If this was some kind of novel or drama, I would get stuck at a fateful number like exactly 100, or at least 99. Perhaps 50, too. But this is no fictional story, this is as close to reality as it gets.
I promised Sister I would bring one hundred admirable girls into the afterlife so she could have friends, something her illness always prevented when she was still with me. I was so motivated to do this so I could make her happy, I got so far just for her sake, just to show her that I mean it.
And yet, here I am, stuck at number 72. It is driving me insane, I simply cannot seem to find anybody who would be suitable as her next friend. It is almost ridiculous, it took me only a few days to find the first girl, but this has gone on for months. Every day, I go out into the town and search the entire area for beautiful young women after university, but all I find are teenagers giggling in groups and pathetic whores trying to sell me their bodies. As for the ones at my university... I have used all the chances I had. All the suitable ones are gone by now.
But now I am stuck in an endless circle of searching, but not finding. I have no idea where else to look, sometimes I simply sit in my apartment doubting that it is even worth trying. At times like these, all I can do is speak to Sister. She is always there to encourage me and convince me of the idea. If it were not for her, I would have given up long ago, but she tells me to keep going. Her love is what keeps me going, but I do not even know if I can keep the promise by now because of this godforsaken number 72.
Today is another one of those days. It is one of the rainy Sundays that make you unmotivated the second you look out of the window, so I set everything up to consult my Sister right after getting up. Having everything prepared, I dim the lights and sit down at one end of the salt line. Right in the middle of the circle is a candle, the room's only light source, and I take it into my hands. I close my eyes and start singing the chant. I have never used another séance to contact her, so I have the words and melody perfectly memorized. They resonate through the room even after I am done singing. I control myself to not open my eyes before the last trace of sound has faded, otherwise the spirit might get shy. As well as Sister and I know and trust each other, she will not appear if she feels unsafe, and she would be able to sense it if I was impatient.
Finally, there is no more noise and I open my eyes carefully to see the sight I have been hoping to see. My beautiful Sister, sitting at the other end of the salt line and looking at me with a strict, yet tender expression, her skin fluorescent and shimmering slightly blue, long and elegant hair flowing perfectly over her shoulders and down to the floor, where she is kneeling in an upright position. I lift my hand and she does the same until I feel the air getting colder around my fingertips. I smile and she smiles back.
“Is something wrong, Korekiyo? Why do you contact me now?”
Her words leave my mouth, yet I am not the one who speaks them. In order to perform this particular séance correctly, one must offer one's body as a vessel to the spirit in order to communicate. I am perfectly fine with this, I know she would never abuse my trust.
“I feel as though nothing could motivate me to go out today. I am feeling slightly stressed.”
“So you need me to cheer you up again? Korekiyo, you have been doing this way too often lately, you do not have all day. You need to learn to do things on your own.”
“I know, Sister. It is because of number 72.”
“Have you found somebody suitable?”
“No, which is exactly why I am so stressed.”
“My... this has been going on for how long now? Three months? You know I hate being kept waiting, Korekiyo, so please try to find somebody as soon as possible.”
“I am trying, believe me. I want you to have the most admirable girls in the world as your friends, not only the first ones I run across. I hate doing this to you, but I am doing it for you.”
She looks down at the ground for a second.
“I wish I could thank you.”
“Korekiyo, I do not like saying this, but I am getting impatient slowly. Do not wait much longer.”
“Sister, please believe me when I say I am doing this for your sake. You would not want a bad friend. I am trying to find nothing but the best for you. I cannot guarantee a time when I will find a suitable girl.”
She looks at me in a sorrowful and apologetic way.
“I know, sweet Korekiyo, I suppose I have simply gotten used to being spoiled by you.”
I try to reach out and touch her cheek, but all I feel is cold air instead of soft skin. She still snuggles her head into my palm as much as she can like a purring cat.
“My beloved Sister, please be patient, just for a little while longer. I will bring you another friend as soon as I can, but if there is none to be found for longer... I am afraid you will have to bear with the friends you have made so far, and with me.”
“Thank you, as always, sweet Korekiyo. I am sorry for complaining although you do so much for me constantly. I really do love you, it just does not show sometimes.”
“I love you too, Sister. Thank you for motivating me again. I shall go out and look again now.”
“Goodbye, my love. Good luck.”
We exchange silent smiles for another second, then I blow out the candle and blindly make my way to the light switch. When I turn it on, she is gone.
I smile at where she was sitting, clean the room and leave the house with my mask on.