1 First Fever
The sound of someone banging on the door can be heard inside a room contained a large size bed, four straight-backed chairs, and a small wood-table. There are sheer white curtains blowing up by the wind from the open window, family pictures on the wall. Today the weather seems to be cloudy, it's not raining now but it has rained last night.
There's a TV screen that are still playing as it was the whole night. Right now the television shows the morning news and the neatly dressed weather forecasters stated, "Most inner-city areas should see a break from rain during the day before more storms arrive tonight."
One window were raised, a beautiful black butterfly was flying in though the open window and its landed on a human nose.
The human is a young adult woman who sleeps while sitting on a chair, head resting on her folded hands on top of a large desk. Soft curls falling over her shoulder. A laptop open yet turn off in front of the female, whose eyelashes slowly moving against each other reluctant to open.
Feelings a little itchy, Guiana open her eyes and was shocked to see a blackish foreign object movements on her nose. Her honey brown eyes shone brightly in surprise, unique color eyes that appear to be mix with light and dark. No eyeliner rimmed her eyes but they still stand out, right now it show so much emotion. She let out a screams and fell off her chair landing on the floor with a thud.
The butterfly after the human huge commotion decided to changes direction, heading for the
flowers bouquet on the table by the bed and begins feeding its nectar.
"Aiya! you scared me, but how did you get in here?" Guiana asked the butterfly doesn't really expected an answer back.
One hand rubbing on her lower back, the other hand holding on the chair to help her stand up. She look out the window and saw its still half open. About to go closed it but stop when she hears a loud banging on the door. Changing direction she went over to open the door instead.
"Yes, who is it? I'm coming." Guiana calling out, opened the door while yawning. Running a hand through her hair, Guiana used her fingers as a comb and push back her long bangs letting many unconquered curls sprang loose.
"Guiana!" The door opened and the attractive faced of Wendy Chan, her thirty-years old editor zoom in invading Guiana personal bubble. Her editor proceed to shake the living daylight out of Guiana until her soul nearly escape her body.
"Where is my manuscript? The deadlines is this weekend!" Wendy with dark expression shouted.
The editor, she'd a neat clean cut appearance. Well-dressed with smooth medium-length hair that reaches down to her shoulders. Guiana has to admit she envied how Wendy managed to always look so tidy, which is completely polar-opposite of the disheveled novelist.
"Woah, okay Wendy, calm down. I promise I'll get it done tomorrow." Guiana steady herself after Wendy somewhat violent moves against her person.
She brushed her silky black hair behind her ear and smiled sheepishly at Wendy who glared back at her. Sighings, she invited her editor inside the condo and offers Wendy some hot coffee she brewed.
"Oh yes, but I need a lot more coffees than this, especially before I had to deal with you." Wendy let out a satisfying sighed after drinking the coffee Guiana made.
Sitting on a chair Wendy took noted of inside Guiana's room then straighten her lips in a displeased manner.
Guiana's condo are not exactly messy but it's a bit unorganized. Stacks of disorganized papers consumed half of her desk, some even scattered across the floor.
The television noises got her attention, she frowned but Guiana quickly pick up the remote control and turn it off before Wendy triggered and go crazy on her again. Guiana thought Wendy already annoyed with her about turning in the manuscript late and misses a few deadlines as it is.
Wendy exploded in irritation when she see the window remained half open, "Guiana, why is your window open. Did you know it was raining last night? What if you get sick, then who is going to finish the manuscript for me?!" But then Wendy's expression stiffen when her eyes lands on the uninvited guest, which was the black butterfly on top of the flowers.
"Guiana, when did you start raising black butterfly as pet?" Wendy asked Guiana nervously and in an peculiar tone unlike her own.
"Not mine, it flew in just awhile ago when I woke up, why? Is something the matter?" She inquired, curious at Wendy unnatural reactions to the butterfly.
"Black butterfly are considered a symbol of death," The sound of Wendy voice's abnormally eerie as she explains, "Maybe you don't know Chinese culture because you lived in America for too long but when a black color butterfly enters someone home. It meant the butterfly is the spirit of someone you know or loved that died and it's nearby you."
