I looked up from my phone when I heard the elevator doors open. Sighing, I found myself disappointed when it was one of our neighbors instead of Mari. Glancing at the time, I knew I shouldn’t be. It was only two in the afternoon. She wouldn’t be home for at least another four hours.
I leaned back against the wall, looking up at the ceiling. What to do till she got back? I could think of a believable story to tell her. Being a terrible liar, I had to stay as close to the truth as possible.
I cleared my throat. “Yeah, I found the guy. He was nice, we went to a coffee shop, talked for a while. Then, uhm…” I rubbed my chin. “It turns out he can see me because he has the opposite of my curse.” That could work, change the subject away from what we did. “Then I got home and waited for you.”
Nodding to myself, I decided that would be convincing enough. Shawn would be the perfect excuse to let Mari have more alone time for herself and her boyfriend. If she thought I was with him she wouldn’t worry as much. I buried my head in my arms, smiling bittersweetly. Mari would always worry, no matter where I was or who I was with.
After this morning I could understand why. Not only could I be left for dead if in an accident, but it turned out I couldn’t even hold a proper conversation with a stranger. If I was known to society I doubted I would even fit in. Perhaps my curse was a good thing after all. I was probably cursed for this exact reason.
I closed my eyes, hoping I could sleep a few hours away.
“So, how did it go, did you find him?” Mari asked, kneeling down beside me. I glanced away from my phone, giving her an annoyed look.
I pushed myself off the ground, pretending to not have woken up less than an hour ago. “In fact I did.”
“Oh, you got to tell me everything!” Mari, clapped her hands before turning to the door, putting the key in the lock and turning it. “Is he really as dreamy as he looks on tv?”
I shrugged, stretching my arms. “I guess.”
“Come on, Darc, you got to give me more than that,” Mari whined as we entered the apartment.
“That’s your punishment for locking me out all day.” I took off my shoes and jacket, only then noticing I was no longer wearing my scarf. “Shit.”
Mari glanced back. “Shit what?”
I shook my head. “Nothing.”
Falling down onto the couch, Mari groaned. I came to sit down beside her, resting my head on the cushions. She turned her head to me, blinking at me tiredly.
“Tell me everything,” she said.
Taking a deep breath, I started my half lie-half truth. She seemed to believe it, most of it at least. I tried to put in as many details as I could without drifting too much, making it easier to keep up the lie and to remember it.
“Are you going to meet with him tomorrow?” she asked, excited despite her tiredness.
I nodded, smiling. “I lend him my scarf, so I kind of need to get it back, don’t you think?”
Mari pushed my shoulder, giggling with me. “You sneaky little mouse.”
“I had to have some excuse to see him again.” If only that was true. It might have gone that way if I had known what proper human interactions were. “I’m just happy to have finally met someone who can see me.”
“Yeah,” Mari sighed, pinching my cheek. “My little sister finally got herself a boyfriend, I was starting to get worried.”
I faked a gasp. “I know I’m invisible, but I’m not ugly.”
“I never said that.” She leaned over to tickle my sides, I tried to stop her by slapping her hands but it didn’t do much. “Any guy would be lucky to have my beautiful little sister.”
I laughed, finally being able to push her off of me and standing quickly before she could attack again. “That’s enough, I’m hungry.”
“What you want to eat?”
I walked over to the fridge, my stomach growling at the mention of food. “Pizza?”
Mari wrinkled her nose. “That’s unhealthy.”
“You locking me out of the house all day is unhealthy,” I said, pointing at her with the milk carton. “It’s the only apology I am willing to accept.”
A few days had passed since the last time I saw Shawn. Sure, I had seen him on posters and on tv. His attention blessing really did give him a great boost for his music career. Because of my oblivion curse I could never pursue a career. When I was still young I got home schooled. Back then I thought it was normal. A lot of things were normal in that time. Sometimes I wished to return to those simple days.
Looking out the window, I sipped my drink. Snowing again. Not that I minded. I had told Mari I would hang out with Shawn again today. This was our third date if I remembered correctly. How nice, if only it had been real. I guess it would be fun. I didn’t have much dating experience, anyway.
I couldn’t help but wonder if he ever thought of me. He might be the only one who could see me, but so was I the only one who wasn’t effected by his blessing. Looking back at my mug, a wave of heaviness flooded through my body. The past few days I had ‘spend’ with Shawn I had been thinking and a few things had fallen into place.
For one, the fact that I was an absolute ass to him became more apparent with the day. He had been so comfortable, and if I was honest with myself, so was I. Talking with him had been so natural I didn’t think twice, and that was probably why he felt relaxed enough to say the things he did. He didn’t mean any harm with them. I had been the one who took them the wrong way.
Then there was his music. The more I listened to it the more it hit me. He sung with his entire soul. Everything that he has felt growing up was put into song in the most raw way possible. It was why I connected with it so well, and now I finally understood what he had been saying. Attention is as much a curse as oblivion if it isn’t meant.
How selfish of me to think I was the only one with a problem, the only one suffering. But what was done was done. I would never see him again and that was for the best. He would be the perfect excuse until Mari forgot me, then I could finally rid myself of this miserable life. There was no happiness to be found for me. I doubted it would be there even if my first conversation with Shawn went well. Just because we weren’t effected by each other's curse didn’t mean we were meant to be.
My phone started to buzz, taking my attention away from my thoughts. I picked it up, seeing I got a message from Mari.
When are you going to invite Shawn for dinner?
I bit my lip, knowing this question would come up eventually. I started typing, already having thought up the perfect excuse.
He has a lot of practice so he won’t be able to come.
Come on, Darc, I’m sure he’ll be able to find some free time in his busy busy schedule for you.
Not anytime soon, I’m afraid.
Ahw, that’s too bad.
Taking another sip, I placed my phone back on the table, face down. Yeah, things would end soon. It was the only thought that eased my racing heart. This year would be my last Christmas, and I was content with the idea. Mari would hate me, but she’ll forget. Shawn would never have to see my face again. I could finally be with my parents again.
The snow was beautiful this year. It almost seemed like they knew, as if they made this Christmas extra gorgeous since it was my last. Smiling, I pressed my lips to my mug. How kind of them, if only I could do something in return. Sadly enough, I could only stain it with blood.
Unless they waited for it to spill, I knew of nothing I could gift them.