Thank you, readers, for the great feedback last week! Here is the concluding bit of Chapter one and we begin Chapter two.
Jason started to join in the laughter and then bit his lips, glancing at the door, wondering if anyone could hear him as he went mad.
He had never had cause to communicate with the paranormal before, at least not in his awake form. The only time had been years ago in secondary school, when he was in SS3, and shad slept off during night prep. His seat partner who had died of an asthma attack in JSS2 had come into the classroom as he slept, tapped and begged him for food. They walked back to his dormitory and shared a bowl of his favorite cereal, gisting and laughing.
The dead classmate explained his absence as a long travel to which he didn’t know when he would return. Jason had woken up very frightened, and yet was strangely consoled by the visit.
Wane was Bodunrin’s cannibalisation of the Igbo word for brother or sister -Nwanne.
“Don’t you feel you could do this? In the movies, you would simply lay on your body and that would be it”
Bodunrin walked away towards his dressing table, picking and dropping items idly. He replied his friend.
“You know, I think a lot of what is in the movies about dying and all that, are a figment of people’s imaginations. The way that we have been taught, nothing was familiar, nothing is familiar.”
Jason stood where he was.
“I have a strong feeling that you know what to do, I know when you are being evasive. I may not be the greatest prophet or medicine man alive, but I know that the universe never conspires in vain, as I can see you, hear you, then it is for a reason.”
“Wane. You know me in and out, we are like brothers, I don’t believe it is out of the ordinary if you can see me. Everything will end when the Coroner’s van gets here, in about an hour from now tops.”
“Has anyone else seen you?”
“Since the doctor left, nobody has come in here. Who in their right senses would want to come in and sit with a corpse?”.
“You be fool”
The flame of the caramel candle flickered, spreading more caramel fragrance around the room.
Outside, nobody could hear the sorrow laden laughter of the two men.
Atinuke watched her friend, Aya Agbaje -Bodunrin’s mother. She watched her from the top of her head, because the grieving woman sat beneath her, in between her legs as if she were a six-year-old child going to get her hair braided at some local hair dresser’s house.
She attempted and failed severally to speak words that would soothe. This death would kill her friend, of that, she was sure. Ten years ago, they had sat in this exact crowd, mourning Kolade Agbaje who slept and did not wake up.
Of course, it wasn’t the exact crowd, but well, the circumstances were exact. Maybe worse, because Kolade had at least been old, even though not as old as they would have loved. But who could question these things?
In the same way, years ago, the whisperings began, that there was something in the family lineage ensuring that the Agbaje men never lived to a ripe old age. There were whispers of a curse, of short life pledges in exchange for wealth, of machinations of witchcraft. These died down as soon as they began, because they were driven more by malice than by truth.
Atinuke held her friend, Aya Agbaje, from her underarms, firmly between her laps, so that she could not escape to assault any more sympathizers.
“Ore mi, my friend”
She whispered into her ears, hoping that the loudness of the silence in the living room would let her hear.
The living room was that quiet, a silence that was loud and deafening. No one said a word, they stood in clusters as people did around something as unfortunate as a shocking death. All staring, in the compassion of their unspoken condolences.
“Hmmmn” Bodunrin’s mother grunted.
“I know a man of God, he raises people from the dead”
The grieving woman was mute, Atinuke took it as an invitation to make a case.
To be continued
Ps: Yes, my Instagram inbox was flooded, Whatsapp, Facebook inbox. Let’s try something this time, so that I and other #BOJT readers can read what you think as well via the comment section.
So, the next installment will follow after five comments only😉