This story is dedicated to the millions of people, past and present, broken by the madnesses of their societies then blamed for their own suffering – especially to those who did not make it.
A short story by Ai Chaobang, 13th September 2015
They never listen. They never listen.
Happiness is a choice! I choose to be HAPPY!
...all in your head, you just need to sort yourself out...get over it...move on...
Life's unfair. Shit happens. No-one cares.
...making it far bigger than anyone wants it to be....
Happy happy happy...happy happy happy....
...you get hurt if you let yourself get hurt...
Oh, will you just LISTEN!
Like most people, Kenichi had heard of the organisation known as The Problems. From time to time he came across the rumours of their savage attacks on people, perhaps referred to by a colleague, hesitantly of course, or hidden in the depths of the morning newspapers.
But that was as far as his knowledge went. After all, The Problems only made trouble for those who went looking for it, so people said, and trouble was something Kenichi did his best to avoid. His was a stable life: a secure job, a sound mind, steady friends, and certainly no enemies. He was the sort who watered his pot plants before leaving for work each morning, gave up his seat on the train to those in need, and never ignored messages no matter how busy he might be. What could dubious types like The Problems ever want with him?
But the moment he stepped out of the station that morning, there they were, materialising from the commuters and fellow citizenry, and in an instant Kenichi was surrounded. In the blur of beating and thrashing that followed, he glimpsed the faces of some of the network's most notorious members. Of course though they all went by codenames – Injustice, or Heartbreak, or Prejudice, or Cuts, or Corruption – their true identities were a mystery, and for all he knew they could have been anyone.
In moments they had forced him to the ground, whereupon one of them – which one is not recorded – drew a horrific blade, long and sharp like a massive needle, and plunged it through Kenichi's heart with such force that it burst out through his back. With professional efficiency the assailant thrust the blade back and forth some six or seven times, then shook it and sliced it around before finally yanking it free, at which point The Problems dispersed into the crowds, leaving Kenichi, his blood erupting two ways, to collapse to the pavement with a disagreeable thud.
Dazed and in quite extraordinary pain, Kenichi struggled for his life. “Help!” he just about succeeded in crying out, though the dozens around him continued on their way, only a handful pausing to spare him an irritated glare. A few stopped and watched him with concern, though could not arrive at any straightforward answer to the question of whether they should do anything. “Help!” Kenichi gurgled again, blood now welling in his throat.
But then – thank goodness! – who should emerge from the bicycle stands at that very moment if not a certain Mr. Goodfriend?
Now this Mr. Goodfriend had been a steady acquaintance of Kenichi's for several years, and while they were not close in any intimate sense, Kenichi knew him as a reliable and fair-minded individual and always felt heartened by his presence. Kenichi's panic settled somewhat as he heard this fellow called out: “Kenichi? Is that you? What on earth has happened to you?”
“Out of – nowhere...” Kenichi choked between splutters of blood, as Mr. Goodfriend rushed up to aid him, placed an arm round his shoulders and helped raise him into a more stable position. “They just – why – I don't...”
“Shh, it's okay,” Mr. Goodfriend reassured him. “Keep still, and let me have a look at that.” And he brought out a pack of tissues from his briefcase, and handed one to Kenichi while unfolding another for himself. Together they padded at the cataracts of blood from his chest, though they continued to flow as though bursting from broken dams.
“Ah, I see,” said Mr. Goodfriend momentarily. “The Problems, yes? My gosh, that must hurt. But don't worry, Kenichi. It's going to all be okay.”
But as Kenichi looked from his own hands, now soaked with blood, to the mangled bits of his heart on the pavement, he could not shake the impression that it was not in fact going to all be okay.
“Please,” he implored Mr. Goodfriend. “Please...ambulance...police...”
“Calm down, calm down,” Mr. Goodfriend spoke softly. “You will be alright. I'm sure of it.” And in an understanding tone, he began to explain: “Now you may not know this, Kenichi, but I have been in exactly this situation before. It really hurts, am I right? It really, really hurts. But you know, after I went through a lot of experiences like this, I learned a very important lesson.”
He waited till Kenichi's eyes met his, then muttered into his ear, as though imparting unto him the greatest secret of the universe. “In the end, Kenichi, it's not The Problems that matter. What matters is how you respond to them.”
