The Virgin Ghostess
By Ogunsola Ayobami Samuel
Julius finds Kate collapsed in the restaurant late, burning with fever, and calls an ambulance. Something about her condition has ejected ghost Julia from the body, but she doesn’t know why any more than we do.
Kate’s condition is mostly fever and shock, and the doctor says it’s not serious. At least not physically; emotionally, it packs much more of a punch when Kate wakes up in bed and gasps in fear at the craggy-faced ghost in the bed next to her, then again to see julius at her bedside.
He chides her for letting herself get so sick without saying anything, then recalls that she did, feeling bad that he didn’t believe her—not that we can blame him, since Julia tried every excuse to get in his pants. He advises her to rest up and steps aside to make room arrangements.
Kate takes in her situation with mounting fear, especially when she sees today’s date—the last thing she remembers was weeks ago, after she quit her job. She leaves the hospital confused and grows more upset with each change she discovers—her house is gone, and she looks unlike herself with the bright makeup. She calls her grandmother in tears, frightened at her inability to remember things that people say she did.
Grandma sighs that her intuition was right, based on the call she had with Julia , and tells that she’d been possessed by a ghost.
Julius heads back to the restaurant, where Julia the ghost pelts him with questions… that he can’t hear, of course, which means they’re having two one-sided conversations. He’s worried about her disappearance but tells himself (not too convincingly) that it’s not his concern.
Julius gets ready for bed while Julia the ghost admires the view. Upside to being a ghost: Ogling free-for-all. Downside: No touchy. She climbs in bed next to him, admiring his face up-close while he continues to grumble about kate’s whereabouts. Julia leans in like she’s going to kiss him, but reminds herself that she has bigger worries: Namely, time’s ticking and she needs to get on with her mission to resolve her lingering grudge. Time to resume Operation: Get Laid! She decided to find another body to possess.
That fits with what Grandma tells kate, about how she has to take care of her body and avoid the spirit trying to take over—and if avoidance fails, she is to look the ghost straight in the eye and insist, “I am not a weak person!”
She stays out all night mulling this over, and Officer John stops to say hi. He takes her to the station and offers her coffee, and when she thanks him politely, he reminds her that they’re noodles buddies now. She lies that she remembers, which he doesn’t seem to believe, and he asks if there’s anything he can help her with. At her reticence, he says she doesn’t have to explain, but offers himself to listen whenever she wants to talk.
John insists on driving her back to the restaurant, where he explains to julius how he ran into Kate this morning. Julius ’s alarmed at the idea that she roamed the streets all night, but keeps it to himself as he sends John off.
Kate looks around nervously as she enters the restaurant, mindful of Grandma’s warnings that a ghost who’s successfully possessed once will try to possess again. Julius tries to get an explanation out of her, but she’s back to her stammering ways and just blurts, “I’m sorry!” several times before hurrying off. He’s gotten so used to her bold persona that he’s actually surprised to hear her reverting to her old ways.
Kate finds her belongings in her locker, then stiffens when the assistant chefs arrive for work and greet her closely, reminding her that she loves skinship. She excuses herself and darts away, and George in particular notices the oddity.
Julius gathers the crew before they begin work for the day, explaining that they have a lot of important reservations on the books today. As they discuss dishes, Kate nods off and has to be roused and stumbles over her feet. The assistants are reminded of “Flinching Kate ” of the old days: “And just when I was getting attached to Over-the-Top Kate !”
As Kate goes about her tasks, she takes Granny’s advice to ignore the ghosts wholesale. So when Julia bounces around her asking questions, she pretends not to see anything and tries to drown out Julia’s chirping. Of course, that still looks strange to the staff, since she runs from room to room shooing away invisible things.
During the lunch rush, julius sends Kate to the storeroom to get more torches(gas lighter) , and she determinedly avoids acknowledging Julia’s attempts to engage in conversation. But it doesn’t look like Julia is going to give up, so she takes Granny’s second bit of advice, which is to look the ghost in the eye and firmly assert herself.
