1. The man in the flames
The reason he didn’t want a relationship was not that he didn’t want one. To be a little more precise, it was more of a “he didn’t want to want” scenario. A relationship would make him vulnerable. He would have to have trust in the other person. He would have to have uncompromising trust. And he knew people far too well to think he could have that trust in anyone but himself. People had a way of having secrets, of leaving out certain things, even of lying to themselves. He knew it best from himself.
‘The only people who can hurt you are the ones you love, the ones you care for.’ That’s why he had never had more than mediocre friends. And that’s why he really wanted not to want a relationship. Sex was fine, as long as it was once and once only (so he wouldn’t risk falling in love) and as long as he had another one for the night after, so he didn’t go on and think about the person he had sex with for the whole next day. He had once had that thinking phase thingie. And it quite clearly didn’t do him well.
Sometimes he dreamt of just living in a small hutt, somewhere in the mountains, where noone would ever find him. The thought made him calm.
And so he thought of that hutt in the mountain right now, as he watched a man burn to death in the flames. He stared at the man who was shouting, running around like crazy even though it was long too late. He didn’t want to watch this. But he had no choice. Someone made him watch the man burn. He was twelve, back then.