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It might be a hottie—a super hot hottie at that—but it’s a hottie floating in the air. “Ahhh!” I scream at the top of my lungs, reaching a higher decibel than any female horror
I’ve scared him away.
I’m about to catch a breath for my poor old heart when the hottie teleports back in front of me again, floating.
I jump out of my skin and start screaming out of reflex.
Instantly, he is gone again.
I’ve gulped a few breaths of air when he hovers back again.
I’m thinking to myself: ‘Give me a break, man! You might not be tired but my throat hurts!’ I open my mouth to scream and the hottie covers it—I could cry right about now.
“Ma’am, I’m begging you. Please stop screaming. I’m sorry, alright? I’m sorry! It wasn’t easy dying so let me stay dead for a while longer, okay? Seriously, your scream could scare the dead back to life.”
So the hottie really is a ghost. “Mm-mm.” I nod. He lets go of me and I take a deep breath.
I give his body a look-over and a score. Mhm, 9.8, I’d say. He’s a bit on the skinny side but aside from that he’s perfect. Still, he could be considered a jewel among all the men I’ve seen, possessing the makings of a bottom and the potentials of a top. He could definitely become a star in the danmei1 industry if he had the right guidance!
Hottie is blushing—am I ogling? I correct myself and ask admiringly, pointing at his feet that aren’t touching the ground.
“Can all ghosts fly?”
He shoots me a look that says ‘Duh’ before pulling me up by the arm. The next thing I realise, I’m flying.
I’m so thrilled that I can float in midair without any effort that I start flailing my limbs around, jumping up and down, doing the worm here, and the doggy-style there then switching to the breaststroke and then the plank.
A bead of sweat drips down Hottie’s face. “You know you’re dead right?” He blurts.
Only then do I recall the sedan that drove over me just now. There’s only a pool of blood when I turn back to look. The driver hit and ran and my body has probably been brought off to the emergency room but I know the doctor’s are simply wasting their time.
I kind of zone out staring at the blood left on the ground.
“You wanna hunt that driver down? I know a cool dude who can get him real good!” Hottie exclaims.
I shake my head. “Whatever. He didn’t do it on purpose anyway. Plus, it’s not so bad like this. I mean I can fly!” I flap my arms like a bird.
“Nothing to rejoice over. You’re a goner once nobody misses you anymore!” He shoots me a ‘You’re an idiot’ look.
“What…‘goner’?” I inquire tentatively.
“Disappear, duh. Your soul and everything,” he replies flatly without looking at me. “So you’re saying, I’m only here ‘cause someone is thinking of me?”
“Hmmph, you’re not so stupid after all.” He raises a brow. You’re stupid! I glare at him out of the corner of my eye.
“You’re right. Gods exist on the basis of faith; ghosts exist on the basis of longing. The more believers a god has the more powerful the god. A god with no believers would cease to exist. Likewise, the more people missing the dead person, and the stronger their thought, the stronger the ghost gets. When they’re forgotten, their soul disappears forever. You got that, kid?” He pats me on the head as if I’m some child in kindergarten.
I stay quiet as I brood, and then I say, “I’d still prefer it if you called me ‘ma’am’ even though you died before me.”
I wonder who is missing me. Mom, dad and maybe one other person? When would they forget about me?
Hottie pulls a balloon out of nowhere. It’s not a balloon that you inflate, but more like a ball of gas with purple, misty swirls floating within. It’s very pretty.
“Gimme a hand,” he says to me.
“Sure! How?” I’m ready to go but I’ve no instructions.
“Put your hand on this ball and concentrate on the word ‘forget.’”
I do as he says and shortly after the ball starts glowing purple. Hottie is very happy. “Wonderful! Thanks!”
“What is it?” As a new recruit, I must work hard and learn all about being a ghost. “I can’t remember what the name is—it starts with ‘S’ I think—it’s really long and
complicated. Anyways I just call it balloon.”
I shouldn’t have asked. I roll my eyes at him. “What’s it for?”
“It can make a person completely forget about someone, forget everything about that person. It’ll work if it gets indications from one thousand people.”
“Really? Where did you get it?”
“I summoned it, duh. I’m pretty powerful.” He looks pleased with himself and makes it vanish. I imitate his actions but nothing comes out. I’m bummed out. He must’ve been a superstar to have such strong powers!
“You must’ve been really popular before! You must have lots of people thinking about you, right?”
“Nahhh. I was comatose for two years before I died. I’m pretty sure any fans I might’ve had would’ve left by then.”
“Then how come you’re more powerful than me?” I am not very happy about this. “Well, there is just one!” He looks down and smiles unknowingly. “There’s one person
who’s been thinking about me.”
