“before we go, I want to ask the boy something,” Buga said and bent down to face the little boy. Then he asked him, “can you remember your daddy’s face?”
The boy looked at me. I nodded my head to him. He seemed to be searching in his head for it, then said in frustration, “I can’t! I don’t know why I can’t.”
I bent beside him and said, “if you really want to see your dad, try harder. You just have to try.”
He searched, tightening his face, then suddenly his face was becoming lighter. Buga held my hand and said, “it’s time.”
Just then, we saw ourselves in a cemetery where the boy’s father was talking with few friends. The boy on seeing his father shouted and ran to him.
“Daddy! Daddy, I’m here.” he screamed excitedly.
The little boy fell on the other side and the father hardly noticed his presence. He looked surprised, stood up and went close to his father crying, “daddy I’m here…” but the man kept talking with his friends.
“this is the part I hate,” the fat man said, turning away.
I quietly went to the boy and tried to let him know he is dead but I couldn’t form out words. Suddenly, Buga showed up beside me and said to the boy, “let’s go, you have seen your dad and he can’t see you because you’re dead.”
I looked at Buga in anger, but he started walking away. I quickly carried the crying boy and followed him.
“why do you have to say that to the boy?” I yelled.
“that’s because in this side of the world, no one is a kid,” Buga replied.
Just then, he dodged behind a car and dragged me with him.
“what’s that?!” I barked.
“Bazimzz!” he whispered.
We looked from behind the car and saw four giants like the ones we saw at the other side. They seem to be vigilantly searching for something.
“who are they looking for?” I asked, feeling my legs shaking. I never knew a ghost could get scared as well.
“the likes of us,” Buga said then turned to me, “do you know what happens if they get us?”
I nodded and said, “prohell.”
“yeah! So, avoid them!” came his response.
We remained hiding, looking keenly at the giants. Suddenly, someone shouted “grifti!” behind us. We turned abruptly and it was a giant standing behind us.
“run!” the fat man said and disappeared.
I carried the little boy and ran while the giant chased after me screaming, “grifti!” in a roaring voice. One of his steps was equivalent to ten of mine. I knew I couldn’t outrun him so I closed my eyes and quickly imagined a place. The only place that came to mind was the market where I first appeared and I was suddenly there.
I quickly ran into a compound and entered the house. A man laid down on the bed, smoking and listening to loud music from the home Theatre. I left the room to another room, there I and the boy rested till it was dark.
“I want to see my daddy?” the boy kept crying.
There was nothing I could do for him. I had exhausted all explanations yet he kept crying.
A toddler crept into the room and was looking at the little boy. The toddler laughed and crept closer to the boy who just looked at the baby as though he was surprised the baby could see him. A lady entered the room, picked up the toddler who was pointing at the little boy, but she didn’t take note of anything. Another younger girl, a teenager rushed in, shut the door and began talking with her boyfriend whispering, peering cautiously at the door.
“hello Mickey…The result was positive!…my daddy is going to kill me…What am I going to do?!…I told you to use protection…You are a liar!…I’m dead…”
As I listened to the girl with keen interest, I heard my name faintly as though someone was calling me from a distance. I tried to listen very attentively to the voice, it sounded familiar. I stood up and walked outside of the house to the compound. The voice seemed to be crying and calling my name. The emotion and the love in the voice was too strong, I listened more attentively now, it appeared to be two female voices, mum and Ruth’s. I suddenly felt like crying. I looked up to the sky and saw their faces, mum sitting and Ruth standing beside her. I felt like touching mum’s face but it disappeared. I sat on the ground weeping.
After a while, I went back to the room and the boy was missing. I searched throughout the house but couldn’t find him. I ran out of the house into the street calling “little boy!”
“aren’t you joining the walk?” a voice said.
I quickly turned and saw an elderly woman who concentrated looking into the thin air and drawing something with her hands in the air. I ran to her and asked after the boy.
“nobody is a kid here. Please l am going to join them in the walk,” she said, still searching for something in the air.
