilateral triangle with a white rose on it. White rose petals surrounded this symmetrical triangle. Everyone was given some kind of unique item like this at birth, which only their designated soulmate also owned. It could be a hat, a bracelet, or even a stuffed animal. Anything, really.

Ruki’s now saddened gaze trailed down to the drawer in which the striped hoodie resided. He sighed. Hopeless-- he felt like the beautiful world was now against him. He reached up and closed the blinds of his window, feeling somewhat betrayed now. Curse, his tendency to think much too deeply about things like this! He was having a good time mindfully watching the rain, and then his brain just had to wander off into the darkness like a confused hooligan. Even though nobody has ever dove that deep before, Ruki’s mind always said, 'I want to dive to the very bottom of the marianas trench!' Perhaps it was possible, with the amount of horrible thinking he always did when he was alone. The only means of escaping his now depressed state was to sleep. Feeling utterly exhausted now, Ruki’s head hit his pillow, and he slowly but surely fell into a light slumber.



Ruki bolted awake to what sounded like something violently crashing onto the floor. His heart raced; he placed his hand on his chest to try to calm it down. He was unsuccessful. Adrenaline did not cease to rush through his body when he scarily realized that there was nobody here but himself. He had no pets, his roommate had left months ago, he was the only one who lived in this small house. Fuck! Then what made that sound? A ghost? No, Ruki didn't believe in ghosts. Damnit!

Should he check? No, no. No. Maybe he was just hearing things. He should just go back to sleep and pretend nothing happened. Yup. This was all just a misunderstanding, right? Right! Totally right! Yup. Time to go back to sleep and-

Ruki heard it. Something gently humming an unrecognizable tune. Something unmistakably human. And it was becoming louder and louder, coming closer and closer to him. He put his hand over his mouth to muffle his quickening breath, unable to move, frozen in place like a block of ice. Impending doom felt so heavy in the air, it could crush him. This must be the end.


The turning of his bedroom door's handle, and the creaking of his door hinges assaulted Ruki’s ears. It was absolutely dark, you couldn't see a single thing. Ruki did his best to stay as silent as possible. Calm down, pretend to cease existing. As quiet as a-

"You really think I can't hear you breathe?"


Before his mind could process anything, something struck him in the back of his head. Immense pain was briefly felt, before everything suddenly went blank.



The next morning, Ruki groaned awake to not only incredible pain in the back of his head, but also to a much emptier home. Whoever was here last night, they stole a bunch of his stuff. It absolutely broke his heart. All of his precious jewellery, the coins he spent his entire life collecting, various gifts from friends and family. It was as if this robber knew exactly what he held most dearly to his heart. Everything he cherished was gone. Not only that, but Ruki also found out that the loud crashing sound was a result of one of his picture frames shattering. It was a frame given to him by his older brother for one of his birthdays. In the picture was the both of them as kids, laughing in a ramen shop. His brother had made a mustache with one of his ramen noodles, and they both couldn't stop laughing about such a silly thing. Their mother thought it was the best time to take a photo-- when they were in such a happy, silly state. His beloved sibling was gone, now. Taken away by the very unexpected, horrible explosion of his appendix. This frame was as irreplaceable as a golden apple.


Absolutely nothing could compare to the emotional pain Ruki was feeling right now. Not even the loneliness could surpass this. After inspecting all of the damage done from the robbery, Ruki sank down to his knees, and cried. He cried until he could barely breathe. Cried until his eyes hurt. Cried until he was completely exhausted. How could he ever think for a second that the world had beauty to it? Humans were so disgusting. Any beauty that this planet had was taken away the moment that humans had stepped foot on it. Whoever this robber was, he wished that karma would fucking murder him. The blade of karma was an incredibly sharp one, Ruki hoped. Goddamnit, and even if Ruki tried to do something himself, such as calling the cops, he didn't know what this robber even looked like. He didn't know anything about them at all.

Fuck all. Fuck everything. Right now, everything in his body and mind hurt like a bitch. This place really was against him.



After hours of doing nothing but sluggishly mope around his home, Ruki heard his phone ping. Good, at least he still had a cell phone…

It took him a lot of strength and will to get up and take his phone off of the dining table. It was as if his lingering emotions had reduced his body to becoming a ragdoll. But eventually, he got to his phone, and unlocked the screen to see a new Facebook message.


AO-that-hurts ( > o <) : Hey, man! What's up? :)


Some part of Ruki couldn't help but smile, as he was immediately reminded of the sheer amount of love he had towards his best friend of over five years, Aoi.


ROOK-at-me ( O w o) : Oh god, you messaged me at the right time. I'm such a fucking mess right now...


AO-that-hurts ( > o <) : What?! What happened?? Hold on, let me call you.


Before he could even finish reading Aoi’s last message, Ruki’s phone started to ring. He swiped the screen as soon as he saw that it was Aoi. His heart immediately felt warm, because god damn, he loved that man.

