Of course I complained to the blue man. I was fast in making complaint. The blue man had this to offer me: get a priest to bless your house.
It seemed like a good idea except that I didn’t liked priests. It was just my own prejudice and a strong belief that sex played a major role in a man’s life - any man - and if you avoided it, it was like avoiding food and drinks. For those who have not had sexual experiences, how could they understand the temptations of the flesh, and be able to offer advice accordingly?
And so I rejected the blue man on the spot. He didn’t seem to be offended. He merely told me,
“Let me know if you change your mind,”
“No, I don’t want anyone to take control over my house,” I gave him the reason.
“He is not taking control over you or your house, he is just here to lend the presence of the Holy Spirit to ward off the evil spirit,” the blue man said.
“How did she come in?” I followed after him.
“I think she followed you home from outside,” the blue man said.
Lying in bed that night I cracked my head over the spot where I last saw Elaine. Where could she have followed me from? Could Elaine have been the lady with the umbrella and followed me back from the gardens? Yes, I went for a walk in the gardens two days ago. And as it was raining I took shelter with the lady who had an umbrella. I did not ask her for her name before I dropped her and rushed back into the sheltered walkway …
I began to look forward to the walks in the gardens. The garden was not too far away. Just two blocks and you could see several rows of multi-colored flowers. I told myself not to bring an umbrella so that I could borrow from the lady.
When you can’t remember anything at all you really couldn’t remember anything at all. I walked around the garden, from the sheltered walkway to the pavilion. I sat down and I got up. The woman did not appear with her umbrella. But of course, it wasn’t raining!
I saw several people alone by themselves. I had an urge to go up and talk to them but I had no decent topic to offer for conversation. The only way I could probably start was: hi the weather looks fine today.
And then I looked at my watch. It was almost 12:00 p.m. Time for lunch. I hurried back to my house and true enough the blue man was waiting for me.
“Where have you been?” I was surprised he asked.
“Just out for a walk,” I wasn’t going to tell him about the woman with the umbrella. Especially since I had met with no one.
“You have any siblings?” He asked.
“Someone was here to see you today,” the blue man said.
“A lady by the name of Ruth, she said she was your sister,” he continued.
I remembered I was an orphan. I had no sister.
My parents left me at a convent when I was very young. According to the sisters, they were supposed to come back for me. Money for lodging with them was paid regularly until one day when the money just stopped coming in.
I started getting less food on my plate, and I was not given a new set of clothes to change into for the new year. I couldn’t account for the reason as I was very young and didn’t know the intricacies of the adult world.
Two persons, a man and a woman, used to come to visit me at regular intervals. Only when they stopped coming then I was told that they were my parents. I had no idea.
So who could this Ruth be?
If they said that Ruth was my sister, then so be it. I have no problems with that. For after all if I could accept the notion that two strangers were in fact my parents, then I should similarly be able to accept the notion that Ruth was my sister. The only question was, what could Ruth want from me? I was poor I had no money to offer her.
Hey, wait! Who had been paying for my expenses here all the while? I remembered that I paid my own utilities bill, my own telco bill, and I had my own letterbox. And …. what happened to my emails? Yeah, WHERE WAS MY LAPTOP?
I remembered that the Mac was on the right side of my bed, propped up on a side table, the side table I rolled it to one side when I went to bed. I distinctly remembered that I logged it off last night before I went to bed and didn’t touch it until I woke up this morning. But then I could not find it now. Where was it? I looked right and left, up and down, even at the ceiling - there was a fan hanging there - and finally I landed myself on the bed under the sheets. No, it was not there!
No use looking. I have lost my Mac forever. If it were around it should have been here, right under my nose. I decided that I must lodge a report with the blue man right away. I walked out of my room, went to the counter and spoke with one of the staff. I saw a man putting some pills in a box, and I saw Rosalind counting the pills on a tray. They were busy!
“Err, excuse me, I lost my Mac …” I started tentatively, a little timid. They continued with their activity, as though they didn’t hear me. Frustrated, I walked away, back into my own room. And then I realized that my house wasn’t my house. For otherwise, why would the entire place be flooded with so many people? And then, apart from my Mac, where was my doll? I had her on my chair all the while. Oh yeah, the fabric of this chair in my room was different! This time it was a blue material, mine was a beige all the while.
I was shocked beyond comprehension. My world has been turned upside down. This world was a new world. And where was my old world? My old world consisted of the doll. Who can help me find it? Yup, the blue man. He was always around. He was the solution to everything …
I took my steps one at a time. When I reached the door I looked up, and there I saw 103. What 103? Was this a room number? I remembered my house number was 49. Why 103 now? I began to panic. I was not living in my own house!
I started walking backwards, one step at a time, without looking back, and as I reached the wall. I stopped. I sat down on the floor and I looked at my feet. No shoes! Oh yes, I came out barefooted. I never used to wear slippers in my house anyway …
“What are you doing here?” a voice said, rather stern. I stood still.
It was the blue man. Today he was in a white shirt. I have begun to recognize his face now. And I could see his name tag: Dr Tan Yee Chong, Harry.
“Oh, nothing,” I said. He has this therapeutic effect on me.
Tonight I saw her again. Since she said that she was Elaine, so be it. Ok, I saw Elaine. This time she didn’t put her hands on my neck. She sat on the blue chair. In fact, I had difficulty finding her, as when I stood up and walked to the chair to look for my bear she had disappeared by the time I reached the chair.
Stumbled on nothing. I stood in the dark, wondering where the switch was. I gave myself sometime, and then I remembered where the standing lamp was. Slowly I walked towards the lamp … ouch! I tripped over something on the floor. Hey, it was a car! Why was the car there?!
Oh but it was only a toy car. I chuckled at the thought. And then I decided to go back to sleep. “Tomorrow night she will look for me again,” I told myself as I flopped onto the bed. The bed was welcoming and I crawled back into the sheets which had been ruffled just earlier.