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February 2000

On my way to my Criminal Law class, I stopped at the mini grocery store right in front of my college. I took out the catalogue that caught my attention from mile away. It has the picture of the beautiful blue ocean. It has been three years since I have been to the beach. My parents had just called me yesterday to brag about their wonderful picnic with my brother and his wife at the exact beach.

My phone buzzed furiously, making me sigh as I placed the catalogue back in it's place and sprint to my class. I'm late to my class as always.

While listening to a lecture about burglary, my mind drifted to the place I wanted to be at the most right now. I longed to be at the seaside playing with the white sand. My entire childhood was spent there. Staying nearby an ocean had made my early life a vacation. I still remember cycling past the neighbourhood, only to jump into the salt water. Sometimes would bring along my friends to play volleyball or simply laze at the beach doing nothing but watch the tourists enjoying themselves.

Those peaceful days seem far away now. Following my dad's footstep I had enrolled in a law school which has brought me far away from my hometown. Every year I only had a day or two to rush back and and spend the evenings with my family. Having been raised in a big family, my relatives will never fail to drop by my house when I return back home. As much as I love their warm hugs and not so funny jokes, sometimes I wish they will leave me alone so that I could drive to the ocean and have a few hours alone time.

Living in a big city have been very lonely to me. I have friends but I rarely have the time to spend with them. Working part time while studying law pretty much took up all my time. I hated to have become this person, who do not have fun but work hard all the time. But I constantly remind myself that it's only another two months and my final year will come to an end. I could pack home and start a living legal firm at my favourite place on this earth.

One may wonder why I wanted to be alone at the seaside when I hated being alone in the city.

The beach was not only a place I had fun but it was the place where I always make decision, a place I think. Right now there is something or rather someone creating a mess in my head. Not in a bad way though.

Lately I have been having dreams involving this one guy whom I have never seen before. He keeps appearing in my dreams. The maddening part is that he would always stand far away from me but always watching me. Like my guardian angel. Nowadays, I found myself looking forward to go to sleep simply because I would be able to see the strange guy.

"Anita!" My friend's voice made me snap out of my train of thoughts. "Are you planning to camp here?" She asked as she slinged her hot pink bag over her shoulder. I blinked and noticed the class is half empty. The lecture must have been over not long ago. "Daydreaming about your guardian angel?" She teased. I quickly grab my books and stuffed them in my bag. The next class will be at the opposite bloc and the lecturer not the kind that ignore late comers. "I can't stop thinking about him." I said out loud in a devastating fashion. She rolled her eyes at me and said, "Keep your eyes open he might pop out of nowhere without notice, oh wait I think he already sent you several notices by appearing in your dreams." Salya said in a spooky tone. She ended up laughing at her own joke, which I didn't find it funny even a bit.

I ran to my car as soon as my class ended. I have to be at my work place in fifteen minutes but I know for a fact it will take me twenty minutes to drive to the place. I cursed the lecturer for taking his own sweet time to give out our assignment question. As I drive out of my college compound in hurry, I failed to look at the motorist who drive past me in such a speed that I had to put a brake that gave out a loud screeching sound. The students around the college looked at my way in a disproving manner. I exhaled loudly in relief but almost choked on it when my eyes spotted him. The guy in my dream.

I dare not to blink because he might disappear out in the thin air. The joke made by Salya rang in my ear. My guardian angel, she calls him. He was dressed in white as in my dreams, white hoodie jacket and white pants. He stayed rooted in front of the grocery store and watched me. I would have believe this was just another dream I'm having if not for the loud honking sound coming from the vehicles behind mine. I glanced behind in annoyance even though I knew it was my fault to stop the car at the driveway. A line of cars had already formed and each honked impatiently. As I drove out of the entrance, I looked at store. The spot was empty. There was nobody watching me. For some strange reason I didn't find that surprising.

Just like illusion or worse, ghost would always disappear when you look away.

I parked at the usual parking spot opposite the building I'm working at. I was still in daze when I walked to the side of the highway and joined the small crowd that was waiting for the red light to appear. Absentmindedly, I walked behind a young woman and a small boy to the other side of the road.

I was about to break into a run as soon as I crossed the road but the kid in front of me turned around all of a sudden and started to run towards the road. He dashed past me even before I could have reacted. The young lady started to shout and followed her child. I watched in horror when the kid not more than five, run into the busy road. The light ad turned green and the vehicles had started to ram forward.

A few bystanders beside me gasped in shock when a fast coming BMW swerved to the side, managed to not hit both the mum and son who is now looking pale as ghost in the middle of the highway. It was then all hell broke loose.

Failing to brake on time, a van slammed into the side of the BMW. The sound made during the collision was both ear deafening and terrifying. The lady screamed her lungs out as she shielded her son from the sight of the accident. The three lane highway became a mess when more cars stopped and slammed into each other due to the unexpected destruction. I heard people screaming in shock and some yelling at the woman for still standing at the dangerous spot. The woman looked around her in panic. There were some cars still moving at the both sides lane slowly, avoiding the two wrecked vehicles in the second lane.

The woman looked too scared to even move. Instinctively I walked forward with my hand held up at the lorry that had already stopped due to the collision. I gestured the lady to make a move when I reached the second lane. She looked at the lorry behind me and then at me . She started to drag her kid towards me when she was sure the vehicles in the left lane has stopped moving. Two other ladies from the side walk came forward to help them to the side of the road.

Feeling utterly relieved I started to walk past the lorry. I glanced up and saw the man in the lorry gave me a thumb up. I smiled widely in response and that's when I heard another loud bang coming from somewhere far behind the lorry.

Then out of nowhere a motorcyclist almost bang into the back of the lorry but manages to avoid by few inches. The rider made a quick turn that cause the bike to lose its balance.

It happened too fast.

One second the motorcycle was at the back of the lorry and another it was heading straight towards me.

I was not sure if I even tried to move but the only thing I remembered when I laid still on the pavement was the pain I felt when the motorcycle crashed into me and the image of a small dinosaur toy laying not too far away from me on the pavement just like me, broken.

Before everything went black, I saw the guy in white, my so called guardian angel standing among the crowd, watching me.

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