Short stories

Lurking Shadows

Yippee!!! It’s the last day of 2015, and we are all still here. I’ve slacked in writing, but that’s not because I felt lazy. I guess I’ve just been doing too many things. But I knew I definitely had to wish you all a merry Christmas (after that looooooong time nu o), and a much fulfilled new year. I’m typing this with bruises on my right arm, it’s so so painful (I’m allowed to be petty, lol). I would also like to thank everyone who took time to actually read what I put up here. The numbers were sooooo great, thanks guys. For those who kept commenting to my WhatsApp, try and comment here. We are all one biiiiiiiig family. Thanks to all those who liked my write ups and or commented. Lastly, thanks to all those who kept telling me they couldn’t wait to read my next piece. Now, I hope you like this because it’s a New Year’s Eve special. Happy New Year people!!

 

 

Akwaasi woke up to the noise in the compound.

“What’s going on”, he thought to himself.

His good morning was met with no response. It was as if he was invisible.

“Whatever”, he said as he stepped out of the house.

His little stroll led him in the direction of the village stream. He could see a girl with her back to him. He smirked and quickened his steps.

She had her back to the path, but she could still tell it was a boy. She smiled. It’s been such a long time since she messed around with a person. She kept staring at the stream. She was still hopeful that one day, someone like her would come around. All she had was hope, anyway.

He hurried as he got closer to her.

“Hi”, he said eagerly before he was even beside her.

No response.

“Hello”, he tried again.

“You can see me”, she stated

Akwaasi rolled his eyes in his mind’s eye.

“Yes, I can”, he simply said.

He was trying really hard to read her expression. She looked shocked at first, then relieved, then happy.

“Wow”, she jumped gleefully. “I never thought I’d ever meet someone like me again”

“Excuse me?”

“Erm…aren’t you dead?”

“Am I?”, He asked with confusion written all over his face.

“I’m afraid you are”

“What do you mean by I’m dead?”, Akwaasi demanded with a bit of what seemed like an aggression.

“Hey”, she retorted aggressively. “I’m trying to figure my life…”.She burst into uncontrollable laughter amid her statement. “What am I even saying, I’m dead. I have no life”.

Akwaasi watched as the tears trickled down her face with her last statement.

“Are you just gonna stand there, or you are gonna console me?”, she backed at him.

He turned to her and hugged her clumsily.

“Herh issowkay, I had a fiancée in my lifetime.”

It’s not what she said that made him laugh, but the attitude with which she said it. She had her hand in the air like ‘duhh’ with a pout and a very huge smile. It was evident that she was holding on to this thought for all her strength and confidence.

“You know, the first day is always confusing”, she barged into his thoughts. “You’ll get used to it”

He just looked at her without a word.

“Anyway, my name is Mawusi”

He turned to look at her, like really look at her for the first time. She was really pretty, with a mole on her left cheek. She was a pinch darker than “Miss Derby”, 5 foot 9 with huge breasts.

“It’s rude to stare at people for long”

“Sorry”, he mumbled.

“How have you been able to survive?”

She looked at him. Then giggled. Then smiled. “You just survive. It comes naturally”.

They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes.

“You’re really strong.”, she turned to him on the rock they were both perched on

He smiled slightly but said nothing.

“I’ve been dead for 39 days. According to popular knowledge here, I’ve got a day left.”

“Huh”, he stared at her bewildered. “Where will you be going?”

She smiled at his question. “I have no idea. They say when the time comes, you just vanish”

“I’m Akwaasi”

“My funeral is tomorrow”

“Whoa, that must be depressing”

She was trying to be tough about it. She smiled at his comment.

“It is”, she said very slowly. “Very very depressing”.

“What do you want to do before you’re blown into oblivion?”

“Attend my funeral, go shopping, play football, get drunk, and get laid for the last time”

They both burst into laughter after her last sentence.

“Is that possible?”, Akwaasi queried.

She looked at him weirdly and started laughing hard. “I knew you’d be curious. You wish”, she taunted and went right back to laughing.

“We can touch things?”, he asked again

She smiled. Again. She turned to face him and took his hand. “Honey, we are invisible to the world and everything in it now. Yes, it sucks, but this will be your life from now.”

