AMAZING LOVE - Episode 19

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“No Dr. Gerry! A woman is living there with her husband! Her name is Faustina. We have spoken once and she helped me dispose some of my...

“No Dr. Gerry! A woman is living there with her husband! Her name is Faustina. We have spoken once and she helped me dispose some of my unwanted clothes.” Dr. Gerry sat down on the bed beside Eka and explained, “There was a couple in that flat when I parked into this place. That was three years ago. One evening they came to me and complained of being attacked in the flat and wanted to know if I went through the same experience. I told them I had no such experience. After some banter they returned to their apartment. I don’t remember how long it took; probably it was about a week’s time. One evening I was returning from work when I noticed the flat was empty. The couple had left. They perhaps could not take any more of the attacks they mentioned. I remember having a discussion about them with my landlord and he said the couple had moved out. Since then that flat has been empty. If someone has moved into it I am not aware of that.” “You have been too busy to notice it. A man and his wife are living in the flat. At least I have seen the woman and her name is Faustina.” “So what made you ask about them?” “The lady, Faustina, behaves strangely. Sometimes she won’t talk to me when I greet her. A group of men rushed someone out of the flat yesterday. My suspicion is that the person was Faustina.”

“Okay I will check on them when I get back from work this evening.” “I don’t want you to do that. There is more that I have not told you. I have been having attacks for some time now. I have the feeling the woman faustina is behind the attacks. Each time I pray against the attacks, she would either not talk to me or she would simply not be seen around the compound for days. Yesterday there was serious wailing in their flat. That was before I saw some men running out of the compound with possibly a sick person. Since then I have not heard Faustina’s voice or seen her. Before the cries I heard in their flat, I had an attack and prayed against it. My dead grandmother comes here…I don’t know how that is possible.” “Your dead grandmother!!!” “Yes. Stop yelling doctor.” “What does she want?” “I don’t know.” She lied; she could not bring herself to tell him that her grandmother has been trying to pass her position as a witch to her. “We have to pray about this. I don’t like the sound of it. You shouldn’t be having visits from the dead. It portends evil. On the other hand, I will call my landlord to know if some people are living in the other flat now.” “Please do. I am scared right now. If indeed there is no one in that flat, it means that Faustina is a ghost. And possibly the people I saw running out of her flat are ghosts too.”

Unconsciously her hands wrapped around Dr. Gerry’s arm. She was afraid and Dr. Gerry could see it. “Are you sure you can stay by yourself till I come back from work?” “I am not sure, but I will try.” “You don’t have to be here alone. You can go to my sister’s shop or you can join me to work.” “I have clothes to sew, I just can’t run. And again if I begin to run from this apartment my fear of it will grow.” “You are right, but I don’t want you to come to harm.” “I won’t. I know how to pray. If that woman is a ghost or witch, I am going to make sure she never comes back here.” “How are you going to do that?” “Can I invite Simbi over? She will be here just a night. I assure you we will pray till both Faustina and my grandmother catch fire.” “If that will help, do it. I hate to think that a dead woman visits you. Have you been having visits from your dead grandmother?” “No. It all started since I came here. There is something wrong with the other flat. It is bewitched. I hear voices in it every morning and the voices are not normal. They sound creepy and make me have goose bumps.” “Invite Simbi today. I will join you people in prayers. I have to leave for work now. If anything happens don’t waste time to let me know.” “Okay, I won’t.”

Eka accompanied Dr. Gerry to the balcony of the flat and watched him leave for work. She could tell that Dr. Gerry was troubled by the things she told him; especially about her grandmother. And she could not tell if the idea of her being a witch did not cross his mind. That thought alone spoiled Eka’s day. She sat on the floor and cried he heart out. Her thoughts were that if Dr. Gerry comes to the conclusion that she was a witch after all, he would kick her out of his house and won’t certainly marry her. Dr. Gerry on his part was scared stiff. He abhorred the idea of a dead woman visiting Eka. He almost called Christy to tell her about it but held his peace. He wouldn’t want to start what he would regret later. But as hard as he wanted to not think about it, the thought of Eka being a witch kept assailing his mind. By the time he had reached office, he had lost his peace and looked gloomy. Colleagues at work could tell something was wrong with him.

 When they came to check what food Eka prepared for him, he had no sound of joy in his heart. He wanted to talk to someone desperately but was careful not to hurt Eka. He kept saying to himself, “Dead people don’t visit the living often except there is a reason; especially when they are very old dead people.” Dr. Gerry did not remember to call his landlord until late afternoon. “Hello Landlord! This is Dr. Gerald.” “Gerald, how are you? I know it is you of course.” “I am fine sir. Please, I want to know, are there people living in the flat next to mine. It’s beginning to look like there are people in that flat.” “I am really sorry Gerald. I should have told you earlier. There is a couple there now, but they are not paying any rents yet. They had problems in Cameroon and had to return to Nigeria. From what I gathered they lost all their children there. Things are really hard for them. Please pardon my oversight; I will come this weekend to introduce the two of you.” “Thanks a lot sir. I was only wondering if I had a neighbour and did not know it.”

Dr. Gerry took a sigh of relief over his landlord having cleared the air about someone living next to him. That did well to restore his confidence in Eka. It meant she was right when she said someone was living next door. Dr. Gerry thought that if Eka was right about that, then she was telling the truth about her grandmother’s visit having begun when she moved into his apartment. He felt guilty for letting fear take over his mind and caused him to think all sorts of dark thoughts about Eka. He wanted to call her but remembered she had no phone. He did not plan it, he dashed out of his office and went to a shopping complex nearby and bought her a Tecno P5 phone. He made some excuses and left his office. He wanted to surprise Eka with the phone and reassure her that she had nothing to fear about what she told him and to break the news of what his landlord told him. Unknown to Dr. Gerry the worst had begun to happen at home. Eka cried herself to stupor on the balcony. When she finally put herself together, she went into the bathroom, had her bath and went to work on the clothes she had to sew. She was too sad to eat anything. About 2:00 pm she remembered she had not called Simbi. So she went to a pay phone centre to dial her up. Simbi was willing and eager to come see her and Eka looked forward to it. By the time Eka returned to Dr. Gerry’s flat, that evil perfume had filled the apartment. Eka was shocked and began to pray from the door. When she entered her room, she met a strange sight. The mirror on the wall had broken into two. The native necklace her grandmother tried to give her the other day was lying on the floor along with the very clothes she wore the last time she appeared to her.

Eka could tell she was under attack and so began to pray. But while she prayed thoughts about what Dr. Gerry and his sisters would think of her when she told them what happened, beset her mind. She did not want to be branded a witch again. So she stopped praying and began to pack her bag to run away.

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 19 An African Literary Blog
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