CHAPTER ONE
It was dark. You were sitting on the green wooden bench, the one in the veranda. Every living being was asleep, or so you thought, every living being except the big rat that disturbed every night, always making funny sounds that would get you tempted to ask: “who’s there?” The rat had everything all planned out, everything about its life, just the same way you too had it all planned out, the plans which you now speak of in past tenses, and their future realizations along with them, you were just a dreamer.
Just then, you heard footsteps, one that sounded somewhat unfamiliar, this was not the regular estate night guard. They’ve employed another one, all these funny old vampires. You could not afford to grow old, fate could just seal you to become a night guard, the same way it sealed these ones, and the same way it sealed you to be here right now. I might one day set the record for being the first female night guard, at least in Iba housing estate. If you can dream it, you can film it, if you can film it, you can…wah? The guard’s eight-bulb torch went from right to left, then quickly to the left again, sending light rays in slow movements over your veranda, and casting dark shades of burglary patterns on your face, and on the red strapless bra you had on you. If this light stays a little longer, I swear I will pin this guy to the breeze with a javelin! The light rays vanished! You actually were in possession of a couple mop sticks, not javelins, the difference didn’t really mean much to you, only the results did. You had done it before, with five slaps and two mop sticks, though it only cost the victim a few days of groin agony, you had promised yourself afterwards that next time you would try harder. I bet that guy heard my thoughts ,dry guy, pointing torch on my bra, hmm, could be a song title sef, you started making beats with your mouth to the new track playing in your head ‘torch on my bra! Torch on my bra! ...’ though the light rays had stayed longer on your statue-like face than on your precious bra that hardly enshrouded your beautiful bodily possessions.
You knew for a fact that your face would have been more beautiful if only your dreams were not mere fantasies, if only your life was not a shadow of what it was meant to be, if only you had control over every circumstance you faced, if only you had a hold over everyone that ever came into your life, or rather, if only you never allowed them in, if only you never even lived at all. But in fact, what pained you at the moment were not the “if-onlys”, but the fact that life was a great comedian, and all the jokes cracked were very expensive ones. Right from when you were born, your early years made it seem like your life will make a great story, but suddenly, things changed; from the time mummy died, to the time you died, and to the time you will die again for the last time, you were so sure your life had been, and will continue to be a very great joke.
“Good morning sister, I’m very sorry.”
You hissed and shook your head after taking a long, bold, mocking stare at wherever the eyes of the dark figure standing across you were, the kind of mocking stare you gave to those sexy senior boys in secondary school, especially the ones that dared to open the big hole in their face to ask you out. Except one; the tall, dark, and quiet boy in your class that made your bones grow cold, and made you seem so light, so light that you did not know when your hand would just move, and knock anything off, anything that was not firm enough to make your finger bones hurt, and make you smile unintentionally at nothing in particular, now you know what you were smiling at, life’s joke! Experience had kicked the stupid naivety out of you, and replaced it with sarcasm, and painful pride.
“Hope no problem o?” the vigilante asked with obvious concern.
At that instant, you wished he had not lifted the torch from your face, so he would have seen the cold stare that came along with