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One More Day

One More Day

Mia sits on the couch, staring at the bare charcoal wall and waits for him to come. Her mind goes blank, and all she can hear is the rhythmic ticking of her watch. She searches for it among the sea of unopened packages piled in the corner to check the time, and her eyes catch a calendar from 2018. She wonders, How long has it been? The longer she isolates herself, the more she loses track of days, weeks, months, and even years. She flips through the calendar, full of old events, and reminisces about her once perfectly orchestrated life.

Mia looks around her lifeless apartment, sparsely furnished and cluttered with unopened packages, and releases a sigh. Then, a sudden knock reaches her ears. She rises to her feet and quickly grabs a knife. She takes a deep breath and heads to the door. “I need to end him today, or else no one will ever forget, and I will be trapped here forever,” she thinks.

She knows if she ignores him, he will eventually open the door himself, just as he always does.

Standing beside the door, her back against the wall, she tightly clutches the knife against her chest. Minutes pass, but he doesn’t enter. Only knocking and shouting “delivery” repeatedly. He sometimes deceives her into opening the door, altering his voice each time, pretending to be the delivery man, knowing her shopping addiction. Not this time, though. She made sure not to place any orders in advance.

The knocking stops. Silence envelops the room. Once again, the only sounds are the watch’s ticking and her own breathing. Mia’s heart beats faster with each tick of the watch. She tries to take deep breaths, but they do not calm her. Her mind begins to wander, imagining her knife deep into his heart, the crimson color of his blood flowing, and the instant his heart ceases to beat. It will mark the last time she hears his breath or voice. The thought sends excitement through her—today is the end.

She peers through the peephole and sees no one on the other side. She places the knife on the kitchen counter and cautiously opens the door. There’s a box. Just a box. Anger wells up within her, and she kicks it across the hallway before slamming the door shut. She leaves the key in the lock to prevent him from barging in. She returns to the couch and sits down, her leg shaking. She bites her nails and eventually closes her eyes, drifting into sleep.

The television’s sound wakes her up. She sees him lying down on the couch, flipping through channels. His long legs crossed on the table, dressed in a simple t-shirt and jeans, exuding a relaxed vibe.

“How did you get in here?” Mia asks. “I left the key in the lock.”

He lifts his cigarette from his mouth, and exhales a puff of smoke and says,“Yeah, I noticed. Why did you do that?” Sweeping back his long hair.

“I wouldn’t need to if you’d stop barging in whenever you pleased!”

“C’mon. It’s not a big deal. Thanks to me, you have at least one friend left.”

“I don’t need friends anymore,” she replies, heading back to her room. “Whose fault is it that I’m trapped, unable to leave?”

“I don’t believe it’s mine,” he responds with a casual shrug.

Mia’s eyes widen in disbelief. “Everything would have been fine if you had just kept quiet!”

“And everything would have been fine if you hadn’t gotten involved with that group. And even more so, if you hadn’t let me be the one that catches you.”

“I begged you to not say anything,” she snaps, “yet you went around and blabbed to everyone at school making me an outcast! Couldn’t you, for once, stop being an attention seeker?” 

“Look, you were the one who was caught doing something you’re not supposed to do. Don’t try to shift the blame on me. I’m already doing enough by visiting you and arranging therapy sessions. Just get better for god’s sake. I’m exhausted from dealing with your episodes, both then and now. It’s been so long, and hardly anyone even remembers your name or face anymore. I’m tired of this.”

A heavy silence envelops the room, lasting what feels like an eternity.

Finally, he breaks the silence, his voice laced with a mix of frustration and concern. “ You locking yourself in here all alone is only making your situation worse, Mia. You’re going to drive yourself crazy.”

Mia glares at him intensely for a few seconds. “Just wait,” she whispers under her breath, her gaze shifting to the box near the door.

“Did you by any chance order something recently?” she then asks.

“Yes, I did. It should have arrived today,” he says, his expression darkening as he recalls the box in the hallway.

“Don’t act like this is your house. Don’t use this address for orders again,” she warns, retreating to her room.

“Is that my package in the hallway?” he exclaims. Ignoring him, she shuts her door.

After a while, Mia peeks her head out through the door and sees him sleeping. She grabs her phone, tiptoes to the kitchen for the knife she left by the sink, and turns on the phone’s flashlight, letting it guide her through the darkness.

“What are you doing?” His voice startles her, causing her to drop the phone. “You know you could turn on the lights or open the curtains.”

She takes a few deep breaths before speaking.

“How many times must I tell you? I prefer darkness.”

A smirk appears on his face as he begins walking towards the window. He places both hands on the navy curtain, and she screams, “Stop! What are you doing?”

He stops and says, “Opening the curtains. You have a breathtaking view of the river. It’s a shame to keep the curtains closed,”

“Stop immediately, or you’ll regret it.”

He raises both eyebrows, clearly amused.

“Okay. Okay,” he says, chuckling and then lying back down on the couch. He grabs the remote from the coffee table and switches on the television.

“By the way, your therapy session is scheduled at 2:00 pm, for the day after tomorrow. You have to join this time. I might not be able to come and check up on you. Oh, and tie your hair back. You look like a ghost.”

She ignores him and returns to her room.

“Ringgggg-Ringggggg,” her alarm goes, and she silences it. She hears the front door close. She tosses off her blanket and hurries to the living room, then the kitchen, the bathroom, and all the other rooms. He is nowhere to be found. She tries to control herself.

“I need water. I need my knife,” she thinks.

In the kitchen, Mia opens the drawer and notices that all the knives are missing from their usual spot. “They are not here. They are not here. They are not here. Why aren’t they here?”

She loses control, sending cups and plates crashing to the floor. Their shattering fills the air. She gazes at the wreckage, and a smile forms.

“I could use this broken piece of the plate,” she thinks.

Checking her watch, she realizes it’s 5:00 pm. He will be returning anytime soon. She positions herself in front of the door, her gaze on her watch, checking it every five minutes.

She soon hears footsteps approaching. She stands just behind the door and waits for action. “Delivery,” a voice calls out, calm and gentle, but unmistakably a smoker’s voice—- it’s him.” The same old trick. She opens the door and thrusts the plate shard right through his chest. He collapses, his blood staining her “welcome” doormat a deep crimson, exactly as she had envisioned.

Mia stands over him to watch the final moments of his life.

“You knew it was comi—,” She notices a bright neon yellow vest, A color he would never wear. Short, light blonde hair — a clear difference from his usual dark brown. A physique notably larger too, nothing like his. ”What. What is happening? Who is this? What? Why? Who is this?” She panics.

Her eyes widen, and she retreats into her apartment, shutting the door. She takes deep breaths until she calms down. She heads to the kitchen to wash her hands and spots a note on the fridge.

“I ordered some food for you. You should go outside and enjoy the sunlight occasionally. P.S. I won’t be coming today. I’m working overtime”

Overwhelmed, she collapses onto the ground. Her whole body trembles. Tears start falling down her face. She will need to wait one more day for her misery to end.

 

 

 

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