Good evening /x/, it's been a wile since I had a story for you.
I haven't been able to travel much in recent months so no more stories from far away.
Lucky for me, I kept an eye opened and a story found me, hope you like it.
My most recent job is not much to talk about, nine to five, boring but easy.
One morning driving to work I noticed a big traffic jam, stepped outside my car for a minute to see what was wrong and I saw police standing around. Got back in my car and called my team manager, told him I will be late and why.
As we where slowly moving along I got to hear and see what was the problem. A little boy was hit wile crossing the street. It seems he had the green traverse sign but the driver was going to fast.
He was in an awkward position on the ground, some blood around his head and oranges all around him.
I drove right past him and waited there long enough to have the image permanently burnt in my mind. The cold morning air, the smell of the tarmac heating up in the sun and oranges. That smell was so out of place.
His mom got there, I heard her say earlier that morning she asked him to buy her some oranges before leaving for school and he went, she said he was such a good boy. The cops showed her to his body and tears where streaming down her face, she knelled down to him and touched his foot.
All she said was:
- Please wake up, your awake aren't you? Please wake up...
She said that at least 4 times before I was too far away to hear her.
The whole drive to work I was thinking to myself, will she ever be able to eat oranges after that?
And what a good kid, if that was me I would't have went out in the morning to buy my mom oranges, I am grumpy in the morning and barely get out of bed as it is.
As we slowly moved from the scene of the accident I noticed how we all got back to our journeys and life moved on, I don't know why but this left me with a feeling of nausea and tiredness that stayed with me for the rest of the day.
As a result I went to eat my food on the far off balcony.
You see, our office building had 3 balconies. One is for smoking and is of course always overcrowded, the others are always empty, one guy will stray there to eat his lunch every so often but this is rare as we are ''encouraged'' to eat in the crowded and noisy cafeteria.
I went to the farthest of the balconies, the so called ''humming balcony'' cause of it's proximity to the air conditioner vents. Hoping I would eat alone, which I did. I also found I preferred the sound of the air conditioner vents to the sound of my coworkers. After that I went there every day for my lunch brake and to draw, I like drawing and it relaxes me.
One day however, something odd happened wile I was drawing an imaginary girl.
I was in my usual spot imagining a young girl dancing on the ledge of the building in front of me, I was at the 8 th floor so I was looking at the 8 th floor next door.
I was imagining her and looking down at my paper, looking up then down all the wile thinking of her prance around the edge of the building in front of me.
Then all of a sudden she was there, I panicked, stretched out my arms in a stupid gesture as the buildings where to far away for me to actually grab her. Screamed at her to stop and get down, then all of a sudden she stooped and stared at me. I kept screaming and gesturing for her to get back, she pointed to herself and the safety of the area behind the ledge then came even closer to the edge at which I panicked and pleaded with her to go back, she did wile smiling and laughing as jovially as I ever seen any one do.
The two buildings where close enough so that we could talk comfortably and so we did.
She was not exactly as the girl I imagined but pretty close. She was younger and smaller. Tiny spindly thing with a knee long summer dress with some flowers painted all over in grey tones. We talked, she promised me she will be more careful and assured me she had no intention to kill herself which I initially thought she wanted to do. But her cheerful and care free attitude convinced me otherwise as we talked.
She was very well spoken and polite for a girl of eight and I came to look forward to our little chats during my lunch brakes.
Eventually I found myself spending more and more time with her, so much so people where sent to call me in from time to time.
I remember the first time a coworker was sent after me, he asked me what I was doing and I told him I was drawing the girl next door. He gave me a smile and asked to see my sketch, I showed him and asked him if it matches my model wile gesturing to my young friend. He smiled again and asked if she is right over the balcony at which I nodded as he said hi to her.
The girl, who introduced herself as Mady seemed very pleased to make his acquaintance and she waved us goodbye with both hands as we walked away.
This happened a couple of times and Mady was overjoyed every time my coworkers said hi or engaged in conversation with her, even if it was just briefly.
One day she told me she thought things would never go back to normal, but now she thinks maybe they will.
I never could get her to explain in more detail, she was quite quick to change the subject or start a random conversation which was quite funny to hear.
I was even giving her some of my lunch on some days, she especially seemed to like apples which I never eat. So when I could't finish my lunch or I saw her eyes target something I brought I would trow some over to her side and she would catch it in her hands and eat it greedily which always made me smile.
