Chapter 17:

A misfortune on celebration day

who I am is not who I want to be

The year 2020Bookmark here

The Clock has struck 12, and it has started to clamor outside as it is New Year’s Eve. Today is the New Year. Most businesses shut down from January 1 to January 3, and families typically gather to spend the days together.Bookmark here

January 1 is a very auspicious day, best started by viewing the New Year’s first sunrise. I am going to view the sunrise with my mom and sister. Rin and I have decorated our home, and entrance gate with ornaments made of pine, bamboo, plum trees, and clothes. My mom has cleaned the house. Bookmark here

Karma and I have decided to celebrate the 2nd day of the New Year together. I am going to spend my first day with my family. My mom has made Toshikoshi soba and ozoni soup. Bookmark here

Toshikoshi soba (literally “year-crossing” buckwheat noodles) are served hot on New Year’s Eve to symbolize the cutting off of the year’s misfortunes, as well as wishes for good luck and long life. I am being impatient and cannot wait for it to cool down a little bit. My level of patience is breaking now. I have started to sallow the Toshikoshi soba, and it is very hot. I can feel the roof of my mouth, and my tongue has burned due to my impatience.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Karma has decided to visit her grandma and spend her day with her grandma. She has decided to watch the music show "Kohaku Uta Gassen."Bookmark here

(Note: A more recent custom is watching the music show Kohaku Uta Gassen: a highly popular television program featuring many of Japan's most famous J-pop and enka singers in spectacular performances. )Bookmark here

In short, it is a tiresome say today. Bookmark here

2nd January 2020Bookmark here

Love is blind, but a broken heart can see everything. Love seems to be a dangerous drug to quit, but it becomes more dangerous when it’s taken away. (Zack speaking to himself)Bookmark here

Imagining Karma in kimono makes my heartbeat go like a roller coaster. Last year she made me Sushi. I wonder what she is going to bring for me today. We are going to meet in a shrine today. I wish she brings me some Grilled and vinegary dishes.
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I am moving back and forth, feeling impatient to see her. She should be here anytime. I don't know why, but time seems to be passing very slowly. I have started to read our old chats saved on my phone and have lost in my thoughts. Bookmark here

A small kid is crying nearby me. I guess she is lost in the crowd. Seriously, I don’t want to help this kid; but Unfortunately, I have to help this kid. Bookmark here

"Kids are such a pain in the ass."Bookmark here

I speak to myself.Bookmark here

Karma was right. Kids are just miscalculations. They always ruin the peace and our imagination. Everything around me is reminding me of her. I want to see her. There is nothing else that I want. I feel insecure. I don't know why, I can sense danger. Something is really off. She is not picking up the call. I should try again. She has canceled my call, and now her phone is switched off. I don’t understand a thing. I think that Karma is not fine, or maybe sick. Bookmark here

I don't know where her grandma lives, so I have decided to go to her home and check. I want to know where she has gone while noting is wrong. I am not feeling alright and hoping she is Okay. Bookmark here

(After 1 hour: Zack comes back with disappointment as Karma is nowhere nor she was responding to phone calls. )Bookmark here

It’s been ten days and she is not even coming online. Her home is locked. I visit her home daily to see if she has returned. Karma has stopped appearing. Bookmark here

I am unable to get some sleep. I am not able to focus on anything. Something is wrong. The sound of the wind among the trees has suddenly stopped.Bookmark here

The world around me is completely still. Nothing is moving, not a leaf quivers.Bookmark here

I should have heard something from her by now. All day I feel haunted by the feeling that she is missing, and my fear grew as day passed. Fear of the unknown. Bookmark here

On 1st January 2020,Bookmark here

Karma heard a wooden rapping-like noise from the front of the house. Karma reached her grandma's home. She found the door opened and went inside to see her grandma. It was quite silent in her grandma's home.
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She was able to hear some footsteps other than hers.
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Someone was getting closer.Bookmark here

And closer.
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And closer.
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She was getting more and more nervous. Something clacked out. She was willing to bet it was her grandma doing something with her dressing table. Someone turned off the room lights. Bookmark here

She was able to smell the blood. She was able to recognize the the voice coming from her grandma's room.Bookmark here

She saw her.Bookmark here

She saw her grandma getting killed.Bookmark here

She saw the life drain out of her eyes.Bookmark here

She heard her screams of pain.Bookmark here

She felt a tingly sensation course through her.Bookmark here

She felt a tight knot form in her chest.Bookmark here

She witnessed it all.Bookmark here

As she saw her own dad: Mr. Manzo killing her grandma her upper eyelids were pulled up, and her lower eyelids were tensed.Bookmark here

Tears streamed down her face. They tasted like salt and regret.Bookmark here

Stop. Stop it. Stop crying. She kept scolding herself as she was slowly trying to move her body. Stop being weak and help her. She said to herself. She tried to make a video from her phone.
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She turned, scared out of her mind, to see her Dad trying to kill her grandma. Her grandma lying in a pool of her own blood beneath her feet, her body peppered with wounds. Bookmark here

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Karma's fingers were numb. She was not able to move at all. And she realizes the footsteps she heard were not of his dad but a person who was following her. It happened very quickly. Suddenly someone grabbed her from behind and her phone fell from her hand. She wanted to scream, but the person behind her put his hands over her mouth. She was pulled by a man wearing bandanas over his face. He tied her up and placed a hood over her head, Then hurled her inside the car. Her breathing started to slow down. Her tears lessened. Bookmark here

What if it is a dream? Who am I? Where am I? Her reality felt distorted and warped, nothing seemed real yet nothing seemed fake. She reached up, trying to grasp something, trying to find something tangible to provide her some certainty. Bookmark here

She knew this was real. She couldn't push the truth away. She still had to face the truth, truth is something no one can evade. She gave up hope that she will be able to go back alive. The loss and pain stroked her very deeply.Bookmark here

(Features of Saho:Bookmark here

Height: 6'1''Bookmark here

Skin Tone: Light brownBookmark here

Characteristics of skin tone: Light to pale brown skin color with a more golden undertone, might freckle, tans occasionally (but nowhere near dark bronze), and burns easily under the sunBookmark here

Hair: He had Warm blond hair -- Blond with a touch of gold and red; whiskey, wheat, honey, strawberry, brassy, golden, etc.Bookmark here

Hair Texture: Soft curls and wavesBookmark here

Descriptive Hair Color: Warm blondBookmark here

Eye: Lustrous/ green: At its most basic, the word “lustrous” suggests that you are describing someone who has an aura of beauty and sexiness that is also intense and magical. Green eyes can look enticing enough to warrant this sort of description, whether the eyes are light green or dark green.Bookmark here

Cheeks: hot oval cheekBookmark here

Chin: Cleft ChinBookmark here

Jaw: square jawlineBookmark here

Nose: Roman Nose )Bookmark here

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