I finally got some time off, and I was able to spend the New Year’s holidays with my family. As many of you have probably experienced, spending holidays with relatives can either be quite enjoyable or excruciatingly maddening. I was looking forward to just sleeping in, eating, and having a few drinks, but if you spend time with my family, the last thing you get to do is relax.
They kept asking me questions about Kijuju, but the more I told them about life here, especially in regards to recent events, the more they started to look worried or angry. I can’t understand why. You tell people about a few dead dogs and they think danger is lurking around every corner. My mom was especially worried, and she just shook her head and begged me not to go back to Kijuju. My father was no better, and told me to listen to her before I made her worry anymore. As much as I hate working, Kijuju is the only place that offers work at a decent wage, and because I keep sending money home, my family is able to enjoy a better life than they could normally. Life ain’t easy out here in the sticks. There’s hardly any work to be had here, and what jobs are available don’t even pay half as well as the mine.
I tried to explain that to them, but they wouldn’t hear of it. I didn’t even get to tell them about the blonde woman. She’s another reason why I want to be in Kijuju, but they wouldn’t understand that either.
When I came back to Kijuju, part of me started to feel like my family might have been right. The air was oppressive, if not downright stifling. I hurried to the market to buy dinner, but I felt like someone was watching me the entire time. I turned around and I saw the butcher talking to a man with a turban. It didn’t look like they were having a friendly chat, but more like they were discussing something grave. All the while they kept casting furtive glances in my direction.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but the first time I found that dog, the butcher was nearby. If my memory serves correctly, I’m sure I’ve seen multiple dead animals in the vicinity of his shop. Maybe he’s selling dog and cat meat as a delicacy. And you know what? I’m fine with that. If that’s how he wants to make his money, then he’s welcome to it. But what if it’s more than that? What if he’s been spraying graffiti and putting up strange posters? What if he’s starting a revolution or something? Unfortunately, there’s no one I can tell here. Even if there were, they probably wouldn’t do anything about it anyway.
I wonder what my girl thinks about this. (I know she’s not my girl yet, but she will be!) I also want to know what you think, so please leave a comment.
Of all the days to show up to work on time! The boss wasn’t even there all morning! When he finally came in, I really wished I hadn’t come in at all. He said he was taking five of us to another work site, and then he pulled out a scrap of paper and read off their names. I don’t know if this was random or someone specifically chose them, but what I do know is that a couple of my drinking buddies were among them. Wonderful. Now who do I go drinking with after work? The new work site is about a half a day’s drive from here, so who knows when or if I’ll ever see them again. They were good guys. It’s not going to be easy to drown my sorrows by myself. I’ll do a shot for you guys!
Man, today was probably the best day of my life! I went to one of my favorite watering holes after work, but my heart wasn’t into it at first since a couple of my buddies had been transferred out of the mine. I did a few shots in honor of the good times we had together.
I would have sat there all alone for the rest of the night if SHE hadn’t walked in. Yes, it was the mysterious blonde I’ve been writing about in my posts! Since I had a few drinks in me, I decided to let the alcohol do the talking (love that liquid courage!) and asked her if she would join me for a drink. Naturally, she agreed.
She was quiet at first, and I wasn’t really sure what I should say to her, but after she ordered a whiskey and water (my type of woman!), she turned chatty and I knew things were going my way. She started telling me all about her life in Kijuju. She’s seen some strange things lately, like animals that have been eviscerated or carcasses that look like they had been dragged around by something. She says she’s only been in Kijuju for several weeks, but since the beginning of this month it’s started to feel like a different place from when she first arrived. She can’t explain it, but she said she feels scared at times for no reason at all. If I’m reading her right, I think she was indirectly letting me know she wants to spend more time with me.
I didn’t want to look desperate by asking questions, so I just agreed with everything she said. I tried to add to her conversation by describing my experience with the dog the other day, not to mention the butcher who had been acting strangely. I also told her how I’ve seen trails of blood without any bodies. There’s also been an increase of areas with graffiti, as well as strange posters thrown up around the town. (I didn’t focus too much on that graffiti part since some of it might have been done by me on one of my wilder nights out.) The place has definitely taken on a different air since I came here all those months ago. It’s like the town is changing right under my nose but no one is bothering to let me know it’s changing.
I told her not to worry, and most of the things that have happened could be attributed to a wild tiger or something. She seemed to find comfort in my words, so I moved my stool a little closer to hers. That’s when she really opened up to me. I don’t know if it was because of the alcohol or because she felt comfortable with me, but she started complaining about her boyfriend. (It’s always a good sign when a girl complains to you about her boyfriend.) Apparently, he went off to work one day and he hasn’t come back since. Everyone keeps telling her he’s busy. I don’t think work could ever keep me so busy that I’d neglect such an attractive woman as this.
I told her if she needed anything, she could always count on me. She thanked me and smiled before getting up and walking out. I probably should have followed her, but I think I need to play a little hard to get in order to keep her interested.
Like I said, best day of my life!
And the best Christmas gift I’ve ever had!!
Remember, comments are always appreciated!
P.S. I completely forgot to ask her what her name is! I’m just going to have to wait until next time.
I saw something pretty disgusting today. I don’t know if I can even bring myself to describe it.
I was walking down one of the back streets in Kijuju, and I saw a dead dog lying there. I’ve seen dead animals here and there before, so that in and of itself wasn’t so shocking. (The first time can be a tad unsettling, but it’s not like I’ve never seen road kill back home. I’m trying to keep an open mind here.) This time, however, the dog was missing its entire head! I don’t know who or what decapitated it, but whatever took the dog’s head off didn’t leave it on the ground. It was just not there. Why would someone just want the head of a dog? And did they take it before or after it died/was killed?
I get squeamish around dogs with missing heads, so I circled back and found myself behind the butcher’s shop, and what do I find? It’s the butcher himself washing off a huge, blood-stained meat cleaver. I don’t think he’d kill a dog for no reason, but if he did, then why take just the head and leave the body? He may not even have had anything to do with the dog, but he’s not the friendliest person in the neighborhood. He just kind of grunts when I say hi to him. I don’t have many dealings with him as a rule of thumb because, let’s face it, who wants to buy a dead goat that’s been hanging out in the air for three days? A butcher without a freezer. That’s what happens with no rules and no health inspectors.
You know, as I type this, I can’t help but feel something is different in the air of late. I can’t put my finger on it, and I couldn’t explain it if you asked me to, but I just know. I think I need a drink.