“A guy!” I proclaim.
“How did you know?” He gapes at me. “Hehe. It’s the nose of a wolf!”
He refuses to continue our conversation.
Could the thought of one person—just one person—really produce such power?
I accompany Hottie as he goes around looking for ghosts to tap the balloon. If it’s a female ghost, Hottie goes, and if it’s a male ghost, I go. No matter how you look at it, we look like pimps.
We run into this mister who tries to scare me by taking his head off because I’m new.
I look him up and down before saying, “I couldn’t care less if you took your dick off instead.” The man freezes in embarrassment, his face turning bright red like a virgin, and turns tails
and flees without even putting his head back on.
Hottie yells after him, “I don’t know her, Wong! I really don’t know her!”
I stand there snickering evilly, “There’s nothing you can do. He’s scarred for life! Mwahaha!” When we finally finish collecting one thousand ‘forget’ indications, Hottie is very happy.
I ask him, “Who hurt you so bad that you wanna forget them this bad?
He protests, “What’re you talkin’ about? Hurt me? No one’d dare to do that! Who do you think I am?”
In reply, I say, “Sorry-my-apologies-my-bad. That was just a stupid wolf talking. I beseech your forgiveness, Your Holiness.”
Hottie starts acting like some heartbroken maiden with tears brimming, “But I’ve already been hurt. I was so honest, loving and trusting with you. How could you be so dishonest, unloving and untrusting with me?
I point at him, body shaking from being overwhelmed. “Bottom! Definitely a bottom!” Hottie faceplams himself.
I fly and fly and fly to a very tall office building with Hottie. He stops dead in his tracks when the exit comes into view, as if someone casted a freezing spell on him.
I follow his gaze.
It’s clocking out time and there are lots of people walking around but the first thing I see is a handsome man. What can I say? Such rare beauty couldn’t be ignored even if you tried.
He’s one in a million! I’m pretty sure I’m drooling right about now. I give him a 10 because he’s buffer and more mature than the hottie. Kind and confident eyes, graceful posture, elegant and gentlemanly, no one can see through his perfect appearance to spy the calculating heart within. He is the epitome of my ideal evil seme2!
I study him and then look back at Hottie who only has eyes for him. I start picturing how he tricked Hottie into being gay but created a fake car accident and made Hottie comatose in order to marry the president’s daughter but he couldn’t move on and kept taking care of Hottie and when Hottie was about to wake up he finished the job because he didn’t want his evil deeds to be known but Hottie is still in love with him so that’s why he went through all the effort to get people to tap the balloon so he could be freed from the pain….
“What the hell are you thinkin’ about?” Hottie’s looking at me like I’m a retard. “I’m so, so, so, so sorry for you.” I gasp.
He takes a step back. Now I’ve gone from a retard to an insane person in his eyes.
Just then, Handsome and some cute girl’s conversation interrupts our conversation that’s neither here nor there.
“Lun, you did really well on that case. My dad sees a lot in you!”
“Thanks.” Handsome smiles. I need to faint. Smiles this beautiful should be illegal I tell you! Illegal! Banned! Outlawed!
“How about we go get a few drinks to celebrate? It’s on me!” The cute girl is tossing her hair and twisting her figure—I can smell the pheromones from thirty feet away.
“Well…I’m really sorry but my lover’s waiting for me at home. Maybe next time. It’ll be on me.”
“All right. You really are a good husband. Your wife’s the luckiest woman on earth!” The cute girl pouts with envy and regret.
“Ahaha. I’m sure you’ll find a good man, too. I’ll take my leave. See you tomorrow!” “See ya!”
I speak in my mind as I watch Hottie: ‘Well, shit. He’s married after all. You’d better eat that balloon quick and get it over with.’
Hottie, however, is still watching Handsome and flies wherever he goes. I’ve nothing to do but trail behind him. Some fellow ghosts ask if we got trapped as kites. Hottie catches up to Handsome the moment he hits the ground and walks shoulder to shoulder with him. He puts his right hand with Handsome’s left hand and sways it naturally at the same pace as though they were walking hand in hand. Hottie keeps looking at Handsome, but he doesn’t know.
I drift behind them as their third wheel.
We finally get to Handsome’s house. It’s not only big but the interior decor is exquisite and everything is kept tidy. The strange thing is I haven’t seen his alleged wife.
Handsome doesn’t seem bothered at all. A good-natured smile tugs at his lips and he seems to loosen up the moment he steps in through the door. Is this what home is supposed to feel like?
He calls out, “Yu, I’m home!” No one answers. There’s only Hottie suddenly covering his eyes. I see his throat constricting—is he crying?
