My Father Is A Ritualist
Not like my father had the Dangote or Okoya type of money. But he definitely could drag shoulders with the likes of bank MDs and some Nnewi businessmen. He was an average man initially, owning 3 average cars. Long time ago, when my mother worked with the Lagos state government as a civil servant, she was able to pull off some barren land in Lekki, back in the 80’s. Small bungalows were built on them, and left abandoned. These remained well secured, till the area boomed. Owning a total of about 6 plots in Lekki now is a lot of money. So we sold some, and got paid in dollars. As luck would have it, Naira fell against the dollar and houses that we sold at the rate of N157 per dollar, got an exchange at black market value of N311 per Dollar. Only my mother knew this story, as my father did not want us feeling like there was so much money, and then we get spoilt.
Obviously, my father became so rich. So rich he dropped his 8-5 job to set up his chain of businesses, and hardly went to the office. He had general managers and the likes to oversee his businesses. He bought a house in Surulere, converted it to a magnificent edifice. Neighbors looked at us as either dubious government workers or ritualists. I for one thought he was a ritualist. We made money too fast.
My dad who used to give us free access to the old house, now locks his room, in the new house. His love for Toyota and Nissan died, and we resorted to BMW, Audi and the likes. He would watch TV in his room till midnight, come out at exactly 2:05am at midnight to do whatever he does. This habit continued for years. 7 years after this plenty, mouth- watering money, he fell sick. He seemed so relaxed with the illness, and did not want serious medical attention. It was ironic that it’s happening 7 years later. He must have signed a 7 year juju (black magic) deal with a babalawo. He asked to be buried in a Hummer jeep styled casket. And we did just that.
After the burial, we never entered his sacred room. It feel eerie and haunted. In short, it was haunted. Because that thing that used to make my dad wake up at 2am kept looking for him every night. I was heartbroken. How can the man I adored so much have been a ritualist? Some things started adding up. At 2am every night, one creeping noise sounds, a sound like someone humming hard. More like a cricket. It apparently missed the soul that used to feed on it. Pastors, Imams, everyone would come and pray for the house, but no one entered my father’s sacred room still. To make it worse, when they start the Vigil at about 12 midnight, and end at about 2am, this noise would start again. This lingered for weeks.
Then on one fine day, I felt I’d had enough. I made up my mind to enter the room. I was going to feed, kill, take care or fight this thing that misses my father. I got my bible, a knife, baseball stick and a bottle of Eva water. In the thick of the midnight, I woke everyone up, told them to stay at the door while I go in to face our oppressors. 2am, it starts whining and humming again. I opened the door slowly thinking it would be scared. It did get scared and stopped for some seconds. I entered and it got louder. I almost ran out. I held the knife out as my Bible fell. I walked slowly to the bed side, the noise stopped, and started again.
“Are you okay?!?!” screamed my mother from outside the door. I didn’t even answer. The sound was coming from the bed side table. My imaginations saw a skull with blood around, and a cloth wrapped in red. But that wasn’t my reality. I opened the drawer, and the noise got louder. Behold, my father’s Nokia 3310, sim-less and plugged to its charger, which he uses as alarm to wake him up at 2am, to turn off the TV and have a look around the house to see if all is well. I burst into laughter, as my mother couldn’t contain her fears as she and my siblings ran in.