A Different Kind of Paranormal Romance
Jack knocked on his roommate’s bedroom door, “Hey Adam, are we out of pizza rolls?”
There was no response. He knocked again, “Adam? Hey Adam!”
Jack always knocked before he entered Adam’s room. Ever since that time he waltzed in on him in the midst of early morning self-gratification. Just thinking about that made Jack’s cheeks flush with shameful embarrassment.
The moment rushed back from the dark corners of his mind and projected itself in the back of his eyes. There was Adam, pounding away to a video on Redtube. He came to a slow stop when he noticed Jack’s intrusion. A large breasted Asian woman continued to scream in ecstasy through his laptop’s speakers. Adam looked Jack dead in the eye and said, “D’ya mind Dude? I'm kinda in the middle of something” He said it as if this was something that happened all the time.
This was different though. Adam always answered him when he knocked. Jack reached for the doorknob, he pushed the door open just a crack. Adam was sitting on his bed, his arms wrapped around someone. This was impossible. They were the only two people who lived in this apartment, and Jack hadn’t seen Adam bring anyone in when he got off work. For that matter they lived on the tenth floor of their building so climbing in through the window was right out. That’s when he heard it, a woman’s laugh. It was faint, nothing more than a strained whisper. It reminded him of the rattling sound a person made as they died.
Jack opened the door a little further. Sitting next to Adam was a woman. She didn’t look well. In fact she looked like something out of a horror movie. She had long matted black hair, dark circles around her eyes with matching lips, pale greyish skin, and wore a dingy dress that had been pearl white sometime long ago. She and Adam were kissing passionately, Adam’s right hand cupping one of her breasts.
Something snapped within Jack, and he barged into the room. “What the fuck is going on?”
Adam jumped as if he had seen a ghost, “Jack! Shit dude, you nearly gave me a heart attack.”
“Says the guy getting to second base with a fucking ghost.”
Adam looked at the ghost and smiled, “This is Keiko.”
“I don’t give a fuck what its name is, what the fuck is it doing here?”
The woman ripped her hand out of Adam’s grasp and crossed her arms over her stomach. She cast her dark downward as her head drooped. Her inky black hair fell over her face.
“She is my girlfriend.”Adam put an arm around the ghostly woman and pulled her close, “What’s your fucking problem?”
Jack’s jaw dropped, “My problem? My problem is that you brought a damn Japanese murder ghosts into our apartment.”
"Wow dude," Adam’s eyes were as big as saucers, “way to be a racist.”
Jack shook his head, “How’s that racist?”
“Dude,” Adam’s face was a harsh scowl, “Japanese murder ghost is not the preferred nomenclature. Onryō-American, please.”
"I don't give a-" Jack raised his arms to protest, but dropped them, “You do realize that she is a dead person right? That’s fucking necrophilia dude.”
“Not since the Stephanie Meyer Act of 2005.” Adam shrugged, “The one that says that-”
“I know, it grants full citizenship and civil rights to all paranormal entities.” Jack waved a hand at them, “But why couldn’t you date one of the normal paranoid creatures? Like a vampire, or a werewolf, or something a little less… murder-y.”
"Dude, remember, I don't date werewolves anymore. Not after Aurora cheated on me with her pack leader." Adam's face lit up like a candle, “Besides, I like Keiko.”
“But how did you even meet her?”
Adam brightened up, he took hold of Keiko’s arm, “It’s a really neat story. You remember when I went to Tokyo last month?”
“Well while I was there I heard about the house Keiko haunted. Classic deal, everyone who entered turned up dead or disappeared, supposedly because of the ghost of a young woman murdered by her father for falling in love with an American GI right after the war. Which sounded really familiar to me, but I'm getting ahead of myself. So there I am in front of her place.”
“And you went in?” Jack asked.
“Fuck yeah, I did, see I had this theory.” he glanced at Keiko, “See, I figured that the root of an onryō’s homicidal urge was their anger at their unfair demise.”
Keiko nodded, "You're right."
“And what happened when she showed up to kill you?”
Adam squeezed Keiko’s hand and brushed her hair out of her face, “You tell it.”
Keiko nodded, she spoke, her voice a throaty rattle but even Jack had to admit, there was a gentle passion to it, “I crawled down the stairs as always. It usually gives intruders a real fright. Adam had just found my diary and was reading it. I crept up behind him, ready to take his life, and then he." she smiled, "I never expected it. Normally people cower in fear when they see me, but not Adam. Instead he,” She giggled, the skin around her cheeks greyed. Was she blushing? “he hugged me and said-”
Adam interrupted her, “I understand.”
Jack shook his head again, “You understood what?”
“My pain, my anger, my loneliness.” Keiko said, “He said that he wasn’t afraid.”
“And that did it?”
Keiko blushed again, “Not entirely, I was still prepared to kill him. Sixty six years of murdering all who entered my domain has a way of doing that.”
“It was his eyes that spared him.” Keiko gushed, “They were my lover’s eyes.”
"Remember how I said her story was familiar?" Adam smiled and looked Keiko in the eye, “Turns out my great granddad’s stories were true. See he was stationed in Tokyo after the war, fell in love with a demure little dame. Planned on taking her back to the states as his wife. Then her old man found out, ran her through with the family katana.” Keiko opened her kimono to reveal a bloody stab wound between her breasts.
“Great-granddad found out about it, tracked her old man to a sake bar and shot him with his Colt .45 right between the eyes. He got discharged, but always said it was the best thing he ever did.”
Keiko smiled, “I never knew what happened to my father after he murdered me, he left home and never returned.”
“And it didn’t bother you that your lover moved on?”
She shook her head, “All I ever wanted was for him to be happy. And if I couldn’t be the one to bring him happiness, I’m glad someone did. Loneliness is the most terrible feeling in this world. I would not wish that on him, or any of his descendants.”
“And when she made the connection between you and your great grandfather?”
She looked at Adam, “I asked how one of my lover's descendants could understood my plight.”
“And I told her about Aurora. Even the part about how her pack leader beat the shit out of me to set an example to any human wanting to date a werewolf.”
“So that did it?”
Keiko cast a sympathetic look at Adam, she nodded slowly.
“I made it back stateside, I just waited for the inevitable.”
“I’m technically cursed, though I’d rather call it marked.”
“Because he set foot in my home, I subconsciously know where to find no matter where he goes, and I can manifest behind him at will.”
“And you don’t have a problem with that?”
Adam shook his head. “Nope. Way I see it is that I have the perfect girlfriend. If she needs her space, or I'm at work, or someone enters her home in Tokyo she pops off for a bit. Then when I'm free she appears before I can miss her.”
“You realize how fucked up that is right?”
They looked at each other, and Adam said, “Yeah but that’s love right? Fucked up but you don’t care.”
Jack nodded, “Fair enough. So, do we have anymore Pizza Rolls?”
“Nah,” Adam said, “Keiko and I finished those off last night after you went to bed.”
“Damn it.” Jack sighed, “Guess I’ll just have a hot pocket.”
He walked out of the room, “You kids have fun.”
As he closed the door he glanced back, Adam and Keiko had gone back to making out.
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