The Virgin Ghostess
By Ogunsola Ayobami Samuel
Julia steps out of kate’s body as julius is kissing her, which means Kate awakens in the moment and is rendered speechless and wide-eyed. Frazzled, she excuses herself and hurries out, trying to get her thoughts in order.
Thankfully julius follows her out, wanting to talk this out and arrive at some kind of understanding. He’s flustered by his own actions and stammers awkwardly, but tells her that this isn’t a mistake—he means it for real.
He grabs her tight in a hug and blurts, “I don’t know whether it’s from the start, or when you changed and pursued me, or yesterday, or today. But one thing I’m sure of—I keep missing you, and when you’re not next to me I’m uneasy.”
Then he pulls back to look at her stunned face and bursts out, “So what the hell—let’s go for it.”
He asks her to say something, and kate clumsily fumbles for words; she reflexively bows and says, “Th-thank you.” She tries again to say something, but he interprets her response as okay, asking if she likes him back. She nods and replies, “Yes, julius .”
He pulls her in for a softer hug this time, and from a short distance, Julia watches, looking rather morose. She tells herself to get a grip, since she’s a ghost (“You’re not Kate !”), which is interesting.
As they clean up the restaurant together, julius takes over mopping duties from kate , lifting her up onto the counter to seat her there as he cleans. Noticing her still-wet hair, he brings the fan close to ostensibly dry it for her, smiling uncontrollably all the while. They just grin at each other bashfully like adorable lovesick fools.
Officer John gets a call that his partner, had an accident, and rushes to the hospital. He was the man in charge of Lisa’s hit-and-run case, so she and her mother are worried to hear of it.
John seems genuinely shocked to hear of his partner’s condition; he was found unconscious in the parking lot, his phone and wallet taken, and there was no CCTV footage to see what happened.
Kate heads to her room, pinching her cheek to make sure this is real. Julius thumps on their shared wall, telling her to sleep well and dream of him, “But that’s not an order, it’s a suggestion.” She agrees to, and he goes to bed giddy.
Julia joins Kate to ask how it felt to hear his confession. Kate admits to fearing that it’s all only a dream, but Julia chirps that they’re well on their way to their win-win solution, where the ghost resolves her grudge and Kate gets her man. Julia tells her to trust her, and they fist-bump.
In the morning, it’s Julia in the body who greets julius as he steps out of his room. He looks dead tired, though he says of course he slept well: “Why, did you think I’d be unable to sleep because I was so excited?” Well, I think that now.
She just grins and points out that his eyes are bloodshot. He tells her that they should take care to keep this quiet around the other employees, and she assures him that she has that much control.
At work, though, he struggles to keep his poker face on, which is difficult with Julia tagging along like an adoring puppy. The others wonder what their deal is, and he tells her almost panickedly not to be so obvious, a warning she blatantly disregards while sending countless filled text messages.
Julius tries to remain professional but calls her outside to chide her for the distractions. She wheedles cutely at him about how she wants to do something for their first day as a couple, suggesting an overnight outing—and if they should happen to run out of things to do, they could always duck into a motel to “get some sleep,”
Julia half-finds her behavior adorable, but he also sticks firm to what he feels is appropriate and says that he wants to treat the relationship seriously and thoughtfully. She pouts at the constant put-offs, but he says that if she wants to date him, she can’t rush ahead all on her own; she has to match his slower tempo.
Mrs Jane arrives outside the restaurant as Julia is heading in, and hurries to assure her that she’s not here to capture her. So they sit down for a chat, and mostly she wants to check that her mission is going well. She’s excited to hear that they’re dating, and Julia says it’s practically a done deal and she’ll for sure earn her passage onward from ghost-dom. Mrs Jane admits to letting her get away on purpose, and since she’d be in huge trouble if that got out, she urges her to succeed no matter what.
Julius mom calls out Mrs Jane to ask about a worrying dream she had about her son , asking what it means that he was wandering in a field of dead flowers. But she said says it’s not a bad dream—in fact, splendid flowers would be a warning sign, while dead flowers indicate keeping misfortune at bay. Mom is thrilled and relieved, though I am not convinced .
John looks decidedly shifty as he enters his partner’s hospital room and reaches down toward the oxygen mask on his face. He pulls back immediately when his sister enters, though she hurries out to get a doctor when her brother stirs awake. John tells him that he’s in the hospital and asks if he remembers what happened to him, and relaxes when his partner replies no.
