There had always been stories of ghosts at Federal Government college Okim, but it had never been as terrifying as it was now.
Today, the girls in green house (my house) came back from morning classes to find Senior Rosa – my school mother very angry. (Don’t get it wrong, it’s not like I need a school mother, it’s just official that a senior must be directly responsible for some juniors; either to help them out of trouble or to fish them out with ease when they got involved in one.) As we trickled into the hostel in pairs to change into our day wears and get ready for lunch, senior Rosa bellowed the usual call that sent all of us scrambling to her corner of the dormitory.
“Green house Girls!” she screamed, with the ‘girls’ trailing off like the end of a high pitched song.
After the crowd of (give and take) 40 junior members of the green house senior dormitory was before her, she took in a deep breath as if to control her temper.
“Green house girls! One of you had the Nerve to open my wall locker and eat up the bread my parents brought for me on visiting day.”
It was not a question, she was telling us. We all looked at ourselves and some murmur went up, accompanied by shrugging of shoulders in denial.
“Shut your traps!” screamed senior Becky from the corner opposite senior Rosa’s.
Just then our house captain entered the dormitory, our faces registered despair, if she got wind of what was going on, it would be all worse for us.
“Rosa, wetin happen?” senior Binta was fond of speaking Pidgin English and it never seized to amaze me how or why she was appointed house captain. Becky answered her question.
“Can you believe that these pumpkins had the guts to go to Rosa’s locker and eat her bread?”
“Wait, wait, wait, that is una get mind chop Rosa bread!”
By now the murmur of denial among us was rising again. Just then the heavy gong was heard on the old rusty car wheel; the bell for food. Everyone was silent; then senior Rosa spoke.
“After lunch, let me not look for anyone of you. Whoever ate my bread should come forward or you would spend your siesta on the cold floor.”
…And with lots of canning. She did not need to add that part, we knew.
Solemnly, we hurried away for lunch still in our school uniforms.
After lunch we all got back to Senior Rosa’s corner. Almost all the seniors were ranting and raving and requesting that the culprit step forward, even when they knew that no one would, then something amazing happened…
Somto, one of the petite girls in SS1 pushed her way forward. Every one turned to look at her in surprise. It could not be Somto, she was one of the most God fearing and disciplined girls among us.
“You?” Rosa asked.
“No senior Rosa, but la… last night…” she stuttered
“I woke up at about 2:00am and saw… a…a…”
“What did you see?” Becky asked. Everyone was curious and inched closer to listen; Somto took a deep breath.
“I saw a naked shadow, walking upside down, it went to senior Rosa’s wall locker, and it looked like it was eating something.”
“Blood of Jesus!” most of us screamed.
And so our necks were saved, instead of canning, we began to discuss how to make our night prayers more effective.
That night after night prayers, I put on my beautiful silky long white night gown, bathed myself in my sweet scented Enchanteaur Powder, feeling good that I had been saved a day of beating, I went to bed.
I woke up suddenly, feeling very pressed. I knew it was useless for me to try to wake my bunk mate Buchi, she was a heavy sleeper and unfortunately, I was not tall enough to unlock the bolt at the top of the door. So laid there on my bed, squeezing my legs together and praying that someone else would get up to ease herself.
Then sooner than I expected, my prayers were answered, Becky approached the door and opened it. She looked at her toes and went back towards her corner, probably to get a pair of slippers. I quickly stood from my bed and went outside.
After relieving myself, I went back to the hostel. Just as I was entering the hostel, I saw Senior Becky and Binta, approaching the door. I must have made a scary appearance in my long while night gown and white powdered face, for before I could comprehend what was going up, Senior Becky let out a shrill cry.
“Blood of Jesus o! Ghost o!”
Pandemonium broke loose in the hostel; girls sleeping up bunk, were jumping down, everyone was getting out of their beds, knocking over buckets of water and running to the corner at the end of the dormitory.
“Blood of Jesus” filled the air.
Thinking that the ghost must have slipped in while I was outside, fear gripped me, and I also ran towards my school mother, Rosa. Oh the terrible scream she let out, running from me as if her life depended on it! Then in all the noise I heard Buchi shout my name,
The screams began to die down as they realized what had happened; it was only me, Ada, not some upside down naked bread eating ghost!
“What happened!” Becky queried, I explained what I knew and how I thought a ghost must have slipped in while I was outside.
The senior’s sighed and cast ugly glances at me for making them seem like scared fools, the juniors saved their laughter for the classroom in the morning.