Handsome goes into the kitchen and starts cooking after putting down his laptop. I sit at the dining table watching Hottie dog him around.
Hottie wants to help but he can’t do anything. He wants to get the seasoning for Handsome but he can’t hold anything. Also, I’ve seen him mistake the vinegar for soy sauce and the sugar for salt.
The meal is ready very soon. Handsome’s cooking is legit—I’m drooling just from the smell. Hottie kicks me off the table. I rant in my mind: ‘You scumbag, forgetting about your fellow
human—I mean ghost—for some hunk.’
I notice there are two sets of utensils and two chairs.
I watch as Handsome uncorks a bottle of expensive-looking red wine and sits down after pouring two glasses and placing them on either side of the table.
I hear Handsome say, “I’ve finally finished the case I was telling you about last time. The director was really pleased. He might even give me a raise. Bet you’re jealous. Haha.”
I see Handsome laughing like a kid, not one bit graceful.
I see that Handsome is speaking to the other chair. On the chair is a picture frame. In it lies Hottie’s picture.
Tears begin to flow out now instead of drool.
Hottie flies over and sits down on the chair. “Psh, that’s nothing. If I hadn’t died I’d be the one giving you a raise!”
“Hahaha, I knew you’d say that. Who knew you’d leave that early though.... Oh well, let’s
cheers!” He takes the two glasses clinks them together and finishes them both. “You’re drinking my wine again,” Hottie grumbles.
But Handsome can’t hear anything. He really cannot hear a thing.
Handsome keeps talking while he eats and Hottie keeps replying. Handsome can’t hear him but it’s like he always knows what Hottie would say.
By the end of the meal, Hottie has already cried his eyes out.
Handsome quickly clears up the table and turns the TV to the sports channel. A soccer match is playing. He puts Hottie’s picture down on the sofa and goes to wash the dishes.
“I liked watching soccer,” he says.
I scan all around before realizing that he was talking to me, so I wipe my tears and snot and listen on.
“It was a car accident for me too.”
Damn. Do drivers these days even have eyes? I rage.
“I went into a coma after the accident and he took care of me for two whole years but I still didn’t wake up.”
Sigh. The heavens can’t be moved by real love. I sulk with Hottie.
“He can’t go on like this.” He watches him in the kitchen with sorrowful eyes. “He looks pretty happy to me,” I pep.
“He’s pretending. He doesn’t want me to feel bad seeing him cry.”
I couldn’t tell that Handsome was pretending to smile until I see water dripping into the sink from his face. The air conditioning is on. It can’t be sweat. It’s tears.
The tears have already dried by the time he walks out from the kitchen. He walks over to the sofa, takes the picture into his arms and starts watching TV with a smile.
“He’s been like this for a year already. I had thought time would fix everything but I was wrong. There really is such a thing as ‘forever.’”
Hottie smiles, looking moved but sad.
“I can’t let him go on like this. I’m gonna make him forget me.” I can’t think of anything to say so I just float beside him. Handsome pours himself a glass of water.
Hottie smiles and says “Thank you” like a farewell.
I watch as he summons the balloon and dissolves it in the glass.
He leans on Handsome’s shoulder, looking very happy and satisfied, although Handsome can’t feel a thing.
I watch Handsome drink the water.
I watch Hottie fade away, like a photo being processed with Photoshop. He keeps his eyes on him from start to finish, the moment becoming eternity.
I start bawling but Handsome won’t hear me and even Hottie won’t hear me now. One has forgotten while the other has disappeared. Is this really a release for them?
I really want to exclaim: ‘God, you are the true stepmother3. I would never write such a tragedy if I were you.’ But I am not god. I can’t do anything but watch as everything happens.
“Lun! Lun!” I scream. “You’re Lun, right? Snap out of it! Yu won’t be coming back again. Do you hear me? Lun!”
Handsome can’t hear me. I know he cannot hear me, but I feel devastated and say it anyways for myself. “Yu is gone. Yu is gone.”
I see Handsome get up. He is staring at the picture in his hand, perplexed. He must be wondering, “Who is this and why am I holding a picture of a man?” He has already forgotten.
He is going to throw Yu’s picture away but he stops by the trashcan and instead sticks the picture into a drawer.
He switches the TV to the finance channel.
He picks up his glass and suddenly tears start flowing from his eyes. He looks confused. He doesn’t know why he’s crying.
But I know. I know.
Because in the glass he’s holding is a thousand forgets.
1Danmei is a term similar to yaoi.
2Seme means the top in a relationship.
3Stepmother is a term for writers who write a sad story, making life miserable for readers.
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