Guiana frowned,"Black is not a color."
"Is that was all you got from what I just said!"
"No, I was listening."
Then Guiana spoke in a low whispery voice, "Now that you mentions it, the black butterfly might be my distant uncle who died in China. I heard when he was on his deathbed, he wanted to see my mom." She affected a convincing shudder, "But he died before she could make it back to see him from America. My mom often dreams of him, maybe he hasn't he drinks old Lady Meng's soup yet and still wandering around in the living's world."
Guiana jokingly said but was astonished when Wendy actually believed her.
Wendy uneasily looks at the butterfly, "For real? Stop scaring me Gui." Her hands rubbing against each other as a sign that she's nervous, "This is seriously giving goosebumps."
A light bulb in Guiana head seems to turn on. "Wendy, do you feels like the temperature suddenly drop, and an uncanny feeling that we were being watched?"
Guiana quietly walks around Wendy and stop behind her. In a very low but husky voice as if suffering from a sore throat Guiana called out Wendy name then roughly grabbed both her shoulders from behind.
Wendy jump out of the chair and piercing screamed resounding inside the room, escaping though the half open window. Birds chirping, a couple of neighbors hear the deafening sound, poke their head out to see what happen. The butterfly was startled and abandon the flowers to fly away though the open window.
"Agh, what a pity my uncle left." Guiana said nonchalantly looking at the black butterfly wings flapping frantically left and right trying to get away.
"Guiana Lui! Don't ever do that again! You frighten the living daylight out of me, I'm too old to be scared like that." Wendy nervously rubs her hand against her chest trying to calm down her erratic heart beats, "...and close the door please, there going to be a storms tonight. Anyhow, you'll be sick for real if you keep leaving it open like that, ya hears me," She manage to finish her sentences.
"Okay, right on it." Guiana used her hand to cover her mouth trying to suppressed her chuckles, "But Wendy, you're only thirty, that's still pretty young." In a cheerful spirit she skips toward the window, shut the window closed then securely locked it.
"Wendy darling, one thing you should know about me is that I never gotten sick in my entire twenty something years of breathing." Hands on waist, face raised up high to proudly declared.
"Never get sick? What a huge accomplishment." Wendy said with sarcasm while clapping her hands together as a mocking gestures.
"I know right." Guiana grinning from ear to ear, "Just one of the many things I'm proud of." She completely ignores Wendy mocking tone.
"Well, don't break your records because of this."
"I won't, I'm very confident on my metabolism, I've never get sic--k..." Guiana takes a sudden quick breath in, her small nose keep twitching like there's an itch.
The moment when the whole world and everything stop. Then comes a slow yet soft exhale from her soft pink lips like a sigh of relief that everything is normal again.
A breathy smile follows as if she won over some small victory. She want to start talking again but then unexpectedly took another deep inhale then an uncontrollable small explosion of breath escapes itself from her mouth.
The air propel itself so violently that it could not be stop, sniffle sound and then accompanied by more explosion of breaths.
ACHOO! ACHOO! ACHOO!
"My un-sick-able Miss. Liu what
did I tell you? You reap what you sow." Wendy reprimand Guiana,"Who told you be so irresponsible and not close your window when it's was heavily rained."
"This can't be happening, but I never get sic(k)aaachoo!" Guiana said between her sneezes and running nose, then sniffles.
"Never said never it's very likely that you are infected with a cold virus?" Open the zipper Wendy pulls out a thermometer from inside her purse .
"How come you've a thermometer with you?" Grasped Guiana then asked in surprised.
"Because my nephew caught a flu yesterday from playing outside while its raining so I bought an extra." she answered.
"As irresponsible as you but at least he has an excuse of being a six-years-old not twenty-six," Wendy continued to lectures Guiana while ripping the thermometer plastic cover bag.
Guiana sat on my bed as Wendy stick the thermometer under her tongue and waited for a moment.
Wendy took the thermometer out of Guiana's mouth and looked at the result. "100.4, congratulations! You're officially having your first fever, how do you feel?" The know-it-all maniac editor grins smugly.
