After church service the following day, I walked away from the church building to the parking lot with my children and sister. Once I caught sight of my car, I saw a hooded figure standing by the driver’s door. I narrowed my eyes, studying the figure. Before I could get anything out of it, the figure walked away with its back to me.
Using the car key to unlock the boot from afar, my sister went ahead to get my children’s things from the boot and transfer them to my mum’s car. I, my mum, Feyisayo, Taiwo, and Kehinde had agreed yesterday for the twins to spend the rest of the holiday with their grandma after the end of the church service today. Feyisayo and I had already packed their things the previous day. It was also at that time I told her what happened, as she insisted she had to know, and pleaded with her the way I did with my mum not to say anything.
Throughout the time she transferred their things to our mum’s car, my eyes followed the figure. Something was off about it. It had the same shape of Kelechi’s body and walked in the same manner he did.
At first, I thought whether I was probably imagining him, howbeit when the figure removed the hood from his head and fixed its eyes on mine, I knew I wasn’t hallucinating. He stared right at me the same way he did after he told me, “I just wanted to hear your voice,” and when he appeared yesterday: melancholic and apologetic at the same time.
Why was I seeing his ghost, and why was it sad and apologetic?
I was still muddling over the matter when someone shook my shoulder.
I swayed my head away from his intense stare. Feyisayo had a questioning look as I glanced at her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You seem a little… dazed and frightened.”
I looked around to see if there was anyone who would listen in on what I was about to tell her. People were scattered all over the place. Even if they weren’t eavesdropping, I still thought it wasn’t going to be uncomfortable telling her in the open.
I nodded my head towards the car for her to get in without saying anything, and she did so.
When I turned my head to look at him again, he was no longer there. Now, my heart beat faster than when I recognized him not long ago.
That fear in me instantly disappeared when I heard two tiny voices calling my attention. I followed their voices and saw the twins already inside my mum’s car, waving at me. I waved back at them and my mum who sat at the back seat with them. Before I knew it, the car zoomed out of the church premises.
I got into my car to meet Feyisayo who was still waiting for an answer to her question.
“I think he’s haunting me,” I told her.
She furrowed her brows. “Who’s haunting you?”
Her face was knitted in bewilderment. “What do you mean?”
“He came to me yesterday after you and mummy left with the twins. And, I saw him just now before you asked if was okay. When I looked back again, he wasn’t there.”
She looked deep in thought before she said, “Were you two quarrelling before he…?” She squeezed her mouth, seeming like she didn’t want to finish her sentence, probably to make me not feel bad.
“No,” I answered.
“Then I don’t think he’s haunting you. Maybe he’s trying to tell you something.”
“What then? What’s he trying to tell me?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never had a ghost visit me before.”
I looked away from her and rested my head on the headrest. “Why couldn’t I just have had a dream instead of his ghost to be visiting?” I looked at her. “I mean, I’ll understand and believe the message more if it’s in my dreams.”
She shrugged. “All I can say, Sister Fisayo, is you’ll know soon.”
The following day, I pulled myself together, knowing that I had to focus on the work that I needed to get finished. The office was really busy: everyone ran helter-skelter so by the time Mr Richards came everything would be in place so my company could begin work immediately once his company had signed the contract.
Surprisingly, despite the chaos, the employees noticed Kelechi wasn’t around. Some of them asked me if he had travelled. The answer I gave each one who asked was, “Stop poking your nose in something that doesn’t concern you, and get back to work!” I know it was rude of me. Nevertheless, I had to as I wasn’t ready to let them know anything.
I got home late that night. Luckily, the Ezekiel’s had gone to bed by the time I came. It was good that way so I wouldn’t have to deal with them.
Florence called that same night. She said she needed to see me at the hospital because there was something she wanted to let me know about Kelechi. I asked her to tell me over the phone. She refused, saying tomorrow was the best time and that would be after I got off work. Of course, I wondered what she needed to tell me about my husband. So, I agreed to meet her.
I didn’t get much sleep that night. What was about Kelechi that I needed to know? I searched my brain to get an answer yet I could not point fingers at whatever it could be.
