How did my life come to this? I asked myself as I tried to stare out through my balcony window which was steamed up because of the cold. Oh how I envied the steamed up window, it was at ease...I didn't remember how that felt like, being at ease. I looked back on to my bed where I had tucked myself in surrounded by envelopes that enclosed bad news and that felt like letting the cat out of the bag when I opened each of them. My credit card, Overdue. My health insurance, Overdue. My Rent, Overdue. All my bills were overdue but at least my landlord was understanding.
“ FINAL WARNING! OVERDUE! ACCOUNT CLOSED! URGENT LEGAL ACTION! PAST DUE! FINAL DEMAND! FINAL NOTICE!” They all screamed at me and I couldn’t scream back in defense because I knew I could have avoided this but instead I kept blowing them off like candles on a birthday cake that went out then burned again, I kept blowing and blowing and didn't even notice the candle wax entangling with the cake till there was nothing left to blow and I was left with a waxy cake. “Deep breaths,” I whispered to myself as I slid out of bed slowly to avoid feeling too dizzy so I could focus on anything but my financial standing, which was quite impossible because I was digested by hunger that I couldn't quench.
As I was battling with myself my eyes darted to my closet that I hadn't opened since I lost my job. I might have money in the pockets I thought to myself as optimism creeped into my brain and slowly dethroned pessimism. One by one I thoroughly went through all my clothes while being met by disappointment. After I ran through the clothes I managed to raise $2.65. "A coffee for dinner, I guess" I said to myself with a deep sigh of hopelessness. I was so used to paddling my own canoe the thought of someone joining me or helping me echoed "Failure" in my head. Looked like pessimism was not going to let his throne go too easily or I wasn't going to let him step down because he had been the only company I had grown to appreciate...sadly.
I looked back into my wardrobe and noticed a bag on the top shelf I had missed after dragging everything out my wardrobe. As I approached my wardrobe I started to tag on the bag while on my tippy toes praying to God, the universe, My ancestors and whoever I hoped would hear me out. When I finally pulled the bag out it was accompanied by a little black book that dropped to the ground after smashing into my forehead which didn't do my wooziness any justice.
I remembered the book from previous months back. One of my neighbors had picked it up outside and assumed it was mine because the name on the book was foreign and the spelling of it hard to pronounce, I remember not trying to explain that his reason was kind of biased because he was a Gaston with a huge dosage of ignorance. I was pretty late for work and was not mentally prepared to argue with him over a book. I took the book and tossed it into my wardrobe without opening it and forgot about the book after my shift.
I stared at the little black book that laid on the floor. Weirdly it made me feel calm and for a moment I forgot my problems like I had walked into a different realm that was in my favor. I picked the book up with the intention of finding out what was within it. As I flipped to the first page where the contact details were, everything was written in a code like language I had never seen before except for the email address and the rewards section that had a smiley face drawn which seemed pretty sinister but the Pandora within me wanted to know more. My parents always told me not to snoop through strangers' diaries but like Pandora who was told not to open the box I opened the book. When I flipped through the diary it was all coded. Finally my stress that had been taunting me was focused on something else, attempting to decode this mysterious code.
Opening the box couldn't have been this hard for Pandora...however her curiosity must've been this hard to ignore I thought to myself as I was typing an email to the owner of the book. Whatever story could have been hidden behind this code must have been really top secret and this person went out of their way to hide it. At this point the cafe I was planning to get my coffee from was closed but I didn't care, the curiosity feed my hunger now.
I tucked myself back into bed and flipped through the little black book page by page patiently looking for patterns or styles the codes represented, then I stumbled upon a page that was written in English towards the middle of the book. I flipped through to see how many more pages were written in English. It was back to the coding twelve pages towards the end of the book. I still wanted to know what the codes meant. So I read the part of the diary that was written in English hoping to find out.
It's been weeks since I've written my thoughts, feelings and my adventures down. I did not know where to start or how to write about what's been going on. I'm overcome by fear for what I've found out. No, I am not in danger. I hope. I couldn't even tell my parents about this mysterious encounter I had because they are monitoring me now and made me sign some document to never say a word of what I saw because its "top secret" and people will think I'm crazy. People will surely think I'm crazy, I thought I was crazy till they made me sign the document and told me In depth about it. This was just supposed to be a normal internship. I don’t know if I will ever be the same again. I cant keep this to myself anymore and need to tell someone, or write it down instead. I said I wouldn't say a word but I didn’t say I wouldn’t write about it. So here goes, it was the first day and I couldn’t sleep so I decided to explore the premises. I guess I was overcome by excitement. As I was exploring I kept seeing shadows but I knew I was the only one up, then I heard weird sounds, cries or calls of some sort. So I followed the sounds which led me to a…
Before I could read on a loud knock disturbed me and it sounded really urgent. I took the little black book with me so I could continue reading it after I attended to whoever was at the door. When I opened the door I was met with a heavy scent of fried chicken and fries which confronted my taste buds that made my mouth water. The lady holding the two paper bags with food stared at me intensely yet softly. "Ummm I'm sorry I think you got the wrong room. I didn't order any food." I said with a faint smile. "Oh no no no," she said softly. "I'm Remy, the owner of the book," she added. "Ohhh I didn’t think you would come through this quick" I said handing her the book trying to hide the disappointment of not uncovering her secret in time. She stared at the book and back at me as if to search in my eyes if I had already uncovered what was in her Pandora’s box. "You didn't read it, did you?" She asked, seemingly confused. "No," I lied as I shook my head stretching my hand out with the book. I technically hadn't read it because I hadn't gone in too deep.
"I recently moved in," she said ignoring her book "It's been a rough few months and I ordered a meal for two by mistake," She said shaking the paper bags. I opened my door wider to let her in because she seemed to have a lot on her chest. I mostly wanted her to open her chest of secrets to me once she warmed up. We turned the television on, ate and spoke. She spoke about almost everything that had gone on in her life and the struggles of settling in. As much as I felt sorry for what she'd been through she still kept her secret I wanted to know locked up. I caught my mind digging into my imagination on what could have happened next in her diary instead of paying attention to her.
"...that's all about me" she said concluding her monologue "Thank you for listening I know that was a lot to take on" she said. "Don’t worry about it. I'm one call away if you need me," I smiled as I hugged her. "Well," she said, finally picking up her diary she had avoided like I had avoided my bills. "Can you keep this for me?" She asked hesitantly "What if I end up reading it?" I asked, trying to contain my excitement. "I trust you, you can read it," she said, grabbing a folded check and writing my name on it. "I know my book is in safe hands," she continued as she slipped the folded check into the book and placed it on my laps.
"I couldn't ta…" I said nervously. "Please, it would mean a lot to me if you did. It's a token of appreciation from me," she interrupted me "Or a little bribe" she said with a playful wink as she stood up to leave. "Thank you. Thank so much," I said so gratefully despite not knowing how much was on the check. Whatever amount she gave me was going to make everything a tidbit better for me no matter the amount. "Don’t worry about it" she said, stepping out of my apartment.
When I was alone with the book I pulled out the check and slowly unfolded it as if I was focusing on defusing a bomb. When I finally unfolded it my jaw dropped, my heart raced and my breath taken away. $20 000 was what she had given me. I rubbed my eyes to remove any mask of deception that may have been covering them but all that covered my eyes were tears of joy that streamed down with praises and thanksgiving. As I was celebrating the gift I had received I looked at the little black book that called and begged me to finish off what I had started. What more did The Little Black Book have to say? All I knew was it was going to be a journey I would enjoy…