Kenichi's pain was unbearable now; he was sure he could not have heard Mr. Goodfriend correctly. “Help...call – help...please...”
“Now, if you choose to only think about the pain,” Mr. Goodfriend elaborated, with a grip of solidarity on Kenichi's arm, “then all you will feel is the pain, and it will never get better. So, why not think about all the things you have to be grateful for instead? For instance,” and he raised his fingers and counted off them slowly, one by one. “You are a talented and healthy individual. You have family, colleagues, and friends like myself who care about you very much. You live in a free, developed and democratic country. You can afford your dinner tonight. Your house has not been bombed. And so on. There, you see? It's not so bad after all, is it?”
Now Kenichi was well aware that his life thus far had been by no means deplorable, apart from the matter of having just been brutally impaled of course. And yet, as he lay there with his guts spilling out onto the pavement, he had trouble figuring out how this line of thinking was supposed to be helpful right now. Had Mr. Goodfriend perhaps not quite grasped the nature of his predicament?
A spike of pain ripped through that part of Kenichi's heart still recognisable as one, and he screamed and writhed, showering blood everywhere. The passing pedestrians sped up their pace, and an attendant at the nearby station glanced over his shoulder and glowered.
“Help,” he pleaded with Mr. Goodfriend with renewed anxiety. “Can't make it...it hurts, ahh it hurts...”
“Shh...come on,” said Mr. Goodfriend, with just a hint of impatience creeping into his voice. “The Problems do this to everyone, you know? We all deal with them at some point. And in a way you're lucky, I've seen people suffer far worse than this on their account. But everybody manages. It's like they all come to realise: you just have to think positively, accept what happens in life, and carry on. That's what makes the difference, Kenichi. It's all about the way you think.”
With a sympathetic smile, he patted down the dangling bits of flesh around the edge of the rip in Kenichi's chest. “Come on, you are such an intelligent fellow. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right? If you learn from this, then the next time you meet The Problems you will not get nearly so hurt by them. All you have to do is recognise you can change!”
Kenichi wailed as another torrent of pain tore through every muscle and sinew. He plunged his hand in to stifle its source, and finding it in his grasp, drew it out to find it was one of his ribs, which had been sawn loose by that blade and whose snap accounted for his latest pain spike.
“Try it,” Mr. Goodfriend urged, struggling now to maintain his smile. “Come on, just try. Or, how about doing something you enjoy?” He used a tissue to pick up some shapeless mass from the pool of blood, and judging it to be part of Kenichi's aorta, jiggled it back through the wound into roughly the right position. “For example, did you listen to some music you like? Or think about something you enjoy? Or how about coming out to drink with us tonight? Or – here, I know! Why don't you read some of these?” He dug around in his briefcase, extracting a few texts whose covers bore pictures of meditating Buddhas, or of incredibly happy-looking people with beaches or sunsets in the background. They all had titles like Don't Change the World, Change Yourself; or Suffering Is Bad For You You Know; or Ten Ways Successful People are More Successful than Unsuccessful People. “Back when I was thinking like you are now, these really helped me out,” said Mr. Goodfriend.
But Kenichi was understanding nothing, and this only strengthened the grip of panic upon him. Still, out of a real appreciation for Mr. Goodfriend's great efforts to help him, Kenichi strove, as he suggested, to think of something else. What did he like, or find interesting? Something positive, anything positive – small puppies, potted cacti, ancient castles, folk music – and then a further wave of torment crashed through his body, whereupon he roared and slumped contorted onto the pavement.
Mr. Goodfriend rolled his eyes up. “I can't believe this. Oh, come on, Kenichi! Why are you letting it hurt you like this? You're not even trying, are you?”
Kenichi struggled to rise again, and reached out to grasp Mr. Goodfriend's arm for support – only to find it drawn away from him now, and its owner casting him a face full of hurt.
“If you just listen to me, and just make the effort, it will all be okay!” Mr Goodfriend insisted. “Don't you understand? It's all in your head! I'm trying so hard to help you but you're not listening!”
“But...” Kenichi stuttered – and then all of a sudden Mr. Goodfriend was right there in his face, eyes deranged with wounded rage.
“I have given you all the advice I can, but you won't listen! I'm experienced, for goodness's sake, just listen! Why are you bothering me with your problems if you won't listen? You're just not trying!”
