THE COLLEGE CHRONICLES (Episode 7)

THE COLLEGE CHRONICLES (Episode 7)

Previously on THE COLLEGE CHRONICLES: My friend and lover, Duncan, had just died after a protracted battle with a cardiovascular disease. And it was a tragedy that hit me hard as I mourned the fact that he was gone.

Or was he?

*

Duncan’s death had a huge grip on my emotional state in the sense that I lost interest in many things in the days following his demise. Social gatherings, parties… I wouldn’t attend any of these. Even going for my classes was a struggle because I struggled to focus on the lectures. This affected my GPA at the end of that semester.

Two months after that tragedy, after the semester exams, Duncan’s sister, Oma, called to inform me of the funeral arrangements. A date had been fixed. Duncan would be buried in two weeks. My friends, Dike and Nedu, volunteered to go along with me for the funeral.

We journeyed to Igbariam, Duncan’s hometown. The funeral was a small gathering, just family members and close friends. Among those in attendance were students from school that I recognized. My friends and I got there early, and it wasn’t until about an hour later that we heard the distant blaring of a siren, which alerted us to the arrival of the corpse for the lying-in-state. Even without the ambulance in sight, just hearing the wail of the siren drew tears to my eyes and quiet sobs wracked my body. In that moment, I didn’t know how I would be able to get through the burial.

Minutes later, the ambulance pulled up into the compound, and some young men were hefting the casket out of the vehicle. The sight of this caused the tears to fall uncontrollably down my face. Duncan was just twenty years old. He didn’t deserve to die. What sort of cruel universe made it so that someone this good and young was taken from us?

He was laid to rest in a white casket. The casket was beautiful, but not as beautiful as the soul that had departed from the body lying in it. Duncan was dressed in a white shirt over which was a cream-colored blazer, black trouser, a white pair of gloves and white socks. His hair and beard were well-shaven.

There was a strong connection between Duncan and me when he was alive. He had this ability to read my mind almost very accurately. This was one of the reasons why I couldn’t hide anything from him. Standing beside his corpse now, I wished he would read my mind and know how much my heart had no rest.

After the procession and short sermon by the pastor, the coffin was taken to the cemetery. As I watched them lower his coffin into the grave, I felt as though a part of me was leaving me. Suddenly, I could feel my heartbeat take on an irregular tattoo. I started sweating profusely. I was pensive, inexplicably so. We were outside, and yet I felt a wave of claustrophobia beat down on me. I needed space and fresh air. I was struggling to breathe. Nedu and Dike quickly helped me away from the graveside, some distance away where I was able to calm down and get some of my equilibrium back.

Eventually, we left Igbariam back to Awka.

I slept off immediately we returned to school, and woke up at past midnight. Dike and Nedu had stayed behind. I was hungry, so I made myself a really late dinner. After eating, I stayed awake long enough to reminisce on the times I’d shared with Duncan. I read our chats over and over again. In one chat, he’d said to me, “When I’m done with school, I’ll wait for you to graduate so we’ll go for NYSC together.”

Unfortunately, that would never be.

The tears came then, and I eventually cried myself to sleep. I woke up in the morning of the next day, Saturday. I felt an unusual heaviness in me, but I managed to pull myself together to do some chores.

As I was doing my laundry, I felt a sharp pain in my forehead. I yelped as the pain shot through my skull and I tried to get up, but a wave of dizziness swept through me. Dike came to my aid and helped me back to bed. He gave me some analgesic but the pain only got worse. Then I developed a fever and stomach upset simultaneously. Upon Dike’s direction, I took some drugs that would alleviate my discomfort, and for about thirty minutes, I felt fine, even strong enough to leave the bed and return to my chores.

However, thirty minutes later, I fainted. I was told much later that I simply dropped to the ground and lost consciousness. The next set of events are occurrences that I wasn’t conscious to know happened. My friends managed to get me to the school clinic where I was admitted and put on a drip. They drew some blood from me and rushed it through the lab, to find nothing wrong there. By this time, I was awake. The doctor checked me out and nothing was wrong with me. Eventually, I was discharged, seeing as I was fine now and nothing could explain my earlier maladies.

For the rest of the day, I was fine. I was okay until midnight. I woke up by 1 AM with a high fever. My body and bed space were burning hot, so hot that I was afraid for my life. I tried to tap Dike, who was sleeping next to me, and much to my alarm, I realized that I couldn’t move my body. I began to cry as panic rose inside me. I sobbed from the pain that was wracking my body until Dike was awakened. He turned on the light and shock suffused his face when he saw the state I was in.

