Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Anna and I remember some life events that made us move, leaving priceless memories. We miss Nikki and fondly remember her with a champagne toast. Almost five years have passed, but the memories are still vivid. Although built in 1690, the beautiful bungalow where we resided was quite well repaired and reconditioned. It is a ghost town now almost in ruins. It was a huge premise and there were times when all the teachers had left and only the three of us were left wandering around the campus. We often looked inside the always dark chapel, benches, chairs, tables full of dust and cobwebs. Few pictures hung on the wall. We felt it was pretty safe; after all, it was God’s house. There was a long corridor connecting the director’s bungalow to the chapel, which, however, looked a bit sinister.

The three of us enjoyed having coffee at the round table that we brought out of the chapel, chatting and telling jokes almost every day. The footsteps of a man in tap shoes on the first day captivated us. It was audible, intelligent, and it sounded like it was coming straight at us, and then slowly, it faded away. We started to get acquainted with him, there was nothing strange about him. We found it funny when Nikki said one day that she missed the echo of the footsteps. She whistled and after a second or two the sound was audible. We were in smiles. Maybe we were having coffee with the ‘tap dancer’ every day, a regular routine. Sometimes when Nikki missed him, she would walk down the hall to the chapel that was never closed.

One Sunday afternoon we reported to our aunt. She laughed at that, but the other teachers took it seriously, as they witnessed inexplicable noises at some point in their life or the other. It was a mystery unless one day Nikki shared her experience with us. It was a dark and stormy night, darkness was beginning to rain. Thunder rumbled and lightning streaked across the sky. At night, she was asleep in her bed when she suddenly felt a little pressure on her right leg just below the knee. She ignored him for a moment, but then slowly opened her eyes. Despite the strange sensation, she was moved to see a very handsome man sitting with his head bowed on the edge of her bed. Her wide-brimmed black fedora was kept right next to her on the right side. He was sitting with his hands clasped and his eyes were closed. Maybe he was praying. He was so handsome she wanted to make eye contact, but he blinked and was gone.

Nikki always said it was beautiful to fall in love with him, but it wasn’t easy. We tried to stop her but no, she didn’t listen to anyone. She slowly went crazy, completely off the rails. She was so mesmerized by him that maybe when he took his hand she just followed him. The night guard would often see Nikki walking towards the Chapel at night. He would complain and the older ones warned Nikki. One night, the guard couldn’t take it anymore. When she saw Nikki walking slowly back to the chapel, she woke up the other teachers. Some followed her. I watched her move toward the chapel down the hall. They froze in fear when lightning struck and they could see the chapel full of people sitting. Some on their knees and others simply with their head bowed. They could sense ghosts and ran down the hall to their rooms. In the morning, Nikki was found dead in the Chapel near the altar.

We don’t blame the phantom tap dancer, she had a crush on him. On quiet nights when the full moon howls, we stay vigilant. His fire does not go out, the burning does not stop. They cannot hide their love. Even today they expect the world to slowly darken, it seems they still exist in the life they turned their back on. His emotions implode as they light up with desperate desires. As they float in romance, we stand still and frozen. Slowly we close the door, the windows and draw the curtains. It’s scary to hear Nikki whistle, it’s painful to know that she needs our company. As the days go by, the whistles get louder and Nikki’s presence feels bolder. We finally decided to vacate the place. With heavy hearts we left the premises. Our tears fall like morning dew drops that run down the leaves. With the explosion of the sun getting stronger and stronger, we are leaving, never to return.

By admin

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