The Virgin Ghostess
By Ogunsola Ayobami Samuel
Kate launches herself into julius arms , telling herself she can think of her own feelings this time. He teases her about being so attached to him, but obviously loves it.
Officer John congratulates his partner, on being released from the hospital. Though he feigns complete ignorance over who attacked him, now that he’s made the connection that John may have had something to do with it, and for now plays along.
They head to Julia ’s father’s restaurant for lunch, and John partner sighs that he’s incredibly sorry to Lisa for losing the last clue that could track down her hit-and-run driver. John assures him that it’s not his fault, and says he didn’t tell Lisa or julius about it so they won’t feel disappointed. He takes another long look at John wristwatch—the one that matches the one his attacker was wearing.
At the restaurant, julius swoops in to take a box out of kate’s hands, and tells her that later when he leaves for the market, she should make up an excuse that she has to go to the hospital so she can join him. Kate’s in such a peppy mood today that julius comments on the difference—she’s not quite in her “manic” mood, but she definitely feels bolder. He leans in and whispers, “You’re prettiest when you’re in the middle.”
Julia doesn’t budge from her spot on Mrs Jane’s floor, sad and lonely and unresponsive to her urging to eat something. She figures that they’d been mistaken about her unresolved grudge—as in, Julia wasn’t lingering as a ghost just to have sex, which, duh—and says she’ll perform that ceremony to help Julia pass on to the next realm, promising to minimize the pain as much as possible. Julia just lies there.
When julius starts sending texts back and forth during the staff’s lunch, Mike hounds him to see who he’s texting. Julius barks a denial, then excuses himself to go on his market run, looking to kate to make her exit too. She lets out a cry of pain and complains of a twisted ankle, and Mike tells her to get it checked out.
As soon as she hobbles out of earshot, Mike points out how terrible her acting was, insisting that she’s going to follow the chef, though felix dismisses him.
Julius runs into a chef friend at the market, who notes that the underling isn’t helping by carrying any groceries. Kate jumps in to take a few bags, but julius is annoyed and snaps at the friend, rejecting his offer to go eat something. He takes back the bags and holds kate’s hand, and leads her to a restaurant to buy her that food she’d said she loved—or rather, the dish Julia loved but Kate can’t seem to stomach.
She pretends she likes it, trying not to let on that she’s forcing it down. She even has to excuse herself to throw up in the bathroom. She tells herself she can do this and heads back out, happy to see julius ’s eaten most of the dish, then dismayed when he says he ordered another serving.
Julius tells his staff that the cooking show will be coming to the restaurant tomorrow to film, and gives kate the responsibility of making the appetizer. It’s a big break for her and everyone congratulates her on it, but Kate is stricken in panic and tells julius privately that she’s not ready for this opportunity, and she doesn’t want to make the restaurant look bad either.
Julius assures her that she’s got talent, listing all the foods Julia successfully cooked, which of course is no consolation. He tells her she can handle this, and kate weakly promises to work hard.
John heads out dressed in all black, and then shortly thereafter a man in black arrives at the restaurant. He hangs back in the shadows as kate practices making the dish for tomorrow, but his plans are thwarted when julius joins her in the kitchen (and compliments her sauce, so at least kate isn’t completely adrift here).
John heads back out without doing anything, his hand clenching a switchblade. He taps his palm with the blade, and then—ick ick ick—closes his fist around it, squeezing so hard he slices his own hand. It doesn’t even seem to faze him.
Julia remains listless and silent in Mrs Jane home, although she does listen when julius ’s mother makes an unannounced visit. Mom wants a drinking friend to listen to her concerns about julius dating that girl, and Mrs Jane casts nervous glances at Julia and urges julius mom out to drink elsewhere. Mom’s confused at the need to leave, though she gets up eagerly to go when Mrs Jane assures her that the man who runs the bar in front is good-looking.
After they leave, Julia sighs, “I miss you, julius ” as tears trickle down her face.
Kate practices long into the night, getting close but never quite succeeding with her dish attempts. She’s so focused and pressed for time that when a ghostly hand starts to creep up her side (omg so creepy), she snaps that she’s busy and doesn’t even spare it a glance. The ghost tries a second time to accost her, but again, she just slaps its hand away. A girl’s got priorities!
When she burns her hand, she hurries to run it under water while telling herself firmly to get it together, to be strong. She even musters up her frustration and fear to swear out loud, and pulls herself to keep going. And finally, she comes up with a dish that just might work.
Sung-jae arrives home late that night, his hand wrapped in a fresh bandage. Lisa worries over it, and he repeatedly assures her with a smile that he’s fine. But when she touches his arm, he flings her off and turns ice-cold, snapping at her before he gets the nice guy mask back in place. Lisa sweetly tells him that it’s fine if he gets upset with her from time to time rather than being perfect always, though she does look pretty taken aback.
The next day, lunchtime goes well and kate’s appetizer gets positive response, both from diners and the staff. The other assistants congratulate her openly, and julius flashes her a quick (hidden) thumbs-up before pulling her aside to tell her she did a good job, and to take this confidence going forward.
The TV crew arrives for the shoot, and there’s a flurry of activity as the crew sets up and the cranky director complains about everything, while Bella tries to keep him placated. He seems determined to complain, though, and sends Kate running around fetching things from him, and after watching quietly for a while, julius steps in. He pulls Kate aside and scolds Mike for treating her like she wasn’t important, allowing for the crew to follow suit. The director drops his complaining act, but asks julius why he’s so sensitive about her—are they dating or something?
