Chapter 3: Missing

119 61 1

Over the weekend, Diego shows no signs of life. His silence makes me uneasy. I don't understand what could have happened to him. I send him several messages:

Judith: Hey, Diego. No reply.

There's an unnerving atmosphere of tension in the air and Sandra and her subjects are avoiding us. They seem on edge and we don't understand why. There's still no sign of Diego. We decide to ask Sandra directly:

"Hey, Diego was with you guys on Friday for the group project,

right? Did he seem alright?"

"What does it matter to you?" she spits back at me.

"It matters a lot."

"Is he your boyfriend or what?"

"He's my our friend and we're worried about him."

"Well, ask him if he's such a good friend. What the hell do I care."

"He told us you guys were meeting up to work on your project," repeats Fátima.

"Oh, did he?" replies Sandra sarcastically.

"Why are you always like that?" asks Fátima timidly.

"Like what?"

"So bitter," answers Fátima, to my surprise.

"What's up with you? Is it something I said? Why are you calling me bitter?" she shrieks back.

And she carries on shrieking, launching insult after insult until it becomes impossible to follow what she's saying.

"Bitches. Your little friend disappears and you blame me." That's Sandra for you, bitter to the very end. The more threatened she feels, the more violent she gets. She only knows how to attack, attack and attack some more. I know it's always bothered her how well Diego and I get on. There was a time when she wouldn't stop asking Fátima if we were going out. She's obsessed with working out what our special bond is, what makes us get on so well, what attracts us to each other... She can't comprehend the concept of friendship, it doesn't fit in her tiny head. Maybe it's so full of lipstick, cannabis, sex, and alcohol that her neural connections are blocked to other realities. I don't think she's ever had a real friend. She only knows how to attract people sexually. She has an incredible body, bursting out of the seams on all sides, that screams "look at me, admire me."

She doesn't understand why Diego isn't the slightest bit interested in her and why he prefers to hang out with me. I'm not a very open person, but when Diego and I get together, we talk about things we both find fascinating and exciting. We've outgrown high school and our class, we're so curious about the wider world and everything in it. Life, in general, is so exciting that Sandra's and her lackeys' Instagram accounts bore us to death. They're just an insignificant speck of dust in a universe full of mystery and intrigue. One of our typical conversation goes something like this:

"What would you have done if you were Anselmo, from The Curious Impertinent?"

I asked him.

"I would never put somebody I love to the test. It seems so controlling."

"Not even a little?" I prod.

"How much is a little?"

"Enough to prove whether they really love you."

"I think we have to let life present us with its own challenges. That's how we get to know ourselves, and enjoy ourselves in the process."

UnpopularWhere stories live. Discover now