Later that night while we were having dinner, I decided to share my new discovery with everyone.
“Daddy, why didn’t you tell us that papa had a second wife?” I asked
“Second wife kwa? Who told you that?” he asked
“Ahn ahn, the boy that lives in that small house behind nau. The last son of papa’s second wife” I continued.
“Hian. There is nobody living in that house. You have come again with your mischief. Please don’t scare your siblings. First you were complaining about the food, now you’re coming up with scary stories” he replied in dismissal.
“Ekene will you shut up and stop being stubborn. Eat your food and stop scaring your siblings” my mum interrupted.
My parents never gave me a chance to talk. I felt adopted at this point. It was almost as if they hated me. I didn’t care anyway because I had someone to talk with now.
The next two days went very well for me. I wasn’t bothered about the food or the prayers anymore because I always looked forward to gisting with Peter. I would go there and stay for hours and then leave when I suspected that my mum was looking for me. The best thing about it all was that nobody ever noticed I was gone. I guess they were too bored or something. On the fourth day, during our conversations, I decided to ask about the old man I saw twice at the window and in front of the house. He told me that it was his sick uncle who was always asleep. After I asked this question, Peter suddenly became distant and quiet and I became uncomfortable and so I decided to leave earlier than usual and probably come back another time.
I told him I was leaving and he followed me and closed the door behind. I was walking out of the porch when I saw my dad.
“Ekene! What did I tell you about that building? Do you want to wound yourself? Are you stupid?” he said as he walked towards me. “What were you doing in that house?”
“Papa, I told you that grandpa’s son lives there, you refused to listen to me.” I replied “One fair tall guy stays there. His name is Peter. How come you don’t know him?”
“Peter? This girl are you sure you are okay? Come and show me the person” he said as we walked back to the house.
When we got there, I knocked on the door the first time.
I knocked the second time and to my surprise, the door fell off it’s hinges to the floor inside the house. This was odd, we stepped inside the house and it was like a dream.
The sitting room was full of logs of wood piled up at a corner, there were thick cobwebs everywhere. The floors made a squeaky sound every time we moved around. The furniture looked very old and worn out. There were rodents everywhere. I looked up and a part of the ceiling had fallen off leaving a gaping hole there. It was like the house had gone about 100 years into the future all of a sudden.
“B-but, I sat here, right here” I said pointing to the smaller couch. “Peter sat here. W-we were talking and eating. Just here.” I was confused.