Julius shocks everyone by replying, “Yes. We’re dating. So don’t order her around.”
The assistant chefs are stunned, though felix admits that he’d guessed as much and seems happy for the couple. Mike, on the other hand, worries that he’s shot himself in the foot by not being nice to the chef’s girlfriend and moans, “Do I have to quit now?”
Julia finally rouses herself and tells Mrs Jane that she’ll do the passage ceremony. Mrs Jane is relieved and pulls her into a hug, promising she’ll use every bit of her abilities to make this as painless a procedure as she can, to send her on quickly. They’ll do it tomorrow, and she will make one last visit to see her father tonight.
After the shoot wraps, Bella tells julius he was especially impressive today, and romantic too. She invites him and kate out for a drink, and the inclusion surprises him but seems like a nice gesture.
Julius checks to make sure kate isn’t upset with his method of announcing their relationship—it wasn’t as he’d intended and he knows he rushed it, but he’s relieved when she tells him she’s fine with it as long as he is. Then they head out to drink with Bella , and the ladies get along great; Bella admits to feeling envious of how great they get along, but kate tells her she’s always found her so cool and admirable.
Julius gets called by john, who asks him to take Lisa home from rehab because he got stuck at work. Which is an excuse, he was dressed in his blacks again and picking a lock to a car.
Julius picks Lisa up, and she teases him about the hearts shooting out of his eyes at kate. She’s happy for him and likes kate, but he asks her to keep it a secret from Mom, since they both know how dramatically she’s likely to take it.
Julia drops by to make her last goodbyes to her father and brother, tearfully giving them her last bits of advice. Then as she walks by a store window, she sees julius on TV and decides to see him one last time.
Meanwhile, kate’s pretty tipsy as she and Bella continue drinking, though she insists she’s not drunk, merely in a good mood. Bella finds her so adorable she can’t even hate her, and clears the air about their friction from that MT trip they all went on.
Bella offers to take kate home, but she insists she’s totally not drunk and can go home on her own. She does get more serious as she asks Bella , almost like she’s asking for permission, whether all people are selfish—if, when pressed, they don’t have the space to think about others before themselves. Bella replies, “Yes, because we’re all people.”
Bella asks if it’s because Kate ’s sorry to her, and kate replies, “Yes, I feel sorry to you, and to the ghost, and to julius too. But I’ll ignore it this one time.”
Kate continues walking home alone, singing to herself, “It’ll be okay, it’ll all work out…” She tells herself she’s never been this happy before, and a flashback to her childhood shows us what it was like to be a little girl who would get accosted by little girl ghosts wanting to play. She’d always been the friendless outcast, and she tells herself it’ll all be fine.
As kate walks down a quiet street, Julia sees her from across the way—and clocks the car speeding straight for Kate . She rushes in and shoves kate out of its path, and the car just passes safely through her.
Kate leaps up to stop Julia from leaving, and asks if she’s here to see julius . She says no, that she’d just dropped by to see her family, and tells kate to be careful of cars.
Kate tells her, “I’m sorry. And thank you.”
Julia scoffs that she has nothing to be sorry about, and tells her, “Be happy. Please. I’m going now—eat well and live well.” kate watches her go with tears in her eyes, and Julia heads off… and then sees the almost-hit-and-run car parked on another street. She’s startled to recognize john sitting inside, just as he growls angrily and honks his horn.
The horn angers a passing pedestrian, who roars at john to step out of the car… and then finds himself being dragged down a dark alley. Horrified, o watches from around the corner as the man is choked.
She returns to Mrs Jane house in a daze, and says they’ll have to postpone the passage ceremony. She can’t quite figure out what’s what, but she’s certain that john is different—the feeling she gets from him is “remarkably bad” and she doesn’t feel she can leave things be like this. Why would john try to kill kate?
Kate arrives home at the same time julius does, and he asks her to make him fried rice. She’s surprised at the request, but he says that since she likes rice, he’s got to practice eating it, which is just the most adorable thing. She cooks it for him, but her encounter with Julia has her more subdued than usual, and he wonders at it, even though she says she’s fine every time he asks.
Julius suggests a walk afterward, and is rather proud of himself for doing one more of the things she (Julia ) had mentioned wanting to do. Kate is taken aback to hear him recite what she’d supposedly said, about not getting to see the sights or ride the ferries, and how he wants to do them all for her. He’s pleased with himself for remembering exactly what she’d said, but that only makes her look gloomier, though she tells him she likes it.
Kate realizes to herself, “That isn’t me.” He explains that he’d always been used to being alone, and thus kept his feelings bottled up inside. But it made him realize that just having someone with you can be a comfort.
Kate thinks again, “That isn’t me. What made him want to eat rice, what gave him comfort—all of that isn’t me.”
But he pulls her into a hug and thanks her, “for making him do things he don’t usually do, and for being by his side.” She grows teary-eyed and upset knowing he doesn’t feel these things for her, even as he gets more tender and attentive.
They ride the cable car down, and he says they can ride the ferry on their next outing. But she speaks up to say no: “It’s not me that you like.”
He’s totally confused, but she tells him, “It’s a ghost that you like.” He stares, and she says with trembling voice that she can see ghosts, and that a ghost had possessed her body. “So the one you like is the me that was possessed by a ghost—not the me of right now. I’m sorry.”
She starts to cry, and he wipes at them while trying to understand what’s going on. He can only stare, and when the car comes to a stop, she apologizes again and hurries out.
Shocked, he doesn’t even seem to realize the car is moving until it’s already heading back up the hill, carrying him away from 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