"Yes! I did it!" was cheered from downstairs
Rubbing my eyes, I frowned, checking the time. Six am. Seriously. What was my roommate doing that caused her to exclaim in that fashion?
Well, I had to get up anyway. I couldn't work from by bedroom.
Crawling out of bed, I put my robe and slippers on and meandered down to the living room, hearing techno music as I bumped into the wall.
Sasha was doing her happy dance in her pajamas, the music matching her obvious mood.
"You're way too happy right now." I shuffled to the kitchen, turning on the coffee pot. "So why are you so happy?"
Grabbing her laptop, Sasha beamed as she bolted my way. "I just invented something amazing!"
I yawned, "What?"
"I haven't come up with a name yet, but it's a type of money you can mine for online. "
"How is that useful?"
"It will be worth millions someday."
I shook my head, drinking my coffee. Sasha had always been a tech geek, which was fine, but I wasn't, so I had no idea what she talked about most of the time.
She ignored my expression. "I know, you don't care, but I'm excited, so go me!" She set her laptop down, resuming her happy dance.
I chuckled, heading back to my room, getting ready for work.
The rest of the day was rather uneventful, but as the weeks passed, I noticed her new online currency, now dubbed as Bitcoin, was making headlines on the news and online.
It made me smile when Sasha wasn't looking at me. No everyday did someone invent something like that. And not everyone knew that person as a true friend.
Her geeky friends filled our apartment more frequently now, helping her refine the Bitcoin, whatever that meant. I didn't mind.
They were polite, mostly quiet, and cleaned up their chip bags and monster energy drink cans before they left, even when that was at two or three in the morning.
They also went by a group name that I could not for the life of me pronounce, but sounded cool when they said it.
Sasha also seemed to be earning lots of money too, upgrading her equipment and buying all the groceries for me, which I thanked her for, being a cabbie who didn't make much.
She even bought a big condo, inviting me to live there, which I did, mostly because I couldn't afford not to have a roommate and the fact I didn't really have other friends to crash with.
"I can't believe Bitcoin earned you so much so fast." I unpacked the boxes for my new bedroom. "And you're not even the one mining it."
Sasha grinned, helping me. "Nope, just invented it."
I chuckled. "Yeah you did."
"And my roommate puts up with me."
"Well, I like you."
Sasha smiled, giving me a side hug before returning to her work.
The weeks continued to pass by, along with many people in our apartment, many wearing nice suits and watches.
I stayed out of Sasha's way for the most part, either working or painting in the public art studio, since I sold artwork on the side. Sasha was working too after all. I didn't need to be disturbing her.
But one day when I came home, I found Sasha pacing back and forth, chewing on her thumbnail.
I walked over, "Hey, what's wrong?"
"Are you sure? You seem anxious."
"Yeah, I'm sure."
I humored her, knowing something was wrong. She never chewed on her thumb unless she was on edge. Did Bitcoin play a part? I wouldn't be surprised. I felt the same way whenever a potential buyer examined my paintings.
However, Sasha's anxiety morphed into paranoia, always jumping when the door rang, checking the peephole before opening it. And some of the people seemed a bit shady, unlike her friends and the investors, who also continued to up.
I wanted to talk to her, but she kept insisting nothing was wrong.
So I did my own thing the best I could, charming everyone I drove for extra tips and painting many pictures. After all, I had a life.
One day, when I got home, I noticed none of Sasha's stuff was in our apartment. Heart racing, I ran around, looking for her or any evidence of robbery. I found neither.
I walked back into the living room, fisting my hair, What could have happened to her? Did someone kidnap her? I kept my breathing as even as possible.
Glancing at the table, I spotted an envelope with my name on it. I opened it.
I'm sorry I had to run without saying goodbye, but they were after me, wanting me to manipulate the stock market. When I said no, things got ugly and I didn't want you hurt because of it. I doubt we'll see each other again, but I made sure you would be taken of for life.
your dear friend,
I dropped the letter, tears running down my face. I covered my mouth. Was she okay? Where did she go?
I began calling every police station I could, but none were of any help. I threw myself on my bed, allowing myself this breakdown. Sasha was gone and I'd never see her again.
Another few weeks passed, me staying in bed for most of it, binge watching TV shows and movies. I didn't have the heart to leave the house, much less work or paint.
However, I decided to check on how much money I had and was stunned. I had over several million dollars in my checking account. No, that couldn't be right.
But I recalled what the letter said about me being taken care of, a lump forming in my throat. It was so Sasha to do that.
I was quickly called by the local news station, asking me to do an interview. I agreed, telling them all I knew excepted her name, which wasn't a lot, but they seemed satisfied enough.
It also made headlines quickly, people wondering who invented Bitcoin. I smiled at the people who attempted to figure it out. They would never know.
I then decided to quit my taxi job, opening an art studio of my own, continuing my work while teaching a few classes, which quickly grew into a huge success. Even made a few new friends.
I still thought about Sasha and whatever she was doing. It was a bittersweet feeling, but I lived my life the best I could, thanking Sasha every day and was thankful for my time with her.