I've always had a horrible sense of direction. Like one of the worst in the whole universe, that you will go the opposite way when you come out of your home toilet. I've been known as the one with the bad sense of direction in my family my whole life. Fortunately, not many of my few friends know because I've been trying real hard not to show them, but the fact doesn't change. The one that gets lost in a school field trip has always been me. And it's nothing you can ever like. It's embarrassing. Really embarrassing.
Imagine, you're having a 5 minute walk to the grocery store you pass every day for years and years. Your mom asks you to go buy the ingredients for dinner and you don't come back until your face is stuck all around the town with the caption "Lost. Please call xxx-xxx-xxx if seen", or the "finder" your mom hired you finds you kilometers away from home in the middle of nowhere 48 hours later, because you just happen to be there for no particular reason.
This "finder", his name is Compass (no, seriously) is my mom's youngest brother's friend from high school. He's won our town's annual maze cup five times in a row and he's only 21. The maze cup is this stupid competition our town hosts, where basically all the participants go through this gigantic concrete labyrinth built underground and try to get to where the mayor is hiding the fastest. The winner gets a prize of watermelons for a year and a handshake with the mayor which the photo goes on the daily magazine the next morning.
So, it was at the second maze cup he won, where my mom found him. My mom was really stressed at that time because I kept on getting lost at everyday basis since she had my little baby brother to take care of and she couldn't always take me to places. And she was really sick of having to call the police to search me every time. My mom says that meeting Compass was like the best time of her life because it meant that she won't have to worry about me much anymore. As i recall, she went up to him straight after the cup, and offered him a deal that he'll be my "finder" whenever I go missing for six years until my brother starts going to school, and as a reward, my mom would pay him 1,000 $ per find, and let him live at our place. It was no problem for my mom to pay him such high rewards as whatever my dad works for payed him quite a lot. It was no problem for my busy dad either because he was, and is, rarely home. And Compass, who, at the time, had just entered college and was living on just watermelons he got from the maze cup accepted the offer with absolutely no hesitation. I'd like to say it was no problem for me either, but oh you know, a stranger, an unknown opposite sex college student suddenly coming to live in the room right next to yours? Suddenly "hired" just for you? Totally acceptable - no way. It's disgusting. But like my mom would have even listen to me. On the other hand, as much as I thought the whole thing was a bad idea, good news is, that he's quite hot. His aquamarine blue eyes and light ash brown hair just goes perfectly well together.
Well, that's basically how I have come to have my own finder. I'm also quite used to this lifestyle already. And I'm now waiting for him to find me any minute, strolling past a creepy night park with only one tree, a wooden bench under it, a young couple and a closed hot dog stand next to it. I've been lost for over 6 hours now ever since I left my dance class at 5pm. Mom doesn't get why I can even do dance with my sense of direction.
Fortunately, my picture is not around here yet and even if it were, I wouldn't really mind because it's starting to chill out here and I dont if that's the reason, but no one's out. And I'm not scared nor worried nor panicked because I know he'll find me. He always has for the past three years since I was 13.
I'm wandering around exploring around the park and wherever I am, and I see the couple on the bench kissing furiously. I wonder if they're not cold. And I wonder if I'll ever have someone who I wouldn't mind the cold as long as I'm with him - though the cold has never really bothered me, as a child born on the coldest day ever in the past millennia.
I realize I'm staring at them with my mouth open when I see the couple glaring at me. I quickly turn away and shut my mouth closed. It's hard to, after the saliva just behind my lips are starting to get frosty. I hear them resume to what they were doing before. I have nothing to do and I already gave up on finding my way back, so I decide to just hang around here swinging my dance bag from left to right, and kicking it with my leg.
I look up at the black sky, and I'm supposed to be breathing out white air, but instead, I look like I'm breathing out orange air with the dim street lamp shining through it. It almost looks like I'm breathing out fire. I find this very amusing - I feel like I'm a dragon. It makes me feel so big, like I'm a great part of the world when I'm not. In reality, I'm just a lost high school girl standing alone in a place that seems like a middle of nowhere. I breathe out fire for two three more times, and I nearly trip on a little rock because I'm not paying any attention to my feet. I blurt out this really weird sound I always make when I'm surprised or scared and it echoes in the empty darkness.
That's when I hear a completely different sound echo back.
I don't know where the sound is coming from and I look around.
I look around even more. I have a bad sense of direction, and thats one thing, but I also have bad hearing - bad hearing, as in I can't really recognize people by their voice. I just can't remember them. I'm not sure if the two problems are related. But good thing, I do have a good eye sight, so I keep on looking around. Soon, I hear running footsteps from behind and then a touch on my shoulder.
"Found you." a voice says.
I spin around and see it's Compass. He looks like a steam engine train, wearing black coat and black scarf and breathing out white air, panting rapidly from running. Well except, he has shining blue light instead of yellow ones.
"Took you awhile." I say cooly, like it's normal. But it's true. These days, he normally finds me in about 2 hours 38 minutes on average. However today, it took him 6 hours and 51 minutes.
"Took me awhile?!" He exclaims, "Where do you think this is?"
"How do you expect me to know?" I ask. "I was lost!" I lose my temper a little because I hate when people ask stupid questions with obvious answers.
"Roughly 17km away from your dance class. It's even out of town!" he shouts. No wonder why my picture wasn't still around yet. The kissing couple turns to us by the sound, and glares. They were still there?! My goodness. It surprises me. Compass mutters something like sorry to them, with an obvious look of 'I don't care.'. He quiets down.
A second later, Compass sighs and points at the green sign behind him and my eyes follow. It says 'Mortyon'. It's our neighbor town which is known as the town with the highest crime level in our city. I realize that that's why nobody is outside. For security reasons. There's a really dangerous pickpocket known as the Shadow Knife out here. I've heard about it on the news the other day. He goes out during the night hunting for young pretty teenage girls to steal from. But it's not just stealing. He's feared because he goes out and stabs the girl first before he steals whatever she has. It's rumored that Shadow Knife is a weird collector of some sort collecting young teenage girls' things - the 'things' varies from money, to wallets, to bags, to makeups, and even sanitary products. Yew. There has only been 3 attacks so far, and none of them had injuries so severe, but he's not caught just yet. The police says it's difficult for them to track him down, because the attacks are during the night and he never leaves any signs to tell that he was there. Not even footprints to find out what shoes he was wearing at the time of the attack. The only reason we know the attacks were done by the same person, is because the testimonies of the past three victims matched. Other than that, he's a very mysterious guy and we know nothing.
I know I'm not pretty or anything and since the only thing I have is a shabby old dance bag right now, I probably won't be targeted. But still, I shiver by the thought of the attacker. I hear Compass giving me a whole whispering lecture about how it's dangerous and I'm supposed to be paying attention to where I go when he gets the money for finding me because I don't pay attention, but I don't listen. Because all I want to do now is to quickly get out of here. I actually see a black figure slowly coming towards us, far away in the distance across the road.
I tug at Compass's fuzzy coat sleeve and whisper, "Let's go home."
I don't know if he senses something as well, or not, but he agrees and we head back home.