“What was that?” She thought about it while she was on her way back home. She held her chest tightly, felt a sudden prick inside and said “That’s weird. If Malcolm is Bea’s fiance… or should I say MY fiance. Then, why would I give Mortimer these keys?” She closed her eyes in frustration. “And… Why does it hurt seeing him like that?”
She was still debating with herself on her way home. She paused for a moment when she saw Malcolm is already on the lot, waiting for her. “Clara said I needed to be discreet about Mortimer Goth. Hmm… I suck at lying.. I hope this works.“
So, she sneaked slowly to the nearest mushroom plant and pretended she was gathering while she observed Malcolm from behind. “Whew!” She muttered, then whistled a tune.
“Hurry!” Malcolm suddenly said.
“Oh! You’re there. Hehe!” She said to him.
“Where have you been?” He asked flatly.
“Oh! I – ah was gathering!?” She said and laughed. Then, she walked to him and said. “Sorry I’m late. Did you wait that long?” She asked curiously.
Malcolm remained silent and didn’t look back at her.
Mikaela frowned, pouted her mouth. She then noticed a white cake with candles on it on the table. “Uhm… what’s with the cake?”
“It’s your birthday today. Make a wish!” He uttered. Then he stood up.
“My birthday? Really?” She went near the cake excited.
“Yes, you’re birthday! Mikaela slash Zombie Girl aka Bea!” Malcolm stressed.
“Oooh! What to wish?” She closed her eyes and made a wish.
“Go on and blow the candles.” Malcolm suggested with an irritated tone on his voice.
“Right!” Mikaela quickly blew the candles.
Malcolm grabbed the knife and sliced the cake evenly. Mikaela observed him. “He wasn’t even looking at me. Weird. I didn’t do something stupid, did I?“
They sat down at the picnic table. Malcolm still remained silent as he ate his cake slice. Mikaela watched him anxiously and waited patiently for his yell because she was late. “What’s with him this time?” She thought while she slowly played her cake on her fork.
She tried to think of a topic to discuss with him but couldn’t think of any. Mikaela took a deep breath and asked, “Are you… angry at me?”
Malcolm paused, then he answered, “Why would I be?” He stood up and placed the cake on the counter. Then he sat beside her.
Mikaela begun to worry. “Aren’t you going to yell at me?”
Malcolm didn’t reply and as soon as he finished his cake, he stood up quickly. “I’m tired. I’ll go home for now.”
“Oh… okay…” Mikaela just nodded and stood up. “Will you be here tomorrow?” She asked hesitantly.
“No, I don’t think so.” Malcolm said and then, he walked away from the lot.
Mikaela watched him leave, completely puzzled.
“Malcolm!” She suddenly shouted.
Malcolm paused but didn’t look back at her.
“Come back tomorrow okay?” She shouted while she held the dishes on her hands.
Without facing her, he waved her goodbye. Mikaela just sighed, “I wonder what happened?” She bit the side of her lips, then she pouted.
Mikaela spent the rest of the evening painting something. She thought, “I only have 5 days left before I move out. This is bad. Tomorrow is mail day and I’m stuck here waiting for a diary. Should I ask him for extension? But he said… I can’t move out just yet. Tsk!” She scratched her head in confusion.
“Mortimer…” She held the keys of the diary. “Aish! MEN are a pain! Pft!” She uttered.
The next morning,.. Just right after she ate her breakfast alone, she thought of how Malcolm served her breakfast and nagged about all sorts of things. She missed him so she thought of sending him a text message.
“You will be here later, right?”
She kept herself busy and worked on usual chores while waiting for Malcolm’s reply. Gardening, gathering for loots and then, she cleaned the house as well. “Whew!” She exclaimed while stretching her arms to the air.
Suddenly, the mailman arrived. She immediately smiled at him.
“Beatrix Ford?” The mailman asked.
“I guess that’s me.” She chuckled and thought, “So that’s her real name.”
The mailman handed her a ‘mysterious box’ after she signed an acknowledgement receipt. Then, he left.
“Oooh! I wonder what’s inside.” She murmured. She was excited while she inspected the box and shook it carefully. She couldn’t find a keyhole so she put the box inside the house and said, “Wait here, okay? Malcolm will be here later.” She smiled and went outside to paint.
Every now and then, she looked at the direction where Malcolm can be seen arriving.
