4 Rice and Noodles

Wait! What is that faint, soft, and soothing calling out my name? This voice reminds me of my... mother.

Whenever I was sick, I'd listen to her comforting voice beside me. Even now, it comforts me! Hearing my mother's voice gives me an ounce of hope and cargo of fear.

It'd be best to hear unfamiliar voices now, but if it's the worst-case scenario, then maybe they're still alive.

I took two more steps. At this range, the silhouette of the two bodies... is now more... Coherent...

Within the wreckage, two bodies lay on the floor. Every inch of their skin was covered with blood. I let out a scream that made my throat bleed...

I got down on my knees, with shattered glass touching my jeans. In disbelief, I muttered, "This is bullshit, right? Hahaha..."

A child should never see an image of their dying parents. But what am I looking at now?! This is too cruel! I can't live with this image embedded in my mind!

This isn't fair! I might as well die with them right now!

They're the only people that know I exist! I don't want them gone! I don't want to be forgotten!

What the fuck is wrong with the world?! And people say there's a God?! With shit like this?!

I haven't even paid my debt to them! Why?! Why them?! Of all people?! This world... and everybody in it... can just die! And I won't give an ounce of sympathy.

While on my knees, with my eyes opened as wide as possible. Tears started to fall.

A recognizable but frail voice called out...

"Miles..."

I crawled towards my dying father, not giving a damn about the shrapnel piercing my hands and legs.

Papa... This may be the last time I'll hear his voice... I can't accept that! I know many people who are better off dying! Why should you be the one at death's door?!

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Maybe he'll still live, right? If I can just heal... his... wounds... a piece of metal stuck in his stomach...

Amidst the shattered glass and fragments of metal, my tearful scream reverberated throughout the city.

"Mama... Papa! Don't die!"

With blood dripping from his face, my father's dying voice barely replied. "I'm sorry... this is the life you were born to. Promise me, find your happiness."

"Oi! Old man! D-Don't talk like that... t-this isn't funny!

Stop saying that! You know he's going to die, Miles!

"Don't start crying now, dumbass..." And with a smile on his face... he died.

Why are you apologizing?! I'm the one who should say sorry! If only I hadn't waited for that bitch, this wouldn't have happened!

As a river of tears flows from my eyes, I hear a faint, feminine voice whisper.

"Miles..."

I turned my head, and what I saw next only added to my misery.

"Mama? Not you too..."

If I can't save father, at least let me rescue you! But how?! If I check her pulse...

I seized mother's hands, but when I pressed down with my fingers, I felt a weak beat slowly decelerating... Hahaha... It's too late.

With a familiar smile I've seen while growing up, mother whispered, "It's okay..."

With all my strength... I let out another howl... one that can be heard by the entire city...

"Don't die! Please...!"

That was the loudest cry I've ever done, but no response... nothing.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing!

This is the first time I've heard this word in my heart... nothing. This life I'm living is empty but, I've never once felt like there was nothing.

The only people that have acknowledged my existence no longer exist. How ironic is that? The only thing I have left their... last wish. Although father requested it, I'm sure mother would have said the same. Usually, I'd say to myself, it's okay. Just the way life goes. If it happens, deal with it, but for the first time, I want to run.

Ever since birth, people have been marching towards death. Some march slow, while some advance fast. Nothing is similar, nothing is equal, and nothing lasts. The only connection between humans is the end, an eternal sleep at the end of the march. I want to race towards that finish line. Basically, I want to die.

|...|

I feel like running back home would fix this. Maybe my parents are still home, I still get to hear my father cursing after losing a game, I get to listen to my mother rap a bible verse to scold me, maybe I just fell asleep in the taxi, and this is just a dream. That has to be it!

I let go of my mother's hands and sprinted like there's no tomorrow.

|...|

Now I'm running back home like a madman. Running through red lights, hardly dodging the speeding cars as they barely crash to each other, wreaking havoc everywhere I pass through, causing problems for everyone I run past, and leaving a trail of tears behind a trail of chaos.

Those tears I dropped in the street were tears of hopelessness, pent-up depression in the form of fluid, and, for some peculiar reason, those tears also contained a sly amount of satisfaction.

An insignificant person like me leaving a trail of chaos? Although exaggerated, I find that thought oddly satisfying. I feel like a villain mistreated by the world finally getting his revenge. I've always hated this world but, I never once sought revenge. Even now, I don't.

I just want my own little world, and my parents have to be part of that world, yet the world I currently live in seems to be doing everything it can to prevent what I want. That's why I hate it.

|...|

"How... long have... I been... running? I... can't... breathe. Ahh! Fuck..."

