They say he was once one of us.
A civilized student. A procrastinator. A Life-Building-Starbucks enthusiast. They say he had hobbies. A girlfriend. Whispers in the IKB stacks will tell you the two were seen walking down Main Mall, hand in hand, heads turned together under one umbrella.
They say they’ve seen him, and they swear he wasn’t always this way — shaking out his umbrella before walking through the Nest and shuffling pristine rain boots over the little carpet things on damp Vancouver days.
His crimes? Despicable. Inconceivable! An infamous skulking villain who brings chaos, wreaks havoc on the good, innocent people of UBC.
I thought he was mere folklore — a boogeyman, a myth that goes bump(?) in the night — until that fateful day.
It was a Wednesday (the worst day) at 4:52 p.m. I was waiting for the R4 and pretending not to notice the lineup stretched all the way to the Nest. After much pushing and shoving and jostling, I obtained an ever-coveted seat, turned up the volume of my spooky playlist and settled in for a dismal ride home, my nose filling with the scent of body odour and mud. However, these typical, everyday scares were the least of my problems.
A dampness seeped through the sleeve of my sweater.
A cold drop of water hit the back of my neck. Drip.
No — it couldn’t be.
No — he’s not real.
I turn my head. My face is frozen in shock like that guy in the painting by the guy with a last name like Crunch or something. I see him, in all his soggy terror: a navy blue raincoat, dripping with water, puddles beneath his soaked-through runners, threatening to drench all those near with a single twist of his arm and unintentional brush-up against all those near.
Wet coat bus guy.