At around 5 pm, she went inside the house, took the box and sat outside. She placed the box on her lap and waited for Malcolm. After several minutes, she got bored and decided to paint again. She noticed that she finished 2 paintings while waiting for him yet he was still not around, and not even a single message from him as well.
She put the box on top of a log table and stomped her foot out of annoyance. “What is WRONG with you? Tsk!” She yelled at the box. “THIS MEANS WAR!” She exclaimed, narrowed her eyes and then nodded to herself. She picked up a pebble and threw it on the direction of her garden.
She hit one her strawberry plant and said, “Woops! Sorry!” She ran to her strawberry bush and said, “Aww, I didn’t mean to throw them at you. Aish! I’m going crazy!” She scratched her head and pulled her phone out, dialed Malcolm’s numbers but he wasn’t answering any of his 2 phone lines.
Mikaela gritted her teeth. “This is what you want? Fine! I’ll see this myself, hmp!”
She inspected the box once again and looked for its opening. She put the keys on her lap and carefully glided her hands on every corner of the box. Until… it snapped of all a sudden. She was startled and lost her grip on the box.
She picked it up and the first thing she saw was a notebook-sized yet bulky picture frame of ‘Her’ over Malcolm topless.
“KYAAA!” She shrieked as she was terrified at what she saw. She covered her face with her palm and peaked on the picture in between her index and middle fingers. “Was that really me?”
She grabbed the picture frame and rushed inside the house to look at herself on the mirror. She wanted to see if she was just hallucinating. She compared the picture and her face. “What the…!!! Ei… nice Photoshopped picture. Tsk tsk tsk” But then, her body shivered when she thought of the photo. “Creepy!”
Then, she walked outside again to see what else is in the box. She saw a little, red velvet box. She opened it and found a ring with a deep crimson gemstone surrounded by sparkling diamonds set on white gold.
Mikaela’s eyes sparkled, “Woah! Is this… an engagement ring!? Sweet!” She grinned.
She looked furthermore inside the package and found a hardbound abstract-covered bulky notebook. “This must be it. The Diary.” She pouted as soon as she saw 2 small padlocks on it. So, she tried the keys Mortimer gave her at the top most padlock.
However, both keys doesn’t fit. “Huh?”
She then tried both keys on the bottom padlock, the smaller key with letters ‘BF’ fits on it and was able to unlock it. She was puzzled. “I need 1 more key?” She said, confused as she looked at the direction from the docks. “Malcolm!?” She thought.
She quickly collected all the contents of the box and left them inside the house. She ran to the docks and headed to Oasis Spring that night. While on her way, she tried to contact Malcolm on her smartphone but he still wasn’t answering her calls. So she texted him…
“I will be at Dessert Bloom, I will wait for you there… ALL NIGHT!”
She then arrived at the Dessert Bloom Park and waited for Malcolm’s reply. After a couple of minutes later, a voice at the back called her, “Mikaela!” She turned around and saw Malcolm.
She immediately narrowed her eyes, walked to his direction and said, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” She yelled.
“I was waiting for you the whole day. You don’t even answer my calls and text messages. Why?” She finally released her frustration.
“I was sick. You missed me huh?” Malcolm teased her.
“Eh? Were you really sick?” Mikaela suddenly changed her expression and said loudly. “Nuh uh!” She denied. “Hah! Then, why didn’t you text me back?”
“Why?” He asked seriously.
“What do you mean why?” Mikaela couldn’t look straight at him.
“I mean, why do you want to see me right now?”
“Oh! Right… the Diary. It arrived earlier. I needed a key.” She said to him hesitantly.
Malcolm gazed at her steadily and sighed. He pulled something on his pocket, held her hand and handed the keys to her.
“Here’s one of them. Is that all you need?” He asked plainly. “There are two keys. One of them… is with… Mortimer Goth.” He said and looked away from her. “You should see him.” He suggested and his usual sullen expression instantly took over his face.
Mikaela was a bit surprised, she already knew that Mortimer had the other key but she didn’t expect Malcolm would brought it up immediately without any guessing game. “I have them already.” She told him and looked down on the keys Malcolm gave her.
“Good, what’s wrong then?” He asked her flatly.
“Nothing, I’m just… scared.” She sighed and shook her head slightly.
Malcolm reached his hand to her but as soon as Mikaela noticed them, she quickly backed away.
“Thanks. I’m going home now.” She said and rushed her way back home.
——————— to be continued ———————–