"Like I been hit by a truck and it reverse back and hit me again."
Wendy rolled her eyes at Guiana cheekiness. "Now, where do you put your medicines? Do you even have any?" Crossing her arms Wendy gave Guiana a 'This fool don't even have medicine' looked.
Guiana pointing a finger to her desk where her laptop laid on top. Wendy went over and took the medicine, along the way filled a glass of water from the water dispenser then handed it both over to Guiana .
"Here, drink it and sleep. I'm going to make some congee for you. Don't worried I set an alarm on your phone at five o'clock to remind you to wake up."
Guiana flashed Wendy a graceful smile, "Thanks Wendy, you're my favorite person in the whole world!"
"By the way, are you sure the manuscript of Beautiful Mask War God will be done before the weekend over?" Wendy wanted to make sure.
Guiana reassured her, "Yes, my beautiful mask god only need a plan to take over the city and save his wife." She swallowed the medicine and drank from the glass of water, "Then the story will happily end."
Her editor's smile - improved mood, "Good, your story has been a major hit lately. You could be getting more bonus this year after the completion of this novel. I heard they proposed a plan to adapted your novel into a drama."
"Oh is that so? This is good news." Guiana calmly sipped on the water.
Wendy with a hint of excitement, "They we're asking your opinions on the leading actors. Says, they really are giving you face. The famous actor Zhang Fang and the most popular idol Han Suxian are rumors to be audition as the male lead role in this upcoming drama. Who do you want be the male lead?"
"My beautiful god should be play by Zhang Fang, I'd watched many of his past dramas and he completely matches the temperance I want to portraits my warlord. Plus, he very handsome. Don't you think?" Guiana casually remarked.
"Yes, of course but I think Han Suxian is way more handsome. He got millions fans in China and overseas. If he were to participate in your drama, then the popularity rate would definitely skyrocket," Advised Wendy, trying to act solemn but Guiana keen eyes saw that miniature smile. It's started as a twinkle in her eyes and threatens to spread to Wendy's lips.
"Don't tell me you are one of his fan as well?" Guiana simpered, looking pleased with herself for guessing Wendy dirty little secret. Guiana can't be believe at her age Wendy still obsessed with an idol like a teenager. As a friend, what's she going to do with such classify information? Exploit it, of course.
Guiana always been an intelligent and astute person but most people don't know that because she'd often camouflaged it with her foolish smiles and frivolous attitudes. Guiana possesses sharp analytical eyes, since young she always been able to notices details about people and situation that others fails to see.
"How do you know? I'm a SUN, I got all his CDs and I managed to get a good seat for his concert this July though some connections, " She told Guiana excitedly like a little girl who just found out she can go Disneyland.
"A SUN? What's that?" Guiana asked confused.
"It's Han Suxian fan club name, don't tell me you don't know who he is? Girl, did you lives under a rock?!" She exclaimed in outraged.
"Uhm I'm not really into idol. So I never saw his face or hears any of his song." Guiana blankly stated, uninterested in idols.
"You should! You be hypnotize by his voice for sure. He sound like a heavenly angel but sexy as hell,"
Guiana raised an eyebrow at her editor rare excitement.
Wendy ran enthusiastically to her purse and took out a CDs.
"There's no picture on it?" Guiana commented neutrally.
"That's because this is his newest song I just downloaded from online, the official CDs haven't come yet." Wendy sighs and looks disappointed.
"So this is illegal stuff you are holding?"
"Hey, I'm going to buy an official CDs once it out but it's is too hard to resist this new song." Wendy explained.
"Oh well, go to sleep now. I'm lending this CDs to you to listen. Make sure to give it back when you are done." She told Guiana.
Guiana was going to tells Wendy that there no need but she already shoved the CDs into her hand. Guiana reluctantly take it and put it by the bedside. As Guiana's head hit the soft pillow she hears many noises of Wendy taking things out to cook in the kitchen. Moments later Guiana's eyes somehow feel heavier and heavier, until she finally close her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
Unknown to both women the black butterfly have not left but stayed outside the balcony as if its waiting for something.
Kim P. Ho
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