He effortlessly spilled everything to Aoi, venting and ranting like a child with a bad temper. He told him all the details of the robbery, from the crashing sound, to the male voice, to himself blacking out. Told him everything that was stolen from him, and how his most cherished frame broke.

“Jesus, that’s awful, Ruki! It’s as if the world decided to just kick your ass to Hell! For no good reason!”

“It really is. I don’t know what I can do about it. And on top of that robbery shit, I still haven’t found my soulmate. It’s a fucking purple hoodie, for crying out loud! Everything sucks, and I feel like such a damn loser!”

“Ah, don’t you worry about that part! I’m sure you’ll find them soon, Ruki! And even though your stuff was stolen, at least you’ve still got your friends, hm? You know I’ll always be there for you, bro.”

Hmph. Easy for him to say. He had a wife, and she happened to be his designated soulmate. Not being jealous of Aoi was not the easiest task. It felt like Ruki was always the last one to finish in a big marathon. But Aoi was right. Stuff was stuff, but friends were completely priceless, and he felt lucky to have any at all.

There was a bit of silence on the line. Ruki bit his lip nervously, wondering if he may have said too much during his vent. But his nerves were soon eased when he realized that Aoi had just been thinking.

“You know what? I think I know exactly what could cheer you up.”

Ruki felt the life slowly come back to his body. “What is it?”

“A friend of my friend is hosting a party at their place tomorrow night. I was planning on going. Why don’t you join me? Lots of alcohol, and probably some pot, too. It’ll be just like our younger days! Don’t you just miss those?”

Ruki paused. He rubbed the back of his neck, suddenly feeling a bit anxious.

“I’m not sure, Aoi. I haven’t been to one of those in a long time…”

Ruki heard laughter on the other side of the phone’s speaker.

“Oh, hell no! You can’t tell me that the diva Ruki is feeling insecure! Bro, you’re such a legend at parties! They didn’t call you diva for no reason.”

Although Ruki didn’t want to admit it right now, it was kind of true. He had some pretty sweet dance moves, and he always used to walk around like he owned the place. Nobody could talk down to him; he simply wouldn’t have it. Plus, he always dressed in such sparkly, glittery, extravagant outfits. Honestly, whatever happened to him over the years? He felt like he’d become such a damn loser. Was he as boring as watching paint dry now? Did he still have this diva side somewhere inside his soul?

Only one way to find out. Go to this damn party. And actually, if he was being totally honest with himself, he really needed this. To let loose again and have fun, especially after such a rough time. Aoi seemed to know him better than himself.

“Alright, I’ll go. But don’t get too drunk, okay? Drunk Aoi is not an Aoi anyone likes to see.”

“Hahah, you know I can’t promise you anything like that, Ruki!”

"Bye, bitch"

"Bye-bye, bitchier bitch. Love ya!"

With that, the call ended. And Ruki collapsed onto his comfortable couch. It was so soft, he just sunk into it, almost like a foam mattress bed. He’d allow himself to be lazy like this. Especially when he was so damn exhausted. Hopefully he’d have enough energy to go into party mode tomorrow. He was kind of looking forward to reliving the old days. Goddamn, now he sounded old. Really, he was in his late twenties, nearing very close to his thirties...not that old...right?




Loud EDM music boomed throughout the large home. It almost made the bones in one's body vibrate, like some sort of chorded instrument. Crowds of people littered the entire area, and not one of them appeared to be sober. Some were moving their bodies to the music’s rhythms, looking either majorly sexy or completely idiotic. Others were scattered about the place, simply chatting with drinks in their hands. There were even some people on the couches, looking incredibly passed out from what Ruki could only guess was a heavy indica strain of marijuana. Oh, and it sure as hell smelled like pot in here, too. It was a nostalgic smell that Ruki’s nostrils never did welcome nor appreciate very much.


At least Ruki looked hot. He looked so spicy, nobody would dare try to get a taste him, no matter how badly they wanted him. Earlier, he had dug up one of his old outfits, and decided to wear it for the occasion. A low-cut black top, decorated with a sparkly red jacket. Tight red pants that made his ass look so damn good. Red painted lips that could sin worse than the devil. He felt like a younger version of himself, and to be honest, he couldn't be happier about that. He hadn't felt this much like himself in forever, it seemed. And for once, anxiety wasn't mercilessly murdering him in cold blood.


Pushing through the large crowd of people, Ruki looked for his best friend, Aoi. It didn't take too long to spot the tall man. Currently, he was talking to another man with blonde, spiky hair in the kitchen. He was also nursing a glass of what looked like a sangria. His hair was slicker than ever, and his dark eyes stood out like polished diamonds, thanks to thick eyeliner. If it weren't for the soulmate ring on his finger, Ruki was sure that Aoi would have been snatched up by a random single girl already.


As Ruki approached the two men, Aoi locked eyes with him, and immediately smiled from ear to ear.

"Hey! Ruki!" he waved.