“No! Stop talking! There, you see? You just don't listen! You keep interrupting and instantly reject everything I say! Don't you understand how hurtful this is to me? To everyone who cares about you? Are you making us feel like this on purpose? For goodness's sake Kenichi, it's only The Problems! They're gone now, aren't they? Stop being so melodramatic!”
Kenichi raised his arm to ward him off, but then he shrieked as Mr. Goodfriend pulled out a dagger and slashed it aside, and the next thing he knew Mr. Goodfriend was howling like a maniac and thrusting that knife in him, each stab ripping additional chunks from what was left of his chest.
“Aahh, why don't you listen? I don't have to be here, I've got my own problems, I'm really busy, but I'm doing this all for you out of the kindness of my heart, so the least you can do is listen! But you're not listening! You're just not listening!” So he wailed as he filleted his grievances into Kenichi's hide, and as the latter was immobilized with anguish, all he could do was lie there and take it. “I'm trying to help you, can't you see? I – am – trying – to – help – you! But you don't listen, you can change but you don't want to and you don't listen – emotional blackmail, that's this it is! How can you treat me so horribly when I'm trying so hard to help you? You're not listening! You're not listening! Just stop it, just stop it and listen!”
And then, eventually, Mr. Goodfriend relented, and he stood up, seething all over, his face red and wet with tears and exasperation. He put away his dagger; and then the books; and then the tissues; and then brushed off his jacket, making a cursory attempt to wring Kenichi's blood from his shirt, though of course it would not come out so easily. At last, he turned away, preparing to leave, and pierced Kenichi with a final wounded glare.
“Fine then. If you want to stay miserable then do it. Do whatever you want. You think your suffering is bad, try going to a developing country. Then you'll learn.” And he trod away, shaking his head in disgust, while lamenting: “They never listen. They never listen.”
An hour after the assault Kenichi still lay there, clinging to the edge of his life. Why he had not died yet he did not know, and was in too much pain to think about it. Of course he was not aware that The Problems had been specially trained to cut around the heart in exactly the way that would cause the most pain while delaying death the longest.
That was why he was still sufficiently conscious to hear a moan of joy in the distance: “Oh, ohh, that makes me so happy!”
The voice belonged to one Ms. Happycastle, whom Kenichi knew by sight – or more accurately by sound, since you always heard her laughs or cries of glee before you saw her. Everyone liked Ms. Happycastle. She went around in a state of perpetual euphoria, more bouncing than walking, more singing than talking. She laughed hysterically at almost everything she saw, heard or thought, and when not laughing, wore a grin half the size of her face.
Over the hill she came dancing, and every time she spotted someone she knew she squealed with delight and greeted them: “Hello! Seeing you makes me so happy! Oh, I'm so happy today!” And even at strangers, or for no reason at all, she would build then let loose outbursts of nigh-orgasmic intensity: “Ahh, the world is so wonderful!” or “Oh, being alive makes me so, so happy!”
It was only a matter of time before she spotted Kenichi splayed out on the kerb, beached in a lake of his own blood. Not appearing to deem this detail significant, she pranced across to him and drew up right in front of his face. “Are you happy?” she probed with wide, searching eyes. “Are you happy? Are you happy? Oh, I'm sooooooooo happy!”
Kenichi winced, and tried to shift his weight, but the slightest twitch caused everything to erupt in agony. A jet of blood squirted from his chest, narrowly missing the incarnation of intoxicated bliss that was Ms. Happycastle, but nonetheless alerting her to the fact that Kenichi was not entirely what you might call happy.
Instantly Ms. Happycastle's grin transformed into a disapproving pout. “Hey,” she interrogated him. “Why are you being so negative?”
Kenichi did his best to point to the cavity The Problems had carved in his chest, as well as the newer blood fountains so considerately installed by Mr. Goodfriend. But no sooner had he raised his trembling arm than Ms. Happycastle clamped her eyes shut, swung her head from side to side, and smiled a dreamy smile.
“No, it's choice,” she told him. “You're choosing it. It's always choice.” And for reasons known only to her, she let a squeal build up inside her then discharged it a cry of exhilaration for everyone to hear: “I choose to be happy!”
Desperate now, Kenichi spat out what blood he could, gasped for breath, and stammered: “Help...please...hurts, hurts so much...”
