It was a cold and quiet night when I first met the Devil in his disguise. He was the reason why I had those unpleasant dreams I constantly feared every night. It started back in the early days of 2011, when the days were still bright and full of excitement. I was a typical Asian kid, whose parents were just as strict as anything. On the bus ride back home from a whole semester in boarding school, a dense, gloomy fog started to billow across the windshield. A mysterious old homeless man sat down in the seat next to me, and I could almost smell the odor of evil on him. After a few quiet and awkward moments, I saw from the corner of my eye that he had been staring at me since the moment he sat down. A feeling of ambivalence prevented me from facing that dirty, mischievous and terrifying face, and it was that moment, the turning point of my life, when all my troubles began. It was when he laid his cold, bony fingers upon my tiny little shoulder.
“Son, do ya mind sparin’ some coins for an old man like me?” the homeless man politely asked, while rubbing his hands together.
“Um, yea I think I have some spare change.” I replied, as I dug into my pockets searching for money. I guess that was all he wanted, and I must have been thinking too much about it. As I dropped the coins into his wrinkly and skinny hands, a sound different from that of a coin rushed into my ears. It was a clear sound, as if it came from the twinkling of a wind chime.
“Thanks son, what your name?” the man asked, with a nice smile showing his row of perfectly white teeth.
“It’s Kaito Derpasaki , sir.” I replied, gradually feeling more relaxed. Something seemed mysterious about this man and yet, he looked quite clean and nice in his dirty, worn-away clothes.
“Well Kaito , there ain’t many nice kids like you these days,” he said with a sense of sadness. “Why don’t you take this thingamajig, since I’m gettin’ old and this ain’t no use for a man like me, ya know?” He took out a black and old rectangular object, the size of a juice box, from his bag and offered it to me.
The sight of the box seemed rather peculiar, especially when it was coming from a worn-out and homeless man on a spooky bus. What if it was something dangerous and harmful? Saying no to his generosity would only hurt his dusty and fragile heart, so I slowly took the antique “thingamajig” and put it inside my backpack.
“Thank you sir, what’s this for?” I asked out of uncontrollable curiosity.
“Why son, it’s a thingamajig that lets you see the future!” he said as his soft smile turned into an excited and childish expression. “I’ve already seen enough of this damn world, and this ain’t no more of an interest to me, so I’m giving it to a young and nice kid like you.” He looked me in the eyes, and his expression went from that of a crazy dreamer to one of a man who faced a lifetime of troubles. “But choose wisely son, because you ought to take good care of this.”
“Yes, of course sir. I will make sure this thing never leaves my sight,” I replied automatically, fearing that he would attack me with his long bony fingers. I walked off the bus and curiously examined the device that he had given me. It was flat, with a glossy glass screen on the top and smooth surfaces of leather on the sides. It must be a broken down miniature TV that the man had saved, and just decided to give it a wild use so that it made his life more interesting.
On the night of my arrival, I wondered around my room with the thought of using the mysterious box or not. Finally, after hours of contemplation, I decided to press the button on the device just to see if it would really work. As the screen began to turn on, I was surprised by the quality and clearness of the device. In the shiny glass screen, I saw the love of my life, Derpina Herpasato , a girl that I’d set my eyes on since I moved here in second grade. She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, with her long black hair and beautiful round black eyes. Every time I met her in the hallway, she would always give me a soft smile while I stood there with no idea how to respond. However, in my mind I would always be going through a series of panic attacks and yet, there she was, mysteriously appearing in this antique device. She walked up to a scrawny looking guy that stood in an odd and out-of-place position.
“Hey,” she said, in a soft but charming tone, “the junior prom is coming up in a couple weeks, and I was wondering if you had a date.”
The device only showed the back of the boy, however, it was obvious that he had trouble standing up straight in a upright position. “Oh hey Derpina ,” he said in a broken voice, “no I don’t have a date to the upcoming prom, why ask?” He put his hands inside the pocket of his hoodie , as if he were protecting them from something harmful on the outside.
“Well,” she looked down at the floor, “I was wondering if you wanted to go to prom with me.”
“Ye-yeah, of-of course Der- Derpina ,” he replied, stuttering, “I’d love to be your date for prom.”
Suddenly, the screen turned dark and refused to turn on when I pressed the button. I wondered who the boy was because he was one lucky guy to have such an awesome girl as his prom date. Just then, a mind blowing thought came speeding into my head at the speed of light. I had those same pair of jeans, the same hoodie , and I make those odd postures when I felt nervous. I wasn’t too sure of it, but this mysterious device might actually be right and she may actually ask me to prom. I had to prepare for that moment so that I wouldn’t chicken out at that important event. I should have been scared of how that device had a video of me and Derpina , but I was too excited to even care.
Days had passed, and as creepy as it sounds, that vision of me and Derpina really did happen. It was the night of the junior prom when suddenly a hologram of a girl with a blurred face crossing the street appeared in front of me. Her pink long dress waved with the winds in the night sky. There was a bus coming from a side of the street, and then the hologram disappeared into the tiny device. The hologram puzzled me in with its random vision of a girl crossing the street. I couldn’t see the relationship between the girl and me, so I decided that I might as well continue to get ready for my special night.
As I walked Derpina out of the school, into the dark and cold air of the night, we both realized that we had feelings for each other. We walked to side of the street, where her parents were on the other side waiting to take her home.
“I had a great time, Kaito, thanks for all the memories tonight.” she said, as we both looked into each others’ eyes and kissed.
It was the time when we had to say goodbye, and although we were going to see each other soon, it felt like a heartbreaking moment. As she crossed the street I felt a cold chill go down my spine as if I were electrified. Deripina was wearing a pink dress, the same dress that was in the hologram. The bus was charging like a mad animal chasing after its prey, ready to take it down the moment it gets it.
“Derpina! Watch out!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
The bus had hit her when she turned around to see me. The image of her hair flying through the air was burned into my memory. Her disfigured body landed on the cold and hard gravel of the street. Blood started to flow out of her body, forming a dark red puddle under the black sky. Her eyes were still open, with her joyfulness slowly disappearing into the deadness of her body. It was over.
I sat at the chair in the park, facing the quiet and still waters of the pond. A feeling of guilt had dug into my thoughts, because I knew I could have saved her if I paid more attention to the device. I didn’t want to be reminded of her death anymore, so I slowly took out the device from my pocket and threw it towards the water with all the anger inside of me. However, the expected sound of water splashing turned into the sound of a bell. It sounded so familiar, as if I’d heard of it somewhere else. Then, the sound of the chime from dropping coins in the old man’s hands rushed into my mind. The black sky started to become darker and less visible, until everything blacked out.
The sound of an engine running came from all around me.
“Thanks son, what your name?” an old man asked with a familiar smile.
“It’s Kaito Derpasaki , sir.” I replied, still not understanding what was going on.
“Well Kaito , there ain’t many nice kids like you these days. Why don’t you take this thingamajig, since I’m gettin’ old and this ain’t no use for a man like me, ya know?” He took out the black box, the one that predicted the future, the one that caused all this trouble in my life.
“No thank you sir, I think you should keep it for yourself,” I replied, realizing that all this was a dream.
With his bright and nice white teeth, he gave me a soft smile and said “Wise choice son, wise choice.”