Things like this happen every day; one just has to look at the news. Even so, why Markus? He had everything going for him, everything at once. Anything but whimsical, he moved through life like a bubble in a glass of champagne – full of that effervescent clarity. A successful man, by any means. To vanish like the night every morning, what’s the trick?
That morning, the light felt like the acidity of a lemon burning on an open wound. It wasn’t really because it was cold – it wasn’t – it was just the lonely, metallic air of a morning that has yet to be populated by other people, other noises, other colours.
He fancied himself to be the first person to be up in the entire town, waking to a dense grey sky, candied here and there by the occasional cloud, streaked in pink. The city below the window felt lost in sour solitude. He got dressed. Looking back at it, Markus wasn’t feeling particularly introspective or despondent that morning – he was a very successful man, you see. Successful on a fully measurable scale of accomplishments, mind you: the watches, the cars, the ties, the colognes, the money – he had it all. The wool suits, sodden with the silvery smell of lavender. The aseptic townhouse, seemingly carved out of the blonde woods: Swedish, mid-century design, soft browns, chrome accents and cascading milky light. An architectural digest.
Formidably alone while the entire world was still asleep, he stood up and chose to take his clothes off again. Naked, the emperor stared at the view. The colours of that morning smelled like the salty, dry air of the forest next to his hometown, where boys play before becoming men. By then, the suitcase was full.
Nobody really knows what happened, or rather, why. In a few hours, his car would’ve been waiting for him outside – taking Markus to work like any other day. He didn’t even leave a note.
People don’t just disappear like that.