John is all solicitousness now and reaches over to mop his partner face with a handkerchief… and his left wrist comes into the man’s direct sightline. This triggers a memory of his attack, and the arm that wore that same watch.
After the restaurant closes, the staff heads home, blurting excuses to go home to avoid being roped into another night out with Mike. Mike accepts this tonight, but makes vague references to something happening tomorrow.
Julius texts Kate for a date tonight, and Julia jumps to get ready, deciding she can make “it” happen with or without an overnight trip. He takes her to a fancy restaurant for dinner, though the date is partly another cooking lesson. He gets a little jealous when Julia takes a bite and exclaims that it’s delicious, asking, “More than my cooking?” She angles for some skinship by playing footsie under the table and then moving to sit next to him, but disappointedly complies when he tells her to go back to her seat.
As they climb into his car, julius gets nervous when Julia gets all into his space, though she says innocently that she’s just putting his seatbelt on for him. He seems to like that, but he jumps when she leans over to supposedly brush something off his clothing, “Where are you touching?!” He stops the car, all rattled and wound up, and when he starts to scold her, Julia retorts that she’d like him to follow through and scold her.
He’s ready to return home for the night, but she insists that they have to do more on their first date. He agrees to go for some shaved ice, following Julia as she leads him along… to a hotel. She feigns surprise and fakes leg pain to get him to agree to go inside, and now he looks genuinely upset and pulls her aside for a serious talk.
He asks why she likes him, half-disbelieving that he even has to ask, “Is it me you like, or my body?” Julia says she likes both, and that it’s not strange for young, healthy couples to want to have sexual relations. He says he’s conservative when it comes to relationships (she hangs her head at that) and that there should be some kind of a progression, not jumping ahead from the start.
“It’s because I like you!” she says. “If you like me, you should be cautious,” he replies.
She points out that he was the one who kissed her and is now talking about progression, and huffily steps away to (sarcastically) respect his wishes.
John returns home in good spirits since his crime is safely undiscovered (or so he believes), and starts to open a bottle of wine. Lisa sighs over the criminal, saying that heaven will send its punishment, and not one second later John cuts his finger on the bottle opener. When she reaches to check on it, he flings her arm aside so hard it takes her aback, and he apologizes and suggests a late-night walk.
Lisa talks about how it was nice to meet up with her university friends, reminiscing on how good that time was. She comments that John doesn’t speak much of himself, and asks how it was growing up in an orphanage, and being adopted multiple times.
She wonders, “Three years ago, if she hadn’t met him at the hospital, and so I didn’t regain the desire to live again, what would have happened? I probably wouldn’t be here now, would I?” John agrees with her.
She reminds him that he’d told her then that people don’t all live or die as they want. She asks what he meant, and he says he doesn’t remember.
As julius and Julia arrive back home, she pointedly keeps her distance, honoring his conservative wishes, and hammers in the point by speaking in elaborate speech like a servant to a king, bidding him good night. He says she doesn’t know how he feels, and in his own room, he tells himself with effort that he can do it—he can hold back and endure.
Next door, julius’s ranting about julius frustrating conservativism, which is an unexpected obstacle to her plan. Kate on the other hand, thinks it makes him appealing—his seriousness and sense of responsibility—though Julia doesn’t appreciate her siding with her thwarter.
Kate perks up when julius calls out to her from outside, though Julia instructs her to play a little hard to get. So she just peeks out the door to look at him, though she doesn’t do anything further.
In the morning, the other chefs realize that it was Mike’s birthday, which explains his veiled comments yesterday. This is worrying news, because they know Mike will want the whole birthday party, congratulations, expensive gifts. The guys suggest flat-out denial as a tactic, and agree to feign ignorance rather than get roped into some elaborate mess.
Mike skips into work in high spirits, humming the Happy Birthday song. He chuckles to himself expecting a surprise around every corner, and snaps at everyone once he realizes it’s not in the plan.
The disappointment puts him in full drill sergeant mode, taking issue with every little detail like messy hair and long nails and excessive height (“What are you, a model? You punk, go get a bowl cut or go to a plastic surgeon and get uglier!”). The assistants suffer through the tirade, sticking to their plan, but suppose that it may be easiest to just give Mike something and be done with it.
