Hey Pheo, sorry for the delay. Below is your ghost written memoir of the time Ganny and you hung out together at your hostel three months from now in San Francisco. I don't know a ton about this trip, your personal life, or your writing style so I had to make a few guesses and fill in some blanks on my own, but I feel like this should be hit pretty close to the mark.
The San-Fran Slasher
I couldn't tear my gaze away from my T.V. Screen. Two more murders today, both tourists. They were young students, visiting San Francisco for the first time in their life, just like myself. The body count was at seven now, all occurring within a couple blocks of my hostel. Of all weeks that I could have picked to visit San Fransico, how had fate led me to choose this one?
The security in my hostel was nonexistent, and cause enough to be alarmed. As it stood, just about anybody could walk into my room while I was sleeping. I began to feel uneasy as it occurred to me that one of my roommates could easily be the San Fran Slasher, hiding out at our room in between each of his ghastly attacks.
I chanced a furtive glance around that room to assess the threat level of each of my hostel roommates. There was John, the unassuming suburban college boy traveling down the coast on his father's paycheck. He seemed normal. Next were Dragomir and Grigore, the tall Romanian twins looking to break into the underground San Francisco electronic scene. Stand too close to them, and you would walk away smelling like hair gel and cigarettes. They didn't stay in the room much, so probably best not to worry too much about them.
Finally, there was the quiet kid in the corner. He always wore a dark pair of sunglasses and a hat with an abnormally large brim. He didn't introduce himself to me by name, instead he told me to call him by his moniker, “The Stranger”. When I asked him why he had come to San Francisco, he had told me that he had traveled across the country for a Selena Gomez concert. What a goof. He usually left the room every night at about 1:00 AM. I always saw him leave because I usually tried to stay up and wait until everyone else fell asleep so that I could sneak into the bathroom and brush my teeth without feeling self conscious that someone was judging my technique.
The other roommates thought The Stranger was creepy, but I think that The Stranger must have just been going through a hard time in his life. I remember when I was a teenager, just like him, and went through a phase of wearing stupid hats too. I felt bad for him, so I thought it might be nice to try and reach out to him. In our first awkward conversation, he revealed to me that he liked to paint. As he put it, he used painting mostly as a way to visually manifest the dark thoughts in his mind and appease his desire to see images of other suffering in others. I was excited that we had something in common, so I tried to show him one of my recent sketches. It was a brightly colored drawing of a cherub that couldn't find his car keys. I don't think that he liked it though, because he told me the colors of the Maserati in the background were unrealistically vibrant, and started hissing at it until I took it away.
As weird as he was, I decided that I wouldn't dwell on paranoid thoughts about my hostel roommates. I had come here to have fun and meet up with my friend, Ganny, and I would be a son of biscuit if I was going to let some weirdo with a knife keep me from meeting up for some bubble tea with my friend.
I felt my phone buzz in my front pocket. I always kept my phone in my front right pocket. My triplet brother, That1Guy, always kept his phone is back left pocket. Back when we were first born, right after the doctor delivered us, prophesied to my parents that as we grew up together, we would begin to counterbalance each other in ways that would bring balance to our family. A true set of Ying-Yang Triplets, as he called it. Later, I found out that this doctor was actually an opioid junkie, and had told my parents this while he was jacked up on pain killers, but I like to believe what he said anyway. My choice of phone pocket reminded me that I wished that my brother was here right now, although I would never admit that to him.
I looked down at the name on my phone screen and smiled. It was Ganny, my friend. I jabbed at the answer button and lifted it to my ear.
“It's Ganny, your friend,” said Ganny, his sharp, trendy Silicon Valley accent slicing like a knife through buttery Floridian undertones. Suddenly, I felt calm. The San Francisco Slasher had primarily targeted tourists, but Ganny was a man that KNEW San Francisco. He could navigate the city with as much confidence as one of his companies self-driving cars. As long as I was with Ganny, the tablet-jabbing techy with the swagger of a seasoned Starbucks barista, I would never be marked as prey by San Fran's latest psycho.
“GANNY” I yelled into my phone. I liked yelling at my friends when I was excited. “Have you checked your smart watch yet?? Because I think it's BUBBLE TEA BRO-OUT TIME!”
“Negative,” Ganny said dismissively, popping my enthusiasm like bubble-wrap in a microwave. “I pulled some strings and scored us tickets to the Selena concert tonight. I'll have a smart car over in two shakes of a Wii-mote to pick up my best bro!”
Wait, what? I felt a shiver run up my spine. Ever since Ganny had taken his new job in Silicon Valley, he had changed. The way he talked was more sophisticated, the women he saw became more annoying, and his taste in the finer arts had mutated. His palette had evolved, and under no circumstances could I understand why the “new” Ganny would want to go to a Selena concert. For one, Ganny had grown out of his Selena phase years ago. For another, it was sure to be packed with tourists, a crowd that was would have Ganny turning his nose up so high that he might strain his neck. No, something here was fishier than a shrimp flavored Cheez-it.
“Who are you?” I asked, my voice dropping several octaves as I tried to keep my fear clandestine.
There was a pause and I felt time slow down as my heart began to race. Then a shout. “RUN PHEO! GET OUT OF SAN FRAN NOW!” I heard Ganny's voice boom out from the receiver.
Then a loud slam, and a shuffling noise, as if two young men had began to engage in a brutal match of San Francisco inspired Battle Yoga for the right to wield the phone opposite my own. Regardless of who would emerge victorious, both combatants were sure to get an invigorating cardio workout.
Finally the scuffle sounds ended, and a new, strange voice replaced Ganny's panicked yell.
“Pheo, listen closely,” it said. The second voice was unpleasantly high, like a synchronized squeal from a choir of castrated mice.
“If you ever want to see your friend Ganny, again, you will attend Selena's concert tonight,” it continued. “An Eco-friendly smart car will arrive in front of your hostel in five minutes. I suggest you take that ride (if you want to make it in time catch the band that opens for her, which is actually pretty good for a local band), you puppyING TOURIST.”
My phone flashed red, signaling that the call had ended. My heart sank faster than a turd in a deep-frier. To think that back in December, I had actually looked forward to this trip. None of that mattered now though I thought, as I made my way down towards the entrance. I had save Ganny. When it came to my friends, such acts of courage were in my nature. For what else was I, if not a Good Friend?