Memories of the Unread

The clock is ticking. It’s already four a.m., but I can’t close my eyes. It’s been raining all day for the past two weeks. I’d say it’s cold, but I feel uneasy and the heat seems to keep rising up. This feeling and the empty head inside me always make me anxious. 

Beep. My phone’s ringing. The phone screen lights up the dark room, a notification pops up.

Ah, it’s always the same messages. The messages whose senders I don’t wanna know. I’ve been piling up the texts. Can’t wait for the day I would finally read them. Well, I’m actually always on my phone, but I never seem to be there, socializing is boring sometimes.

Wait, I’ll make a cup of tea and change my bedsheet afterward.

****

It’s been three weeks since I changed my bedsheet. I think I should change it again since I’ve been sweating a lot while sleeping. The weather has changed. It is sunny all day and warmer at night. Tonight is the hottest day of the week.

Beep. My phone’s ringing again. 

I glance at it and roll my eyes, ugh, annoying. But maybe I should encourage myself to read them, to see what is happening this whole time. Inhaling so much oxygen as a preparation to set up my mood, I finally open the texts.

Damn.  People have been texting me? What are they looking for?

Lili (3 Unread Messages)

‘Jen! Do you still have that picture of us on the baseball field?’

‘Can you send it to me pleaseeee’

‘Where’s the picture????’

Ugh, I actually hate that picture she means. I look dead because I was afraid the ball would hit my head and I would die in the field. Lili started taking a liking to baseball just a week before we watched the match because her darling was playing. I’ve known her for two years and I’ve learned that when she falls in love, she will try to like everything her partner likes. 

People are so funny when they are in love. Why try so hard to look for a similarity between a couple? I mean, it’s okay to dislike our partner’s favorite … right? I don’t know, I just think it’s stupid. I hate his boyfriend, though. I think he has an affair with his manager. I miss Lili and accompanying her to do whatever her boyfriend does, stupid little Lili.

I don’t reply to her message, though. I don’t want to search for that one photo amongst thousands I have on my phone. Lili might live somewhere on the west side now, I don’t remember the last time I met her or talked to her. But I’m pretty sure we were eating tacos back then, and she spilled the sauce while laughing. 

 

Jace (1 Unread Message)

‘I have a ticket for FUR show next month, you in?’

Jace introduced me to FUR two years ago—we went to a show in Toronto and the band was there. But I don’t like FUR anymore, Jace. I’ve stopped listening to their songs. I mean, they’re not that popular now, are they?

Jace has introduced me to many bands, even though I don’t actually like them. I get bored easily. But he seemed excited when he saw me listening to FUR on the train after we went to Sally’s party last Autumn. I only listened to three of their songs though, mainly because of that Toronto show. 

Jace and I hung out a lot. He’s the type of guy who will make you a playlist of his favorite songs and FORCE you to like them. I no longer care when he sends me his playlist—not my cup of tea. Aside from that annoying habit, he’s pretty chill. I’m really grateful for his presence anytime I needed to rant at two a.m. Well, I was. 

 

Lex (1 Unread Message)

‘Check your email, The Goldwest has responded.’

Ah, that job vacancy. I saw the announcement on a website. I was so desperate for a job. I needed money to pay my bills, to provide meals for two people. I had applied to many enterprises, but I think they wouldn’t hire an unskilled and miserable woman. 

It was with the help of Lex that I could send my application. Turns out her aunt worked for The Goldwest and yeah, thanks to Lex. But I don’t give a damn anymore. There is no more responsibility I should fulfill. No more weight I should shoulder.

 

+1 887392 (3 Unread Message)

‘Ma’am, when will you pick up your monthly grocery?’

‘Do you mind if we deliver them to your address?’

‘We apologize but we are canceling your grocery order due to lack of response’

Sigh. I totally forgot about this. The lady in the store, Mrs. Manor, had been nice to me and her store really had everything I need. Damn, she’s great. I used to buy the same things repeatedly each month before she offered to make my grocery list and prepare it for me and I just had to pick it up. 

Sometimes, we picked up our groceries together, that. No, not Mrs. Manor, obviously. Us.