I never wanted kids but having a daughter like her, I can imagine would be a blessing, she really was a good kid.
Her mood changed from cheerful to ecstatic over time, until one day when one of my more unpleasant coworkers came to call me in.
This guy, you just had to meet him to believe it. His name was Dan.
Everything from the way he looked, to how he behaved and how he thought was an affront to all things nice.
If I said I did not like him it would be understatement.
When he came, he quickly called me in and went back in, completely ignoring Mady's animated greeting which I could see made her really sad. I started telling her that she should ignore him and that most of us did ignore him but she seemed on the brink of tears as Dan came back in demanding I fallow him.
I pointed at Mady and asked him if he didn't hear her.
He went into a rage, saying I should stop fooling around and come back already. I was not going to leave Mady crying her eyes out for some useless meeting but when I looked over she was gone. I called after her but she was nowhere to be seen... I ran out the building and into the building next door, asked people if they saw her.
I did not feel good about leaving things like that.
As I reached the balcony she was always playing in, I noticed something that puzzled me, A little pile of rotten food. Some of it was from the things I gave to Mady and saw her eat right in front of me. This confused me, there was even the apple I gave her the day before on which I carved a little cat face on.
This was without a doubt the apple I saw Mady devour right in front of my eyes yet here it was on the floor... The ledge was pretty high so you could't see the floor from my side, but how was this possible?!?
As I came back into the office my team manager and Dan where talking, and Dan started yelling at me at which I responded in kind.
After that things went back to normal. Told one of my coworkers, one that saw Mady, about how Dan acted, at which he gave me a sad look and asked if I really saw Mady or if I was just joking about it.
I was confused.
-What do you mean?!? You saw her, you even threw her your apple, I said.
My coworker told me there was nobody there and that he was just joking, playing along with me...
He was now looking at me like I was insane, every one avoided me after that.
I didn't mind much, I was never the social type, but I did miss Mady.
End of part 1.
The next day I spent all my lunch brake asking around, I asked a lot of people about Mady, nobody knew anything.
I was worried for her. I didn't want the poor girl to leave like that.
Later that day Dan came into my office with some blood and scrapes on his hands and screamed at me like crazy, some of the higher ups noticed him and called him for a ''one on one'', then they called me in too.
Dan told them I pushed him down the stairs, he said he heard my voice, that was insane, I did no such thing. He kept insisting and getting angrier at which point the wise manager decided he would just ignore this whole thing, I was the odd one so he would just blame it on me somehow, but I insisted we look over the security camera footage, the manager didn't want that but I threatened to call my lawyer and he relented.
They where both dumbfounded when they saw Dan fall like an idiot down the stairs and me at the same time working at my office.
After that we where both the weird ones.
I could't talk to Dan after that, not that I regretted it, him ignoring me made my days a lot nicer. There was something that gnawed at my brain do, why did he think I pushed him? Every one hated him, not just me...
I eventually found out why he assumed it was me from a coworker, he heard Dan say that he heard some one say ''-It's impolite to ignore people!'' just before he fell down and he swore he felt hands pushing him. And that's what I said that day we argued about him ignoring Mady.
After that I felt a bit down since my friend was no longer keeping me company on my lunch brakes so I took the Friday and Monday off that week. Decided to make it a prolonged weekend you see. That was one of my better decisions seeing as that Monday Dan came in again, with a cracked head this time screaming more of his nonsense and blaming me for another fall.
He was let go seeing how I wasn't even at work that day and there was no way I had anything to do with his nonsense.
So my week started off great, Dan was no longer there, and on my lunch brake Mady was waiting for me to my surprise just like before.
I got a big smile and felt great now, I greeted her, she seemed a bit down but she quickly returned to her old self. When she was smiling and being silly again I told her I am kinda angry with her, why did she just leave like that? She could have told me...
She said sorry before I could continue, but she said it wasn't exactly her fault...
Then I asked her how come nobody in that building knows about her and that I thought she lived there or at least visited some one there. She said she lived near, she pointed to an apartment block near by and told me she was playing there since they started building the thing, and she just kept coming there even after it was done.
Now it made sense, but how come she was always alone, I wanted to know but it was not an easy subject to tackle.