Sara strolled along the park, alongside her trotted Nik, playing with the butterflies within her reach. She was happy to be back home, it was almost three years, she had not returned home. She did not want to think of the things that happened to her while she was away. She focused on being back. The joy and the fulfilment of being home. Most especially Gabby, her little brother. He was just five when she left. She was glad he still remembered her. He had been the first to see her. He was rolling his bicycle towards the backyard when the cab pulled over and he stopped and turned. When she paid the cab man and came down with her bag, he stood and squinted.
‘Sara!’ he cried and leaving his bike to fall ran towards her into her open arms. She held him tight and kissed his forehead.
‘You remember me?’
‘If you ever miss me, look up to the sky and say a prayer for me.’ He tried mimicking what she had told him before she left and removed from his neck, and showed her the Pendant she had given him. She laughed heartily.
‘That means you are still the smart boy I left.’ She ruffled his hair and they both walked into the house.
She smiled thinking of how joyful he had been since she returned. Her mom noted that he had never been that happy in a long time. Sara smiled thinking of the connection between them.
She wanted a sibling so badly after her brother, Gabeson died, she was bitter and pained. He had been very close to her, as close as twins would be. That park, that very park was their favourite playing ground, he was older and it was easier for him to obtain permission from their parents to take her out.
Whenever they went out, they would take whatever games and foods they wanted to the park. He would always watch her carefully and ensure she does not get any injuries. He was like her guardian angel.
She had been ten and he was fourteen, they went as usual to the park to play. Growing up was visible on him, however, he never stopped to give her all the attention he could and their park visits lasted as long as she wanted it to.
On that day, they had gone to the park as usual, she said she just wanted to sit and talk with him. He obliged, they came with mats and some food. They just sat and talked about everything. He told her everything he knew about the birds and flowers and earth and anything she wanted to know. When it started to get late, they packed up and started to walk home.
Without warning, the sky changed and it started to drizzle, they were still within the park and he thought of taking shelter within the park till it stopped to rain, but she had a different idea. She sold it to him by saying they did not know when the rain would stop and they could spend all night in the park and she did not want to sleep there, ‘not with the monsters out there…’ she said.
He agreed and they started to walk home in the rain, laughing and playing happily. Gabe knew that their mom would scold him for letting her play in the rain, but it was just a once-in-a-while move, he defended himself to himself.
They were totally drenched and dripping by the time they got towards the house and tired too, she walked in his arm already feeling cold. He was thankful they were almost home. She suddenly stopped.
‘What?’ he asked her.
‘I think my Pendant is lost.’ She started to cry searching her neck. ‘The rain would sweep it away.’ She cried further.
Gabeson stopped and they both looked back, and decided to take her home and then return to look for the Pendant. It was a Pendant he had given her on her eighth birthday which was of sentimental value to her. She never took it off except when she wanted to shower and he knew promising another one would not take them back to her eighth birthday and would not be acceptable to her.
‘There.’ She shrieked pointing to the ground some distance away from them, across the road. He ran back to get it.
Gabeson picked it and showed it to her laughing and she laughed back, just as a car that lost control of its brakes ran off-track and knocking him down, ran over him, killing him instantly.
It took her a long time to get over the nightmares of his death.
She prayed for another sibling as her life was very lonely after Gabeson’s death. She begged him to give her a sibling and she was the happiest soul when she learned her mother was going to have a baby.
When the baby was born, she swore it looked like Gabeson’s baby photos and her parents let her name him Gabriel. She promised Gabeson she would be the best to Gabriel.She gave all her love to Gabby and became his guardian angel, just as Gabeson had been to her.
Nik suddenly ran off.
‘Hey Nik. Get back here.’ She ran after the dog as it ran and picked up a Pendant. The Pendant Gabeson had given her, she searched her neck, and it was not there.
How? She had not been to that part of the park. Her heart pounded and her heart raced.