I click the like button, and laugh react. Jacob always posts the funniest stuff. I keep scrolling.
[Be not afraid! XD Lol]
[I can’t even ]
[You guys are ridiculous]
[I love this]
[This is great, you are great!]
[I totally relate to this!]
[I’ll try this next time I’m out!]
[This happened to me too!]
[Where did you take that picture?!]
This is my day.
Every day. Just commenting on posts and chatting with friends, I love my friends. I’m friends with some really interesting people, you see. We’re occultists. We are The MagePunKs (Lol). Some of these people I consider family.
I don’t leave home.
I can’t. I... another notification! Someone's laugh reacted to my comment. That always makes me smile when I can make other people laugh. I like it when people think I’m clever too.
I know I have met none of these people in real life, but that doesn’t really seem to matter to any of us. We share ideas and laughs. That’s what this is about. It’s almost better than meeting people in real life.
I like my home.
It’s nice. It’s secure. I have a box in the door for delivery. With technology these days it’s not just friends I can make, it's grocery orders, food delivery, I can use this app to get my shopping done. I should’ve bought stock in Amazon.
My eyes wander for a second to the picture of her above the desk. I immediately shift back. I’m not supposed to look. I never look, shouldn't look. It hurts too much. Her smile... but that’s how I need to remember her not.... not how she left me.
I make myself look. So I can remember. I love her. She is why I’m doing this.
I’m breathing ok. I will not lose it. I breathe.
It’s been two years since she died. It’s been two years since I’ve stepped outside. I can’t. I won’t.
This quarantine for the past week is kind of nice.
It actually makes me feel more connected to my friends, like we have more in common, but for the past few months it seems even less of them are logging on or talking.
Not since that one weird phone call.
A lot of them don’t seem to be really taking it seriously, but I can’t begrudge them for that.
I go back to the stove where I’m making soup.
I glimpse the water boiling... the bubbles make me think of her again. But not her smile. I make myself look away and back at the picture.
Her smile. I miss that smile. It’s her smile that holds me.
That reminds me why I’m doing this. My computer is my contact with the world. My games, my friends, my shows... this is all I need, this is all I need.
I’m so alone.
I’ve tried making servitors to act as companions but... they all seem to leave. One got out once. Sometimes I’m scared that this new Corona virus is... something to do with me.
But I can’t think like that. This isn’t me. I have nothing to do with this. That’s what she would tell me. That’s what she would... but that one did get out ... once.
I can’t be around people. Not for real. I’m not allowed. I don’t want to hurt people. I don’t want to hurt any more people.
I just miss my wife so much.
I stop boiling the water.
I don’t want soup. I want pizza. I order a pizza.
One large pizza. Meat lovers. Extra cheese. A bottle of coke.
They usually get here in like an hour, even though they say 30 minutes.
I put on an episode of Supernatural. The one where Dean LARPs with Felicia Day.
I miss being outside sometimes. Sunday mornings at the park with Lisa.
There’s a knock at the door.
I pause the show. It’s only been 45 minutes. Since I placed the order.
“Hello?” I call out.
3 more knocks on the door, a low voice booms through, “Delivery, from Dominos.”
I did order from Dominos but ... it can’t be, not this soon... maybe.
I call out again and step towards the door, “Open the latch on the box and slide it in.”
“Can you open the door?”
“No, just slide it through the bottom space of the door. Open the latch.”
“Open the door, please.”
The box is a large translucent chest. Bolted into the door that’s been bolted shut. The door can’t open, it’s bolted shut and even then, this enormous chest is obstructing its way to open, anyway.
The latch hinge squeals and the bottom fifth of the door swings open. I only see a pair of legs. Standing there for a moment. He then slides in the pizza box in through the door, and it sits on the floor.
I stay put.
He jiggles at the handle.
“I’m sorry sir, I can’t open the door. It’s bolted shut.”
He’s still. I’m still.
“Where’s the coke?” I ask.
Another pause. He rolls the bottle of coke in. And then quickly swings the latch door back closed.
That was odd.
I get up towards the door, I don’t have to wait long to hear his steps pace away from the door and down the hall.
I reach down to open the box a-
I’m on the floor. Everything hurts. Everything is awful.
The ringing in my head pounds against the inside of my skull. I’m going to throw up. My eyes are rolling from right to left. It's hard to steady them onto the door.
The box is destroyed. The door is destroyed. What was left of the door swung open through the debris. I try to get up. There’s a piece of plastic sticking out of my leg. I can’t get up.
Suddenly 5 shapes, shadows barge into the room, they’re so fast. They circle me.
I still can’t hear anything, or make any faces, just black shapes. Men in suits.
I steady my eyes on a face, the mouth moves. I can’t hear him. He gets frustrated and grabs me off the ground by my shoulders and shakes me. I start to sob. I’m screaming but I can’t hear my voice but I know I’m screaming loud. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!”
He punches me in the jaw. I stop screaming. I can’t see. But I can hear as the pounding in my head sharpens into a stiletto ringing.
“You’re coming with us.”
“You stupid person. You have no idea...”
I can see again. I look down at the cracked picture of Lisa on the floor. I cry. She was so beautiful.
The man holding me loosens his grip. I look at him. His eyes are widening as he coughs. To choke. He coughs. He gags. A rash of blisters climbs up his neck. Bubbling his skin on his face. Sputum with specks of blood spray onto me, his clothes, and the man directly behind me.
He drops me to the ground and starts grabbing at his own throat, trying to undo his tie and collar. He can’t breathe. Blisters form over the back of his hand as he does.
The other men start to cough.
“What are you doing to us?!”
My eyes stay on Lisa’s perfect, beautiful skin in the picture. I don’t want to look. I don’t want to see.
“I don’t know.”
They fall to the ground around me. The first one is throwing up but is too weak to move from his puddle.
With her it happened so much slower, but it starts with the cough, the dry throat. The fever. The blisters. The vomiting. The diarrhea.
I took care of her. I did everything I could. She was so strong. I took care of her for 3 weeks. She lasted three weeks and these men can’t last 3 minutes.
Have I gotten worse? Or is it because I’m scared? I don’t know.
Is it because I’m panting? My breath? My sweat? I’ve never known.
She never blamed me, but I know it was me and I know now for sure.
Finally, the room is silent. They all died.
And again, I’m all alone.
To be continued...