My Nana was the sweetest, kindest old woman ever. My sister Lily and I used to spend all our long holidays at hers. She knew how to spoil us but she loved my sister specially because she was born on her birthday.
Whenever she wasn’t whipping up something in the kitchen, you’d find her on her reclining chair either reading her big Bible with the brown leather back or knitting as she told us interesting stories from her childhood.
A few days after Lily and I returned from Nana’s, she woke up with a start in the middle of the night, she was covered in sweat. She told us that Nana was dead. She couldn’t explain how she felt but she just knew that Nana had left us. Turns out she was right.
A few months after Nana’s passing, Lily continued to hear a voice whispering to her. Everyone told her that it was probably her beloved Nana trying to reach out to her but Lily complained that the voice she heard was scary and there was no way Nana would do anything to make her feel afraid. Besides, the voice was husky and masculine, a far cry from Nana’s soothing and calming one.
Then Lily began to get really uncomfortable with how frequent and distracting the voice was becoming. It made her jittery and sometimes it startled her in public. Paranoia was setting in. Lily was slowly losing her mind.
She told me that sometimes she felt as if someone was watching her. At other times, she would see a male figure flash in the mirror infront of her. We all felt sorry for her and it was more difficult because there was nothing anyone could do to help her.
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One night, during the summer holiday, our cousins came for a sleepover, the rooms upstairs were crowded and noisy and I was tired of the endless banters so I went downstairs to the living room. I am lying on the couch facing the front door and watching the sky through the window when a face peeps through the front door. I freeze. The face goes away. I thought it was my imagination. I tried to shut my eyes and sleep but I couldn’t get the image out of my head, my eyes were glued to the door when the face shows up again. I try to scream but when I open my mouth nothing came out, not a sound. The person walks in through the locked door and walks into the living room, he looks at me with dark piercing eyes, his smiles shows his broken, colored teeth then he goes to the kitchen. As he comes out of the kitchen with a knife, I spot Lily coming down the stairs and the guy fades away into thin air.
Lily runs to grab me because she could see that I was pretty shaken. She hadn’t seen the guy, she didn’t even have an know what just happened all she could say was that she heard Nana whisper clearly to her to come and get me. There were other things Nana also told her. She instructed that her remains be exhumed and buried in another place. She had a troublesome neighbor in the land beyond and she wanted to be as far away from him as possible.
We were able to gather from Nana’s whispers to Lily that she missed her family a lot and she always spoke about them especially her beautiful grand daughters. The fellow buried close to her was a grumpy and bitter man who in his lifetime was old and lonely. He was jealous of Nana’s previous life so he was determined to make them miserable that’s why he started with Lily. Nana couldn’t continue staying beside such a terrible neighbor, she wanted to move. The second instruction was to fasten chains at the foot of the man’s grave, this would keep him caged and stop him from wandering around disrupting people’s peace.
Nobody believed Lily’s story. They didn’t believe mine either especially when I told them that the ghost had picked up a knife from the kitchen. It was going to be difficult to convince anyone with the things we had experienced.
The local butcher turned 60 and my parents gifted him with a set of butcher’s knives. The butcher called to appreciate them and also mentioned that a knife was missing from the box. Dad was shocked because he had bought and wrapped the gift by himself and it was a complete set of knives. It became obvious that I wasn’t hallucinating when I said “the ghost” had picked up a knife from the kitchen, apparently it was from the wrapped gift. He had done it without tampering with the gift wrapper and or opening the box holding the knives. This was some crazy and scary stuff but finally, every one believed us.. Nana’s wishes were eventually carried out and peace was restored.
This is an experience that my family finds difficult to share with people. They won’t even believe us. It is a reminder that this world is deep and we can never fully understand certain things.
I still find it difficult to sleep on couches. Maybe one day I will get over the fear but for now, I’ll sleep in my bed even if my cousins come for sleepover with a hundred friends. Their noise will simply be my lullaby.