“I was going to see you about that on Saturday, was it not from you?” I asked.
“No, only the first one was from me.”
“Really? I thought it was from you since it came with a little note in which the sender addressed me as ‘My teddy bear’.”
“Can I see the note?” He requested.
“Yeah. I still have it in the bag I took to work yesterday.”
He followed me up to my room and sat on the chair before my dresser while I searched my bag for the note.
“Here.” I handed it over to him.
“What time did you receive the box of roses?” He looked troubled.
“In the morning.”
The terror in his eyes were evident.
“What’s wrong? You don’t think it could be from someone who committed suicide six years ago, right?”
“That’s not it. You know what? I will be holding unto this for a while. Is that okay?”
After he was gone, I lied awake in bed thinking and when I eventually managed to fall asleep, I woke up from another nightmare sweating all over.
Jameson cleared his throat loudly to draw everyone’s attention in the office to himself.
“Who among you guys knows whose birthday it is today?” He waited patiently for an answer.
Everyone was deep in thought for a while before we all shouted in unison.
“I’m really offended you guys forgot all about my birthday.” He really did look offended which was so unlike Jameson.
“I wasn’t going to say anything about it but as you all know, I’m not the type to hold grudges and so I decided to remind you guys.”
Apologizing to him, we all made our way over to hug and wish the grumpy fellow a happy birthday.
Afterwards, Mandy placed an imaginary birthday hat on his head and we all sang him a birthday song with him grinning from ear-to-ear like a child.
Before we closed for work that day, we all agreed to meet at the usual bar to celebrate his birthday although Catherine complained she wouldn’t be able to make it. I was going to opt out too since I hadn’t gotten a good sleep since the Saturday incident but he wouldn’t listen to my made-up excuse. He wanted me to be there no matter what.
We had fun at the bar playing different games and I made sure not to touch any alcoholic drink.
After some time, Jameson suggested we all dance and that was when I had the chance to slip out of the bar without their notice.
The breeze outside was calming and soothing. With my hands on the rails, it took me only a minute before my mind was again preoccupied with recent happenings and the other ones that had been happening to me since the beginning of the year before a presence behind me brought me back. Curious to know who or what it was, I turned around to check.
It was a tall, good-looking guy in an all black outfit of a t-shirt and a leather jacket which he had on over a pair of ripped jeans, who only stood there staring longingly at me like he knew me from somewhere before. I expected him to say something aside just staring but he wasn’t saying anything.
Suddenly, there was something strange and at the same time familiar about this guy before me and that was when I noticed the tiny dark mark on the side of his mouth. It was the same size and at the same position of that of someone I knew.
I had a strange feeling when it occured to me it looked exactly like the one on my one and only lively friend back when I was in preschool and that was, Damien.
“Long time teddy bear.” He smiled.
I thought I was dreaming or maybe just seeing things.
“Remember my face?”
Thinking my drink had been accidentally spiked, I closed my eyes and opened them back to make sure I wasn’t just seeing things, but he was still there when I opened them back.
“I’m real.” He tried to clear my doubt.
He was going to open his mouth to say something else when someone called my name.
I recognized the voice to be Michael’s.
Having a cause to get away from there as soon as possible, I quickly left the place to make back inside.
“Where were you?” Michael asked just as I ran into him.
“Just outside… receiving fresh air.”
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah- yeah I’m okay.”
“But your legs are shaking and you look troubled.”
I looked down at my legs to see them really shaking.
“Uh,” I bit my lower lip and tried calming myself down at the same time.
“I need to leave now, please help me informing the others.”
Since I had my bag with me, I left the place before he could ask me why.
Since that morning, madrigal and I had only talked on phone since he left for work very early that morning but when I got back from the bar, he was home already. I told him about my encounter with Damien and he seemed cold and a little withdrawn afterwards.