“Why, then, don't get hurt!” Ms. Happycastle answered, as though it was so obvious it needed no explaining. “If you choose to get hurt, of course you get hurt! Clearly you've been choosing for your whole life to lie there bleeding and miserable and unsatisfied, that's why you're in this state now. If you just keep dying like that you're not going to get better, you know?”
Now it so happened that Ms. Happycastle was carrying a magical bandage with a smiley face on it, which if applied could have eased the pain somewhat and stopped the blood flowing from Kenichi's wounds, thus beginning the healing process. Kenichi could see the corner of it sticking out of her pocket. “Please...” he implored her, barely able to gesture at it with a shaking hand. “Please...”
But Ms. Happycastle showed no interest in remembering it was there, let alone sharing. Instead, she glared at him as though at a big mean raincloud which had come indoors and burst in the middle of an amazing party, ruining it for everyone. In that manner she judged:
“You're so negative. There is nothing wrong in your life, but you choose to be like this. Everyone else chooses to be happy, even in developing countries, where so much worse than this happens, so why can't you? Don't you care about the inconvenience you're causing for all these hard-working people who all have real problems, and who are going to be late to work because they have to walk around this mess you are making? The are going to feel so upset now because you made them see you. You're so selfish, you only care about yourself; look at you, everything is you, you, you. Such a narcissist. You're lucky I'm such a caring person, otherwise I would shun you.”
And with those words, Ms. Happycastle swung her back to Kenichi and skipped on up the road. Kenichi gurgled out a wail – it was all he could manage now – but in just two steps Ms. Happycastle had forgotten all about him, and as she danced into the distance she began to tremble with excitement, then broke into a run, threw out her arms, and vaulted into the air to release it in a cry of exultation: “Oh, I'm so, so HAPPY!”
More hours passed, and Kenichi's world grew dark. He could scarcely take in the masses of people around him continuing on their way, let alone the small clutch of anxious onlookers now gathering across the road. All he knew now was pain, his only desire to be freed of it quickly.
Trapped in this final thread of thought, he became aware of an unfamiliar figure standing over him with a frown of stern reproach. Relief shot like a bolt through his broken body – had he crossed from the world at last?
Alas, this figure was not an emissary from the realms of death, but an individual by the name of Sir Maturity.
Now this Sir Maturity happened to be a citizen of high esteem, reputed for having an irrefutable answer to any question asked of him. Kenichi was sure he had never met him before, but even so, he now found Sir Maturity weighing him with the gaze of one certain he knew everything there was to know about Kenichi, his life, and the world in which he lived.
“Hmph,” Sir Maturity determined. “Another one who doesn't get it. Now tell me, why should any of these people care about your problems?”
Kenichi's instinct – what was left of it – sought to protest, but by now the last of his strength was leaving him, and he could produce no more than a feeble wheeze.
“No, clearly you do not understand. Let me explain it to you.”
Sir Maturity's tone was authoritative and severe, with a hint of feigned anger for effect, and so he cleared his throat, released an irritable sigh at all the naivety in the world, and prepared to impress on Kenichi how reality worked – because of course only he, Sir Maturity, had the experience to know it.
“What you need to accept is a very simple fact of life, which is as follows,” he opened. “Life is unfair.”
Kenichi was in no condition to respond, but Sir Maturity pretended to lose his temper all the same. After all, the louder and more aggressively he said it, the more right it became. Everyone knew that.
“It just is! Shit happens, all the time, and for no reason! That's life, it's just like that, and it's pointless to complain about it because nobody cares about your shit when you're an adult. For example...”
He paused and looked around, as for some evidence to demonstrate. But finding nothing – who needs evidence, anyway? – he went on: “Now tell me, have you seen what happens when one dog meets another in the street?”
Now it so happened that a little earlier, someone had gone by with a rather impressive Labrador. The dog's nose had made her well aware of Kenichi's distress, and she had strained at her leash to come and investigate him, until a pair of pugs approaching from the other direction came to her notice. All the creatures involved – except Kenichi of course – had then become very excited, and the dogs' inevitable encounter had involved a great deal of mutually pleasurable sniffing, barking and climbing. Alas, Kenichi had not borne witness to this, all his attention having been on holding his lungs in at the time, so he was on no position to draw on it for his engaging debate with Sir Maturity.
“Oh, I think you have seen it,” said Sir Maturity, “but I know you'll deny it, so let me show you what happens.” And he brought out a joint of chicken and chewed off a ferocious chunk, by way of illustration.