He took my phone and called my brother. By this time, I’d started vomiting and stooling, one after the other. Dike was struggling to clean up the mess after me. By the time it was daybreak, I had vomited no less than five times. My phone kept on ringing with Dike keeping my frantic family updated on my condition. They had decided that my brother would come and pick me up in the morning and take me home.

My two older brothers were in Awka by 10 AM. Dike had already packed a bag for me and directed them to my lodge. I was very weak but I barely needed assistance to get down the stairs to the car. And soon, we were off. I slept throughout the trip from Awka to Ikot Ekpene. The dampness of the air made me aware that we had gotten to my home state. We finally got to Uyo, and it serene as ever, calm and peaceful. I hadn’t been back home in a long time; in fact, for a whole year, I had not come to Uyo, and now, here was I, sick and ailing.

When we got to our compound, it was to meet a welcome party. I saw my cousins, some of whom I hadn’t seen for a few years. Everyone had been made aware of my ill health and they had all gathered to offer their help. At least five family members were present to help me out of the car. My sister even came out of the house with a wheelchair.  A wheelchair! How dramatic my family can be.

Food was served, but I had no appetite for it. And that was the way it was as the days went by. I seemed fine, with the occasional fever and absolutely no appetite for food. The only meal I could take in was pap and vinegar. Within a week of being back at home, I lost a considerable amount of weight. I also lost my sense of smell and taste, and my eyesight began to get blurry. My mother, who had earlier been transferred to Benin, had to come home.

My condition had gotten so bad, that I didn’t think I’d survive it to write this story.

Then came the stomach pains. When that started happening, I felt so wracked with pain. When I threw up blood during one particularly stressful stomach upset, I was immediately rushed to the hospital. A battery of tests was conducted on me, but nothing troubling was found. Medically, it seemed, I was fine.

But how could I be fine when it was apparent that I was slowly dying?

One month had gone by and there was no improvement to my condition. Several pastors and prayer groups were invited to intercede on my behalf to no avail.

It got to the point where I could no longer eat anything, and yet I was stooling and vomiting liquids regularly. A doctor referred us to the Military Hospital in Port Harcourt. My family took me there, and it was the same story. Nothing could be found as what was causing the depreciation of my health. Nothing was wrong with me.

Two months later, and my condition had depreciated to the point where I could no longer walk without the support of clutches. At this time, I had given up hope of living. I was now simply waiting for what I figured was the inevitability of my death.

All my siblings had returned home, and my mother, who seemed to sense that I was no longer fighting, cried regularly at my bedside, urging me to not give up. I would look upon the faces of my family members and try to dredge up hope to hang on.

But for how long? I thought to myself.

Then, one fateful morning, I woke up to go to the toilet. Even though I was sick and failing, I still wanted to do certain things by myself. But I barely made it to the bathroom, before I dropped to the ground and lost consciousness.

And this was when my journey to a world I didn’t know started.

In that moment I ceased to exist in my world, I knew nothing of that world. Not my family, not the house where I grew up in, nothing. I didn’t know time or circumstance.

I was in this other place, simply walking, on a spiritual journey. I saw my late father and other relatives who had passed away. The energy here, in this spirit world was far different from the world where I’d come from. I saw my father, and his parents and his younger brother who died before him. They were beckoning on me to join them. I walked over to them and we talked. We talked for an interminable amount of time, of various things. My dad told me about how he was poisoned and who killed him. We talked about several other family issues, and eventually, my father began urging me to go on back home.

I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to return to my body, that body which had caused me so much pain and suffering. But my dad told me to go, that my place wasn’t here with them.

And then, I heard it.

“GT…”

Someone called my name.

I turned in the direction the voice came from, and I saw Duncan. A burst of joy surged through me as I found myself looking upon his aliveness.

“GT, I’ve been lonely,” he said to me. “Come to me. Come let’s go home. I don’t know anyone here.”

He was in tears and he looked sad.

“Come… Come let’s go…”

I wanted to be with him. I wanted to hold him and take his sadness away.

I began making my way to him, but a middle-aged man appeared and stood before me, coming between Duncan and me.

“Go home,” he said to me.

I looked beyond him to Duncan. His sadness pulled at me like a force field.

“We’ll always be together, GT,” he said. “Nothing can separate us, not even death. Remember your promise.”

