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 Chapter 1 Three Strange Photographs

My name is Wu Rui, I'm 20 years old and a simple office worker who lives in a small town. Well, I used to be. I was fired about three months ago because, according to my boss, my "negative attitude was causing low morale amongst the other employees". If he had said I was lazy or unwilling to work, I would have been able to say that simply wasn't true. However, I must admit that I've been quite a downer lately. To put it lightly. Take today for example, I haven't even eaten, slept, or gotten out of bed the entire day.

It was the mid-afternoon and it didn't look like anything was going to change. Several hours from now I'd probably still find myself here: hugging my legs and staring blankly into space with all the lights turned off.

"Tap-tap," a polite knocking came from the door.

I looked up. Staring at the door with a trace of fear lingering in the air around me, I felt the stiffness in my body, a side effect of staying in the same position for too long.

I didn't want to open the door, but I knew there was no getting around it.

Creak.

I opened the locked door and saw a deliveryman looking for something in his sidecar. He must have heard the sound of the door opening, because he said, very politely and without raising his head, "Excuse me; please wait a minute."

I nodded slightly and leaned against the door frame. I did not urge him; I even hoped he'd take his time.

However, the deliveryman quickly raised his head and joked with me, "Here it is! Hey man, I gotta say, your decadent lifestyle is getting worse." He said taking a look at my appearance and surroundings.

The deliveryman's words were said with a tone that expressed familiarity. Anyone who delivered a letter every three days would become familiar with the recipient, even if it was just a one sided relationship.

I didn't want to get to know him, and always dreaded seeing him.

The deliveryman handed me a white envelope and said with smile, "If you wouldn't mind signing right here⋯This is your pen pal, right? A letter every three days - very punctual! Having a pen pal is really rare in this day and age."

I ignored him, taking the white envelope and gazing at it. I then retreated back into the room, closed the door, and locked it.

"Well then, I'll just sign this for you," the deliveryman said with a loud voice from outside. He left immediately afterwards.

I slowly sat back in my bed and reassumed my previous posture. Sitting like this is the only way I could make myself feel a small sense of security, although I knew I was just deceiving myself.

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