Felix speaks up, saying that he received a clothing order in the mail this morning, and a freebie belt came with it. What if they give that as a gift?
So while Mike fumes about how he’ll make everyone work like beasts today, they come in singing and present him with the gift. Mike brightens and opens the gift, making them tense when he asks if it’s fake leather (which it is) before laughing that he knows it’s totally real. He even asks if it’s too expensive, and he feels so great that he offers to treat them later (and happily takes julius ’s credit card when offered).
Julia dad and brother Alex head home after grocery shopping, and Alex complains about the tedious errands until Dad replies that Julia did them all the time. As they cross a bridge, Dad pulls out an apple and places it on the railing Julia liked apples, and this is for her. Dad looks mournful as he asks why “the bad kid” did it, and Alex takes his hand in support. Hm, did Julia jump and commit suicide? Yet John sees them a short distance away, and the tone grows darker, suggesting more to the story.
John insists on giving them a ride in his car and ushers Dad along. As he looks down, he sees Dad’s shoelace tied in a distinctive knot—and thinks of when Julia did that for him once (before she’d died). When John comments on it, Dad replies that kate was the one who tied this lace. This certainly strikes John as odd.
After the restaurant closes, the staff heads out to celebrate Mike’s party. They invite julius along and he starts to consider it, but Julia pipes up (still peevish at him for rejecting her advances) that he won’t want to, since he’s so conservative and all. Julius goes with it, but looks pitifully sad about it.
As the group goes, john watches from a distance, taking particular interest in Kate .
They gorge on chicken and beer, and at one point Kate slips away. Felix goes out looking for her and finds her whispering to a motorcycle light drunkenly. He laughs at her cuteness, and sits her down in a chair while she asks him for guy advice “about my friend” whose boyfriend didn’t like when she made advances. She asks if guys generally dislike it when the girl makes a move, and felix replies that it’s one of two things: He doesn’t find her pretty, or he likes her so much he wants to wait and build trust. The first type of guy is ordinary, but the latter is a really decent guy.
Julia wails in frustration that it’s super confusing and she doesn’t know which it is. Felix speculates that it’s the latter: “You’re pretty.” She protests that it’s about her friend, and he advises her friend not to let him slip away and regret it.
At home, julius checks in on the Sunshine blog, wondering why she hasn’t updated lately. He wonders why the kids are out so late.
They move through the usual progression of upbeat pop songs to the love ballads, which ends with felix and Julia singing together, heads resting against each other, looking super-cute in a problematic way.
Julius gets antsy waiting for Kate to return home, and grumbles at the stream of credit card confirmation texts he gets, letting him know they’re still out and having fun. He idles in his room, pacing and passing the time fitfully waiting and waiting.
And just as he’s really getting upset, he gets one last text: A bill from a hotel. Frantic, he calls Kate and yells at the phone to pick up, and finally gets a drunk Mike on the line. The guys have crashed there, and kate has “gone to shower.” Cut to: julius running down the street until he gets to the hotel.
Everyone’s passed out dead drunk, and he rouses Julia and tries to usher her out quietly. He picks her up and carries her out, anxious to get out undetected. Once outside, she’s so loud and boisterous that he ends up picking her up again and carrying her off, feeding her water to sober her up at a mini store.
She’s still snappish, and says he should have come with them if he’s so bothered, and he reminds her that she was the one who told him not to come. She says he totally didn’t read the situation right, and that it’s no big deal to crash with dudes in a hotel room when none of them even think of her as a woman. Julius bursts out, “Why aren’t you a woman? You’re such a woman that it makes me uneasy to death.”
He says she doesn’t know men, and that they can change in a second, and that she’d better stick to him like glue from now on because he can’t handle the anxiety. She notes that he’s always flip-flopping, having pushed her aside before, and julius returns, “Cancel the first one. Stick to me from now on.”
She’s only too happy to, and sidles up to his side and clings to his arm, sighing how nice this is. They walk back hand-in-hand, with him ordering her to stand even closer, and she cheerfully obliges. She asks if he doesn’t want to have sex, or if he’s just holding back the urge, and he sorta roundabout-ly answers that he’s a man too.
He takes her hand and says, “Let’s start like this. And let’s go slowly, for a long, long time, Kate.”
To be continued…………..
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