What’s My Name? – Chapter 1

That was weird. But this is definitely gonna be interesting. Trust me—you’re gonna love this story.

So six friends have just rented out a house together and they’re standing in the living room arguing over how they’re gonna split the rent. There’s three girls, three guys, and a dog and everyone’s a different nationality—it’s like the United Nations had a pet and made a sitcom about how they fight about everything.

Alex is black and loves starting arguments between other people—he’s the instigator of the group. Then there’s Adolf—yes, his name is Adolf. I know. Who names their child that? High school must have been rough. But anyway, he’s white and really selfish. Sadiq is Saudi Arabian and doesn’t have an honest bone in his body and will lie about the sky being green. It’s possible his name isn’t even Sadiq and he’s a Russian girl named Svetlana.

You’d think no one could ever stand being around these jerks, but that’s because you’ve never met Maria. She’s Puerto Rican and is the sweetest, most forgiving girl you’ll ever know and she never holds a grudge—no matter how many times Sadiq tells her he found fleas on her dog or how often Adolf steals her empanadas. Last, and in many ways, least, are Lucy and Sophia. Lucy is Haitian and is impressively ignorant, famous for thinking that her own country was spelled “Hades”, a fact that Sophia, being Greek, is always quick to bring up—although she still thinks that it’s safe to microwave her sandwiches in aluminum foil.

Trust me—there is never a dull moment with these guys.

“How much is it again?” Lucy asks.

“Thirty-six hundred a month,” says Adolf.

“And there’s six of us,” Sophia chimes in. “So that means we all have to pay…six dollars each?”

The group groans collectively.

“Six hundred,” Maria corrects her. “It’s even. It should be simple, but—”

“I’m not paying six hundred for this crap heap,” Adolf scoffs. “You know what else I could do with that money?”

“Neither am I,” Sadiq agrees. “I can barely pay for gas.”

“You don’t even have a car,” Alex says.

“You can use gas when you don’t have a car?” Sophia gasps.

“I thought cars ran on oil,” says Lucy.

“And you thought you came from Hades too,” Sophia laughs at her.

“Again with this?” Lucy groans.

“How did that start again?” Alex asks. “Did the Greeks colonize Hades?”

“It’s Haiti!” Lucy shouts. “I get it now. Greek names have “es” at the end. Hercules. Socrates. Sophia’s teddy bear is Ares. Strawberries. Happy?”

“Can we…” Maria sighs. “Get back to the rent? Adolf, please. It’s just six hundred.”

“Nah, Dolf,” Alex sucks his teeth. “You do you. Tell Livin’ La Vida Loca she could use all that dog food money to pay your part.”

“Alex, what are you doing?” Maria asks.

“Yeah, Dorothy!” Adolf jumps up from the couch. “You waste all that money feeding TOTO! Why do I have to sacrifice my hard-earned cash to pay for this dump?”

“It’s Todo,” Maria corrects him. But she says it softly, like he’d just forgotten and wasn’t deliberately making fun of her dog. “Guys, if we don’t figure this out, then none of us is gonna be able to live here.”

“Maybe you can make some money off of Todo videos,” Adolf laughs. “I’m sure people’ll pay to watch him humping every stuffed animal he sees.”

“How about this?” Sadiq offers. “I’ll pay my portion and half of Adolf’s. That way everyone’s happy.”

“Sounds good to me,” Adolf agrees.

“Remember what happened last time Sadiq promised to pay for you?” Alex reminds him. “You got kicked out of Olive Garden.”

Adolf’s eyes go wide as he remembers. “That’s right! You little liar! How did I not remember that? Forget it! Maria, you pay my half.”

Maria shakes her head. “I can barely pay my part, Adolf.”

“Well, I guess we’re gonna be homeless,” Adolf drops back onto the couch and crosses his arms.

“Maybe I can be of assistance.” The group turns as a man enters the living room. He’s dressed from shoulder to toe in a long black robe with a blood red band running down the center. His hair is just as black and his face has a neatly trimmed black goatee.

“Who are you?” asks Sadiq.

“The landlord,” the man replies. His voice rolls through the room like velvet. “It appears you’re at a dead end.”

“No, we’re not,” Sophia laughs. “Dead ends are only in funerals, silly.”

Silence.

“I have a proposition,” the landlord continues. “The rent will not change. Six hundred is what is required at the first of the month. However, seeing that you’re having some difficulty managing that, I will make you a bargain.”

“Go on,” Alex says, nodding.

The landlord raises a long bony hand in front of their faces. He snaps his fingers and the sound echoes through the room, louder than any human fingers should be able to make. The group covers its ears and Adolf jumps out of the couch again. But the sound is gone as soon as it has come and everyone slowly lowers their hands from their ears.

“What just happened?” Sadiq asks, looking around the room. They don’t know how to describe it, but they all feel that something has just changed.

“All of you will soon live up to your names,” the landlord continues. “And one of you is a murderer. Find out who and your rent will be free. But hurry…before all of you die.”

And with that, he turns on his heels, leaves the room, and the group is standing there, jaws open in confusion.

That was weird. But this is definitely gonna be interesting. Trust me—you’re gonna love this story.

 

 

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