Sick fascinations, I have always despised dealing with tribute families. It tows a line I daren't to cross. It isn't the grief that bothers me, no, I have grown accustomed to that, but the masking of my own curiosity. I study the families before I ever interact with them - we go into these scenarios expecting to get turned down. But a fresh body is a good body, I have always hated how much goes to waste with the Hunger Games.
The Khan family could not be more different from my own, our own similarity being our wealth. It piques my curiosity, I know how we accumulated ours and I can only wonder what skeletons are in the Khan's closets. I was unable to find the address of the main family's home, but Anika had a sister, how wonderful is that? A viable reaping candidate herself, I can't fault her for not volunteering.
Myself? I would be relieved in her position.
I found Abha's address through her photography - to my credit, it did say contact the creator with any inquires. Her home looks different than I imagined, a humble dwelling but not particularly inviting. I straighten my tie before knocking on the painted door, feeling the dry paint chip under my knuckles. Must not be too rich, I think to myself, daydreaming of the family scenario that must have left Abha estranged with no money. Still, an easy target for what I hope to accomplish.
Clearing my throat as a man opens the door, I stare him in the eyes as I ask, "hello, I was hoping to speak with Abha Khan. Is she home?"
Post by d2b siberite obsidian [kap] on Jan 10, 2023 11:52:48 GMT -5
Early in the morning, Abha was awake. She hadn't been sleeping well as of late, in part because of dreams she'd have when she did fall asleep, and also in part because of some recently developed insomnia that she was trying to figure out the cause of with her doctor. The main problem with that was, she couldn't afford to go to the doctor all that often anymore, ever since her family cut her off. It wasn't like she didn't have any money, as she was living with Rafe and Rohan now, but it wasn't as easy as it had been in the past.
Now, she had to actually think about where she put her money.
So, she just learned to deal with it. The lack of sleep, that is. She'd fallen asleep at two o'clock in the morning and rose from her bed around five o'clock in the morning, meaning she was running on very little sleep, but she was determined that she'd still manage to function throughout the day. When a knock came at the door around the early afternoon, Abha shouted to Rafe to get the door, as she was busy making some food for Rohan. She couldn't imagine who was coming to knock on their door unannounced.
After a moment, Rafe shouted back to her from the front door.
"Abha, someone's here to see you!" he informed her.
Perhaps, she hoped, someone was here about her photography business. She hadn't had much business this week, so it would certainly be nice if that were the case.
Or, perhaps it was one of her parents deciding to welcome her back home. That would be even better.
"Okay, but I need you to come finish making Rohan's lunch!" Abha shouted back.
She could hear Rafe tell the person at the door that she'd "be right there" before he came over to the kitchen and switched places with her.
Abha approached the door to see a boy about her age standing just outside the threshhold.
"Hey! Sorry about that," she apologized to him for what had just happened with all the shouting.
"Abha Khan," she extended a hand in greeting, assuming he was a client. "What can I do for you?"
<You are strong. You are brave. You are good. You matter.>
This used to be the job of Eirlys. I still remember her, in glimpses, phantom memories that sometimes I am unsure of all together if they were ever mine. She was real, but in the recesses of my mind I see her ghastly disfigured image, twisted in on herself on her death bed. I was a child, and Sin was around still, and I remember staying in the room until they removed her body. When my aunts asked if I wanted to leave, I remember saying no, but feeling so paralyzed.
You see, I could not stop looking. I knew death better than some members of my family, yet this was my aunt, right there on the bed. Rife with rigor mortis, but altogether, her, even in death. The moment a body becomes a corpse has always engrossed me, and I hate to admit that. Sometimes so that when a patient dies, I feel nothing at all; worse, curious. Whenever I find myself thinking of Eirlys in my childhood, it is always overshadowed by the re-emerging image of her death. I picture it in the oddest of times.
Thankfully, once the pair stop yelling, I snap out of it.
"Hey! Sorry about that," says Ms. Khan, who I had been looking for.
I just shake my head, "no need!" I interject - would hate to judge too much and ask for the corpse of her sister in the next breath. Shame I overheard, really. She confirms her name with a handshake, and I have always been told to shake hands firmly. Shake like a man, I try to remind myself. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Khan," almost a shame she has to deal with me. As if I am a punishment to the living, I feel as if I should apologize before I even strike an offer.
It is almost as if I am set up to fail, having to ask so swiftly after the Games has concluded. Dust hasn't even had the time to settle on her coffin, but we have to reach out before any funeral plans are made. Once they know what to do with the body, they never let it go. "My name is Arwen, I am with the Mortuus Health Center," I try not to be distracted with the sounds coming from inside her home. "If now is a good time, I would like to sit down and discuss some final matters regarding your sister."
Post by d2b siberite obsidian [kap] on Jan 11, 2023 12:17:45 GMT -5
The young man at the door didn't seem too bothered by the yelling back and forth that Abha and Rafe had been doing. Or, at least it seemed that way, as he didn't say anything negative about it, and told her that there was 'no need' for her apology. He takes the offer of Abha's handshake with a firm grasp, and she gives him a smile.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Khan," he begins. Surely this individual must be a prospective client. He was quite cordial and seemed glad to be speaking with her. She wondered what exactly he was looking for when it came to her work. Or, perhaps he just wanted to see her portfolio and she'd work on selling him on it. If only she'd been dressed in something a bit more presentable than lounge pants and an oversized t-shirt. Perhaps that would make 'selling him on it' a bit easier.
