I Who Killed Me

I Who Killed Me

AKA Xueyun, Creative Writer

Prologue

The sickening smell of steaks, fried onion rings, and alcohol burned into his brain deeper than any other scent he could recall. The restaurant was always crowded day in and day out with rowdy families and forlorn onlookers situated by the windows. Many came to dose themselves with the good-ol’ remedy of beer and steak after a long day at work, but he wasn’t given that same privilege after landing a desperate job at The Swan.

From dawn ‘till dusk, he worked to the bone with the worst kind of slackers to serve fools drowned in alcohol and ecstasy. If he had ever taken that same opportunity to drink away his worries, there would be no other fate than landing on the sidewalk of an empty road after being evicted. 

Picking up a tray of steaming onion rings and three cups of foamed alcohol, he carried out his tray to the next table. He approached a group of girls, their loud conversation annoying others in the restaurant. 

“Your order,” he sighed as he placed the drinks and food onto the table. 

The three continued to speak, not acknowledging his presence. “You guys remember that girl that dropped a class just ‘cuz her boyfriend dumped her. . .” the blonde girl trailed off, raising an eyebrow at him. 

“Your order,” he replied, averting his eyes. If he were given the chance to stay behind the counter his whole shift, he would accept without complaint.

“Oh, that reminds me of that celebrity that died this morning,” the brunette at the table spoke after letting out an irked sigh.

“Wasn’t she found in her dressing room after a tour? That’s crazy,” a girl with black hair followed, interrupting her as well.

They continued to ramble on. One dismissed his presence with a slight wave of her hand as if he were a child overhearing an adult’s conversation at the table. 

With slow steps, he retreated behind the counter, away from all the drama and heated arguments that swelled in the restaurant. He watched all that came in and out, not with interest, but rather, with boredom.

He checked his watch. 18:56 pm. Only a few more minutes until he could clock out and go home. More often than not, his boss would catch him checking the time, and as a result, would nag him about that.

-⏳-

His phone began to ring as he unlocked the door to his apartment. Rummaging through his pocket for his phone, he brought it to his ear. “Hello?” He didn’t check the caller’s ID, but he knew who it was already. 

“Hey, Sweetie. How are you?” the person on end responded, her voice husky yet quiet. 

“Fine.”

It was quiet for a moment until he shut his door and stepped on mail. He bent down to pick it up, eyeing the mailing addresses and sighing. 

“You’re sighing again,” she responded, almost as if she were in the room with him.

“What did you call for?” He did his best to not be aggressive with how he responded, though the day had proved to test his patience. 

She took in a deep breath before she began to speak again, “I’ve been worried about you, Lennon. You’ve been missing my calls, and I know you’re busy, but it’s not an excuse not to call your mother.” 

He came near to sighing again but stopped himself. He threw the envelopes into a basket, where other unopened letters with payment dues lay in wait. 

“I know,” he replied sternly, though he couldn’t help working to the bone when there were so many things to be paid off. 

The familiar clank of porcelain on the other line helped him envision her sour face as she sipped her dry rose tea. “You do know you can come live with me again and-”

“No.” He sat down on his couch, thinking of how to explain his feelings. “I need to do this, Mom.”

It was her turn to sigh now. “Okay. Just know you can call me if you ever need help.” A weak smile almost sounded to form on the other line, a characteristic he had seen too often to forget. 

“Okay, bye.” Before his mom could respond, he hung up and tossed his phone on the other side of the couch. He leaned into the couch with a loud sigh, the time spent standing and taking orders catching up to his feet. 

After receiving a call from his mom, he could hear her say in the back of his head, “If you keep sighing like that, eventually your soul will leave your body.” It was a dumb thing now that he thought about it, but he believed it when he was younger. 

He picked up the TV remote, hoping to drown out his thoughts with background noise about the news or random ads. 

Before he got up to make something to eat, his ears perked up at the mention on the news. He turned his attention back to the screen, narrowing his eyes from where he stood. 

“Earlier this morning, Charlotte Moon was found dead in her hotel room in Ritz-Carlton after returning from a tour last night in Toronto. The police are still investigating the tragic death of Miss Moon, but we are told she suffered from a heart attack in her sleep. Her sudden death has brought great despair among her fans across the world. Now a word from Miss Moon’s choreographer-”

The different images appearing on the screen brought a feeling of deja vu, a feeling that startled him with clarity. When looking at Charlotte just hours before her death, an image flashed across his mind. 

He took in a deep breath and shook his head, lowering the volume on his TV before leaving for the kitchen. Maybe all of his work was beginning to take a toll on his mental state.

-⏳-

Falling to the moist forest ground as he crawled away, he pleaded with wet eyes, “Please spare me. I didn’t do anything-”

Without letting him finish, a blunt blow fell onto his head, silencing the man of his last words. 

With a grim voice, he spat, “Be quiet.”

The enigmatic man brushed hair from his eyes, wiping his brow of sweat with the back of his gloved hand. He sighed, examining the man at his feet.

The bat dropped to the ground as he pulled a syringe from his pocket, popping the cap off and flicking the syringe, then pushing the plunger. 

“If you hadn’t run, you would have been peacefully put to ‘sleep’ already.” He chuckled, realizing how sad it was to die in such a place. 

Looking around through the overgrown greenery there was no one in sight aside from tree frogs and Spix’s macaws. Not so far ahead was the loud crash of waterfalls and the sound of laughter.

“It’s a shame you didn’t get to enjoy the waterfalls.”