Warning: Censored curse words, mentions of alcohol.
Note: This is part 3 of a series. If you have not read the previous parts (“I Discover that Someone’s Going to Die” and “I, Kamara, Discover that I’m About to Die”), please look at my comment in the comments section for more information.
This story is for anyone who laughed while reading this series.
The sun shined inside my car in bright rays. I could almost imagine that with the rising sun, the day could begin anew, and my problems would vanish along with the darkness of the night.
But just like the day, the night always came back.
I kept my hands on the wheel, trying to clear my head. I breathed in and out, trying to forget the situation I was stuck in.
I was not chasing a guy —Osmond— in a car with an irritating, self-aware app.
I was not dealing with two young adults who had strange powers, like breaking coins or throwing knives at doormen’s ears.
My ex-girlfriend —who I did not still love— was not about to get murdered.
I was not—
Crunch. Chomp. Gobble. Slurp. Munch. Snarf.
Crunch. Chomp. Gobble. Slurp. Munch. Snarf.
Crunch. Chomp. Gobble. S—
“CAN YOU CUT THAT SH*T OUT?” I yelled at my phone. It —he— was making the most obnoxious sounds as he pretended to eat the McDonald’s Happy Meal in front of him. The Happy Meal had been sitting next to my phone for thirty minutes, and it hadn’t moved one bit. Even the squirt of ketchup —which looked like a kneeling Elmo— remained perfectly still.
“Can you cut that shrill-schist-ship out?” my self-aware app Jeedo said in an accurate imitation of my voice. He even nailed the voice crack. “I’m trying to eat here, Geonu!”
I closed my eyes and sighed, trying to keep my voice even. “Apps. Can’t. Eat.”
“But you still got me burgers,” Jeedo said, making a sound like he was snorting his chocolate milk through his nose. “Why’d you get me a Happy Meal if you so strongly believe that I can’t eat? Millions of kids in the world suffer from hunger and no-Jeedo-deprivation. So you’re just going to waste food?”
I was about to shoot back a withering retort when a bright green car with black stripes and white polka dots zoomed out of the highway.
I glanced at Jeedo, who had quietly resumed his eating noises. “Should I follow him?”
“I guess.” Jeedo stopped mid-slurp. “But just saying: Osmond and Marcella are moo-su-wuo and wee-yum-hey. They have ee-sang-han heem. They’re also nu-ye dong-seng-dul; they want bok-su.”
“Huh?” I asked, staring at him as if he’d started speaking Japanese. Or, rather, Korean. Those words seemed familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on them.
“Oh.” My phone shuddered, and an angry blast echoed through it. “Stupid Trans and her Korean hacking! I thought we were on good terms, phonedangit! Well, you can throw any chance of that date in that Instagram photo!”
My mind reeled, imagining the Translator app icon and the SmartMap app icon, holding hands on a filtered beach. I tried to push that image out of my brain as I drove toward the nearest highway exit, keeping an eye on the bright green car.
I started saying, “What the—”
“Hey, did you notice that billboard for that hot insurance company? The model looks weird, though. I wonder…”
I could barely hear the rest of what Jeedo was saying. The green car had stopped outside an inn, and I saw a thin figure with blond hair shuffle inside the inn. Kamara could be in there. I had to save her.
I had to save her. I had to rescue her.
‘Why?’ a part of me taunted. ‘So you two could get back together? You’re acting as if you could save her, and she’ll waltz back into your arms like nothing ever happened. Well, surprise, b*tch! Broken hearts and anger don’t disappear like magic.’
That part of me was right. What could I do to get my Kamara back? Even if I was a little high at the time, my actions were unforgivable. I began to despair; I wanted to let Kamara know that I still loved her, but I didn’t know if she would even trust me.
“I’m going to delete myself, Geonu!” Jeedo said, but he sounded like he was on the other side of the planet. I could barely register his words. “Your parents are sitting in the backseat behind you! Eh, that’s a little unbelievable.
“Come on…I have to get your attention somehow…You’re sitting in a pool of kimchi! Gah, that one’s just stupid. How could he be sitting in a pool if he’s in the car? Um, a meteorite is coming down on earth and will destroy the planet? Uh, um, I can see Kamara’s dead body!”
“What?!” I screamed. Panic raced through my body. She couldn’t be dead. “Where? How? I—”
“Kidding!” Jeedo shouted. I heard a smile in his voice. “You looked a little zoned out, so I had to do something.”
“If you were a human,” I said slowly. “You would be dead.”
“Nonsense! I’m the best app you’ll ever meet.”
“You’re also the only app I’ve ever met.”
‘It’s getting late,’ I thought, trying to shake the ear-shattering songs out of my head. ‘I should find Brandon and get out—’
I froze in my tracks.
Inside a room, barely shielded by the door, was Brandon’s body, pressed against a girl’s as their lips touched. The girl — ’Trina Rodríguez,’ I remembered from earlier in the party— giggled softly as Brandon’s hands traveled down her back.
I’ve read countless amounts of romance novels throughout my life. I remembered reading the pages and pages describing how the main character’s heart “broke,” or got “crushed,” or even “cracked into a million pieces” when they saw their significant other with another person. I never understood how that felt. How was that even possible?
