It was almost a year later that Michael felt something in his head snap. He had turned on the local eight o’clock news as was his habit, though nothing involving his parents had been on for at least nine months. It was a rainy Thursday evening, though Michael did not notice it. He sat down on the ground, pushing aside one of the army of cockroaches that had taken over the house, and focused on the television with bleary, red-rimmed eyes.
The jingle announcing the news rang, and then Bob Sharp and Melinda Best appeared on the screen, smiling so widely that it hurt Michael just to look at them as they introduced themselves.
“Tonight we’re opening with news for all you folks who think we never report anything happy!” Melinda chirped.
“That’s right Melinda. Well today we’re here to tell you about a brilliant bit of charity work done by our own local celebrity, Jin Craig!”
Michael felt disconnected from his body. He was floating outside of normal reality and had traveled right into a nightmare…
It was as though he had muted the television; he could no longer hear the sound. All he could see was Jin Craig as footage of her slid onto the screen.
She was an undeniably beautiful and charismatic woman. Half Korean and half Anglo by blood, she strode onto the screen in a Channel suit that had to cost as much as Michael’s house. Her black hair was cut into a stylish short look that was longer in the front than the back, and her bangs perfectly showed off her lovely, smiling face.
It seemed she had just given a lot of money to a children’s charity. Michael saw Jin Craig stride confidently across a stage before a crowd full of cheering, happy children to shake hands with a plump, matronly woman who blushed with pleasure at the contact. Together the two women held up a giant check that had a six-figure number printed across it and smiled at the camera.
The children cheered, and Jin Craig smiled wider. She was loved, admired and adored. She was a hero to them, this generous and stunning woman with her perfect life and her giving nature and…