The Virgin Ghostess
By Ogunsola Ayobami Samuel
Julius and Julia walk home hand-in-hand, just soaking in giddiness. He says that even with the most delicious food, if you eat it too fast, you’ll get indigestion. He doesn’t want them to get indigestion of the heart by going too fast.
Julia asks a little wistfully, “What if there isn’t much time?” and he scoffs that it’s not like she’s going to die tomorrow. She’s so happy to just sit there holding his hand that she insists on one minute longer.
Julius mom arrives with pastries for him, and they jump up in alarm, barely managing to unlock their hands before she comes up to the roof. She wonders what Kate was doing here so late, and julius awkwardly invents an errand she was here for and sends her home.
Julius mom catches on right away and comments on kate’s level and size, and warns him not to even try foot-acting in front of her. She knows they’re dating and calls him out on it, but he shoves a pastry in his mouth and ignores her.
Julius insists that there’s nothing going on with him and Kate , and she says he can call it whatever he wants, just as long as he’s using condoms. He groans and asks if she really wants to be talking about this stuff with her son, but she says it’s better than him making babies by accident. Truth. Listen to your
She finally leaves, and julius rushes to text Julia that it’s safe to come back. She’s relieved to hear that it went okay, and pouts when he says they should head inside. She mentions getting enough sleep earlier at the motel, and he gets all fired up again at the mention of the motel, and bans the word altogether.
In the middle of the night, Julia sneaks out of kate’s room and into julius’s, to watch him sleep. She lies down next to him and is actually able to touch his face, and she sighs, “You’re a ghost—how can you like him for real? What are you going to do? You’re crazy.”
She tells herself that it’s okay because she’s just enjoying the feeling of being in a relationship, though she doesn’t sound convinced.
Kate comes outside to get a glass of water and runs into Julia as she’s coming out of julius room. Julia quickly says she was just wandering about because she was bored, and feels awkward when kate sweetly calls her aunty.
In the morning, julius is the one sending Julia little signals in front of the others, as he winks at her to meet him in the locker room. He feeds her herbs to keep her healthy in the sweltering heat, and she presses his hand to her face, calling that her best medicine.
Felix interrupts them to tell Julia about a phone call for her, and looks curiously over at julius , who’s doing a terrible job of acting natural. She picks up the phone and doesn’t realize that it’s julius’s mom on the line, and when she asks for her birthdate, she accidentally answers with her own, not kate’s.
Not knowing this, Mrs Jane reads the fortune at her request, and says that this girl is already dead. Mom says that can’t be and tells her about catching Julia and Kate together last night, and Mrs Jane realizes that she’s talking about Julia . She gets hopeful to hear that they were together late at night, but deflates to hear that they were simply talking.
Officer John drops Lisa off at the restaurant and waits to greet julius , and happens to hear Julia humming a familiar tune. He remembers her singing the same song at her Dad’s restaurant years ago, and the way she’d smile to greet him.
Kate does the same now, and it makes him eerily fixated on her. It continues to bother him when he’s at work, as he remembers Dad’s shoelaces tied in Julia’s special way, and he looks up Kate’s information on the computer.
That night, John opens up his drawer and takes out the cracked cell phone that was hidden away.
He contemplates the phone and then takes out a suitcase that’s filled with scary serial kidnapping and/or murder gear and broken security cameras, and tosses the phone inside too.
On their way home from Julia’s dad restaurant whom they both ran into at the market earlier that day after julia had introduced him to her dad as a friend.
Julius squirms like a big baby when Julia gets ready to prick his finger to relieve his indigestion, and she asks why he ate two whole bowls of rice. He says that it was the polite thing to do in front of an elder, and he felt bad for the him(Julia’s dad) , who had such sad eyes when he talked about his daughter passing away.
He’s feeling better by the walk back, so she requests more handholding. He’s only happy to oblige, and looks a little sad when she breaks contact to run over to a playground. He chases her around, and then makes a big fuss when she trips and falls.
He sits her down to check her foot and treats her so tenderly that she swoons all over again. He wonders why she’s staring, and she replies, “Because I like you. I like you so, so much.” There’s a long pause as they look at each other without saying a word, and then they sit on the swings together, holding hands.
She says that she was too busy to do anything but work, and she thanks him so sincerely for all her new experiences that he darts up and declares that they’ll go on an overnight trip.
She asks why he changed his mind when he was so against her trying to jump him before, and he half-mumbles an admission: “I changed my mind. I want to go on a trip with you. I’m not going to hold back anymore, so you’ve been warned.” It’s her turn to be stunned silent.