But now, I understood. My heart seemed to shatter into tiny fragments, each containing the once treasured memories of us together. Our first kiss, which was outside as thunder rumbled and rain poured. The time Brandon laughed because I had accidentally said I love you to him in Polish. The picnic Brandon had set up for my twenty-second birthday; the candlelit dinner I set up for his. They all spiraled out into a dark void.
“We’re so going to get in trouble for this,” Brandon murmured, his words slurred. “My girlfriend doesn’t know that I love you.”
“You love me?” Trina mumbled deliriously as her fingers curled Brandon’s black hair. “But… I thought you loved Kamara.”
I thought so, too.
Brandon’s face contorted in anger. “Why can’t I love two people?”
“Okay, okay.” Uncertainty flickered in Trina’s eyes. I could imagine that she didn’t want a tall drunk guy getting mad at her. But a smile quickly returned. “Well, I love you, too.”
“Same here.” Brandon leaned in for another kiss. Trina tried to wrap her arms around him, but they slipped and fell to her side. She tripped, but Brandon caught her, his eyes filled with so much love that I could believe it was real.
I couldn’t look any longer.
Tears spilled from my eyes as I ran down the hallway. I didn’t stop my sprint until I burst out of the house. I glanced back one last time at a window on the second floor, where two silhouettes were lying on top of each other on a bed.
One of my first memories of Brandon was when he had cheated on a math test because he hadn’t studied. His teacher had assigned me as his math tutor, which was how we started to be friends.
Now, one of the surely last memories I would ever have of Brandon would be of him with another girl.
‘Once a cheater, always a cheater,’ I thought bitterly, walking back to my dorm.
I woke up with tears in my eyes and the thought of Brandon. My body slammed against a block of metal, making my vision cloudy. I groaned as I slowly opened my eyes, my head throbbing. Ropes bound me close to a large slab of iron from head to toe.
“Welcome back!” a cheerful voice said.
Marcella Kang’s smiling face stared down at me, her blonde hair spilling across her shoulders.
I tried to ask, ‘Where am I? Why did you attack me? What am I doing here?’ but all that came out was: “We why at what here?”
“Still a little delirious, aren’t you?” Marcella asked. “My boot heels are one of my deadliest weapons. I’m surprised that it didn’t kill you.”
I choked out, “I could’ve died from being stepped on?”
It felt idiotic to ask such a thing in this situation, but I couldn’t help it.
“Yes, you could’ve.” Marcella pulled out a knife from her pocket. I flinched, expecting her to kill me, but she just twirled it around her fingers. “Many things are possible with me.”
“Wh—where am I?” I struggled against my bonds; they didn’t budge. I needed to escape somehow.
“You’re on earth,” Marcella said in a helpful tone. She laughed as she noticed the flash of annoyance on my face. She almost seemed like a child.
“Where on earth?” I asked.
“Oh, somewhere where your friends can’t find you.” She threw her knife, and it landed just above my head. I almost rolled my eyes; it was like Marcella was in a freaking movie, and she did everything for dramatic effect. “You’ll stay put until I kill you in front of Brandon.”
‘At least try to keep her talking,’ I thought. ‘Maybe get some information.’
“Why do you want to do that, anyway?” I tried to sound friendly, but it was hard with the rope around my body.
“Psh.” Marcella laughed. “We’re siblings! Siblings like revenge.”
“But do siblings normally like killing their sibling’s ex-girlfriend in front of that sibling for revenge?”
“Hm, good point.” Marcella scratched her head. “But we’re not like other siblings. It’s because of my powers.”
“How is that?”
Marcella smiled sweetly. “You’re trying to get me to tell you some information, aren’t you? Well, it isn’t going to work, I’m afraid. I’ve killed people before” —She said it so casually, like how typical people her age —around seventeen— would say, ‘I’ve gone to high school before.’— “and they’ve tried every single trick in the book to do at least something, like gaining information. No one has ever gotten such information, so you certainly won’t.”
Oh, was that a challenge? The old competitive part of me from my years of playing basketball seemed to spark.
But besides that, I started to notice the little things about Marcella. The way her eyes held a timid look that didn’t match her words. The way she bit her lip to stop herself from talking any further. She had bitten her nails down to the beds. Maybe I could use those things. She seemed more human and not so villainous.
“Why wouldn’t you tell me? It’s just a quick explanation about why you and Brandon aren’t like other siblings. Besides, as you said, I’m going to die soon.”
“Nice try.” Marcella frowned. “Although, you do make a good point.”
She paused for a moment.
“Fine. Grab some popcorn and soda—” she stopped, remembering that I was bound to an iron block.
“I would love to!” I said brightly. “Maybe if you could untie me . . .”
“Not a chance,” Marcella said. “Just remember” —she grabbed an arsenal of weapons from her pockets. Knives, guns, pills, grenades, metal disks, and others I couldn’t name— “I can kill you in a second. Just because I’m telling you a story doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. I’m just bored.”
Well, at least this would stall time. For someone, anyone to find me, even if it was unlikely.
“Got it,” I said, gazing at the inky black sky. It was the perfect time for a story, I supposed.
Marcella sat down on the floor next to me. “Let me tell you a little story.”