I have a surprise for you: a direct sequel to L and L2.
This is L3.
It took some time before I stopped strangling Mark. Really, the only thing that kept me from relieving him of his mortality was the head waiter who adamantly cracked me across the cheek with a bottle of vinegar. Staff and patrons alike put aside their differences so that they could pry my hands from my best friend's neck. After my kung-fu grip was released, the head waiter gave us a stern warning and put us back in our seats.
My best friend rubbed his collar and glared at me. “Okay,” he huffed, “Are we done attempting murder now?”
“Dick,” I sulked, turning from him.
“You wouldn't have come if I told you –”
“I should've known you were planning this, you goddamn villain.”
“I'm trying to keep you from going insane.”
“Yes, because inviting your brain-damaged girlfriend out to our dinner is sure to keep me out of a straight-jacket.”
“Jeff, come on, I want you here.”
“I don't want to be here.”
“Oh really? Why the hell aren't you leaving, then?”
I paused for a moment, tracing my finger along the menu, “I really like their garlic bread.”
A waiter walked up to me as though he stood on glass, “What will you have to drink, sir?”
“Kerosene,” I snapped, passing him the wine list, “And mothballs instead of –”
I winced. That high-pitched, motherly squealing could only belong to Mark's beloved Haruka. She was a pharmacologist he had met on the internet. He claimed that she was The One, but then again he's said that about every relationship that passed a season.
I felt my intestines bleed as Mark leapt from his seat and wrapped his arms around the woman's neck. The sounds of their kisses, coupled with the gurgles of their disgusting fusion of English and Japanese ruined my appetite. Not even fancy garlic bread could save me now.
“How are you, Jeffu?” she warbled, coming over and patting my shoulder like it was one of her rubbish toy dogs.
My face hired a crack team of specialists to force my lips up into a smile. “I'm okay,” I seethed, “Just a little taken aback.”
“Yeah,” Haruka peeped, setting herself across from Mark, “So surprise, right? But Reira wanted to meet you.”
“Reira?” I mused aloud, my mind immediately conjuring up a three hundred-foot tall dung beetle terrorizing downtown Tokyo.
“Leila,” Mark said, reaching over to seize Haruka's fingers, “She's one of Haruka's classmates. We told her all about you.”
Immediately, I realized what these idiots had concocted. This was a double-date. A blind double-date. I'm pretty certain that all colour fled from my face, “You bastards, why?”
Haruka leaned in and smiled, “Because so funny, you are! And she is so, so excite to meet you now! Is good, right?”
Another image invaded my thoughts. This time, the dung beetle was replaced with some horrible, emaciated thing with half its hair torn out. Dressed in the finest road-kill, she limped towards the table, cackling. Her voice was like a haunted house. A pie made of skin flakes, prescription drugs and raw fish sat in her hands.
I snapped awake. “I have to go.”
Mark raised an eyebrow, “You sure about that?”
“Yes, I’m sure!” I cried back, grabbing my coat, “If you think I want to end up in a morgue, then –”
“She's right behind you.”
My blood ran cold. A newspaper article detailing my graphic death shot through my mind’s eye. Slowly, I turned to meet my date.
A small, curvaceous woman in a simple black dress and handbag stood in front of me. Dyed red hair was done up in a bun. Her skin was caramel-coloured, her face mousy and demure. Her eyes, shielded by a red-framed pair of glasses, were wide and brown.
She gave the nicest smile I had ever seen. “Hi,” she chirped, “I am Leila.”
I sat down.
I smell a conclusion in sight.
EDIT: May 17, 2012. EDIIIIT.