The long sunny day seems like it's going to be a hot night. Jeff needed to take a cool bath before collapsing into bed for a long-awaited sleep. All these thoughts rushed through his mind as he munched oha soup with morsels of cassava flakes. Just like Pentecost day, a might rushing wild wind blew the window blinds causing the wavering of the large photo frame in the wall. Looks like it's going to be a stormy long night.
Jeff continued at his meal not minding whether the storm ravages through his living room or not. All he wanted was to finish his meal and take a shower then straight to bed. Recently, he had the last roll of cassava flakes morsels in his hands when a fast flash of a high white light swiftly blew across the dining table. He raised his head to see nothing.
This sleep is coming at me more quickly than I imagined.
His mind only gazed at the sleep he hadn't been able to enjoy these last days. Done with the meal, he cleared the table and undressed to bit the bath when the doorbell rang.
Who is going to disturb this planned night, he queried? Jeff reached for his towel to cover the boxers and headed for the door. As he touched the door handle to turn it open, it feels hot but not too hot to burn his hands. Behind the door, standing sideways is Mariam. Her long-gone sister whom he never thought he would ever see again. He was startled, neither could he neglect her. He got closer and they hugged as tears started to gather in their eyes.
Mariam, why did you have to go? It was a double strategy for me and Layton. After Papa was buried, we just couldn't find you. Why did you just live without saying goodbye? Why?
Jeff kept reminiscing the emotional lain she put Layton and himself through when she went missing in the same they their late father was buried. Mariam sat on the couch, dropped her handbag close to her foot to reply to Jeff.
Jeff, I had to go. The things I saw before baba was buried made me abscond. On the day we received the news of Baba's demise, he was with just a moment before the call. I never believe he is dead afterward.
With his mouth wide opened, Jeff stared at her in bewilderment at the strange thing she just said.
Do you mean Baba appeared to you even after the news of his death had been made public? Now, you are getting me scared. Jeff started growing goosebumps on his naked skin.
It all happened in this house. On the night of the wake keep, each time I walk across the lobby, Baba was right within like a shadow. And with a still silent voice, he spoke strange words to me.
Don't eat from that dish, it's poisoned
That was the first the shadow said to me. The shadow made me suspect every single person that came to end a helping hand during the burial rites.
In Jeff's mind:
I hope it's not the same thing that had been appearing and vanishing to me all the while. Shadows aren't white. They are black. But this had been white all along.
Mariam, this shadows you call Baba's image should be black.
No, it's a white shadow. The true art of Baba's image.
Now, this is turning out to be a similar experience between Mariam and me.
That night that had been hot suddenly became cold as Jeff started to contemplate not to take his supposed cold bath. Jeff had barely concluded his thought about taking his bath before Mariam's masculine voice blew through his ears.
What do you have in your kitchen. I am hungry.
Ok, let's see. I just finished making supper. I made a pot of oha soup and cassava flakes. Just a cup of water to make the morsel will do. Take your bag to the other room, change to something lighter for the night while her your food. They went their way to get these tasks done.
In the kitchen, he boiled water to prepare morsels from the cassava flakes. As Jeff began to stir the powdered flakes mixed with hot water, the kitchen build began to go dim and up again. This is not a night for all this. Quickly he served the morsel and soup in a tray. As he carried it, turning to walk out of the kitchen quickly as possible, there at the doorpost was Mariam, with her face painted in thick white powder. Jeff was frightened but his pride as a man, made him stand with his two legs firmly to the ground.
Mariam, come taste this recipe prepared by the world's best chef.
Mariam turned and walked to the dining table while Jeff followed sheepishly. She sat and started to deal with the food. It had been a long time she was served food while she sits to eat like a queen. Well, sometimes, it happens. It is what it is. Tonight is a different night. She is home. The best feeling ever can only be gotten at home.
Now, Jeff had finally decided to take his bath. Straight to the bathroom. Jeff opened the door and notice a butterfly-like shape flying from the pantry towards the master bedroom. This isn't a shadow, it's a butterfly. Or was he seeing a direct opposite of what that object is? He zeroed is mind, undressed himself and opened the shower. It is cold water and that's what his body yearned. Jeff felt some relief from stress under the shower with his eyes closed. Then, the thought of the shadow came to mind again. So, he quickly opened his eyes, behold, a huge white shadow covering the bathroom door.
His mouth was too heavy to shout. I felt like he had seen a ghost. Shadow or ghost, he couldn't just phantom it. His head grew ten times bigger as his eyes were blinded by the heavy rays of light flashing from the shadow to his eyes.
Again, he attempted to shout but he couldn't hear himself. The shower kept running and splashing water on Jeff's head. He had started to feel hot under the shower when the shadow began to move away quietly through the lobby to the living room.
Jeff jumped out of the bath and made to run to the living room only to discover he had not worn his boxers that he ran into the master bedroom and jammed the door.
He wasn't just comfortable in the room alone. Briskly, he walked to the dining to join Mariam. They chatted through the night till daybreak and Jeff lost his much anticipated sleep because of the flying shadow the kept appearing after Baba's demise.