Hundreds of people from all walks of life entered the entrance door of the mall. Parents with their children, a group of teenagers, middle aged guys, babies in their stroller and me – a single lady who was on her off day and trying to fill her day before Monday starts. I went to the mall to refill my empty fridge. I had not even taken my breakfast yet.
I entered the mall with a trolley and I went directly to the food area. I need raw meat, frozen food and of course junk foods to be my company on my sleepless nights. I did not need any heavy food as cooking is not my cup of tea. I had my meals at any stall. These foods were for the moment when I’m hungry but too lazy to go out. The perks of living alone, I can eat whenever, wherever and whatever I want and I don’t have to cook for others.

As I got what I want, I strolled around the mall to pass time before I went to cashier where there were long lines for each lane. I sighed at the frustrating sight. As I walked around, I passed toys area and there was a tower of boxes of jigsaw puzzle. Puzzle could be fun for the weekend, I thought. So I took one of the boxes from the tower randomly. 1000 pieces is just a piece of cake for me. I have never been fond of jigsaw puzzle but I could solve almost any puzzle. I took a glance at the lines. It’s shorter now and I guess it’s time to leave.

I drove off leisurely. It’s still Sunday morning and I had no plan for today. Well, not after I bought the puzzle. I cleaned up the fridge before I put everything I bought earlier in there. Well, of course except the puzzle. I made sandwich as my breakfast with cheese, salad and sausage. Also, I took a sip of my coffee. I went to the living room and made myself comfortable on the couch. I took out the puzzle from the plastic bag and placed it on the table which fit to combine the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle all together. One weird thing about the puzzle’s box was it did not have any hint or an image of the puzzle. So I need to imagine and make guesses to place the pieces in their position. It’s not as easy as I thought.

Hours passed by and I accidentally skipped my lunch hour as I solved the puzzle. I was supposed to feel hungry but not at all after I saw the image shown on the puzzle. The scenery seemed familiar, I mean very familiar. It was my office. What made me to be so sure were the people in there. Not only my colleagues but I even saw myself in there. Seated in front of my computer at my desk, as what I always do. This puzzle was like a picture taken in my office. A candid one. The image showed one of my male colleagues, was on the phone while jotting down something on his note pad, three ladies were walking passed my table while talking to each other or probably gossiping, that’s more accurate. In front of the ladies were a lady and a guy perhaps bumped to each other and cause the mess on the floor, the spilt coffee which I thought belongs to the guy as he was holding a mug in his hand. The lady’s shirt has a stain, black as coffee. The guy seemed sorry of what happened. It was a normal sight that people will see in any office. Except the coffee incident which rarely happened and I am pretty sure it never happened before. Was this picture showing the future? I noticed there was a clock hanging in the office right on top of the guy who’s on the phone. It showed 1038. Everything was normal to me except one. There was an alien figure, a lady, I reckon, in a white dress with red dots and barefooted. Her hair’s long that it covered her face. She was facing towards me. Her image was at the most left side of the puzzle whereas my image was at the most right side of the puzzle. We’re in quite distant but I am sure we could see each other’s faces really well. Honestly, this is terrifying.

I woke up at 0700 as usual and get dressed to go to work. I should be in office at 0900. I ate cereal as my breakfast. I had a hard time going to sleep last night. Well who can sleep in peace if they had their own face in a puzzle they just bought randomly? Before I walked out, I took a glance at the puzzle which I left on the table. 1038. Let’s see if the puzzle is portraying my daily life or this is just an...illusion? 

I got in the office and went to my place and started working. I could not focus on the monitor. I kept on checking the time displayed on my computer and on the clock hanging on the wall. I looked at the male colleague’s table and I could see there was a note pad on his left side and his mobile phone was next to the note pad. I looked around the office and everyone was busy with their works. I tried to focus too. Moments later, the guy in the coffee incident stood up from his place. The clock showed 1032. I could hear ladies’ voices laughing near the photocopy machine at the corner of the office. The three ladies I saw in the puzzle. 

1036. The guy’s phone rang. The three ladies were almost done photocopying their stuff. From my place, I could only see the guy’s head from the coffee incident was still at the lounge. 1037 and everyone was walking to the direction where the ‘picture’ took place. The ladies and the guy were walking in the same direction just as pictured. And then another lady was walking towards them. The guy was still on the phone and was reaching out for a pen. 1038 and bam! The lady and the guy bumped each other caused the coffee to spill on her shirt and on the floor, the carpet to be exact. Cleaner must hate that. The guy who was on the phone jotted something on his note pad and the ladies were walking and talking about the coffee incident. How clumsy and bothered about the price of the lady’s shirt. Everything was exactly the same with the puzzle but there was one thing been missing. I looked for the lady in a white dress with red dots on my left but there was no one to be seen except my colleagues focused on the papers and the screen in front of them. To think about her attire, it was not a suitable attire to be worn in an office. Her long hair appearance did not show that she was one of the staffs in the office. We’re supposed to tie our hair neatly. You know the office lady image. She’s probably not one of us. A visitor, perhaps? But I did not see anyone coming in from the entrance door except the familiar faces I’ve seen for years. Weird.

