I died three days ago. A brutal death I wouldn’t wish on my enemies. My head was split open, my brain sprayed onto the floor of the entrance to the offices where I worked and blood spluttered on my fellow employees. It was that type of death I often saw on those low budget horror movies; where every scene shows the camera filled up with blood and the aggressor satisfied that the body stopped jerking by shooting it again and again. Only this time it was real; the gate, the walls were filled with my blood and the aggressors made sure I died. It took the cleaning lady three days to get it out and my colleagues look at the place where I died, twitching with dread.
I died on a Friday afternoon a few seconds after two thirty. I know because I had just checked the clock seconds before the insanity started. It was one of those Fridays that we just want to get over and done with. Fridays when salaries have been paid, people have had too much to eat and the sun is so hot that the only thing you can do is sleep on your work space.
Of course my working area, standing at the gate, meant what I could do on such a Friday was pray that it would cool off. Can’t sleep on the job if you standing.
It’s a Monday afternoon, three days after the incident and I stand at a corner watching my funeral. Don’t know which idiot picked the day for my burial. I mean, who would want to be buried on a Monday. I never thought about it when I was alive but now I think I would have preferred a Saturday. A slow day, a day when those who will be at the funeral really want to be there and are not there because the company provided transport or because it was going to be more exciting than sitting in their stupid cubicles typing the hours away.
My fellow employees are here, some sobbing sadly. I look at them amazed. Some of those beautiful girls in black, wiping their eyes barely glanced in my direction all my working life. They would breeze by me, like an eastern wind, on their phones in those posh accents. The only time they looked at me was when they forgot their badges and smiled hoping I would not demand it from them.
The men on the other hand, especially those that drove avoided my gaze in the evenings. I knew they thought I wanted a tip for letting them parked at places that were designated to their bosses. Time and again I saw them struggling to remember my name when they were desperate for a parking space. When the name failed to materialize in their brains, they called me chief or officer or something like that and smiled. To seal the parking deal, they double checked the insides of their pockets for the lowest denomination note they could get a hold on. They would then give me an old 100 shillings note, wishing that it was a fifty and cursing themselves for not having a 50 shillings note on them. They would then smile at me and proceed into the office calculating how much I cost them a month in terms of parking.
I see them now at the corner, looking bored and wishing the funeral was over so that they could smoke and talk business on their small smart phones and laugh as if the world belonged to them. They speak in small tones and once in a while one of them tells a story of how I let him park for free or washed his car and asked for no payments. They then tilt their heads as if sad and look at the time on their smart phones.
My body arrives in a hearse. Not that my family could afford one but strange things happen when you die in the line of duty. Behind the hearse, my boss comes out of his Mercedes Benz, one of those sleek classes that I never even bothered to ask how much it cost. Behind his Benz, a minibus stops and out steps my wife. She is a sorry sight. Dressed in a borrowed dress, I can tell because it doesn’t fit her properly, she looks totally devastated. Her eyes are swollen; she has lost weight and looks like she needs to get some sleep. Behind her, I see my family. My parents holding each other’s hands and my younger brothers dressed in black suits.
They look good. I had never seen them in suits or any white collar attire in my whole life. The coffin is taken next to the grave and the pastor does the ritual, slowly as if he knew me and therefore respects the service.
My boss looks shaken. He keeps looking east and west and the presence of two body guards next to him does little to make him feel more secure. After all, they were right behind him when the killers attacked. Memories of the event come rushing to me, like the heat of the day on my day of death had done. The boss has just entered through the gate when two fellows tried to get in right behind him. I stopped them and one of them pulled out a gun and pointed it at the boss calling his name. My boss turned and his bodyguards hit the ground almost immediately. I threw myself at the man with the gun right before I heard the shot. I felt a pain on my jaw and turned to see a tooth fly into the air. The bullet passed through my lower jaw, taking with it three teeth and a chunk of my cheek. The second shot sounded louder than normal, it passed through my left ear straight into my head and lodged itself into the wall. Blood flew everywhere and my brain kept saying damn damn damn as pain took over. Then they all fled. I lay there for a minute all alone, body jerking dying. The boss was pushed into the offices; the gangsters got into their vehicle and took off while my colleagues hid themselves where they could.
I now watch them put the coffin into the grave and think nothing’s changed. The buggers never noticed me when I was alive and they aren’t noticing my spirit even now. The only person I feel for is my wife. She cries and it breaks my heart. I will look over her until she gets better. The funeral’s over. My boss walks onto his car without even saying a word. The idiot should have said something about me saving his life. The two bodyguards have a moment of laughter. One says something about me taking his place and the other asks what sort of idiot takes the bullet for his boss when he isn’t paid to do that. The fellow smiles and replies “a dead watchman”. They burst into laughter and get into the car. I look at them in anger. Them I will haunt.
I move through space into the parking lot and at the gate, there is already a new guard. It doesn’t take that long does it?