Saya, you cannot be this dumb. And you cannot be this late.
Pushing back the hood of her gray poncho, her hair spills around her cheeks as she searches in her brown messenger bag for something. Cell phone, book, tablet, makeup, other necessities – but absent are the telltale jingle of a ring of keys – the one item she desperately needs right now. Groaning in frustration, she presses her hands to her own door and peers through the peephole – backwards, then rolls her eyes. They don't work that way, stupid. GOD, it had to be today, didn't it?
Twisting the knob, the door is quite firmly locked. She ducks down and presses her cheek to the ground as if looking under a weather-sealed door would give her any clues as to any structural weaknesses.
Giving up for the moment, she leans back against the balcony's waist-high rail, weighing her options. Faced with none, Saya tugs her phone out and scrolls through her contacts, clicking her teeth at her first option.
“Are you sure you can't come back yet? I'm locked out of my.. the.. wait what? You're in OSAKA? Are you ff—..” She holds herself back from the next words even though she turns from the phone with a grimace.
“No, no, Miss A, it's fine. I'm okay. Enjoy your vacation.” She angrily thumbs the END CALL button and stuffs her phone back in her bag. She resorts to trying things she knows from TV. First her discount cards. Wedge it in the door and slide it behind the.. behind the.. BEHIND THE F..
Relax. Breathe. You don't think like this in front of the kids. Calmer, she digs the card in harder, it doesn't budge, is bent and wedged in the frame. She stares at the frosted privacy glass next to the door, she could break it.. she could get in easily, but the super won't be back until.. and you can't even afford the replacement.
Don't kid yourself.
God, she thinks, this would be so much easier if she had access to the only other entr.. the balcony. Oh god, Saya, you are so dumb, so, so, so-- Racing down the stairs, poncho up, and around to the other side of the building, she looks up at her balcony. It's a bad habit, but she always leaves the sliding door unlocked. It's easier to open it lazily from her bed when it's constantly unlocked.
But she may have well been looking up at a skyscraper. At her height, she could get to the balcony of whoever lives below her – provided they didn't call the cops – but she considered her upper body strength to get her up anywhere close to over her own balcony, automatically shaking her head.
Standing in the planter area surrounded by holly bushes, she paces back and forth, thinking. Gregg is at his school, and would just break the window. No dice. None of her other friends had any sort of skills.
A flash catches her eye in her next door neighbor's room. TV? The TV is on? Backing her way out of the planter, she watches the sliding door on that side, as brighter flashes, muted changes, there was a TV on in there. Her eyes scan to the side, if she could get on that balcony, she could squirm her way to her own. YES. A CHANCE.
Splashing through puddles as she races up the stairs again, stopping in front of her neighbor's door. Grinning at her own ingenuity, she raises her fist and halts it inches from the door.
Who lives here, again?
“When's the last time you showered? Or ate? I assume you're eating.” the therapist says to her patient.
Head down, as always, hair in front of his face, a gravelly voice utters “I eat, it's not healthy, but I eat.”
“And the medication?”
“I take it.” He's not lying, but it doesn't seem to matter. This crash has been a long time coming, and no amount of pills is going to fix it, though they keep throwing them at Lan en masse.
“Lan, you're here on your own, nevermind who's paying for it.” Your father, he reminds himself. “If you don't talk, I can't help you.”
Lan opens his mouth and pauses, nothing comes out. I want to scream, I want to wail and prostrate myself, to curse every God in name and form, I want to explode, I want to be beyond this, I can't get beyond this. You're supposed to be helping me, how can you fix me. “I..” Will yourself to speak, Lan. Push it out, push the air over your vocal chords and SAY SOMETHING.
“Alright, Lan.. we'll try next week.” The doctor pushes from her chair as her patient finally perks up, only to look at the clock. Had it been an hour already? He hadn't said anything, he listened, always listening, but nothing will be fixed if you don't speak – the last part of that thought in his father's voice. What does talking about it do? What does it help?
His body moves on its own, walking out of the office without even bothering to schedule another appointment. Every Thursday, without fail - the doctor's assistant makes the appointment for him whether Lan stops to ask for one or not. Pushing his hair back from his eyes, he stands under an awning covering him from a curtain of rain. Two stops and home, huh.
Lan rubs his fingers together, an umbrella would have been nice. Inhaling deep, he ducks into the rain towards the closest stop.
Saya squints into the frosted glass next to her neighbor's door, as if it would help. She doesn't bother with the peephole, that was embarrassing enough before, even with no one watching. Gripping the doorknob with both hands she tenses up, had to be today, didn't it? Rage builds up inside as she yanks and pushes at her neighbor's door, gritting her teeth and an almost inaudible hiss escaping her as she finally lets go, thumping back against the railing behind her and pressing her palms against her forehead.
Her shoulders slump as she gives herself a bit of a pat on the back for not cursing up a storm, but still.. Super's gone, friends live somewhere else, and your pathetic ass is wailing on a neighbor's door like he has the skeleton key to all of your problems. She looks up at the door for a moment, idly wondering if she would be responsible for damages. Were there any?
Standing back up, Saya runs her fingers along the door, specifically near the knob, it didn't look damaged, not that she could do much even if she wante..
Freezing, she stops cold as a tall, dark figure stands near her – in front of her door while she stands in front of his. Whoever it was is soaked to the bone, and TALL. But damned if they don't look like Sadako. Saya would have laughed if she weren't fighting back the real fear starting to churn in her stomach. His black hair was covering his face, hands in his pockets even though his long-sleeved shirt drained at the wrists of the water soaked in it. And he didn't move. That was the weird part. He didn't move, and he didn't speak.
And neither could Saya.
- a recovering disaster? / twitter: @rgdrac
apologies for everything about me, it might get better.
updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)
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