“One dog rips the other's head off and eats it,” he instructed Kenichi with his mouth full. “Yep – every time. That's a fact. And you can't blame other people for that, because it's called nature. It's like that everywhere, and if you don't like it you should go and take a look at developing countries because life still resembles the jungle there: people taking from each other, killing each other and eating each other without a second thought. What you don't realise is that you have the privilege of living in an advanced country like this, where everyone gets given an easy ride. Yep, nobody who lives here has any excuse to be even slightly unsatisfied.”
Sir Maturity tapped on Kenichi's head with the chicken bone to make sure he was still listening. He was coming to the most important part, and would not want Kenichi to miss it. Sir Maturity did not enjoy having to waste his time explaining what should have been obvious to everyone, especially if they got it into their heads that any of this was up for debate.
“So because that's life,” he concluded, “it's your responsibility to deal with it. So what, The Problems stuck a sword in you and ripped you up? Tough. Life's unfair. Shit happens. Nobody's interested. And why should they be? Get used to it, and don't complain about it: you can't change it, and if you decide to be sensitive like this then that will only cause more trouble for everyone. Well come on then, get over it! Move on!”
Sir Maturity shut his eyes for a moment, just to savour the satisfaction of so perfectly understanding the universe. Then he crossed his arms and waited for Kenichi to agree. But after several seconds, the only sound that came off the latter was the drip, drip, drip of his blood into the drain.
Sir Maturity growled, face puffing up with indignation. “Look at you, making a big deal about every little thing and doing whatever you want with no consequences!” he railed. “Yes, that must be why you are in this situation: you were spoilt as a child and never taught consequences. Why, when I was your age,” he ranted on, not noticing that Kenichi was in fact two years older than him, “if I behaved like you I could expect my parents to lock me in my bedroom then set it on fire, and teachers were still allowed to discipline you by shooting you with rocket launchers. I grew up with all that and I turned out alright. But idealists like you made such a fuss that now adults cannot even say the word “no” to their children without getting thrown in prison. If only you'd been given the stick, you wouldn't be here spilling your guts over nothing like a spoilt five-year-old.”
Unfortunately Kenichi lost the chance to hear this infallible analysis of his problems through to the end, on account of the rude interruption of an emergency siren; it seemed some of those onlookers had finally thought to call for help. But no sooner had the ambulance drawn up and its crews leapt from their seats than Sir Maturity decided: “No, you need to learn,” and he spun around and stood in their path, arms raised to block them.
“Stop!” he instructed, and the paramedics did indeed stop, because Sir Maturity was a rather large and imposing fellow, and his tone carried such a weight of authority. “This person's situation is not serious,” he explained to them calmly and measuredly. “He is only looking for attention, and will be alright without your help. Do not waste your limited resources.”
Sir Maturity made sure to announce this loud enough to also reach the ears of the spectators, and because he was so obviously a person who knew what he was talking about, those people shrugged their shoulders and went off on their business, while the ambulance people climbed back on board and drove away.
This turn of events caused Kenichi to let loose an anguished gurgle, and as a few final vapours of blood sprayed forth from his mouth and chest, he slumped, and everything faded. The last thing he heard was: “You see? Consequences. Now you have learnt that you cannot always get what you want. Are you going to stop making a big deal out of nothing now? Because otherwise, if you refuse to understand reality and insist on carrying on like this because of your age, you are going to find the rest of life very difficult.”
A few days later, a certain Dr. Sane emerged from the autopsy room where he had been assisting in the examination of Kenichi's remains. Returning to his office, he made his final check over Kenichi's death certificate, whereupon the coroner had recorded the official cause of death: 'Suicide (Wrong's Syndrome)'.
The doctor nodded vigorously to himself. Yes, it was a textbook example, and would serve well as his case study in the lecture on that condition he was due to give in the town hall the following week. Self-harm due to Wrong's Syndrome had become increasingly frequent of late, to the point where it was developing into a serious political concern, so the authorities had requested that all the town's residents attend and listen to Dr. Sane's expert commentary.
