I was sitting at the dining table at my mom's house when I heard what seemed to be someone calling at me. The sound was coming from in the direction of the backyard and I strained my eyes trying to see past the overgrown bush that spilled from the neighbouring yard, trying to determine who could see me. Then I remembered that no house was on that land and I told myself I was hearing things.
As I shovelled forkfuls of food into my mouth, I heard the sound again. "Psst. Pssssst." Again, I found myself peering into the distance doing my best to see what was causing the sound. A minute later, I remembered that my mother, on emerging from the bathroom minutes earlier, had asked with a look of utter distaste if someone was spraying. I had given her a blank stare and casually shrugged my shoulders. I figured she had smelt the chemical, but for me, inflamed sinuses prohibit luxuries like the sense of smell. I simply couldn't say. But upon hearing this psst sound coming from the direction of the backyard, I figured it could be someone pumping a spray can to finally spray the overgrown bushes from next door. That I managed to work this out all by myself in a relatively short space of time was a boost to my ego since recently I have been battling with stress, memory loss and moments of fogginess. I'd like to say that this is all related to juggling work and raising my boys, but a nutritionist might probably suggest that an adequate night's sleep and a good multivitamin would take care of all that. You'd think being in the health industry I'd be better off, but its true what they say about a carpenter's house never being done, I suppose.
Anyway, I yelled to my mother and told her what I had deduced and went to the kitchen to wash up my plate and anything that might be unwashed in the sink. I stood there humming softly and going about my merry duties when I spied my niece standing in a chair that usually stays by the backdoor, peering into the yard. "Renee, what are you doing?" I asked.
"Watching Davis," she said, referring to my mother's companion. That's when it all became clear and I realised that my mother and I were the two clueless ones in the house. He was outside spraying and for reasons unknown me, neither of us thought to look outside, thinking he had stepped out and was not at home at all. And he would have had to have heard when my mother asked if someone was spraying, but chose to stay in the yard, quietly working.
When I finally put pen to paper and write the graphic novel, he will be transformed into a mischievous villain. Real cartoon super villains need to take a leaf out of his book and not talk too much, lest they cause their own downfall. I still can't believe that the man was out there all along and must have even heard when the children were looking for him earlier and not a word did he utter.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.