Kate does, but she stammers on the words “I’m not a pushover” and Julia chatters excitedly, asking for one more possession as a favor. Kate fires the torch and keeps Julia at arm’s length, warning her to stay away and treat her as weak. Only, one false step sends her whirling, and the torch makes contact with a shelf of supplies. Whoosh! Flames erupt.
The kitchen enjoys a lull while diners eat their lunch, and with all the stoves off, the assistant chefs wonder at the smoky smell. Realizing that a fire has broken out, they usher out the customers and hurry down to the storeroom to put it out.
Julia’s brother Alex sees the fire trucks going by and is disappointed that the fire isn’t actually bigger (for viewing entertainment), while Dad clucks at him to grow up soon. Dad is tempted to finish off a half-drunk bottle of beer left by a customer, but recalls Julia (as kate) telling him not to drink alone anymore, offering herself as beer buddy. Dad sets the bottle down and wonders why she hasn’t been by lately.
The restaurant staff takes stock of the damage, and chef Mike angrily berates her for being responsible. Julius is upset too, but he gives her a chance to explain—though she has nothing to say that would make any sense and just repeats the familiar “I’m sorry” refrain. She does look up to glare at Julia, a look that julius clocks with curiosity and follows up with a call to a doctor.
Kate trembles with fear and agitation as Julia approaches, telling her she didn’t have to go at her with fire. Kate tells Julia to leave her alone because she’s afraid of her and doesn’t want to deal with her, angry and scared in equal measure.
Dr. Festus turns out to be a psychiatrist, and he hooks Kate up to a machine for readings, though his uncontrollable facial twitching has them concerned. Then Kate sees the grandma ghost clinging to the doctor, causing the muscle spasms, though nobody else is aware.
Dr. Festus interprets Kate’s behavior as bipolar disorder—bold, talkative, sexually curious during the manic stages, then the complete opposite in the depressive state. The doctor adds that he saw signs of her seeing or hearing things, and asks if she’d undergone a big shock recently.
Julius ’s mind flashes to all the harsh words he’s had for Kate recently, and now he sees them through the lens of being her depression triggers. The doctor prescribes medication and advises julius not to leave her to be alone, in case her mood swings and results in extreme outbursts.
The staff prepares to head out, and Mike is still yammering on about the day’s events, making pointed comments at Kate for causing trouble. At least he clams up when julius drops by, dismissing the staff, and felix hangs back to double-check on her. Kate just apologizes again and he sighs to hear those words again, heading off.
Kate starts calling around to find a new place to stay, and doesn’t have much luck. Julius sends her a text to bring her things to the rooftop, clearing out a storage area for her to stay in until she finds a new place. He says he’s not doing it to be particularly nice, uncomfortable with her gratitude, and says that bipolar disorder is no big deal but she should take care.
At her father’s restaurant, Julia the ghost reminisces about the old days, asking Dad if he remembers playing Go-Stop with her after they closed up shop, and how she knows he was on to her cheating but let her do it anyway. She perks up when she sees Dad reading a wedding invitation, sent to Julia by a friend. Dad’s near tears, calling the friend bad for not calling like she promised in the handwritten memo.
Dad reaches for the beer, and julia’s face grows ever longer as he goes through bottle after bottle. She instinctively reaches to steady him when he stumbles, but her arm goes through him.
Dad falls asleep hugging Julia’s photo to his chest, in the room he refuses to change. Julia lies down next to him and wraps her arms around him, and they sleep together.
Kate sets up her cot and settles in with her incense, while down below, julius starts to make his nightly bowl of instant noodles . It occurs to him that Kate might be hungry, and then he wonders whether noodles would be bad for her health , and then reaches for her very own cabbage porridge recipe, uploaded by blogger “Sunshine.”(blog owned by Kate)
He brings up the porridge to Kate ’s room, and plays it off like he was just trying to get rid of extra cabbage. He even uses her own words (well, Sunshine’s) to add that this dish is the best for consoling the heart and the body. Kate is touched, and smiles as she eats his porridge.
She finds a new comment on her blog, written by julius under the handle “Noodle Love.” He calls himself her fan, and she types in a reply.