A sigh. “I guess I should get used to this”

“It’s not that bad, you know. You can do lots of things and no one will see you”

“Do we have super powers?”

“Kiddo, this is no movie. This is reality. Dead people are just like humans, except they are invisible to the rest of the world.”

“I see”

“C’mon, let’s get going. The sun’s up”

“Where would we go?”

“Your house. You have to bid your family farewell, even though they can’t see you”

“What if I don’t want to go?”

“Well, it’s your choice. Just remember that you might not get this opportunity again.”

“Fine”

She shook her head and smiled. “Which way is your house?”

“The path on your left”

“Tell me about your just ended life”

“Hahahaa, there’s not much to say”

“I will take anything”

Akwaasi smiled. He was thinking about his days in tertiary school. He just finished his national service, and only came to spend a week with his extended family in the village.

“I guess I was a bit of a fuck boy”, he said amid laughter.

Mawusi smiled a knowing smile and kept walking. Akwaasi’s statement reminded her of a time when there were a lot of people like her. She met this really old ghost who would not accept that he was dead. He kept talking about his past life and how he was good at satisfying women in bed. Those were some fun times. She thought to herself.

“There, my house is the two-storey house over there.”

“Well well well you’ve got a really nice house.”

“Yeah, thanks. Most of the village girls liked me because of it”

“Good for you”

They stood at the entrance and watched as people trooped in and out of the house weeping. Akwaasi saw his grandmother sitting on the floor weeping. He stood by her a little while and was about to touch her wen Mawusi pulled him away.

“What?”, he asked hurriedly

“They are moving your body”

“What? Why?? To where???”

“To the mortuary I suppose”

“Why would they take me there? I hate mortuaries.”

After a moment of silence, he smiled. “I guess I’m really dead now. Can we go with them?”

“Are you sure?”, she paused.

“Yeah, I am”

“Well, I wouldn’t advise you to. There are a lot of angry, confused and deranged ghosts there. It will also be torture for you to watch how your body will be treated. You might not be the same again.’

Akwaasi chuckled when she ended her statement. “I’ve heard stories of how corpses are treated there.”

“Shall we get going?”

Akwaasi looked at her like she was an alien

“What, you said you wanted to go”, she could barely keep her voice down

“Yo, chill”, Akwaasi said with a smile. “I wanted to go, but not anymore.”

“I knew you were a chicken”, she burst into laughter.

Akwaasi rolled his eyes for the umpteenth time. She was so pretty, and mind you, he’s met some really pretty babes in his lifetime. The way her teeth were set in her mouth made her laughter very contagious. He continued staring in silence as she jested at him. She had such a free spirit, one that he doesn’t recall seeing in any female. That was before he remembered she was dead.

“Well, I guess one cannot be an uptight bitch and a ghost at the same time”, he whispered to no one in particular

“What was that?”

“Nothing”

She looked at him for just a moment and gave her I’m a saucy girl attitude, which made them roll in laughter.

“I’m nervous to go for my funeral”

Silence. I mean what’s the most appropriate you can ever tell a ghost who is nervous to attend her own funeral? Akwaasi looked on blankly, obviously staring at nothing at all.

“Come here”, he said finally. He hugged her tightly, maybe a bit too tight. And she sobbed. And sobbed. And cried. And wept. And wailed. And he still hugged her, all the while thinking about his inevitable disappearance as well. And then it became a weeping party.

“I will really miss you”, Mawusi whispered.

“Me too”, he added softly

“You have made me feel more alive in my entire life than I can ever recall”

“I guess the feeling is mutual then”

“If ghosts didn’t have to vanish…”

“But could do everything humans could…”

They just stood there staring into each other’s eyes with their words hanging in the air.

“I should have met you in the real world”, she whispered

“I’m glad you didn’t”, he paused. “I was a douchebag”

“It was nice meeting you”, she whispered yet again

“Likewi…”, he stopped. “Where did she pass?”

He sat on the ground and sobbed is heart. It felt more real anything he had ever felt. He just sat there sobbing, his hand on his heart. Maybe he could have loved her, or more than loved her. He could feel it. It was painful. Like his heart was being writhed out of his chest. He forgot about his own troubles and cried for her unknown. Because that was all he could really do for her. Just cry.

 

 

Asiedua Yeboah, © 2015

 

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