I went back home. My mind was about to explode thinking of what happened earlier. This did not make any sense. I stepped in the house and I rushed towards the puzzle. I should throw it away or something. This could drive me crazy. I took the box from under the table to put all the pieces in it. I opened the box and I freaked out of what I saw. There was another set of puzzle in there. I was sure the box was empty once I have done combining the pieces last day. I thought I wanted to just ignore it but my instinct demanded me to solve the new set. I sat on the floor to complete the new set. I did not want to touch the one I’ve done.

Three hours passed and why am I not surprised with the image shown? There was me, of course, sitting at a table, with a cup of drink, maybe coffee in front of me. I knew that place well. It’s my favourite cafe in town a stroll away from my office building. There was another person in front of me, my sister. Yes that’s the place where we always hang out when she came over to discuss about our problems, if we have one. We were facing each other. The lady in a white dress was there too but our distance has become closer than the previous puzzle. Will this happen tomorrow? Pretty sure it’s tomorrow as I was wearing my office attire for tomorrow. Deep in thoughts, I was surprised by the sound of my ringtone. My sister’s name appeared on the screen. 

“Hello, Jen”

“Hey. What’s up?”
“I’ll be in town tomorrow. So maybe we can go for drinks or something?”

I was speechless. There was a long silence. I could not utter a word.

“Hey, Jen? Jenny? Are you there?”

“Yes, yes. Sure”

“Okay. See you at the cafe tomorrow after office hour?”

Could it be that the puzzle was predicting the future? But who the hell is the lady? A stalker? A stalker would not be that obvious, I mean, that was too close to spy someone. 

I received text from my sister. She said she was at the cafe. I intended to invite her to my house but she said she just wanted to pass me something. I arrived at the cafe and saw my sister was waving at me. I looked around the cafe while I was walking towards my sister. The lady was not seen anywhere. The cafe did not have many customers. There were only two or three couples dating and a group of guys hanging out. I made myself comfortable and greeted my sister.

“Are you okay? You looked different, I mean, tired and pale...”

“I’m okay. Just tired”

“Well, have a drink. I’ve ordered your favourite”

I took a sip but somehow the coffee was tasteless. I did not know how to explain to her of what happened and what was on my mind. She took an envelope from her handbag and gave it to me. I opened it up and there was a resume in it and also a cover letter.

“What is this?”

I asked. It was weird as the resume and the cover letter was hers. As far as I knew, she had a stable job in a big company.

“See if it suits the company’s requirement you’re working at. I looked at your Facebook wall and your company has a vacancy of a position I used to work as. If it’s good enough then I think I might go for an interview.”

“You lost your job?”

“Got fired. A month ago”

I sighed and shocked at the statement. I asked her what happened and why she did not inform me earlier. She took a deep breath and started to tell me everything. I was focused to her speech until suddenly I felt my back was burning as if someone was watching me real close. I felt like I’ve been watched. I heard someone was calling my name in whisper in my right ear. I turned around real quick and shocked to find out there was nobody to be seen behind me. I was sure the voice sounded as if a person was standing behind my ear. So close and very clear. My sister was surprised with my act. 

“Did you hear that?”



We proceed to talk as usual but I could not pay attention.

I arrived at my house at 2130. I felt fatigue. I rested myself on the couch and closed my eyes. I was just trying to get some sleep after those bizarre things. I tried to empty my mind from any thoughts. Just at the moment when I’m about to fall to deep sleep, a soft breeze kissed my cheeks and awake me. I probably forgot to close the windows, I thought. 


I opened my eyes widely and almost fell of the couch. That voice, the similar voice I heard at the cafe right in my ears. I breathed heavily and started to sweat. Nightmare? Those puzzle really brought troubles to me. I thought I wanted to burn them. I took the box to fill the pieces into it and again, there was a new set of puzzle pieces in there. These puzzles really puzzled me. I thought of throwing it away but what if it predicted something bad in the future? Or maybe this time the lady wanted to reveal herself? I took the challenge and tried to finish it. Despite the fatigue, I did it eagerly. I did not realize how much time has passed after I have finally got a clear picture from the puzzle pieces. Crystal drops started to form on my forehead, my heart beat faster than it ever did, and my hands were trembling. It was me, at the moment. My posture on the floor, the clothes I was wearing, the other puzzles on the table and on the floor, everything was exactly at the moment. The lady was right behind me and her hands were on my shoulders but I did not feel her. I turned around.

“Anyone there?! What do you want?!”

I shouted to no one. Suddenly, I felt as if my throat was pressed by something soft yet strong. I felt I was forced to stand up by the force and the pressure on my throat felt stronger that I could hardly breathe. I closed my eyes, holding the pain. As I opened my eyes I saw the lady in a white dress and her face was totally covered by her long messy hair. I could not feel the floor beneath my feet. 


This was totally something different from what I've written previously. I hope you enjoyed it!

Leave a Reply