Meanwhile, Julia is in a very different mood on the other side of the wall, and leaves kate’s body to go visit Mrs Jane in the middle of the night. She terrifies her awake, of course, being a ghost and all, and tells her about the trip with julius.
She thinks that’s good news, but wonders why Julia looks so sad about it. She doesn’t understand it either—tomorrow she could get what she’s been wanting all this time and finally resolve her grudge and move on…
Julia finally declared that she is not happy and she liked julius so much. The things he says to me, the way he looks at me, the way it feels when he holds my hand—they’re all things I’ve never felt before when I was alive. They’re so warm, and I feel like my heart is softening.”
Mrs cuts her off in a grave tone: “Get it together. Do you know what the most dangerous thing is to a ghost? It’s feelings. You think you’re a person and hurt and feel sad, and happy. And that’s where greed comes from—the greed to remain among the living, even as a malevolent ghost!”
She warns her that malevolent ghosts are not the same as her—they never disappear and wander forever, stuck amongst the worst of people, causing evil. She clasps Julia’s hands and begs her to steel herself and resolve her grudge, and move on to a better place. Tears fall as she nods, knowing that Mrs Jane is right about what she has to do. Mrs Jane comforts her and hugs her close, and she cries into her shoulder.
Julia is subdued at work the next day, even when julius whispers his plans to get them out of here as early as possible today. Mike chooses today of all days to insist on a staff night out, and julius has to say no so many times that he ends up snapping at him.
Julia takes the morning to go see her Dad, thinking that it’s her last day here as a ghost. She shows him how to do stuff more efficiently in the restaurant, and he picks up on the fact that she’s acting like they won’t see each other for a long time.
She tamps down her tears and says that she just might be busy for a while and can’t come as often, and he promises to do as she instructs. She thinks to herself that she might never see him again, and Dad should stop thinking about her and be healthy and happy with Alex now.
Julius makes sure to close early and tells Julia to pack and meet upstairs. He notes that she seems quiet, and when he guesses that she’s just so excited that she can’t express it, she goes with that.
But she looks sad when she’s alone, and has to pep-talk herself into packing and going on the trip. She knows she has to stick to her original plan and go, but she wars with herself for wanting to stay just a little longer.
Julius gets delayed when his Mom calls him drunk, and he asks Julia to meet him at the train station. She sits on the rooftop thinking back to all the things she’s experienced with julius , from their first kiss to their first handhold, and decides to put one foot in front of the other.
John watches as she leaves and then creeps up to the roof, where the dog barks at him aggressively. If he IS possessed and dogs can see ghosts.
He roots around Kate’s room and finds all of her ghost-warding paraphernalia, from scythe to strings of garlic, crosses, talismans, and ghost-warding beans. He throws them angrily, perhaps having connected all the dots between Julia and kate.
Julius arrives at the bar to pick his Mom up, only to find her totally sober. It’s not even a surprise anymore that she lied about that, but then Bella arrives too, and his mom invents an excuse to leave them alone.
Bella suggests a walk on their old college campus, and tells julius that she actually saw him first when they were in school, but he seemed so uninterested in her. She wonders if maybe they were so comfortable around each other and so used to each other that she didn’t know her own feelings.
He tries to cut her off, but she asks to speak first, knowing that she might not be able to get it out. But he cuts her off anyway since his news has to come first, and tells her that he has someone special in his life.
She can guess that it’s Kate without having to be told, and gets embarrassed at the rejection, wondering how she’s going to face him from now on.
Julius takes a moment to call Julia because he’s late to meet her at the train station, but she doesn’t answer. She’s actually still sitting in the playground in their neighborhood, purposely ignoring the call because she thinks he’s at the station looking for her.
She stares down at her phone and apologizes for not going: “But today isn’t the day. I can’t go like this. I know it’s selfish, but just a little longer… a little longer.”
She comes back home and calls out to julius , ready for him to be mad at her, but then he arrives behind her and starts apologizing profusely for not showing up. He assumes that she left her phone behind and waited for him, and she doesn’t bother explaining that she didn’t go either.
He makes it up to her by cooking her a fancy dinner, and tells her that he’ll always cook whatever she wants to eat. She says that what she really wants is fried intestines, and he cringes, but agrees to do it if she’ll forgive him for tonight.
Julia is surprised, and he admits that he’s been dragged around by those feelings for a really long time, and letting go feels like a relief. He turns to her and adds, “What I’m saying is, you have to take responsibility for me. You’re dead if you abandon me.”
She reaches out to touch his face, and he brings her hand up to his lips to kiss her gently. He kisses her softly on the lips before leaning them down into the tent, where he lies down on top of her and starts to unbutton his shirt. He reaches down to unbutton hers, and she squeezes her eyes shut nervously.
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