Did you see it? No, not that— Ah, I’ve never doubted you for a second.
It’s a bottle of diazepam. There are 100 tablets, the label says. A pleonastic buying, but it was cut-price. No, I didn’t buy it online.
I’m planning on taking a handful tonight. I’ve bought a bottle of not-so-prime vodka from Red Pants Bar and cold relief liquid medicine, too. It’s safe to say that I’m fully equipped.
It’s going to be over. Don’t tell anyone just yet.
True, I’ve been partaking of those pills. I can’t recall how long, but I distinctly remember how I met these psychoactive drugs. A kind girl with a dim tote bag I knew in the railway station gave me a pack. Ah, not a very fun journey. I went back from a regency in the northeast coast for a self-styled concealed coverage that, as always, ended up in the undisclosed journal. My first train travel experience. It’s not worth a telling; move along.
When I said she was kind, she really was. She perfectly got the picture of how tormented I am—something people “close” to me couldn’t really see through me—despite the concise acquaintanceship. She said I could use diazepam every time anxiety and trouble sleeping, a range of typical conditions that often assault me, sprang up. You’d like her, I’m assured.
I think that was the last thing that girl could do—I had no chance to ask her name … I know it violates the rule and is so disappointing—to help her fellow Eeyore. She died flopping down her body on the rail right when the train drove—at least that’s what several frightened, rowdy people told me when I got back from the toilet. I got in spotting the tote bag she somewhat left behind that quoted a line in Akutagawa’s The Life of a Stupid Man: “He wanted to live life so intensely that he could die at any moment without regrets.”—right,
can you believe that? I don’t know, she probably wanted to prove something. I turned to the guy next to me; he shuddered staring at the thick cloth.
“You’re keeping pills from someone who got hit by a train? As if you couldn’t be sicker.”
I sniggered. “Coming from a friend who doesn’t know what her chum’s been doing.”
“Oh, come on,” Anita brought her face closer. “What’s the matter?”
“Relax. Drink that Americano of yours. You needed that.”
“Your Dad came home?” she lowered her voice.
“I won’t bother if he did. Cut it out. I’m in fine fettle—saw what I’ve been tweeting
“Yeah, some forthright GIFs from cult movie scenes, a couple retweets of Dalai Lama’s sayings, and a few grumbles on MUNA’s upcoming gig—” Anita, who greatly likes her brand new classic round glasses, finally took a sip of her coffee.
“Right. Oh, how mouthwatering,” I couldn’t resist the honey garlic buffalo wings that just landed in front of me.
“How come she got hit?”
“I believe she fell asleep. Those are sleeping pills,” I casually replied, chewing the wings—you should try some. “Still a suicide.”
If you were there, you could capture Anita’s terrified look. So strange seeing such look on her cloudless face. She’s been floating on air ever since the UN six-month volunteer program announced her acceptance and she’s among those who’re going abroad.
“Okay, now throw them away.”
“Why should I?”
There emerged the pause.
“Because that’s horrifying.”
Since she only spewed out that response to begin a full-length chronicle of how she had given her very all to snatch the exalted volunteering opportunity and carry on with a lecture on how I should start to get earnest about my early line of work as a colleger, I’ll tell you what’s horrifying.
The first time I discovered this inexplicable, horrible verity was a week ago. Right, it’s been seven days. Mom was the first person I saw with the green maquillage all over her body, bulging red eyes, and croaking voice.
I jumped out of my bed as soon as I opened my eyes to find Mom’s face unexpectedly at close range. Just when she changed her appearance into a frog, she woke me up by putting her face only centimeters away from mine. Typical Mom.
“Croak. What happened? Croak,” someone who seemed to had brought cosplaying into a whole new level was startled to see me back down to the wall in terror, spreading the blanket over my face. I could sense her coming up by the shortest route.
“Sweetie, it’s me. Croak.”
Good Shepherd. That was no cosplayer. It was Goliath in a more amphibious form.
But it was also the woman who gave birth to me. She looked definitely like a human frog, but she was exactly my Mom.
“What did you do to Mom?”
“In what kind of delirium are you right now? Croak. I’m your Mom,” she answered in her deep, hoarse sound.
I tried to justify her defense. Set aside the “croak”. If you had crouched in her “alien incubation pod for nine months”—thanks to Frances Bean Cobain for this awesome utterance—and been brought up by her all your life, you know it was her just from the voice.
I sealed my whole body with the blanket then.
“Alright. That’s what you get when you slept with a rotten media tycoon who doesn’t even know how to write a column in the approved manner. Can I get my latest essay published in his printed newspaper? The website is okay, but I won’t be as pleased.”
You can tell I was beginning to possess more determination.
My bedroom grew tense with the long silence lingering in the air. Not really long, though. I perceived an equivocal “croak” later on.
She might be shocked. She was struck by stupefaction.
“Croak. What column did you read?”
I had no clue what was happening—do you even?