“Citizen Kenichi was a classic case of an individual suffering from Wrong's Syndrome,” the doctor spelled out to the packed auditorium. “He exhibited all the symptoms I just identified. His thinking was wrong. His opinions were wrong. He walked in the wrong way. He spoke in the wrong way. He was obsessive; in other words, he had the wrong interests. And he lacked empathy with other people – that is to say, there was something wrong with it – so that even if they understood his problems and tried to help him, he could only respond with hostility and rejection, which was, of course, wrong. Now notice in particular the total medical objectivity with which we can observe these symptoms in his case, irrespective of our private biases. The final result of this tragic illness was that he was not able to adapt to normal society, and therefore killed himself.
“Therefore, for Kenichi as for all our other recent sad losses, please take comfort in the fact that all of you bear zero responsibility for their sufferings. Do not blame yourselves, or worry that you could have done anything to save him; it was not by your doing that these unfortunate individuals, unlike the majority of us, came out Wrong. Until the day comes that advances in gene therapy allow us to eliminate the possibility of people being born with this dreadful condition, we must accept that there will be more like him, and that the best we can do is help them learn to fit in to the world before their Wrongness causes hardships for themselves and others.”
At this point, a certain member of the audience, by coincidence the individual who had been out walking her Labrador the day Kenichi was attacked, raised her hand. She shall remain anonymous, because by another coincidence she suffered a vicious assault from The Problems a few days later, which she barely survived and as a result of which she is now in hiding.
With a nod from Dr. Sane, this citizen stood up, and began to ask: “Pardon me if this is rude, but was there not evidence that on the day he died, Kenichi was struggling with some kind of difficult circumstances involving...um...The Problems, and that if we had recognised the causes of the injuries that killed him, it might have been possible not only to save him but also to prevent further attacks in future?”
She broke off, casting nervous glances around the room. She had witnessed the attack, and everyone in the town was here, so she was sure The Problems must also be present. In fact she hadn't meant to mention them at all, because, well, you just weren't supposed to, and it didn't reflect well on you if you did – not to say it wasn't a free, developed and democratic society of course. But the words had kind of just slipped out.
The bemused Dr. Sane gave a shrug. “I am afraid I do not understand your question, madam,” he replied. “Difficult...circumstances? We are talking about individuals suffering from Wrong's Syndrome here, so I do not quite see how external factors are relevant. Now perhaps we could get back to our focus on Kenichi's disability?”
The questioner did her best to persist. “But, the way he was treated...”
But now the room was seething; offended hisses and incredulous murmurs rose from every row of the audience, until at last someone behind her shot to his feet and let loose a wounded roar.
It was Mr. Goodfriend. “What are you insinuating?” he bellowed. “Are you saying it's our fault Kenichi died?” He was trembling so hard with tears and rage that it was as though the question had downright violated him.
“Of course not,” replied the questioner, “I only meant to suggest-”
“Kenichi had so many people who cared about him and tried so hard to help him,” Mr. Goodfriend made clear. “But he just – wouldn't – listen! How dare you suggest we were responsible? Don't you think we have already been hurt enough by what he did?”
“He chose to die by himself,” contributed Ms. Happycastle, wearing her trademark pout and not diverting her attention from her smartphone. “He was so selfish. I don't understand people like that. They feel so comfortable with being miserable and depressive all the time, so they choose to be that way. Why should other people have to suffer because of their negativity?” And then without warning she began to vibrate, and then to shake, and as she did so she shut her eyes, beamed as bright as the sun, then finally burst unstoppable: “Oh, let's just forget about all these negative people and be HAPPY!”
Sir Maturity, seated up on the second floor, folded his arms and scoffed. “Hmph. Hmph! People like that,” he asserted, nodding at every statement to remind himself and those around him that these were facts. “They bring it all on themselves. Wrong's Syndrome? What is that about? Before all this political correctness we just called these people what they are: idealists. They get all these ridiculous ideas from somewhere that they matter, that reality cares about them, that life is supposed to be fair, and that the rest of us are here to give them a free ride through it. Syndrome? Hmph. They're not ill. They're just wrong.”
The questioner hastened back into her seat, and kept a low profile for the rest of the evening. Among those gathered in that room, she had not been able to identify the ones she'd seen driving a blade through Kenichi's heart. It was strange though. The more she looked, the more it seemed those assailants resembled so many of them – and so perplexing this was that she began to question her own recollection, and to wonder if the attack on Kenichi had been all her imagination after all.
On Suicide, or Suicidogenic Societies:
On Pain – or, No, Happiness is Not a Choice