Last Days in July
I take out the light blue shirt from my wardrobe. I don’t think I’ve worn it this year. Since January the 4th, I’ve not had so many occasions for shirts and skirts- it’s all green and t-shirts. I love the change; I love the silence; I love the indoors.
The blue shirt. I iron it to the best of my abilities. My shirt, my pride. I know what I’m doing. I’m making a cloth schedule in my head ahead of August. Make August no catch me unaware. My blue shirt graces the hanger and the dark space of the wardrobe. “Rest, shirt, and wait for thy resurrection on that day”, I say to the blue non-living thing who can’t understand sarcasm.
First Week in August
I’m awake. It’s past 5 in the morning. My bones ache from not achieving the maximum potential of sleep. You gotta do what you gotta do. I resume duty at my roommate’s table because she has an accompanying chair and a functioning socket with an extension. The green light shows itself when I examine the laptop to see its charging state. The battery is full however the fear of the power holding company is the beginning of common sense.
I power on the laptop. I work till around a few minutes shy of 8:30 am. It’s time to get dressed and resume the second job. 9 o’clock meets me at the hostel gate, praying to get a cab to the school gate. By 9:42 am, I sign in on the work register.
At work, we get free (not free when you know that someone paid for it) breakfast. And lunch. It’s one of the many things I love about this place. Maybe it’s because I have something for hot tea, and mostly enjoy it at home. Whatever the case, I have about thirty-something co-workers. Everyone eats breakfast. I’m not sure it’s everyone. There’s no register for that.
My eyes do a quick scan of the conference room we’re in. I’m a storyteller; I deem observation very important. From where I’m seated, I have a good point of view. I spot an unfamiliar face, a nice turtleneck and one dapper plaid jacket. It’s probably the visiting instructor.
My thoughts are confirmed. He comes to the centre of the room after his introduction. Something’s not quite right. He’s nothing like the others who have come before him. He’s rather blunt and witty. I observe that everyone retreats to a safe space of silence unlike the usual vibrance. Everyone is evaluating the new instructor; although we’ve been taught to acknowledge ignorance, many people seem scared to look it in the face.
I’m grateful for my sitting position because I honestly don’t have replies to any of the instructor’s questions. I’m also laughing inwardly at the scene before me. Soon enough, everyone catches up, adapting to the new instructor’s rhythm. The melody playing out starts to make sense little by little.
Now, the lights dim. The temperature in the room drops a little. The time has come. The hour is here. The instructor is about to give the most important details of the day. He has a poker face. I can’t decipher what’s going through his mind or what kind of mission we’re up for.
I said it. Mission. My colleagues and I are agents. We accept missions and go on operations. It’s time for a new mission.
The instructor begins:
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Should you choose to accept this mission …
“Your mission is to pick up an AK47 …
I give up at this point. We’re agents but not this kind. We don’t use weapons of violence – physical weapons, I’ll admit. Comrades of online vawulence, I know you understand what I’m saying.
Anyway, I’m thinking up an appropriate resignation letter in my head. No, that won’t work. Missions are top secret; I’m already privy to this one. I’m opening a Go-Fund-Me account to run away from this country. This beautiful face and oratory power ain’t for nothing.
The instructor opens his mouth to speak. He’s not done with the mission.
“… And kill
Kill who? Obara Chisos. My system is failing already. I’m shivering and sweating at the same time. Excuse me, sir. No one in our lineage is a killer.
“… These two characters called EMOTION and ASSUMPTION.”
I shake my head and give my best “Is this playing” look. It is playing. This man almost gave me a heart attack. Now, all I can hear from my colleagues is laughter. It is funny and it’s not funny. You don’t do this to someone like me with a wild imagination. I’ve gone too far.
Anyway, I’m glad the mission is nothing like I imagined. The manager of the company smiles. The Head of Operations too.
The mission session is over. It’s time for lunch. Phew! My fear has worked up an appetite already.
P.S: Here’s a picture of myself and a colleague (@bee_crystals) in the conference room. No, we were not being unserious. This act of selfie-taking was also a part of one particular mission.
What do you think?