I looked at her curiously as she seriously kept searching.
“what are you looking for?” I asked.
“the door. It’s supposed to be somewhere here. That’s where I came from,” she explained.
Suddenly, I heard a loud bell. Then the woman shouted, “oh my god! I can’t find it anymore. Please can I share yours? I don’t have anymore coin on me,” she begged with desperation.
“I am new here and have spent more than people that have spent years here. If I continue like this I’ll go broke. Why don’t you use the coin you wanted to use for your door on mine?” I said to her.
“that’s because you don’t pay to and fro on a same door, except you want to make use of another. Please half dead, if I don’t go back, I’ll be locked up in prohell. I suffered so much in my life time I don’t want to suffer here again, please help me,” she pleaded.
I felt pity for her, dipped my hand in my pocket and gave her a coin. She thanked me and followed me to the marketplace where I first appeared. I stretched my hands and began looking for the door. Suddenly I felt something like wind on my hands.
“I think I have found it,” I said to the woman who was standing behind me.
“please let me go first,” she said, moving in front of me.
I gave way for her in order for me to see how it’s done. She threw the coin inside the same place where I felt the wind and it became evident and opened wide. She pushed her hand inside and disappeared. I followed her method and saw myself at the other side with the two giants standing adjacent each other. They took no notice of us as we rushed to join the walk.
We trekked for a very long time this time. I looked for the elderly woman but she was nowhere to be found so I kept walking. So many half dead were gradually becoming invisible like the rest. And as soon as they turned invisible they began wailing. It was very heartbreaking watching them cry. I too was scared because I didn’t know if I would return.
I suddenly sighted a light in front. Before it was a very large ocean, the biggest I had ever seen. So many giants stood around it, collecting coins before allowing people pass through in a canoe and others without coins were sent on another route, which looked like walking round the ocean, which may take ages to attain. My kind were asked to enter a small room. Many came out, many didn’t.
It got to my turn, a giant ushered me in. As soon as I was in, the room changed. It was a room beautified with all kinds of beautiful things I can’t really describe. Every furniture was made from some kind of material that shone so bright. The place was bigger than it looked from outside. The bodies of the ghosts there looked very bright and their faces glowed like the sun. Their bodies illuminated the whole place. They stood adjacent each other making a pathway in between them. That’s where anyone who comes in must pass through leading to a mighty chair, the biggest I had ever seen. It glittered like diamond. A ghost sat on it. He shone so bright I couldn’t see him. The distance from him to us was like ten poles. Still his light was blinding.
“Mike!” the ghost on the chair called.
His voice was like a thunder the same time calm and gentle, i just can’t put it in the right words. I walked closer, shielding my eyes with my hands from the bright light he emitted.
“lets see your coin,” he said.
I emptied all the coins on me in a golden bowl in front the mighty chair but ten poles away. One of the ghosts standing came and counted it, took all and weighed it on a golden scale beside the bowl. It weighed little. He looked at the ghost in the mighty chair and said, “he is weightless!”
“you will be taken to prohell so you can quickly become a real ghost. After that, you will join your colleagues on their journey,” the ghost on the chair said.
A giant immediately started walking in between the standing ghosts to me. All I could think about was my mum and the reality of never seeing her again. I knelt down abruptly, begging in tears, but the giant took me up like a piece of paper, carrying me to an exit that looked dark from the opening. Then suddenly, I remembered I had another coin (the fire incident) which I kept in a different pocket. I quickly shouted, “I have another coin! I have another coin!”
“stop!” the ghost on the chair ordered.
The giant brought me back and dropped me right where he carried me from. I quickly took out the coin with a shaky hand and handed it to the ghost who first weighed it. The scale recorded 70kg. The ghost looked at the one on chair and said, “70kg”
“your good deed has saved you. Now, go back and wait until your body responds to treatment,” the ghost on the chair said.
They handed me back the other coins and kept that of the fire incident.
To be continued…