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Ahhh!… Your Own Has Finished! by …Jude Idada

Ahhh!… Your Own Has Finished! by …Jude Idada

… I met up with a former colleague who I used to work with at a management consulting firm in Lagos.

It was for drinks, catching up with the latest in our lives and a trip down memory lane.

While we were there at the trendy lounge known as Bottles in Victoria Island, another former colleague of his joined us.

Music from the live band serenaded us as the upwardly mobile and expatriate crowd milled around us.

We jumped from topic to topic and person to person until the banter took a sharp turn for the bizarre when another former female colleague of theirs saw them and came over.

She had left the auditing firm they both worked for with another of their colleague for a new management consulting firm in Lagos.

They hadn’t seen her and the other colleague who had left with her for a while.

There were hugs between the three and a polite handshake between myself and her.

Then when they asked after the other female colleague whom she had left with, her eyes opened wide in a – Ah! that one – stare.

She leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially.

“She is not who you think she is.”

“How do you mean?” My former colleague asked.

“She scattered our heads in Port Harcourt.”

“Scattered your heads?”

“Yes now, you guys didn’t hear?”

They both shook their heads.

“Ah, like joke like joke, we went to audit ………… at Port Harcourt. All of us jejely doing our jobs o. Then we go out for drinks at the Meridien. Just like how we are here. That is how one woman starting screaming as she stared at us as we sat at our table.”

“Why was she screaming?” The other colleague asked.

“Let me finish the gist na.”

“Oya yarn the gist sharply.”

“The woman stood there like a statue. Her eyes were bulging out of her head. Like big red agbalumos. Her mouth open wide like this”

She opened her mouth wide. Then she closed it.

“Her arms were crossed over her chest like this.”

She crossed her arms over her chest.

“What is all this display, just tell us what happened joor.” My former colleague impatiently leaned back in irritation.

“Is it your gist?” She spat at him.

The other colleague tapped her on the arm.

“Continue na.”

She turned to the other colleague and glanced briefly at my quiet watching and listening self. Then she uncrossed her arms.

“That is how that woman just stood there screaming o.”

“What did you guys do?” The other colleague was also being impatient.

“We didn’t do anything o. It was two waiters who walked to her and tried to calm her.”

“And they calmed her down?” My former colleague asked.

“Yes they did and the woman pointed at ……….. and asked her in a very very scared voice – what are you doing here?”

“What did ……. say?”

She looked at us for a moment. I could see fear creep into her eyes. She leaned forward.

“She disappeared.”

We fell silent for a moment.

“Disappeared?” The other colleague asked.

“Yes, like vanished. Right there. She was with us one minute and gone the next.”

“It’s a lie.” My colleague said.

She turned to the table from where she had walked for and called out to a lady who was sitting there. The lady looked over at her, and their former colleague beckoned her over.

She came.

Looking up at her, their former colleague asked… “Oya please tell them what happened to ……… in PH.”

The lady hesitated for a moment. Fear also rapidly rose in her eyes.

“Don’t worry, they knew her too.” Their former colleague said to her.

“Her Mom’s sister saw her at the bar in the Meridien Hotel and when she tried to talk to her she disappeared.”

“You saw her disappear with your own two eyes?” My former colleague asked her.

“We both saw her. We were five sitting together. She was sitting by me. I felt her disappear. It was like an ice cold gust of wind suddenly blowing across me.”

There was truth in her eyes and it reflected in her voice.

We all looked at each other. The three of us. All guys. Then we looked back at the two ladies. One standing. One sitting.

“She was a ghost?” The other colleague finally asked.

The two ladies nodded.

“A ghost?” I found myself asking even before I knew I was asking the question.

The two ladies turned to me.

“Her auntie said that she died in a car accident in Zaria three years ago on her way back home after her Youth Service.”

Another silence enveloped us.

“But how could she have died and still be working for the company?” My former colleague asked.

“Her aunt said that they didn’t even know that the company had even given her an offer letter before she died. If they knew, they would have informed the company of her death.” Their former colleague explained.

“Her aunt told you guys all these things?”

“Yes. After they revived her.”

“Revived?”

“Yes na. As soon as …… vanished, her aunt fainted.” Their former colleague said as the other lady stood by her.

“So you guys still stood there after….. vanished?”

“Ah everyone scattered o. All these yarns we are giving you is after-after gist o. It was like an hour or so later that we all gathered back at the lounge when the hotel people came to beg us to come back from the street o. We dat were crying like mad. It was the office people that came dia after we called them that even made us listen to the Meridien people and go back in o. Police even came sef to take statements.” The former colleague continued.

Another silence befell us.

Then we heard the other colleague make a sound that came out like the yelp of an injured dog.

We all turned to him.

He was staring ahead of him in a daze.

“Are you okay?” My former colleague asked him.

His response came out as a breathless whisper.

“I straffed her… Twice.”

“Ah! you straffed her?!” Their former colleague asked in alarm as she slowly stood up.

He looked up at her.

We watched.

He sniveled.

Then he slowly nodded.

“Ahhh!… Your own has finished.”

Their former colleague pronounced as she dramatically placed both of her hands on top of her head.

 

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Posted by:- on October 12, 2018.

Categories: Literature

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