I saw her first on boxing day. I was preparing to go out to visit a friend of mine so I applied a little makeup facing the mirror.
“No amount of make up can cover the depth of your soul,” I heard. I looked around.
“George did you say something?” I asked my younger brother who was watching TV.
“No I didn’t,” he replied. I wasn’t convinced.
“It’s a lie joor; you said something about make up. What did you say?” I insisted.
“I said I did not say anything naw,” he answered aggrieved.
I decided to let it drop and continued my makeup then I heard my name loud and clear.
“Yes mama,” I answered, “I’m in my room.”
“Sister?” George called, “Are you sure you’re okay? Mama did not call you. So which voice are you hearing please?”
Goosebumps filled my hands and I felt like someone had just walked over my grave
“Did I just answer a ghost?” I wondered
I tried to ignore it and continued my makeup then I saw her… in the mirror. I was frozen into silence. I couldn’t even scream if I wanted to. I quickly looked behind me but there was no one there yet when I still looked into the mirror she was there.
“Who are you?” I managed to ask, “What do you want from me?”
She didn’t answer, kept looking at me with pale soulful eyes full of pain and tears buried for centuries, she was a beauty even in her ghostly form and she looked vaguely familiar. I racked my memory as I tried to remember where I knew her from.
Then it came. Stories have flown around of the landlord’s daughter who was murdered brutally by unknown people years before I was born. They said she was ambushed late at night, raped and then killed.
“Could she be the one?” I wondered. She never spoke a word, just looked at me with those full of raw pain that I couldn’t bear looking at anymore, until she started singing—singing of betrayal, lost love and innocence. Her music was a painful melody, which made my ears ring as she sang. I put my hands in my ears to shut out the sound but it still penetrated, invading my consciousness, filling my mouth and nose till I panted for breath and struggled to break free of imaginary bonds. I screamed till I couldn’t hear anything anymore but the sound of my own screams echoing off the walls and bouncing back to me in a mocking manner. The earth tilted off balance and started rotating till I blacked out.
I woke up on my bed hours later with a parched throat and George’s face peering down anxiously at mine.
“Sister what’s wrong now? You scared me badly ooo, I thought something bad had happened to you,” he said.
“George, is Mama back from her outing?” I asked him.
“No,” he whispered eyes wide with fear.” “What’s going on, you know we are the only ones at home, I don’t want anything bad to happen oo,” he said as he struggled to get the words out through a thick throat. I felt tenderness towards him; he was only ten.
“It’s all right George, I’m fine,” I reassured him.
“Are you sure?” he asked worriedly. “That’s because of the way you screamed and fainted before, I thought something had happened. I even wanted to go and call Daddy Emeka.”
“George oo, I’m fine,” I insisted, “Just let me sleep.” So he left me in my room and locked the door softly.
Then I slept. It seemed for hours, because when mama came back and tried to rouse me up to eat, I didn’t stir, so they left me alone.
By 12:00 am I woke up suddenly; everywhere was dark and completely quiet.
“Nenye,” came the voice flowing with the breeze from my open window—so soft that I nearly missed it. I waited and cocked my ear just to be sure, but I heard no sound again so I settled back to sleep.
“Nenye.” It came suddenly again, more forceful than the first. Panic and fear gripped me as I quickly jumped down from my bed to go and close the window. A movement outside caught my attention. A dark shadow seemed to loom in the trees watching me. I shivered, I was not so foolish like the characters in the horror movies I watched to go and investigate the movement. Whatever horror was there should remain there, I thought as I closed my window with a bang.
Still the hairs at the back of my head rose like I was being watched. With a speed equal to none, I jumped quickly on my bed, pulled the covers above my head and shut my eyes tightly, having a fanciful wish that maybe it will all go away if I shut my eyes tightly.
It almost worked, I didn’t hear anything again but I dared not raise my cover or open my eyes. An intense silence filled the room, so deep and intense that I didn’t hear anything, not the cricket sound or even the little mice scurrying above the ceiling.
It was too deep, too intense, too still. Then I heard light footsteps…. and voices—right inside my room. I could feel the presence of an evil. When the pressure became too much, I removed my covers and opened my tightly shut eyes. I could see nothing, so I lit up a candle and then the light gradually illuminated the room that I saw and I wished I never lit the candle.
Terror gripped my heart like a vice and I tried to scream, but words couldn’t form. I struggled to get out my bed to run but could not make it past my bed post when I was suddenly knocked off the ground and all the breath in my throat rushed out of me. I saw the ghosts walking on the ceiling with their heads on the ground, their mouth wide open in an eerie laughter, and I wanted so badly to scream, but I resorted to moaning.
Then a deep unearthly scream filled the air, it was primitive and it rang of raw pain. After a few seconds, I discovered that I was the one making the sound.
“Look into the mirror!” The words floated from the air, I knew my doom was waiting for me there, I just knew that if I looked into it everything would change for me forever but I couldn’t resist the pull. It was a living breathing thing pulling me closer to its web and I was the poor fly caught in it. I looked into it and saw her, again!
“Do not fear,” she said suddenly, her first words to me she sounded like badly wound radio, as though speaking was unfamiliar to her.
“I just need your body for a little while, I promise to be good,” she said as she let out a series of laugh which made my ear hurt again.
“I beg you, don’t do this,” I screamed in my head, my bloated tongue tried to speak but it was to heavy to move.
“Come,” she said as she stretched out her hand to me from the mirror. “Place your hands in mine and let us be bound for all eternity.” I buckled and struggled but for all my efforts I moved like a drunk person and despite everything in me screaming for me to stop, I stretched forth my hand and placed it on hers in the mirror. I could feel my soul being sucked out of my body into the mirror.
Then like a cruel twist of fate, I became her in the mirror and she became me. It happened in seconds but it felt like a lifetime. I screamed and yelled but no one heard me.
The next morning mama came over to my bed and touched her. “Nenye how are you? Did you sleep well?”
“Yes mama,” she answered in my voice and turned to look at me in the mirror and smiled evilly. I shouted till my voice became hoarse but no one heard me. I was locked into the mirror for eternity by a ghost girl who took my body.