“Mike, are you there?”
Mike’s mother arrives Abuja earlier than he expects, dressed up in her native Ibo attire. She doesn’t knock on the door, she keeps calling his name. Mike opens the door and just as he imagined, she is standing there holding a huge sac that contains what he has no idea about. He brings her in and as he tries to help her bring in her bags, she warns,
Mike’s Mother: “Leave that one for me to carry” she says as she collects the Bagko bag from his hand. “Take the big sac to the kitchen and make sure you don’t open it so the smell of the Ugba does not cover the whole house” She struggles with the Bagko bag filled with foodstuff and follows Mike to the kitchen.
Mike: “Mama, you don’t need to do these. I have foodstuff in the house already. Bringing all these is an added stress.”
Mike’s Mother: “Stress?” she goes into the store and starts pointing at the pack of foods she sees, “Indomie, Spaghetti, Rice…you call these foodstuff? How won’t you have Typhoid?”
There are visible signs of discomfort on the face of Mike; his mother notices but ignores him. She makes sure she prepares his favourite meal, Fufu and Egusi soup; even Mike’s stomach feels the presence of a homely meal as he eats with pleasure.
Mike’s Mother shouts from the kitchen to the living room. She removes her wrapper and throws it on the floor to enable her run at a faster pace. She doesn’t see Mike, she goes to the bedroom she still doesn’t find him, and then she screams louder.
Mike’s Mother: “ Jesus…My Son…Mike…where are you?” She closes her eyes and runs to the living room, using the couch as her guide, “Are you there? Mike…eww!” The next thing, her right leg hits the sculpture in the corner of the living room; she slips and falls on her buttocks.
“…please don’t kill me, don’t kill me oooo” she pleads, with her eyes still closed
Mike, having a neighbor to neighbor conversation with his new neighbor, hears the cry of his mother and dashes into the living room.
Mike: “Oh my God, Mama, what happened?”
Mike’s Mother: “A ghost…ghostiOOOOOOO”
Mike: “Aghost? Where did you see a ghost?” he lifts her up to the dining chair.
Mike’s Mother: “I was washing the bitter leaf to make the bitter leaf soup. Lord Jesus, hmmmmm” She holds her aching leg and keeps quiet.
Mike: “Then what happened?” he impatiently asks
Mike’s Mother: “A beautiful girl, covered in this their veil. She stood right there, behind the window” she points towards the direction of the kitchen “She smiled at me, I smiled back, I thought she was your neighbor. I almost spoke to her when I looked down to see her legs and realized she has none. Before I knew it, she was already in the kitchen. I took to my heels, but she was faster. She caught me here and hit my legs. Now I won’t be able to walk again ooooo…’
Mike: “Stop exaggerating, Mama and place your leg on this chair so I can massage it before it gets swollen”
Mike’s Mother: “My son, did you involve yourself in Ogwu Ego? I mean, blood money? This thing I saw roaming about your compound is not ordinary o. If you were not my son, I would have gone back to the village this minute.”
Mike is now fully aware that he is being haunted. He takes his mother, who has already fallen asleep to her room. Right there, he kneels before the bed and asks God to punish him for his sins instead of his poor innocent mother. He does not think twice about his decision to involve his best friend. He calls him on his mobile phone.
Kadir: “Idiot how far now, how your body? Wetin be the latest?”
Mike: “Hmmm. I’m not fine at all. Mama is here” he lowers his voice
Kadir: “Ahh goodnews then, wetin you say dey worry you?
Mike: “Mama saw Meenarh’s ghost. As I speak to you her right leg is swollen. Meenarh hit her with a stick before vanishing. I need your help, Bro”
Kadir: “Are you serious? Kai. Ehn, wetin you go do be say, you will have to dig the stuff again and take her elsewhere. Maybe mumsy spirit and hers no jam”
Mike: “How am I supposed to do that on my own? Please come let’s discuss this, I beg you”
Kadir: “See, I’m stuck with a lot of documents here at the office. They are so much that I will have to take some home, thanks to your absence. The best solution is to take Mama back to the village. Give her any reason that can make her return to the village. I’ll call you later, meeting is in few minutes.” He cuts the call abruptly.
Kadir’s idea was the best, Mike agrees. He waits till evening when Mama is stronger before having the conversation with her.
Mike: “Mama, you will be leaving for the village tomorrow”
Mike’s Mother: “Why? Are you chasing me from your house? Am I not just coming? What have I done wrong this time?”
Mike: “ No, Mama. You haven’t done anything wrong. My office called this morning that I will be joining the team that will represent the company in the United States. The flight is for 2.00pm tomorrow. With all these attacks, it wouldn’t be safe to leave you here alone.”
Mike’s Mother: “After the nightmare I had, do you think I will let you travel all the way to the US? Call your office and tell them you can’t make it…and Mike, I am not going anywhere. That ghost that wants to come and kill my only son should come and kill me first.” She stands up from the couch and limps slowly to the bedroom with her wrapper sweeping the entire floor.
Question: Why is Meenarh’s ghost tormenting Mike? Does she want to avenge her death? Will Mike’s mother agree to go back to the village to enable him dig the body?
…Stay tuned for Episode 8
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