Right now I can’t recall what had been on my list. Maybe sugar, eggs, butter, loaves of bread. Maybe some veggies, broccoli and spinach, and, oh, tomatoes as well. Some snacks—my favorite was chips and his jello candy. We liked to alternate between the milk, attempting to try out every brand the store has.

I never really cooked, actually, but sometimes I did when I got really bored with instant and fast food. Oh, we always bought a lot of instant noodles, our go-to meals. Our favorite was the mala flavor. 

Wait, I’d said I couldn’t recall the list but I did mention them perfectly. Well, I don’t really want to keep that in mind. I don’t have to buy groceries or order Chinese food anymore. Thanks, Mrs. Manor, I will never forget your help. 

 

+1 390182 (1 Unread Message)

‘Good day, Miss. Your laundry is ready.’

When was the last time I left my clothes on that laundry service? Two days before ‘the event’ happened? Ah, I think I don’t have to pick them up. They are mostly his t-shirts and jeans that he always wore. I think I only left my cotton sweater there. He won’t remember it anyway. 

We did the laundry every two weeks. Sometimes every month. He liked to wear the same clothes over and over again. I still have some of his clothes in my closet. My favorite is his tartan pants—they surprisingly look damn good on you.

As I open the unread messages, the memories that I want to dispose of show themselves more vividly. 

 

Mitch (3 Unread Message)

‘Jen please answer this, this is not you right?’

[Picture attached]

‘I don’t trust this. Are u ok?’

 

Sally (2 Unread Messages)

‘Screw whoever sent me those pics, are u home?’

‘Jen let’s meet and get some coffee, shall we?’

 

Iris (3 Unread Messages)

[1 missed call]

‘Jen, i’ll come to your place. ok?’

‘Jen send me your location now,’

 

Sister<3 (4 Unread Messages)

‘Jen, pick up Mom’s call’

‘Please come home, okay?’

‘Jen, should me and Mom come to your place?’

‘Jen, u there right?’

 

Aron (3 Unread Messages)

‘Let’s go out, refresh ur mind’

‘Me and Bella come to u now,’

‘Jen, it’s raining hard’

 

Eric (2 Unread Messages)

‘Jen pls answer I want to make sure you’re ok’

‘Jen, let’s grab some big mac!’

 

Babe<3 (1 Unread Message)

‘That’s what you got for dumping me you little whore. I never loved you in the first place. I can never bear your sick attitude you sick lady, do u expect me to calm your ass down when you’re screaming because of NOTHING? I should’ve done more than this, maybe I can sell your nudes on the internet. You sick psycho whore better get some help. Piss off’

Ah, what was all of that for? God, why are they so loud, I’m tired. What was that, again? Wait, I can’t remember. Ah, that night when I kicked him out of my apartment because he had threatened to slit my throat? He’s mad about that? Hahahah. His short temper is really troublesome. 

Well, yeah, sorry for kicking him out when it was raining so hard outside. But wait, he was never sorry for the scars he left on me, for the bruises and the threat. Well, that’s fine, he always hugged me and kissed me the next day, acting as nothing had happened. That’s an apology, right? We still went out together, even though sometimes when I suddenly felt anxious and panicking, he would choke me so I wouldn’t cry and scream. 

Really, reading all these unread messages is tiring. But yeah, everything is over now. I don’t have to meet him again. I don’t have to make money and buy groceries anymore. I can lie down all day, maybe watch some shows. Sounds good. I don’t care about his revenge or my nudes. I got a perfect body anyway. 

But, where are all these people now? They said they would come to my place, but I never hear any of them knocking on my door. But thanks for texting me and making sure that I’m okay. Thanks for the offers but I’m not really hungry now. Thanks for the effort to come to me. I’m fine now. 

I lie on my bed, with my stiff dead body. I don’t have to reply to these messages, I should just wait. Maybe tomorrow they’ll come. Or next week. I’ll get myself some good rest. Ah, this is what I’ve been looking for the whole time. This peace, no screaming in my head. Just me floating among the sunny and rainy days.

Beep. You have one new message.

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