I drove the buggy back alone.
I had a late dinner. The afternoon was too tiring for me. I went on a trek under the rain in a challenging terrain. Ok. So maybe it was not too challenging as the others who joined me looked scat-free afterwards save for being wet. But I was a mess. I slid, had mud on my legs, scratched myself, bled a little, the works of a person who is not into these kind of things. I fell asleep the moment I got back to my room. It was 9 PM when the stomach grumbled and woke me up.
Anyway, I digress. So I usually have dinner around 7 to 8 PM in a nearby resto. Somebody drives me there. But today, I just stole one buggy from the security office and drove myself around work the whole day which extended until dinner time.
I was meaning to leave the buggy near the resto where the charger for this machine is located but I cannot find another driver and a car to bring me home. They were out patrolling, they said.
I have no choice. I have to drive myself back.
The place I live in is a 200-hectare property on top of a hill. It is mainly a forest area with buildings popping here and there. This is my home now.
I have no problem with that. I actually like it here. But recently, I have been hearing lots of scary stories from colleagues which I am trying to dismiss and forget. I don’t want to burden myself with those stuff especially since I am alone here and have to fend and take care of myself.
There was a story where the wife of a colleague came here for a visit. They were playing cards together with their other friends in a room when suddenly she got “possessed”. They said she suddenly became so strong. They were trying to restrain and calm her. They were trying to bring her back to the present, her normal self. Then she started to mention names. My name. I have never met the wife. So they concluded it was the ghost who knows me. What the F.
Then at lunch, another story was told. I was trying to forget the others.
Animism is big in Indonesia. They believe in these things. Maybe I do too. But I don’t want to think about it.
Tonight, it got into me. The drive from the resto, where I had my dinner, and my home is about a kilometer of winding uphill road with lights here and there. It was raining and everything was damp. The trees were looming and releasing their smell. There is no one in sight. I got scared.
You know that feeling when you think you are not alone? That was what I felt. The buggy I am driving is a two-seater with an area at the back where you can put the golf clubs. Sometimes, people can also stand there to hang on when there’s no more space left to seat in front.
There is no rearview or side mirrors in the buggy. And I always say it is so stupid when people check out mirrors or looks back to see if there is “anything” there with them. Well, that’s what I did. I repeatedly looked back to check if I am still alone in the buggy. I don’t know what good it will do to me if I learn I am not. I would probably have screamed the lungs out of me and drove myself off the hill.
The buggy I am driving can only speed up to 30 kph, I believe, on a flat road. I was doing an uphill climb, winding at that, on a wet road. Good luck to me. I was also silently praying that the battery will not die on me as it often happens to another expat colleague who drives a similar machine.
I have to sing Christian songs along the way hoping it will save me and scare whatever it is that is supposed to be scared.
That was the longest 1 km drive of my life. I think I will never do that again. Actually, I’ve decided. I will never do that again. If I have to wait till forever for a driver to appear and drive me back to my place, I will. If I have to ask one waiter to drive with me back to my place, I will. If I have to sleep in the resto till morning comes, I will. But I will never drive myself back alone at night here ever again. Never.
And my imagination is running wild now. Every little sound makes me jump out of my skin. Good luck to sleeping properly tonight. And my muscles are screaming for a good night rest at that because of the challenging trek.
Good luck. Really.