When he spoke again, though, Abha realized her mistake in her assumptions. He certainly wasn't here for anything regarding her photography. His name was Arwen, and he was with the Mortuus Health Center. Abha had a feeling she knew what this meant. This was either a) something to do with Anika, which was most likely, or b) a report from her doctor being delivered through a third party. Honestly, the latter would be quite sketchy, so she assumed it was the former.
She was correct.
"If now is a good time, I would like to sit down and discuss some final matters regarding your sister."
Abha's heart dropped, as did the smile from her face. It really wasn't a good time, but she did her best not to just tell him to leave. She truly didn't want to talk about Anika right now: especially with Rohan eating lunch in the kitchen. Him hearing stuff about what was going to happen with his mother wasn't ideal, even if he might be too young to understand. He still saw her die on television. The trauma was there. The mention of his mother probably wasn't the best for him to experience right now.
"Uhm—" she started. "Yeah, we can do that. Come on in and take a seat in the living room. I just have to talk to Rafe real quick about something and I'll be right there." Abha stepped inside so that Arwen could cross the threshold, and directed him to where he could sit inside, closing the door behind him once he entered the home.
"I'll just be a moment," she told him with a false smile.
Abha went into the kitchen for a moment to whisper to Rafe about what was going on, and ask him to take Rohan into another room for a little bit. He obliged, bringing Rohan to the playroom down the hallway and closing the door. Abha then returned to where Arwen was and took a seat in one of the half-falling-apart plush chairs in the living room.
"Alright," she started with a sigh. "What specifics do we need to talk about, then?"
<You are strong. You are brave. You are good. You matter.>
My mind wanders, and I can't help but think this is someone Ivy would be friends with. Would my sister be more competent in this role? Empathy has always been her strong suit, something has to be. Perhaps this takes a bit of callousness - I do feel heartless in this moment, as I watch the smile slip off of Ms. Khan and onto the ground. What a way to ruin one's day, I think to myself. I try not to dwell on it, as this is just my job; if I had a choice, I would interact with no one.
If I truly had a choice, I would leave this district, but that's a discussion for another day. I must not be too off-putting a presence as she invites me into her home, and I try to keep to myself as she speaks to the man from earlier. Rafe, and they have a child together? Their house does not befit their wealth, but who am I to say so. I observe the hanging portraits as they shuffle around the back end of the house, and I spot Anika and Rafe together, but never Abha and Rafe. I feel something clicking, but I take my seat in wait as I do not want to be seen snooping.
Nobody likes that, but I can't help and be curious.
Shortly there after, Ms. Khan greets me again in the living room, taking a seat on the opposite side of the sofa. I place my manila folder between us like a divider before answering, "we try to keep this as streamlined as we can to make this easier for the families at loss. First, I have to ask, are you aware your sister is a registered donor?" I ask, folding my hands and studying Ms. Khan's face - the truth is, Anika might not have been. In the eyes of Mortuus Health, any good body is a donor, the only proof I have being a forged document lost somewhere in my folder. I come prepped with fake legibility, I hear people trust someone who comes prepared.
I can only hope, "we would need a family member's signature verifying this before we can accept-" the body, her. A cold corpse with hopefully something salvageable, "-the process," I finish after a quick pause to think.
Once she signs, anything falsified becomes reality. At that point, it is almost like I never lied at all.
Post by d2b siberite obsidian [kap] on Jan 27, 2023 11:40:08 GMT -5
Seated across from Arwen, Abha tries to clear her head before they get too far into things. She hadn't really thought about what was going to become of her sister after she died. It was all so recent: Anika had died toward the end of the 92nd Games. She'd done so well, and was so close to coming home, until... Izzy...
"We try to keep this as streamlined as we can to make this easier for the families at loss. First, I have to ask, are you aware your sister is a registered donor?" Arwen's question was something that Abha hadn't thought about before. Admittedly, it caught her a little off-guard. She had never heard anything from Anika about being a registered donor, and given how picky Anika was about her appearance, she probably wouldn't have wanted anyone meddling with her body after death. Anika had been concerned enough about her black eye after the bloodbath at the cornucopia on her first day in the arena.
If anything, Abha was grateful that Anika wasn't just devoured by other tributes in the arena like her ally, Finnagan. Finnagan's body had been mutilated in such a terrible way. Is that what Arwen and the Mortuus Health Center wanted to do to Anika? Surely not. They'd have to be much more humane about it, if "humane" was even the right word when it came to dealing with the matters of someone who was no longer living.
Would Anika have agreed with what this guy wanted? What exactly did this guy want?
"I don't think she was. She never mentioned anything about it," admitted Abha.
"We would need a family member's signature verifying this before we can accept-" he skipped a beat only momentarily before his next words came out, "-the process," he finishes.
Abha paused a moment. Why had he come to her and not her parents? Perhaps that was exactly what she should be asking.
"Why come to me instead of my parents?" she asked. Then, she corrected herself. "Our parents, I mean. Anika and I."
She tapped her fingers on her upper thigh for a moment and then continued to speak.
"Well— I mean, since you are asking me, knowing Anika, I don't think she'd want anyone... you know... taking stuff from her body. If you remember from the Games, she wasn't even too fond of the black eye she got at the cornucopia." Abha released a small chuckle. "It was even worse when that mutt cut off her finger. I don't know. I just don't think it's really... right for her, you know? Surely you understand, right?"
She really did hope he understood. She didn't want convincing. She simply wanted to do what Anika would've wanted, and she believed she was right in what she thought she would've wanted.
<You are strong. You are brave. You are good. You matter.>