At work the next day, I was more distracted. I still had a lot of things to get done, howbeit my mind kept going over the fact that I was now on my own – without my husband – and there was something about him I had no idea of. I still tried to get something done though, knowing I had an important meeting the next day.
I prepared myself emotionally for whatever Florence was going to bring to light to me. I entered her office with an extremely faint smile on my face.
“Hey, girl,” she greeted.
“Hey.” I sat on one of the visitors’ seat behind her desk.
“How are you doing?”
I couldn’t believe she asked that. “How do you think I’m doing?”
She tilted her head to the side. “You’re still sad about him, aren’t you?”
I looked at her, deadpanned. “Flo, I believe that is quite obvious.”
“Fisayo, you don’t need to be sad about his death.”
I quizzically looked at her. “Okay, I know you didn’t just say that. Or have you forgotten my feelings for him?”
“I haven’t. It’s just that I have good news for you concerning him.”
I rolled my eyes. Good news, my feet! “Florence, no matter how good your news for me is, it wouldn’t be better than telling me that Kelechi is alive; that is the only good news about him I want to hear.”
Right away, she stood up with a beaming smile on her face. “Come with me. I want to show you something.”
I stood, being suspicious of why she looked so happy.
I followed her out of her office to the ward Kelechi was at the day he passed to the great beyond. She knocked on the door, opened it, and entered the room. All I did was stand there and watch her, wondering why she entered that ward and if she hadn’t ordered for his body to be taken to the mortuary already.
She must have noticed I didn’t enter with her so she came back to ask me in. I shook my head, dissenting with her. I couldn’t go in there neither did I want to. That was where he took his last breath. There was no way I could come out of that room, feeling better.
She begged me, saying what she wanted to show me was in the room. She reminded me it was the good news she had for me and promised I was going to love – not like – it.
Reluctantly, I entered. I sure do hope I love this good news.
As I entered, Florence stood beside the bed, still having her wide smile. I glanced at the bed. I gasped and jumped a little. I couldn’t believe what I saw: I was seeing him again; Kelechi was seated upright with both legs on the bed.
He had the charming smile he always gave me right as he set eyes on me, after not seeing me for quite awhile – like when he comes back from a trip. His facial expression made me understand he missed me. But why would he? I asked myself. How could he miss me when he became my recent stalker?
He glanced at Florence. “Thank you, Flo,” he said to her.
She looked at him with the smile still on her face. “You’re welcome.”
She could see him! She could freaking see him! My heart dropped down into my stomach. I couldn’t stand it. What had I done to Kelechi? He had, with his ghost powers, tricked my best friend into believing he was alive and manipulated her to bring me to the same place I never wanted to step into. Now, his ghost could finally torture me until I joined him where he was.
She faced me. “Fisayo, this” – she pointed at him – “is the good news: Kelechi is actually alive.”
He waved at me. “Hey, honey.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. I slowly retraced my steps towards the door. Maybe if I fled, everything would be back to normal and Florence would know she was under the supernatural influence of Kelechi’s ghost.
“I’ll leave you two alone,” she said.
No! I screamed in my head. My lips were probably sealed by Kelechi so he could carry out his plan.
I stared back at him. That was when it hit me: his ghost was vexed with me. Guilt enveloped me as I remembered what I did over the weekend and even the previous day: I had refused to see him. It wasn’t as if I didn’t want to; I knew that once I did I’d have to accept the reality of his death. However he was I couldn’t explain it to even myself; it was just a feeling I had that was constantly countered by Florence’s words to me that day.
Then, there’s the fact that even when he visited me at home and church, I still was melancholic. Yes, seeing his ghost should have comforted me, instead it only reminded me of whatever the aftermath of his death would bring to me and our children. That definitely wouldn’t leave Kelechi happy that when he tried to comfort me I rejected it.
I didn’t even know when Florence passed me. It was when I heard the door shut that I knew she was no longer in the room. I hugged myself and begged God to forgive me whatever wrong I had ever done before I would face my death.
I need your opinion on this chapter, people: do you think Kelechi is really alive or Fisayo’s thoughts are right? Let me know before I update the next chapter.
P.S. If you like this chapter, like and comment please.