[WP] Yesterday I wrote the number 69 on my wrist as a joke. Today it's 68, and now it's not washing off.
As I downed the shot of teu8la to the cheer of the strangers in the club, I realized that I had never regretted any of my random actions as I did that particular one. Why I was so deep in regret? I had no idea, yet. But it was an innocent bit of fun, a decision taken on the spot of the moment, that had me feeling this way.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
This started at a Friday night party, one of those parties that were just organized in a hurry.
We were done for the weekend after five days of hell getting ready for our firm's 13th Annual Conference. It was obviously on the front of everyone's mind: relaxation. Only Angie from.my department, HR, finally thought up the idea of a party, and we all tagged along.
We were about twenty-seven in my porch, the chosen venue. There were more females - a prerequisite for a great party, and I thought that was it. Booze, good BBQ going, sexy, willing girls and a cool spring breeze.
What more could man want?
Bernie asnwereed that with his suggestion of a game of 'Truth or Dare". It was obviously a cheap trick; things were getting hot and heavy in the outside breeze, and a few couples - and trios - had retreated inside to do things that would have me doing a lot of laundry the next day.
It was just six of us left - Me, Bernie, Angie, Sue from Transportation, Amanda from HR and Sara from Accounting. Things were looking to get funky, and we just needed the right trigger.
The bottle came to a stop between Sara and I. Biting her lip, she tossed a marker in its plastic pack to me.
"Magic Pen - unleash your inner tattoo artist now," I muttered, reading the pack and glancing at her. "What's this for?"
"I dare you to write the number 69 on your wrist."
Scoffing, I wrote it down - even putting some of my calligraphy skills to use as I made it look good.
"That was pretty vanilla," Sue mentioned, but then Sara obvious couldn't handle the sexual tension anymore and leapt at me, tackling me to the ground and forcing her tongue down my throat.
The rest, they say, is history.
"This shit isn't washing off," I muttered groggily in the bathroom as Sara stood at my back, massaging my shoulders. Sue lay languidly in our bed, staring at the ceiling of our room, the latter looking like it had been hit by a hurricane.
"The magic pens don't fade for a few days," Sara said, grinning. "How vanilla is that?"
I laughed it off, before looking at the wrist again.
"Sara, what did you ask me to write again?"
She hesitated, something I didn't notice at the meantime, and then she spoke. "68."
That explained it for me. I always thought it was 69, but oh well, Sara had clarified and that was that.
As I watched her receding figure, I noticed the number one on the back of her wrist too.
I chose not to ask about it.
When I woke up the next morning, I decided not to go to church. I just wasn't feeling it. Looking at my wrist unconsciously, I decided to see if the ink had begun to fade away.
The number there was 67.
My heart began pounding in my chest. 67? But it was 68 just yesterday! Was it really reducing? That was ridiculous. How?
I grabbed my phone and dialled Sara's number. I didn't know what the hell she did, but she had to have a solution.
"The number you dialed does not exist," an automated voice said. I couldn't believe my ears. I'd been calling that number before today. Could she have...
Sue was her best friend, if anyone knew of Sara's whereabouts, it would be her.
"Good morning, Sue!"
"Good morning Matt," she said in her upbeat voice. "Thanks for your er... hospitality yesterday," she chuckled.
I smiled. "You're welcome. So listen, I've been trying to call Sara and..."
"Sorry, are you calling the wrong person, Matt? I don't know any Sara."
"She works in the accounts department! You guys are best..."
"Matt, are you drunk?" She giggled. "You do know how to start a party, but isn't this too early? I'll call you when you're sober and you'll be so ashamed when I tease you with this."
She hung up before I could say anything else.
How could Sue say she didn't know Sara? Was it a prank or something?
I raced to Sara's apartment building, barely managing to keep within the speed limit. Reaching the place, I parked the car and dashed up the stairs to her room.
I knocked on the door and waited.
A short, pudgy man in just briefs opened the door. It was quite a disgusting sight. Sara rolled with this guy now?
"Sorry I'm looking for Sara Jenkins."
"Never heard of her," he said rudely, staring me down.
"What? She's lived here for months if not years now, in this room!"
"Effin' stoners! If you're going to get high make sure you don't have anywhere to go, before you go about annoyin' and causing hella noise everywhere. I've been here for the past five years, in this damn room!"
I stepped back in disbelief. It had to be a joke.
He dashed in and came out with a document. It was his agreement with the owner of the building. Sure enough, it was five years ago, and room 206.
"So stay out!" He said gruffly, banging the door in my face.
I was still in a daze. Where, no Who in the world was Sara?
I drove back to my house. Then I grabbed the maker one more time and looked at the pack. It gave away nothing much, except that it was produced by XYX industries, which was within this city. I hopped back in my car and drove there,and luckily, someone was there.
A man in a suit stood before the gate. I walked up to him and asked. "You work here, right?"
"I'm here about this! Any idea what the f*ck this does?" I said, producing the marker.
"Ah, the magic marker? Of course. It's magic, like it said it was. In some weird, u orthodox ways, it brings what is written or drawn on one's body to reality. Of course, its interpretations of what's written, especially how they should be realized, is quite weird, but..."
"What the hell? It's just a stupid marker! It shouldn't..."
"Magic, Matthew! It's a Magic Marker!" He said, glaring at me.
I hadn't even told him my name.
"I wrote 69 on my body two days ago and see what's happened to it!" I said, showing him my wrist.
"Ah, the countdown, huh?"
"What's it counting down to?"
"I have no idea. We haven't had any human trials yets that have completed the countdown, well except one, and..."
I was zoned out. Remembering Saturday. When I saw Sara leaving the bathroom. There was the number one on the back of her arm. If that was a countdown, then...
Was Sara, and all that concerned her, erased from this world when her 'timer' but zero? Was that really what happened? Is that why Sue didn't know her, and her apartment building had no records of her presence?
"But my fr..."
There was no one there.
It was now me, my countdown, and the feeling of dread in my chest..Would I also vanish forever? Why did Sara do this to me?
Hopping back in the car, I realized that my despair wouldn't be helped by thinking about it, or the work I had to return to tomorrow. I had 67 days to live normally, and I had some money in the bank.
It was time for the best days of my life. If I was lucky, I'd die before the 67 days ran out.
The story took a lot of twists and turns to reach this point, but I hope you all like it!
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