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Friendship Speculative Science Fiction

"Mandie, you've heard the news right?"

"Wait what news? And why are you calling so late?" I glance outside at the expansive blanket of darkness with tiny holes of light shining through it. Darby would usually be asleep hours ago.

"I would normally be asleep ages ago but I had to check on you."

"Why would you need to check on me? What happened?"

"Mandie. Monday Black died on July 7th."

"Darby. It is two in the morning on July 7th. How do you know already? The day has barely started and none of the reporters I know have said a thing about it."

"It's July 8th. Monday died yesterday. I thought you'd know since you're a reporter and her number one fan."

"There's no way Darb. You sure it wasn't a dream?" Monday Black can't be dead.. I was going to her concert later in the summer. There's no way she died. She can't have… "And it is not the eighth."

"She died in a car crash in California along with her backup singer. In the afternoon. Yesterday afternoon, the seventh."

"I think you have the dates mixed up but if she died yesterday afternoon how come nobody has reported on it?"

"Mandie! Have you even looked at the news? It's all anyone has been talking about since yesterday. I honestly figured you'd already have an article ready to be proofread or even already published."

"No.. I… didn't even-" Something must be wrong with Darby. No results showed for the death of Monday Black. If she had actually died it would be everywhere. Something isn't right… "Darb? Maybe you should sleep. It's late, alright?"

"I'm not- I didn't- Mandie it wasn't a dream. I'm telling you the truth."

What she thinks is the truth, apparently. 

"Goodnight Darb, see you tomorrow! Or I guess I should say today? Sleep well!"

I quickly end the call before she can continue the conversation. After brushing my teeth and hair I slump into my bed and half-heartedly pull my blankets over my legs. The moment my eyes close my thoughts rush and flow and overlap.

A few hours later I finally stop tossing and turning and allow myself to relax. Surely Darby will be back to normal.. in the.. morning…

*****

When I wake up my eyelids flutter closed before I bolt upright. Something seems… urgent? Like I've forgotten something important…

Oh well I guess.. Probably just a dream.

It's already nine so I might as well check the latest news. A video from my idol's latest report comes up and I read the title.

Then I read it again to make sure I didn't misread.

My favorite celebrity, Tuesday Black, died in a plane crash. 

I wish I could have written the first article about Tuesday's death but I slept in too late. I need to go tell Darby right now. I quickly dial Darby's number but she doesn't pick up. Probably still asleep after she stayed up too late.

Stopping to grab brunch will be enough of an excuse for unexpectedly visiting her, so I drive to a local bakery and buy some of our favorite donuts. Luckily I know where the spare key to her apartment is hidden.

"Mandie? What's going on?"

"Tuesday Black died in a plane crash yesterday morning."

"July ninth?"

"No, July eighth. Her birthday," I correct Darb. She doesn't usually mix up the date easily. 

"Isn't today the tenth?"

"Darb, it's the ninth today. I can't believe she's gone.. We were gonna see her live in just a few weeks…"

"Okay what? Hold on, I just woke up, let me drink some water and eat some of these donuts," Darby grabs a donut from the bag and takes a bite. She pushes her lips together and swallows the bite with water. 

I can't help but giggle. She's always hated strawberry frosted donuts. Darby's really out of it today. 

"So, wait a minute, Tuesday Black? Are you sure that's her name?"

"Darby. I. Am. A. Super. Fan. I know her name."

"I thought it was Thursday Black though?"

She's gotta be joking around. Darb is almost as big of a fan of Tuesday as I am. Was?

"You sound serious but you can't be."

"Uh. Yeah, right. So, uh, it's kinda early and I don't wanna be rude but I'm exhausted after yesterday. I went to sleep even earlier than usual but," Darby pauses and squints out of the window. "I'll see you for dinner, yeah? Sorry to basically kick you out."

"No, no, I understand, don't worry. See you for dinner! I'll probably sleep too."

"Alright, thank you. See you later, Mandie! Thanks for the donuts!"

"Anytime Darb!"

I start the ten minute drive home and force my eyes to focus on the road. 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. 

Seven, eight, nine, ten.

*****

Today, July tenth, I woke up to a text message. 

I immediately called Darby and now we're on the phone. Nothing is making sense. 

"Mandie, Wednesday Black died today. She's your favorite artist, I thought-"

"Darby, my favorite artist is Sunday Black. What is going on with you?"

"What? We were gonna see her in concert tomorrow. And Sunday Black? Who is that?"

"Tomorrow? We were seeing her on the fifteenth. Tomorrow is the eleventh." Darby must have gotten the dates mixed up.

And the name of the singer we're both obsessed with. Or, were obsessed with? But she says Wednesday Black died not Sunday Black. 

"Today is the thirteenth. I could've sworn you said the fourteenth is when we'd be going."

Darby's confusion seems believable and I don't know why she would lie.

"Uh.. no…" Maybe this is just a dream. A really, really, really, really… really realistic dream. When I yawn it isn't false, and I truly am exhausted. "Hey, Darb, I'm gonna go back to sleep, okay? Talk later?"

"Yeah, of course. Sounds good to me. Maybe we can grab lunch together later?"

"Can't wait!! Goodnight," I smile into the phone even though she can't see me. 

*****

Notifications blow up my phone, which is inconveniently right next to my ear.

Friday Black died last night. 

"Darby! Friday Black died!"

"Uh.. oh no..? Who, uh, who's that..?"

"...My favorite songwriter? I've only been obsessed with her for five years." 

"Mandie, I- well- don't think I've ever heard of her. From you or any other source. I'm sorry she died..?"

"Okay, well this is.. strange. Uhm. Alright." What is going on right now? My brain isn't flexible enough to keep up with the twists and turns of this ridiculous situation.  

"Are you playing a prank on me or something? I've honestly never heard of her."

"No, Darb. Not a prank. I have to get some work done but we can talk later, yeah?"

"Sounds good to me. Good luck with work. I'm prolly just gonna take a nap or something."

"Okay okay, sleep well Darby."

Maybe Darb is actually pranking me. With any luck she'll give it up after she's gotten some more rest. There's no way she forgot who Friday Black is.

*****

I float into a light and restless sleep after finally completing the first draft of an article.

Thankfully I catch my computer when I startle and save it from crashing into the hardwood floor. 

I swipe and answer the call from Darby which woke me up.

"Saturday Black passed away today."

July 28, 2022 04:39

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