Tall, Dark Guardian Angel

BY LOSHI RAJEN

This incident happened to my aunt 16 years ago. Being a devout Hindu, she used to go to a temple situated five miles away from her home in the city of Klang, Malaysia every Friday evening.

Having just obtained her driver's license, my grandma still insisted upon dropping her off and picking her up at about 9.30 p.m. when the weekly special prayer sessions would be over. My aunt used to wait opposite the temple on a stretch of a road that was very poorly lit and isolated all those years back, unlike now.

Since my grandmother would be only 10 minutes late at the very most to pick her up, my aunt never had a reason to fear for her safety while waiting by herself.

It so happened one fateful September night, my aunt waited and waited for almost 20 minutes and there was simply no sign of my grandmother. It was nearing 10 p.m. and back then my aunt did not even own a cell phone, so she could not contact her mother to find out what was holding her up. She decided to wait for another five minutes before deciding enough was enough.

In truth, as she later admitted to me, she was terrified out of her wits for it was already two minutes past 10 p.m. and she was stranded all by herself on a lonely stretch of road where drug junkies were known to hang out, and she had a long way to go.

It was when she started to walk off from the spot where she had been waiting that she noticed a man standing a few metres in front of her, his figure encompassed by shadows.

He walked out into the sole streetlight, putting his features into sharp relief.

My aunt gasped out loud when she noticed his complexion was as dark as the night itself. According to her, she had never seen a person as dark as that before in her entire life and his extremely swarthy complexion was the only striking thing about this stranger apart from his height.

He must have been well over 6 feet tall.

He walked over to my aunt and asked her whether her mother was running late, as if he had known her her entire life. The funny thing was, my aunt did not feel threatened in any way by the mysterious appearance of this stranger, though she did feel slightly suspicious and apprehensive about talking to him. So she just nodded.

He then asked her whether she had been planning to walk home on her own. She nodded again. He then said it was not safe for her to walk home alone at that hour of the night, and he offered to walk her home. Startled at the audacity of this man who had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, my aunt somewhat politely declined his offer and said she intended to wait for her ride to arrive after all.

But then she was in a fix, for she did not want to stay there with this strange man. The man said nothing. He just stood back a pace and waited with my aunt.

After what seemed like an eternity, though it was only another 20 minutes later, my grandmother finally arrived. She turned to look at the stranger who had not budged all the while, jerked her head in some gesture of farewell, she ran to the car and got in.

That's when she noticed something so strange and chilling that it gave her goosebumps.

The stranger, who had been there a moment ago, had just vanished into oblivion. And the thing is that there was no way he could have left in such a brief lapse of time -- in fact in a split second! He was definitely nowhere down or up the road, and there were no trees or any kind of foliage on that particular road to hide him from view.

Needless to say, my aunt was dumbfounded and shaken to the core, but she kept her silence and did not mention the stranger and his vanishing act to my grandma.

But that was not all. When my aunt finally related the incident to my grandma a couple of days later, she told my aunt that she had not seen any tall, dark stranger standing next to my aunt when she had stopped the car in front of my aunt on that night, though my aunt knew for a fact that he was standing right next to her!

In retrospect, all we could come up with to explain the inexplicable appearance and disappearance of the man is that he must have been her guardian angel and he was there to save her from whatever harm that might have otherwise befallen my beloved aunt.

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