Julius fidgets in his room wondering if Kate is eating his dish, and he sits up to see that a new reply has come in on the blog. He grins widely to read her response: “Thank you… your replies always give me support. And I’m eating cabbage porridge right now…” Adorably, he considers it a telling coincidence that he just cooked the porridge, saying they’re on the same wavelength.
He plays music that reaches kate’s room, and she puts her ear to the wall to listen. They both sit there feeling content, listening to the strains of the music titled “Good Night,”. Something tells me that’s not a coincidence.
In the morning, julia wakes up as her brother is pestering Dad for money, protesting ineffectually for him not to hand it over. Dad gives in and forks over the cash, leaving Julia vexed over spoiling Kid Bro while Dad worries about being able to pay their utilities.
But that triggers a memory of her stashing some cash in a notebook, marked with a flag. She hurries to her room and focuses her concentration on that book, trying to conjure enough energy to move something. But nothing.
Kate and julius get up at the same time, causing a minor traffic jam up on the rooftop. He reminds her that today is shooting day, which she has to google to understand, and one look at the video of her possessed self on TV has her seizing up with fright. She’s frozen with nerves and tries to tell julius she can’t go through with it, and he just tells her to trust him.
Julia’s father is still pretty hungover from his drinking binge, though he tries to go about his normal duties. He’s looking pretty bad as he makes a batch of spaghetti , and when he reaches up to a high shelf for a container, he can’t quite reach and falls to the ground. It knocks him out cold.
Mrs Jane makes her way to julius ’s mother’s house, here to perform some rites in Lisa ’s room to aid in the baby-making process. Seeing a photo of the couple, she is struck with a peculiar sense—not only was John ’s fate strange (she’d read him as someone meant to be alone), she’s puzzled to see that “It’s the same person… but something is different.” Omg is he possessed. Oh nooooo.
Speaking of the devil, John arrives at Dad’s restaurant and looks around for him. He sees his body lying prone on the ground, but curiously makes no move to do anything. When his partner arrives, he pretends he hasn’t seen anything and suggests trying a different spot for lunch. And he takes one last look at Dad, his face hardening eerily.
Back to Chef vs. Chef, where Kate fights of a panic attack during introductions, particularly when she’s mentioned as a fan favorite. Then today’s mission is unveiled, and has julius looking worried: It’s a tag-team challenge, swapping between the chef and his assistant. Kate shakes her head at julius , and looks sick to her stomach as he takes the first leg of the challenge (to make a healthy snack out of canned salmon for hard-working students).
Julia keeps trying to move her notebook, and after countless attempts, she finally manages to fling it open to reveal the money inside. Excitedly, she runs out to get her father, only to find him collapsed in the kitchen. She can’t rouse him, and she can’t touch a phone to call for help, either. Panicking, she heads out into the streets looking for someone to possess, but only gets flung aside by their strong energy.Deciding she needs Kate , she takes off at a run.
In the studio, the first tag is initiated and julius has to turn over his dish to Kate . She hears her name being shouted and flinches, spilling flour in the process and making herself panic even more. She’s so flustered that Bella calls for a break just as Julia dashes up to her side, begging for her help.
Kate runs off apologizing, trying to ignore Julia who tells her about her father’s condition and begs her to call an ambulance. Kate wails at her to go away, but Julia cries, “It’s my father! How can I just watch, even if I am just a ghost? Please, just make the call.”
Her desperation makes Kate pause, just as a crew member calls for her. And while she’s distracted, Julia spots her opening and makes a dash for the body and possessed Kate for the second time .
To be continued………..
Previous Chapter :The Virgin Ghostess Chapter 4
Ogunsola Ayobami Samuel is a blogger, writer, poet, and teacher. He attended Baptist High school from 2010-2013 and graduated from Kinsey College of Education Ilorin 2018, still hoping to have his first degree in English.
He sees writing and teaching as the best channel to reach out to the world.
The Virgin Ghostess is his first story to be written, though he had written different poems such as
The peaceful war
This too shall come to pass
We are African
Why did he
Tribute to Adeleke Rachel Tioluwani