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Special day

He had been feeling okay for most of the day. After work he had made a detour to the fancy grocer to which people more well off than him would frequent, today was a special day so he thought he was deserving of a special treat. It was his birthday, and after browsing the store for a while, he found what he was looking for. The people servicing at the baking department handed him his purchase with a smile, wishing him a nice birthday. It made him feel good. The e-buddy hologram above the baker's head smiled back too. He gave an anxious and awkward smile back before vanishing back into the streets outside the grocer.

It was raining, it was always raining.

As he began on the stairs up to his apartment he could feel the tight walls squeeze all around him. The walls were thick enough and the stairwell tight enough to drown out most of the noise coming from the apartments and the outside. The hum of the fluorescent lights and the bumps and whirring coming from beyond the walls made it feel like he was inside a giant creature. He had a profound dislike for these stairs, they were much unlike the stairs in the apartment where he and his mother used to live. No, this was a bad thought to follow, back, quickly. But it was already far too late as he could feel himself begin to choke. God, he really was alone, all by himself, already the second birthday without mom. The choking turned into tears and then sobbing as he slid onto the floor. And then the thought of the bilberry cake in his grocery bag swam into his mind, like another devil disguised as a good memory. There were no good memories anymore as they attacked him. The bag escaped his grasp and spilled its contents into the filthy stairwell. Through his blurred vision he saw the timid slice of bilberry cake, the bilberries on top scattering and rolling around, the frosting spreading onto the floor and the small birthday decoration which he thought would have been a whimsical touch to cheer himself up, now ruined. He brought his hands to his face and began to cry, the world around him drowned under his sorrow. Until he could hear a group of people walking either up or down the stairs, chattering before falling silent as they came upon him, silently walking past him without much of a word apart from a few hushed phrases to one another, " junkies... ...cops...". And then the voices were swallowed by the stairwell.

How long he stayed there he didn't know, he just wanted to cry, for his mother, or someone, just to console him. For a moment, it made all the pain disappear.

After enough time had passed. He picked himself up and looked at the sorry slice of cake on the ground. Gently picking it up with his hands he brought it inside his home. Hesitantly he threw the scraps of cake into his trash bin before stopping, spinning the decoration that was on the cake around in his hand. He now seriously considered having his memories erased, they had become infected, like a festering wound, causing him to collapse from pain despite wanting to move on. He had no money, but he could maybe get the cheap alternative. His fingers ceased moving as he looked down at the piece of confectionery that had been on the cake. It had the grinning face of a dragon, its eyes closed and a colorful hat on top of it, below the dragon it said, "Happy birthday, Laz".