Around this time someone already should have appeared but there was no one in sight.
I walked and walked and walked through the empty city, reversed stop signs greeting me every time I turned left or right.
Not only that but eerily every kind of traffic light wasn’t working properly as they either were completely out of order or all lights were blinking at the same time in a weird rhythm.
Despite the fact that I was sure I never had visited such a big city in my life where only tall buildings decorated the maze of streets, as there was no place with nature or any kind sign of it.
In front of me the automatic doors of a luxurious-looking mall opened and I entered looking around to find no human being existing at such a place.
Elevators and escalators were both out of order which made me choose the stairs in this almost infinite looking mall.
I couldn’t even count the amount of floors nor was there any proper representation of numbers.
At some point as I ascended the stairs and lost my sense of where I had been, exhaustedly I sat on one of the steps and tried to catch my breath.
“Oho oho”, I heard someone above say while it echoed through the stairway.
Someone is really here?
“Oho?”, I asked back but couldn’t see anyone.
I narrowed my eyes to focus on a shadow, but there was nothing particularly moving.
“Am I imagining things?”, I muttered to myself focussing on the stairs below me.
“No, not at all, you are fully aware right now”, when I turned my face to the side the face of a grinning man appeared as he watched me closely with his black messy hair that was spiked upwards in an unnatural way.
With a quick movement I shuffled to the edge of the step and leaned against the wall to get rid of the shock.
I am sure that no one was there a moment ago, I am fully sure.
“Hey don’t get your brows twisted there youngster”, he suddenly turned a bit transparent only his grin was visible.
I knew it, I knew he wasn’t there before or at least I didn’t see him.
Being fully aware he said, did he mean I exactly know what is going on?
aware… nobody of them told me I was aware up until now.
Does it mean my perception of things improved?
“Where did you come from?”, I simply watched the grin widening and moving from side to side.
“I was always here, the whole time”, a slight chuckle appeared.
Of all the people who I could have met it was a sly cat like him who talked just as confusing as the Cheshire cat.
I blinked several times and the man became visible again, the features of the familiar highschooler in his red jersey as he scratched his head.
“Sheesh, he must have given you a hint, didn’t he?”, he shrugged and leaned back against the railing of the stairway.
“There are several people who gave me a hint to be honest, but you just did as well by telling me I was aware”, I stood up and looked at the stairs that lead further to the top.
“Should have stayed shut then, huh”, he quietly observed me and I felt the stairway shifting.
The stairs and railing stayed but the walls and floors turned to nothingness, or rather became black if that’s what nothingness represented.
“Oopsie daisy there it goes, why are you unstable all of a sudden things were getting interesting”, he heaved himself up by holding the railing and clapped his hands off as he walked up but after some minutes I saw him ascending from below me.
“Me, unstable?”, the weird feeling of anger spread inside of me as I usually never felt it, the new-found emotion must have taken over and the stairs started flaring up.
“Look, we need to calm down or otherwise this won’t work at all. This place has master in the end nobody knows what or who it really is, but one thing I can tell you for sure if you won’t take control then someone else will and it seems up until now you didn’t like that at all didn’t you?”, he placed both hands on my shoulders and looked me deep in my eyes, looking serious for the first time.
“Kuroo, what should I do?”, I muttered in while holding my head not knowing where to start with that explanation.
“Hmm, what you should do? I guess I cannot really answer you that. It’s simple yet complex, but do you know why you could never ascend to the top of the stairway no matter how long you went up?”, he searched with his eyes for an answer but I shook my head.
He pointed at my forehead, placing his index-finger a bit too hard against it.
“Because you thought it seemed endless and there wasn’t a point anymore to go up, so you simply sat down. This place was empty while I was next to you the whole time, why could that be?”
I widened my eyes and pondered a bit, averting my gaze.
“because… I felt lonely and thought I had no one to help me so I went on with that”, I muttered.
He ruffled my hair a bit too aggressively and laughed in a funny way that made you wonder if it was his natural laugh.
“See? Simple yet complex. Well now how about me suddenly appearing and the stairs flaring up and me repeatedly coming upwards at the same spot? No need to answer since it’s all in your mind already”, he clapped his hands and turned his head up.
The sudden weight of all the answers made themselves visible as the stairs cracked down below me and I met Kuroo’s eyes which flared up in a crimson red as he grinned and disappeared in the shadows of nothingness.
The flames grew bigger and before they could engulf me the stairs cracked down and I fell.
“This is your dream, you are the master of your mind”, a chuckle spread in my ear before I myself turned into flames that extinguished into the black nothingness.