After the sunset, a single, ridiculously loud knock on the door, signals me that Sonny is finally here. With an irked groan, I open the door, and she immediately invites herself in. She picks the same spot she’d occupy back when she used to pay regular visits here. On the couch, right next to the TV, facing the exact opposite direction. Basically, she usually sits in the most uncomfortable place possible, with the worst position one can ever envision.
There are multiple places for people to sit here if they want to have a conversation with someone, and the spot right next to the TV is the WORST choice, since it’s the spot furthest away from the crowd, and the television sounds would make it difficult to make out what others are saying. Even if you want to watch TV, you would never sit with your back to it so awkwardly. Thus, this position is the number one candidate for the worst way to sit; and somehow, it always ends up being Sonny’s chosen spot in the entire room.
“What the hell does this person even want to do?” is something I’ve asked myself multiple times since I met her. It’s not like the answer is a mystery; everyone wants to do something, which will be revealed at some point.
“This place just gets smaller and smaller the more time passes, huh?” She opens the conversation with an attempt to attack me with nostalgia, which surprisingly works. “I wonder if it’s because we’ve grown so close to each other that there’s barely any distance left between us.” She continues, wearing a smug grin on her face.
I sit on a wooden chair on the exact opposite side of the living room, putting as much distance as possible, and shoot her an infuriated glare. “Quit lying to yourself. This place is not getting smaller at all, you’re the one getting fat.”
“I lack motivation, goddammit.” She screams back defensively. “If I had a gym buddy, I would definitely lose weight in no time.” She’s leading this conversation somewhere I don’t want to.
“I have an idea! Why don’t you…”
“Not happening. I’m not hitting the gym.” I interrupt her before she can fully propose the idea. Having an outgoing friend has its own disadvantages and barely has any advantages. It’s like a deal that only hurts.
“You’re so unbelievable.” She grunts, with a fake disappointed expression. “Most guys are yearning to be invited somewhere by another female. Some of them would even go to literal hell if only a pretty girl beckons them through the fire and the agony.”
“Why do you even sound so defeated?” I shoot back. “Anyway, I have more important things to take care of.” I declare as I point at the note on the table. Once she notices it, her face loses its playful expression, and gets more serious, she picks it up, looks at the letters that were scribbled hurriedly, and reads them aloud.
“I’m sorry for leaving you behind. I didn’t even want to be involved in this, but I did it anyway because of you. I kept everything inside because I was afraid of what would happen, but I can’t tolerate this anymore.
Goodbye, my dear mother.”
After she finishes, she keeps staring at the paper, as if she’s waiting for more words to magically appear on the white surface of the paper.
She stares at the paper.
I stare at her.
She glances at me.
I look away.
“This seems like a person with a terrible condition, regarding their family. Are you sure we can do anything about it?” I shake my head in silence. A terrible household is one of the reasons many people have trouble. My own father was not an exception, but solving the family issues of others is not really what I would call easy. It’s tricky to do, and it’s almost impossible to intervene. I keep looking at the wall, waiting for a solution to appear upon it. I guess awaiting the presence of magical words is something we all naturally do when we can’t find reasons in reality.
“Alright;” Sonny springs up swiftly, looks at the note one final time, walks across the room, gives it back to me, and sighs. Then, she gives me a smirk.
“If you’re gonna do this, and be the hero, then I might as well do my job as a side character.” I give her a vexed expression, with a tiny hint of confusion mixed in. “Would you stop casually saying things like that as if we’re in a TV show? What are you even going to do, anyway?”
Her smile widens, and she does a cool girl pose. Something she hasn’t done in a while. She seems quite lively.
“I know many people, unlike a certain anti-social dumbass I’m quite familiar with.”
“Excuse my anti-social ass, I guess.”
“Your ass is excused. Anyway, I’ll just listen for the rumors and anything related to anyone for now, until we can close in on our culprit.”
“It’s not really a culprit. You’re not using the right terminology here.”
“So what? It’s just a word.” And with that, she glances at the note again.
“Did you check for any codes or anything? Like what you did for the first one?”
Back in high school, we used to do suicide riddles, one of those psychological, crime riddles when the notes almost always had encoded hidden messages in them.
Something like that would make sense with the first note since it was a poem. An oddly written expression of emotions, and ideas, with messed-up word order. But the second note seems like just a random, usual goodbye.
No question was answered, no questions were asked, and no answers were questioned.
“I used a couple of things, but nothing really works. The same goes for the first one.”
“So our only clue is someone with mother issues, and somehow related to Oscar Peto?” Once again, Sonny sounds defeated.
“Well, not quite.”
“Explain.” Without reacting with a “WOW” or “WHAT THE HELL?”, she just awaits further clarification.
“If we assume that the person the writer is talking to, is their mother. Then that doesn’t mean they necessarily have mother issues. Wouldn’t that completely miss the point of writing someone a final letter? Also, if you read the rest of the things mentioned before the goodbye, you’ll realize that this person has someone else to blame for their misery, and is just saying goodbye to their mother.”
“Fine.” Wearing her lemon-green hoodie once more, she snatches the paper away from my left hand. “Noted. The mother was in actuality, the one this note was dedicated to. I’ll keep that in mind.”
This sounds more like a side-note than a dedication. “Leaving already?” I ask, still perplexed. She usually sticks around for a while, like a desperate parasite, slithering around this way and that.
“Well,” Her hand gently embraces the door handle, and she tilts her head my way. Her eyes land on mine. “My friends are going to sleep in a while, so I should probably head home quick before they drop off the face of the planet until tomorrow. Don’t worry about this. Just put your trust in me, okay?”
“Fine,” I reply after a sigh, still uncertain if I’m doing the right thing to bring her in on this.
“Now that’s a good boy. Put it all in me, alright? Give it all to aunt Sonny!”
“Get the hell out immediately, and never ever set foot here ever again.” I don’t wait for a reply, and push her outside as forcefully as possible, before shutting the door in her face. Ignoring her continuous knocks, I return to my room.
“I’m everything you need.” That was what was written on the back of her hoodie. Although, I’m not entirely certain that this would be applicable in this case. Sonny is just as affectionate as she is intelligent. At this point, we might need both of her characteristics; the two adjectives that define her. Even though they are both needed, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are enough. At least they weren’t in my case, but who knows, maybe this case turns out better than mine.
In a worst-case scenario, not only these two characteristics will not be enough, but they will also cause trouble, in which case, Sonny will be the exact opposite of what I’d need. Too much affection can cause harm sometimes, and too much intelligence can make you realize things you shouldn’t until the right time comes, which is a problem in its own way. In a worst-case scenario, Sonny will be the last thing I would need.
Knowing how much of a forgetful idiot I am, I already took pictures of the note. Lying on my bed, I slide my hand inside my pocket and bring out my phone. The top notification is a text I received from Sonny several minutes ago.
“It was a joke; don’t close the door on me next time.”
I close my messages. She already knows it takes me a lot of time to check them, let alone reply to them. I open my gallery, and stare at the note for several minutes, before turning it off once more, letting it lie on my bed, right next to me, and drifting into sleep.