“September. I have to be gone before September 1st.” He admits after a long while. Before letting her reply, Gregg pushes up off the bench and takes her hand again. “Come with me. I'm just going home, back to New York. We can go together.”
Saya couldn't look at him, preferring to look back the way they came, towards the street they'd eventually walk back towards. Her hand was limp in his grasp.
“My parents.. they'd be happy to pay your ticket back, and you'd have no problem getting a job in the city.” He rambles on, and it slowly starts becoming nothing more than white noise to Saya.
“--Who,” she interrupts him mid-sentence. “are you trying to convince, Gregg?” Her voice is torn, broken. He skirts around to her front as she tries to turn away, he pulls her back into his view and Saya looks down. He didn't push further, her tears dripping off of her jaw were enough. “Why didn't.. you tell me?”
Either double down or redirect the blame. You're good at both, Gregg thinks. But don't you think you've done enough of the latter?
He drops her hand and stands in front of her, finding no gentle way to say anything at all.
“I didn't.. renew my visa.” He states, it's out, keep going. “I came here as.. a tourist. Max 90 days. I.. over the last year I kept getting extension after extension, and I can't do it anymore. I don't have a reason to be here, Saya.”
He sighs when she balls her hands up into fists at her sides. “You.. were the reason I stayed. And I.. hoped it was enough.”
Saya's sadness was turning into anger with every word he said. She sniffs back her running nose and grits her teeth. “So you.. give me one month to decide. To.. uproot myself from the life I have here, because you want to go home.”
She pulls up the front of her dress, not caring who sees to rub her eyes and nose, forcing herself to stop crying over this. “Gregg Aarons can't take life away from the United States, let's shatter someone else's life because 'I WANT TO GO HOME!!'” she yells.
The kids near them stop mid-play, looking at the couple before conversing between each other. They gather up their ball and head towards the park's entrance.
Gregg watches them go and glances left and right, reaching out to touch her shoulders. “Saya, we can t--”
“If you touch me, I will kick you in the balls. I may anyway.” she almost growls. Gregg rears back, turning his body slightly to the side on instinct. “'We can talk'? Are you serious? They sent you a notice three months ago, didn't they? To renew.”
She finally looks at him, her eyes red, holding back tears that were still falling despite the malice in her words. He could only stay there and take it.
“You.. lied to me. You have been lying to me. For all this time. Why? Fuck with the girl for a while, fly back home, no strings attached? Get on with life? How could you possibly think I could follow you back with the life I have here?”
“I have responsibilities, I have friends, I have students, I.. you selfish asshole! Come with you.” She laughs wryly, wiping underneath her eyes with the back of her hand. “I knew you were hiding something, I thought it was cute, you taking me out for sushi. You hate sushi. You hate Tokyo. You hate Japan, why are you even here, Gregg?”
Saya looks at him expectantly, but this time it was Gregg who wouldn't meet her gaze, nor did he have an excuse.
“You had your fun, you wanted your cake, and you wanted to eat it too.” Her mother's voice echoed in her head as absolute anger took over the sadness, good, she'd say, tell that self-entitled shit what's what.
“Gregg, look at me.”
He did, raising his head to look directly at her, as she held a solid middle finger halfway between his gaze and hers.
“This is your cake walking away. America o tanoshimu, shiri.” She spat at him, knowing full well he wouldn't understand - pushing past him and walking towards the way they came.
Enjoy America, asshole.
Lan stands quietly in his kitchen, looking around. The fridge was stocked, the cupboards full, but any passerby wouldn't know. Nothing is out of place: the Ikea model home he lives in. He had left the TV on, just so it sounded like someone actually lived here.
It's pretty easy to hide things in plain sight when no one gives a shit about you, he thinks as he pulls open a drawer next to the stove, a Beretta M9 sliding along the bottom and hitting the front of the drawer. Lan picks it up and regards it impassively, turning it over in his hands. He'd kill me if he knew I took this, he thinks.
Yep, 'cos that matters now. Lan walks over and sits in the middle of the couch, his index finger tracing along the engravings of the gun's features.
His father was proud that he had an actual M9, this particular one was in mint condition, fired once or twice at a range, and it was hell to import.
Lan parts his lips and sticks the barrel of the M9 in his maw, cocking back the hammer and holding it down, digging the muzzle up against the roof of his mouth. His bottom teeth click against the slide.
It would be so easy.
Lan was neither dead, maimed, nor harmed. This confused him as he pulls back on the hammer again and pulls the trigger.
He pulls the gun out of his mouth, wincing as the sight catches his upper lip, breaking the skin. He holds the back of his hand up against his bleeding mouth and thumbs the magazine release, letting it fall to the floor between his legs.
Setting the gun beside him, he picks up the magazine and looks at the top – nothing. No bullets. Bullshit, he thinks, I made sure of it.
Wiping his mouth, staining his cheek red with blood, Lan grabs the gun and pushes back the slide, expecting it to be chambered – but not with what appears to be a sticky note.
He reaches in and pinches the note out of the barrel, unraveling it against his thigh, reading out the words:
“Eat dicks, not bullets. He would kill you if he knew.”
Reo. Asshole. Lan rears back and sends the gun flying, making it stick handle-out from the new hole it made in the drywall, stopping dead with a hard thunk. Lan would have laughed at the perfect throw were he not more angry about the situation.
Lan rests his head in his hands and drools blood onto the white carpet in front of him, slowly staining it a brilliant crimson.
You have knives.
That would hurt.
He argues with himself, tilting his head side to side for each voice's opinion.
Electrocution hurts. Drowning probably hurts. You could jump, but with your luck, you'd be paralyzed and not dead.
Sighing, Lan stands up and wipes his mouth again, only now noticing the red smear on the back of his hand. He touches his lip and winces, looking at his red fingertips.
Can't kill yourself, but you're good at maiming.
He walks into the kitchen and ducks his head under the kitchen faucet, cold water rinsing out his new wound. Lan rubs the blood off the back of his hand at the same time, leaning back and pulling sheets off the roll of paper towels and holding them against his lip.
Opening the refrigerator door, he pulls out a beer, cracking it open in the same hand. He raises it to his mouth and awkwardly holds the paper towels on his upper lip while pouring the beer in his mouth.
You beautiful man, he thinks with a sneer, making his way to the couch until he hears a loud slam from the apartment next door.
Saya slams the door behind her and turns to the entryway, dropping her purse where she stands.
She takes a long, deep breath in through her nose and.. crumples. She lets herself fall into herself, kneeling on the wood floor as she lets wracked sobs wash over her. Who gives a fuck if they hear.
Tears pour down her cheeks as she bends over on all fours, sobbing harder than she can remember ever crying. She had held it in on her own on the walk back, on the train, up the stairs, but this is home.
Saya rolls onto her side and pulls her knees up against her chest, tears blurring her vision as she sobs, saliva, mucus out onto the floor, you look disgusting. She thinks, which only makes her wail harder, digging her fingers into her shins, holding her legs tight.
And everything she did wrong or right cycles through her mind, like a life flashing before her eyes, she replays her relationship with Gregg as if searching for a reason. There had to be a reason.
What did I do? What didn't I do? What's wrong with me, why is he leaving? Why did I say no?
After a while, she gets up, sitting with her back against the wall in the thin entryway to her apartment, her feet pressing against the opposite wall.
Saya tenses up, every muscle taut in a silent scream as she pulls her foot back and hammers it into the wall until her heel makes a dent, cracking into the drywall.
- 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)
feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.