I muttered with my hands on my knees.

They're gone... Hahaha. What the hell am I doing? They were killed in a car crash. Running back home will do nothing, you piece of shit!

I sat down at the bench earlier this morning. We were still chatting like the days remained the same, but now... they're gone...

I'm at a crowded plaza near my pare-... near my apartment.

We always go on walks on this very plaza because this place best describes Abu Dhabi. Different types of people converging in one place to live their lives. A place where you can see all the shades of brown... a paradise in hell but, it no longer feels the same.

As much as I hate humans, I used to see these people around me as a colorful masterpiece, a piece of art that brings you life, but now it's just a blank canvass. A lifeless, inanimate object yet to fulfill its purpose. Ever since the incident, the world had lost its color. The crowded, vibrant plaza with filled people turned into a dead, lifeless space filled with walking pieces of meat.

I've had my share of reminiscing, so I'll get some rest. I've been running around, creating chaos for two hours, and it's taking a toll on my body.

|One week later|

One week had passed since they died, and nothing significant happened other than my parent's funeral. I didn't attend it because I stayed in my pare-... I stayed in the apartment, holed up in my bedroom trying to recover... and I've only eaten twice.

Nobody came to visit me. Not that I have people that will, but at least some acquaintances should have come.

"*Thud!"

A knock?

An unfamiliar voice yelled, "Good morning... is anybody there?"

A visitor? I don't know anyone I'm close enough with to visit me. I should turn them away. They won't get anything from me anyway, nor do I get anything from them.

I got up from my bed with little to no energy and yelled...

"Leave me alo-"

"This is a notice from the bank. This property will be taken back in two weeks, and if nobody acts as your guardian by then, you'll be taken to a foster home."

"..."

"Huh... is that it? If that's all, then fuck off!"

Somebody just lost his parents, and the first thing you say is to move out and find another parent?! They said all that blasphemy with a caring and sympathetic tone, but these people hardly care at all! That's just lip service!

To them, my parents are merely another number. Their deaths are a missed opportunity, but they'll always find another chance. My parents are nothing to them, and I hate that.

"Sorry for the intrusion... we'll be off now."

After they left, I stand by the door as if I'm some inanimate object. A few more words, I would've knocked that agent out. What an excellent example of how messed up this world is! I wish I could ask my father one more question.

How am I going to find happiness in a world like this? It's impossible! I've been stressing over it in my bedroom for a week. With the way things are going, I'm disappointing my parents beyond the grave.

If I can't even grant their last request, how am I supposed to face them in the afterlife? I want a way to be happy. I want a little world of my own. I want to see the world with color again. I want to grant their last wish, but how?

|...|

It's been hours after the bank agents left, and I'm still doing what I've been doing this past week. Look around the apartment and reminiscing while doing so.

I walked around the house for the billionth time... Like a wandering ghost searching for something dear to them.

Each object in this place contains a memory. For everything I see in this place, a short scene seemingly out of a movie plays in my head, moments of a happy life. A life that was empty but somehow managed to be amusing. What a life that was!

Right now, I want to pass away. I want to move on to the next life. This one no longer has anything to offer... except my parent's last wish.

Time to go to be-

As I tour my all-so recognizable house, I glanced at the table.

That's strange... Everything in this apartment contains a memory. Even the most insignificant of things, but this pair of objects don't. A book and a pen?

At first glance, the short clips in my head stopped playing. Maybe this is the first time I've seen it. That could be the reason, but that's impossible!

No one and nothing has entered the house except the people from the bank, and I've never been outside and brought anything home since I went on a rampage.

Somebody must have placed it, yet I can't think of anyone who would. I found it at the table near the main entrance. I've never gotten close to the main door this week, so someone must have broken in, left it, and I didn't notice. I should inspect it... I have nothing to do anyway.

I approach the exotic objects. The book is empty, and the pen is functional... I see no names written on both items, and I can't find any more clues, so I'll let it be. If someone was to break into the house, the only purpose of doing so is robbery. There isn't anything valuable in this house, so good luck to whoever tries to rob this apartment.

That's taken care of, and I'm hungry. It's time to prepare dinner.

I went into the kitchen and grabbed...

"Three plates and three spoons... and forks."

"..."

After this realization, I tightened my grip on the spoon and clenched my fist.

Now that's hilarious! I'm preparing food for my parents, and I've been doing it for a week! But they're gone! I'll just sit down at the table... and forget what happened. Hahaha...

"Thanks for the food."

It's only rice and noodles. I don't mind eating it, but it's... lonely...

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