The blonde stranger's eyes scanned him over as Ruki finally joined the small group, yet his expression remained weirdly neutral..

"Reita, this is my best friend, Ruki. Ruki, this is Reita. He's the friend of a friend who hosted this sweet party!"

"Fuck you, my party isn't sweet. It's filthy. Just the way I fucking like it!" Reita butted in, smirking smugly like he owned the place. Oh, wait. He did.

The blonde looked at Ruki with almost piercing, narrow eyes, "I'd say nice to meet you, but I'm not some fancy, uptight cunt. I hope you aren't, either." He held up his Margarita glass, winking and smirking, "Cheers, short one!"

Boy, Ruki didn't like this guy already. Though he had an undoubtedly handsome face, he also seemed like such a narcissistic dick. The worst of all the trash in the bin.

“Oh, yeah! Look at the rack on that one! I’d hit that!” Reita randomly exclaimed with the most irritating voice, as his attention turned to a girl passing by. This only further broke Ruki’s fragile demeanor.

And Ruki didn’t like trash. No, hell no. In fact, he couldn’t deal with it at all. It made his blood boil. This man and his ugly vibes made his blood boil . A fire so scorching hot, that it changed from orange to blue almost instantly!

Diva mode: On.

Ruki smacked Reita’s shoulder, “Listen up, you dumb shit!”

Reita’s smile from the earlier ‘hot chick’ very quickly faded as he turned his attention towards an angry, small Ruki.

“I’ve only been talking to you for a mere five seconds, and you’re already melting my brain cells! And what are you even wearing?” Ruki scanned Reita’s outfit, which was nothing but a muscle tank with some low sweatpants. It made Ruki scoff as he couldn’t help but say, “You look like some fuckboy trash who thinks they’re cool as shit, but really, they don’t even know how to write their own name! And who lives in a pigsty of a room, wallowing in their own damn shallow self-pity because they don’t even know how to live sober anymore!” After his rage, Ruki flipped his hair, put his hands on his hips, and stormed away as fast as ever. Leaving Reita completely agape. Because nobody had ever even dared talk to him that way before. Ever. This guy was something special. He could only silently chuckle, as he watched the diva sway his hips in his walk away from him.

Aoi had to hold back laughter. After having taken another sip of his drink, it was best not to spit it all out like a fool. “I knew he still had it in him!” He then gleefully exclaimed, like a proud parent.


Ruki surprised himself. Maybe it was the sparkly clothes, maybe he still needed to vent out his emotions from yesterday, or maybe it was simply the supreme idiocy that some people seemed to hold. Bu t my god , did he ever slay that dumbass. And it felt so, damn good. He was still clenching his fists, though-- his nails were digging into his skin. He better cool down somewhere alone before he punted some poor, unsuspecting younger kid.

Alas, he did find a bedroom upstairs. Two people were making out in there, but not for long.

“Get out, and go fuck somewhere else!”

Although he really hadn’t said much at all, Ruki must have been just oozing menacing vibes. The moment he opened his mouth, the two lovers were running right out of the room, leaving it vacant.


Perfect. He shut the door behind him, sat on the bed, and took a few deep breaths. This party was a drag. Granted, it probably wasn’t, but Ruki’s head was obviously somewhere else. He just couldn’t seem to enjoy himself. Too many things were bugging him. The theft, the loneliness, and that Reita guy who just rubbed him the wrong way. Such a man shouldn’t be worth his time at all. But for some reason, he couldn’t stop thinking about him. That irritating voice, those irritating clothes, the egotistic energy that was bigger than the Sun itself.

Ruki looked around the area. Was this the guy’s bedroom? Sure could be. There was a poster of some half-naked anime chick, a huge bass guitar, and…

Oh, hell no!

Was that...

Ruki’s coin collection on top of the drawer?

And Ruki’s vase on that corner table?? And Ruki’s gold jewelry hanging on the wall??? And Ruki’s favourite beanie, and Ruki’s vinyl records, and Ruki’s favourite surreal painting????


No fucking way. This Reita guy had to be the robber who broke into his damn house last night! He had to explore some more, see what else he might of stolen…

Ruki couldn’t help but look in the man’s closet. Only to find the most shocking thing of all.




striped ...


With the same exact, white rose triangle pattern stitched onto the front. An entirely identical twin to his own soulmate hoodie.


A heavy feeling settled in Ruki’s stomach, making him feel like he was about to vomit. He was shaking a little, struggling to keep his breathing regular. He felt a bit disoriented and dizzy, despite not having drank at all. His mouth and eye twitched, and he let out a quick bark of laughter.


This asshole Reita guy was not only his thief, but also his...soulmate. He couldn’t believe it. No, he wouldn’t believe it! There was no way this could be-- not right now-- not ever!


At that moment, the world seemed like a much darker place. Everything started going black and fuzzy, like pixels dying on a screen. It didn't take very long before Ruki fainted, collapsing onto the carpeted flooring.