A knock is heard at the door as Ms. Nyuen is in the living room drinking her second cup of coffee. She can’t help but wonder why she still drink so much coffee every morning, even though she had quit her job 5 months ago when she won the lottery. The amount she had won was not enough to live on for the rest of her life though and she knew this but still did nothing to try and stay financially safe, she loved giving back to the community and donating her time and money to those in need. Ms. Nyuen pushed her thoughts of the coffee before she answer the door simply deciding to switch to decaf tomorrow.
“Yes yes, who’s there” she answered while she opened the door. In front of her stood a well-dressed young man who couldn’t be older then 17, what caught Ms. Nyuen’s eye was the fact that the young man had a bandage over part of his face covering one eye and several more covering most of his right hand which held a box labeled simply ‘help’, his other hand was stuffed in his pocket but she quickly assumed after a quick once over was probably in the same condition.
“Hello, I am asking for donations to help in an ongoing search” said the young man in a professional manner.
“I’m sorry but what search are you talking about?” she asked as she wondered if he was a volunteer for one of the nationwide help groups she always saw asking for help.
“I’m sure you heard of the tragic accident that happened to flight 147 shortly after it took off from the airport” it’s true she had seen several TV stations report on it and multiple posts about it on every social site she went on, but this had happened well over a month and most of the 168 bodied had been recovered only 12 were still unaccounted for one of them being the co-pilot.
“Yes, a real tragedy but I thought the search had been called off?” she remembered from one of the posts she had seen that when the one of the engines unexpectedly exploded several people fell over a large area several miles long only the people who had their seatbelts on were found near the crash site. After several days of searching it called off due to inaccessible locations and the possibility of the corpse being consumed by wild animals.
“Well officially yes, but campers and hiker are still finding bones and body parts every now and again, and I’m trying to help raise money to find the missing twelve.” The young man looked at his arm for a brief moment before facing her again. Ah, she thought he must have been injured while helping search. She felt sorry for the young man who had been injured for helping.
“Oh yes yes, I’m sorry where are my manners please come in and sit while I find my check book, would you like some coffee it’s still early and I’m sure you could use some” she said as he waved for him to enter her home, he seemed reluctant to enter but did so anyway.
“Thank you, but I’m not really thirsty.” He said as he sat down, Ms. Nyuen disappeared to the back of her home looking for her check book finding it and returning but not before stopping to pour herself a fresh cup of coffee and a cup of water for the young man.
“Who do I make the check out to?” She asked as she set the water on the small table in living room in front of the young man.
“I’m not really sure, like I said we aren’t an official organization so there isn’t really a name for it let me call someone and find out.” He said as he set the box down and reached into his other pocket retrieving his phone, before he could call anyone the Ms. Nyuen interrupted.
“Oh its fine I’ll just make it out to you seem to really want to help find those poor souls, just tell me your name so I know what to write, ok?” she said grabbing a pen she realized was in her pocket how it got there she had no idea.
“Oh well I guess we can do that too if you feel comfortable doing that, my name is Alex Phoend.” He said as she was about to write she looked up at him quizzically.
“I’m sorry, is Alex short for something, and how do you spell your last name?” she saw him reach for wallet in his back left pocket and briefly struggle to open and pull out his ID.
“Here you can see my ID so you don’t misspell anything if you’d like.” He handed her his ID and she quickly noted down his full name and saw his picture and noted that he was somewhat good looking, but what surprised her more was the fact that his birthday listed made him 29 in a few months. She was curious about how the man before her still looked so young. As she handed his ID back along with the check she decided to ask.
“Here you go, I’m sorry but I noticed your year of birth on your ID and I have to ask how you look so young still.” She noticed he briefly tense by the question but calmly replied.
“It probably hereditary if I had to guess.” It seems he wasn’t used to answering that question so he had probably never given it much thought. She looked at her clock and saw that almost twenty minutes had passed.
“Oh silly me I’ve just about kept you hear for almost twenty minutes you should probably be on your way to collect more donations right?” she asked as the both got up and started moving toward the door, the man said his thanks and was about to leave when Ms. Nyuen motioned for him to wait and quickly retrieved a bottle of water for him, she then asked something she would regret almost immediately.
“Before you go would you mind showing me what’s under the bandages on your face?” she smiled as she said this but the man looked panicked suddenly, thinking that he didn’t want to scare her, she quickly said “don’t worry a couple cuts won’t scare me I happen to like those gory films and show”
“Sorry I don’t think this is something you will want to see there’s a reason I put these bandages on and I would want to frighten you.” He tried to leave but she insisted on seeing before he left after ten minutes Alex saw this was going nowhere and Ms. Nyuen had been nice thru out the whole ordeal. So he once again warned her saying “are you sure it’s pretty disgusting” she again asked to see and he obliged.
“Please don’t scream” he asked as he slowly began unwrapping the bandages covering his eye he confirmed his worry as he saw the color drain from the woman’s face, where she assumed would be a couple of cuts and bruises she saw nothing, no what would be wrong what she saw where the eye and brow should have been was a mass of flesh and bits of jagged skull poking out. She looked on in horror as she realized that the person before her was missing part of his face.
“Oh my god.” She whispered to herself as she slid to the ground, how anyone could still be alive after so much was gone was impossible, as he started to rewrap his face she realized he was still only using his right hand. She noticed what she hadn’t when she first saw him there was no sign that there was anything in his left pocket. he finished wrapping his face and noticed her gaze he smiled a sad smile and pulled out his left hand or rather what was left of it end in a stump of bandages just past his wrist.
“Oh my lord how are you still alive?” she asked as he slid his stumpy arm back in place, he looked into the distance for a moment before he answered.
“Would you believe if I said I was one of the people who died on flight 147?” she looked at the man before her, no she thought, ‘it must be a joke’ she look at him in the eye and realized the man before her had said no lie and wasn’t laughing.