After Dating
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In the bewildered temple, Draven Kondraki sobbed. He was shaking his body and weeping. Crying doesn't change the reality, and doesn't bring back his dead father. He did know that. But he didn't know how to stop the overflowing tears.

The mourners anxiously peered at him, and his lover, James, hugged him tightly.

"Please, don't cry. Calm down, babe."


"I know how you feel, I want to cry, too."

"This is too much!!"

Draven shouted in a higher pitched voice.

"It's too bad that the lid of the casket won't close because of the plastic bottle!!!"

Kondraki's body was cremated with a plastic bottle. His large body and the plastic bottle, which had odd presence, were all returned to ash and dust, and they all fit inside a small cold metal box.

Draven had his father’s body in the cold box. He carried it outside, being watched over by the mourners.

They buried the box under the grave.

They prayed.

One by one, one by one, the mourners who had finished their prayers left the place.

Some laid the flower, and some did nothing and then left the grave on the hill.

Only three remained around the gravepost.

"Boy, why don't you go? The funeral is over. There's nothing fun here."

"Alto, you too."

"I have shit to do here"

Clef's eyes, which seemed to have regained his normal condition, become red and swollen. James knelt beside the grave and quietly wept.

Draven was standing there like a deer in the headlights. He wanted to cry. He wanted to cling to the grave and scream out.

Why did my dad have to die?

But he could'nt. Extreme fatigue and helplessness didn't allow him to do so.

"Okay, hey, look at your face! No matter what you do, the reality doesn't change, and I won't allow you to."

Clef tries to cheer him up, but he still hanged his head without saying anything.

"Or, uh, do you want to force him back to life by using SCiP or something?"

He shook his head with denial.

"Oh, okay, then go home soon. Can you keep your lover waiting?"

He saw James, who should have been crying, standing next to the car.

With a regretful look, Draven placed the white flower he had in his hand on the grave.
Out of nowhere, a few butterflies appeared, perching on the petals.

The two got into the car, and rushed away.

Left alone, Clef crouched down in front of the tombstone and traced his knotty fingers over it.

Here lies Benjamin Kondraki

— 2056

Died from his cock asphyxiating

The joke that Kondraki once laughed at became unfortunately a reality. The wording that seemed ridiculous to the side cruelty reminded Clef that he was no longer in the world. A dry laugh leaked from Clef's throat.

"You stupid. Really stupid."

He took an Aquafina brand water bottle out of his bag and placed it in front of the tomb. Then he roughly stripped off the small flowers growing all around and plunged it into a plastic mouth.

"This looks great on you, Ben."

The stalk of the flower that swaying halfway in the bottle had a somewhat mysterious taste.

Clef left there with satisfaction.

Clef finds an empty 2L plastic bottle in his dusty pantry. He didn't know why he found it. But he believed this ridiculous plastic bottle would fill a hollow gap in his mind.

He put a plastic bottle between his legs.

It fits surprisingly smoothly.

He felt a mysterious comfort and heightened mood.

"Hey Ben. Look at—"

He turned around with a smile. Nothing but uncomfortable silence was there.

A tear came from his eyes. He leaned against the wall and kept crying. He didn't know why he was crying. He didn't want to understand.

"Ben …"

The tears eventually dried up, turning into silence laughter. Alone in the dark corridor, he continued to laugh. Even though he coughed, he kept laughing. A bitter taste came up from his stomach, but he continued to laugh, without hesitation.

A plastic bottle hit the floor and made a lonely noise and rolled. He continued laughing. He continued to laugh at his dead foolish lover, himself, the world and his destiny.

The sun showed its face through a gap in the window, casted a thin shadow on the floor that glistened through the plastic.

There was a pathetic man who lost his lover. And he was sleeping alone like a log.

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