After their conversation, Kya dragged herself to the couch and threw on a romantic comedy. It wasn’t what she normally watched, but she wanted something easy on her mind and heart as she tried to unwind.
Though she never felt the need to live alone, having the apartment to herself was a rare treat. The air conditioner sprang to life, and she wrapped herself tightly in the blanket hanging over the back of the couch, more for a feeling of comfort than for warmth.
The next morning, Kya woke up feeling disoriented. A beam of sunlight was on her face, and the brightness and heat were uncomfortable. She wiped her eyes and tried to block out the light as she sat up and realized she was still in the living room. The blanket was crumpled up on the floor, and her clothes were wrinkled from sleeping in them. Kya stretched her arms and legs, following with a loud yawn.
A thought quickly crept into the forefront of her mind, I am unemployed and I need to find my friends and get a new job before I run out of money. Pulling herself up and off of the couch, she rose unsteadily as she tried to force her body to move and wake up completely. Stumbling into her bedroom, she grabbed some clothing from her clean, but not folded or put away, laundry basket and jumped into the shower.
Feeling a bit more awake, Kya grabbed her keys and phone. Checking her phone, she saw that there were no new messages, and instantly wanted to throw the seemingly useless device away. With a calmer mind prevailing, she slid it into her pocket and left her building. The bus came after several minutes, and it brought her to the mall, the closer of the two places that Kya was planning on going in search of Amelia.
She hoped that Amelia had just lost her phone, and that she would find her friend working away behind the counter at Noble Brew, serving special caffeinated beverages in her own sassy way. She imagined the discussion that would occur between them as the bus arrived and she made her way into the mall. The idea that the two of them would laugh off the misunderstanding, and that Amelia would help in the search for Elliot. It was almost enough to raise her spirits, and made her excited to get to the coffee shop as quickly as possible.
The crowds were a little thin in the Uptown Centre as Kya made her way towards Noble Brew. With glass windows lining the entry, she could see inside long before she entered and was disheartened when she didn’t immediately see her friend behind the counter. Thinking about the last time she saw Amelia at her work brought a nervous smile to her face. I hope you are just on break, she thought as she entered and stood in the short line that was in front of the wall to wall counter.
After several minutes of waiting for people to spit out their overly complex orders, it was finally Kya’s turn to talk to the barista.
“How can I help you today?” A young, asian woman said with an overly chipper voice.
“Hi, I’m looking for Amelia. Is she working?”
“Yeah, she works here.”
“Sorry, I’m new. Just a second and I’ll get my manager.”
Kya sat in a nearby love seat. Her concern slowly rose as the seconds ticked by. She tried to distract herself by looking at the people around her, but most of them were focused solely on one piece of technology or another.
The manager, a short, heavy set, young woman, walked over with a hard expression on her face. “You Amelia’s friend?”
“Yeah.” Kya said.
“Well, I haven’t seen her in almost a week. She stopped showing up for shifts five days ago.”
Kya opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. She could feel her blood pulsing through her body, and began to feel lightheaded.
“If you see her, tell her she’s fired.” The manager said as she turned and walked away.
Kya sunk into the love seat, her mouth hanging open, processing this new information as the world continued moving around her. After five minutes of staring and blinking, she stood up slowly, and left the shop.
She continued, like a zombie, moving without thinking or paying attention to her surroundings, and found herself somehow back on a bus heading towards Amelia’s apartment before she regained any sense of awareness. She couldn’t help but wonder what she was supposed to do next if she couldn’t find Amelia at her apartment.
As she arrived, she noticed that the building looked older and more worn down than the buildings around it. Advertisements relating to million dollar condominiums were plastered on displays all over the street. It was like Amelia’s apartment building was untouched by progress. An older four storey brownstone with no computerized displays, automated doors, or digital directory was what stood in front of her. Air conditioner units hung precariously outside of the windows of most units, and black spray painted words and pictures covered most of the stone on the first storey.
Kya realized that she had never been invited over to Amelia’s place before. They had always met at Noble Brew or at some fancy club, bar or restaurant. She had always pictured Amelia living in some amazing apartment on her own, with a higher end appeal.
Kya climbed the stairs to the fourth floor where the listing on her cell phone told her Amelia’s apartment was. She walked down the dimly lit hallway with a brown carpet that appeared to be about forty years old. Amelia’s door, number 417, was at the end of the hall. Kya knocked on the door, and there was no response. The metal number seven on the door rattled as she knocked again. Pressing her ear to the door, she heard nothing. She gently twisted the doorknob, but it was locked.
“Amelia?” She called as she knocked again. “It’s me, please let me in!”
Kya jiggled the handle frantically and pushed on the door, unsure of what to do next, but she was surprised when the door jerked open with a loud creak. Suddenly, she wasn’t sure she wanted to go in. She stood at the door and a stale smell hit her, like the air hadn’t been circulating for a few days.
“Amelia?” She said again nervously, as she walked in. What little light came through the open door behind her was enough for Kya to find her way to a table lamp beside the couch. The windows looked like they were blacked out with thick, satin backed curtains. Kya turned on the lamp and in it’s light she saw Amelia’s cell phone on the couch, its screen face down, next to a round imprint in the fabric, as if someone had just gotten up, or as if Amelia had just teleported away.
Kya laughed involuntarily. “Amelia, you are so scatterbrained!” She reached out and picked up the phone. “Always losing your stuff.” She shook her head and laughed again.
Then the smile fell from her face as she realized that Amelia had been without her phone for five days. She surely should have come back to her apartment in that time, no matter how far she had teleported.
Kya turned on the cellphone and tears welled up in her eyes as she scrolled through countless alerts from her, Amelia’s work, her landlord, and her sister. Kya blinked and the tears poured down onto her face. She flopped onto the couch, her elbows on her knees she rested her forehead on her hands both still holding the cellphone.
“Oh, Amelia,” she sobbed. “What do I do now?”