This is a work of fiction
In order to move on from his past, James has to go right back to it.
One last time.
Queuing behind a old lady, I nodded at the owner of the coffee shop stall. He knew what I wanted.
2 Black coffee, no sugar.
When it was my turn to step up, I paid him and took the drink before walking towards the noodle stall. I picked up my noodles and walked towards my work place.
It’s 7.30am in the morning and a steady stream of cars is leaving the condominium where I worked.
I entered the cramp guardhouse and handed the breakfast to my colleague, Uncle Lee.
We ate quietly and waved to the few property owners who would deemed us worthy of a wave or a nod.
We’re paid to be invisible after all.
The smallest unit is going for 1.5 Million a pop in the heart of one of the most expensive estate in Singapore.
Like any other day, I registered the car plate number of visitors, I did my rounds around the estate, walking by empty pools and under utilised gyms.
I scanned the checkpoints and took stairs up to the different blocks before coming back a full circle to the security booth.
5 times a shift, I would head out, checking the perimeter of the expensive estate.
At 8pm, I would clock out my shift and go back to my empty home where I would relax with a can of beer and some old dramas before sleeping.
And the routine would repeat 6 times a week.
At 35, I had spent 5 years in jail, going in and out for a variety of reasons.
It took me a while to land this job.
The routine is boring but stable.
I’m a simple man. I want to lead a simple life.
I fear for the day when I would need to break my routine. I prayed it wouldn’t come.
Like any other day, I got ready to clock out at 8pm that Friday evening.
As I said goodbye to my colleague, I noticed a black RR Ghost parked by the side of the road. Looking to either side of that luxury car, I saw 2 more black cars parked 10m away. A 3 car convoy.
I continued walking, keeping my eyes straight and as I got closer, the door to the RR opened.
I saw a man from a distant past alight and walked over to me.
“ James, how are you ? life treating you good ? “ Sam greeted me cheerfully as we shook hands
“Not too bad.” I replied.
“You know, I thought of getting a unit here initially but it’s too small, and the penthouse was taken by some rich fuck from Indonesia, without that double volume space, the next biggest 4br just don’t look as appealing!” Sam went on to describe the clubhouse which he like including the big pool.
I nodded and waited for him to finish.
“the location is nice of course, it’s right beside the botanic garden. Fresh air every morning, not to forget all the hot girls running in their sports bra. Haha “ Sam continued to describe the manner in which the women are wearing nowadays for their jogs.
I smiled and said nothing
Then without warning, Sam told me boss is looking for me.
“ Boss wants to have a chat with you.” Sam just said that abruptly before walking towards the RR. He got in the other side while the door facing me remained opened.
I got into the car to see my former employer. Seth.
The door shut and the convoy started moving.
My former employer Seth has a head of white hair. Even his moustache has streaks of white in them.
In his early sixties, he walks with the aid of a walking stick. The limp in his leg caused by a old gun wound.
As the head of one of the largest triad in the country, Seth has a long list of enemies that would love to see him go.
“James, why didn’t you look me up when you are released ? “ Seth asked.
“I didn’t want to bother you boss.” I replied.
He smiled knowingly as he nodded.
Seth is not the kind of people who would force you to do something that you don’t want to. The reason he got to where he is today is because of the amount of respect he earned throughout the decades.
I joined his gang when I was 18. I did my job, I paid my dues and I served my sentence.
Everyone grows up eventually.
“someone tried to kill me last week James.” Seth added as we turned onto the expressway.
“I saw it on the news. I’m glad you are ok.” I added.
My former boss looked at me from top to toe. He was like a father to me.
I’m an orphan and Seth was the only one that visited me during my military training. Money, house, he paid for everything.
I could have gone back to him, or I could be enjoying my retirement in another country with the 750000 balance in my bank that has sat untouched for the last 3 years, but I didn’t.
I knew what he wanted even before he said it.
“I’m calling in my one last favour James.” Seth sat forward and held my hand.
“I know you want to move on, which is why I did not look you up after your release.”
Sam opened the fridge in the RR and opened a can of beer. I could not help but noticed the pistol he kept inside the same fridge.
“one last job, and I’ll free you from your obligation to the company.” Seth said.
It was not a threat, no, nothing like that.
It was a plea for help. The eyes don’t lie.
The car reached my place and slowed to a stop.
“I’ll gather my team.” I replied before getting out of the car.