I drove her off my bedroom: first, she seemed much cushioned in her new-found guise; second, she preferred to question me about how I discovered the mogul’s ignominy rather than how I overheard her giving him long, low moans in her bedroom—I’ve probed their affair before, don’t be so amazed.
You know my exceptional aptitude for digging up skeleton in the closet—now you know why I’ll never be a used guinea pig but a resentful journalist apprentice. So, following the man’s loud groans, I rushed to the front, spited on the window frame of his posh car, and went away. I decided to let them have fun.
Incidentally, this city is somewhat offbeat and the weather is puzzling. A sudden downpour of animals can happen at any time. Can it rain animals? Hell, even a racially bigoted swellhead had managed to get elected! I wouldn’t know when. But you will most likely drive around in a cyclone and had your car knocked with what you thought was hail.
I’d still make a report about fish rains. I excepted from my coverage a heap of frog rains.
“Chase away that green creature for me, Mom!”
“Calm down, Sweetie. It’s a friend. It won’t hurt you.”
“It’s no friend. Look, Mom! There’s another one!”
“They might be quite gross, but they play an important role in consuming insects and are an important food source for birds. They provide a very good transfer of solar energy. You must have known about that, right?”
“Biology isn’t my thing— They’re going to pee on my gardening tools and bounce to my feet again! Get away!”
“Don’t hit them!”
So, you want me to mention about Dad, since he didn’t take part in the scene. I never got to play stuff with Dad in my younger phase, remember? Dad left me and Mom 15 years ago. He’s a prick. I never knew the confirmed reason he discarded us, but he’s a prick. Tell me otherwise, you’ll never be me. He never really talked to me, which was funny, because I knew him as a lawyer. Lawyers talk beyond number.
Mom is terrific: she’s a natural-born bombshell who’s much educated and mindful enough of what she’s doing. You see her often. She’s a freelance editor—I thought I had told you about it. I didn’t know how she got all the cash to afford me a good deal of books, vinyl records, and Blu-ray discs; but you and I are exempt from all the puzzlement now. I know she’s an astonishing reviser, though. She nurtured me in all fairness. She taught me almost everything common parents would probably never weigh: safe sex, A–Z on to not be a self-proclaimed pundit, pretty-pretties of intersectionality, the whole kit and caboodle.
“Never bow and scrap”, she said. If I could get my forehead tattooed with that phrase, I would.
Mom was like a prophetess. Go on and gape for I didn’t particularly glorify her. She has sickened me to an unusual degree anyway.
Go to the window. Check that out. You saw that little girl, I mean, that female froglet? Oh, yeah, she’s wearing such a sleek petticoat … that comes off second best compared to her obnoxious form. Look at that slimy, ugly, particularly disgusting thing walking next to her. Doesn’t that chappie look just like her?—except he appears more truculent with that baseball bat swung over to the front and back. That bald-headed jackass who’s warming up his car is Mr. Gunadi—I bet he can stop boasting about himself because he will soon be scooped up by the police for money laundering … and leaping here and there in the court.
I believe my surroundings have become a frog settlement; everyone has switched over themselves into a frog. My obstreperous classmates—look, their WhatsApp profile photos look similar. Lecturers, office boys. The motorcycle taxi drivers. People I pass on the street.
Every single one. Ah, I forgot; don’t turn on the TV! What— You know frogs shouldn’t talk to humans. They should only talk to their kind. I’m human.
You can tell everything I despise in just one vile, living frog. They peed on my gardening tools and bounced to my feet; that’s equal to constructing fear in children.
Hell, never mind. I had hated them people long before they’ve acquired this dreadful transformation. So, this should’ve given me no distinctive effect at all. But I don’t even know anymore. Perhaps the case has never been so convoluted to be conceived. I can’t bear myself.
“How many pills did you take? Did you even realize they caused you to experience hallucinations?”
“Perhaps. But, Anita, don’t make me laugh. Without them I can see the world turning to a catastrophic shithole, still.”
“Let me help you.”
“I’m afraid I can’t get any of your help. I can’t stand your raspy voice, much less your brand new look. Oh, wait, I’ve told all the guys to try working on the assignment themselves this time—there are five of them, multiple reliable brains. You should make efforts to be more “earnest”, too. Sorry, I have to hang up.”
What do you mean I’ve noticed it or not? You’re starting to make me uneasy.
Stay put. I guess I can feel it. My skin is becoming moist. Don’t play a joke on me.
Now I’m beginning to think my sense of smell is getting better than ever. I’m sniffing a rancid smell from the roof. Damn, I intended to surprise you right before I take all of those “offerings”. Okay, I’m all caught already. I stabbed Dad in the stomach.
I have fins in between my fingers—what kind of gag is this? I’m not going to make a sound; we’ve always talked in silence. Quiet. I don’t want to hear any more things from you.
Don’t hand me that mirror, you dolt!
Pass me those scissors over there. The ones poking out from under that pile of paper. [*]