I remembered. I remembered the necklace Duncan gave to me on my twenty-second birthday and the promise we made to each other when he gave it to me. That necklace was hanging from my neck. After his death, I’d cherished that necklace so much, I only took if off when I wanted to take my bath.

Everything was so confusing. I felt vulnerable to the spirits. Duncan’s hand was outstretched to me. I continued toward him, but the man kept coming before me, urging me to stop and turn back.

“Go home,” he kept saying to me. “If you take his hand, you’ll be gone forever. Please, child, go home.”

“Why?” I asked. “I just want to be with my friend.”

“And leave your family with the pain of losing you?” At this, he waved and the startling picture of my family members in tears and distressed around my body appeared before me. I watched them, feeling their pain, knowing that whatever I decided to do here would either make it worse or better for them.

I didn’t want it to be worse. I didn’t want to do that to them, to leave them the way Duncan left me. I turned to my dearest friend and waved goodbye at him.

“No, GT…” he said in a mournful voice.

“Goodbye, Duncan…” I said sadly to him.

Then I turned and walked down the path the man had shown me. The moment I stepped into that pathway, I stepped into my body, and my consciousness in the physical world returned.

It was late in the night (part midnight, I would later come to realize) when I woke up. The only illumination came from some lit candles.

“Welcome back, my son,” someone said in the dark. “You have done well.”

The man who emerged from the darkness to my sight was a spiritualist, I would later be told. After I lost consciousness, my family hadn’t bothered to take me to a hospital. They’d instead brought over a spiritualist to work on bringing me back from wherever my soul had gone to. And for four days, they had kept vigil over my unresponsive body.

Four days!

I’d been out for four days!

My mother was asleep in one corner of the room, and the man tapped her awake. She saw me and screamed. Her scream woke up every other person in the house, and within moments, the room was filled up with people and gratitude.

“You have survived the toughest journey any human being has ever embarked on,” the spiritualist said. “Four days in the spirit world and you have returned to us.”

Amid all the joy in the house, he left that same night, saying he had some cleansing to do.

A few days later, he came back, purportedly to cleanse me and separate me from the spirits. By this time, I had narrated the things I encountered in the spirit world, and he instructed me to visit Duncan’s grave and leave the necklace he gifted me there, and by so doing, I’d have returned it to him.

Funny how we say certain things and make promises out of love, not knowing the gravity of the words we’ve spoken and what effects they may turn out to have on us.

I told the whole story to my mother and eldest brother, the only two people in my family who knew about my sexuality, and they saw to it that I carried out the spiritualist’s instructions. It took a week for me to gain full use of my legs, and thereafter, a month later, we journeyed to Anambra, to Duncan’s grave, where I did as I was told.

I’d survived two months of hell on earth and four nights in the spirit world, and now is when I am finally able to tell the story of how I finally became free.

Or so I thought.

Written by GT

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  1. Simp
    September 17, 10:47 Reply

    This story is scary.

  2. Mandy
    September 17, 13:19 Reply

    Wait, did this story really just end with “Or so I thought”?
    As in, there’s more?
    As in, this Duncan yoke didn’t end here?
    For someone who was just your friend and occasional lover, not even a boyfriend, he sure had a very heavy effect on you even beyond life. Haba!
    Like you said sha, we really should be careful with the promises we make when we’re with the people we love in life, lest those words come back to haunt us in death.

    • Raine
      September 17, 16:59 Reply

      I swear I was boiling in serious anger, emotional stupidity. If I ever get my hands on GT, dude surely needs to slapped to Life. His parents, family, Everybody that loves him, he was gonna die and leave them behind. Such a selfish bastard!!! Many of us crave the love and attention GT had from our loved ones and now he wants to give it up for some dick and ass he use to have in school. I hate you GT for reminding me of so much pain. I hate you for making me feel this way. Get over yourself you scum!!!! Get over yourself!!! Better wake up cos you are not dying!!! You will not die!!! Don’t be stupid!

  3. Colours
    September 17, 16:32 Reply

    Wow. What a tough decision it must be. To make a choice to either be with the one you love in a strange land and have your family mourn or to choose your family and leave the one you love.

  4. Raine
    September 17, 16:54 Reply

    Is like this GT Guy is Mad!!!! I hate you so hard!!! I hate you so much for thinking of dying at 22!! I HATE YOU!!!! I HATE YOU!!!! How could you ever think of dying😭 HOW DARE YOU EVEN NURSE THAT THOUGHT?!!! DO THEY HAVE SEX AND EXPRESS LOVE IN THE SPIRIT WORLD? JUST HOW DARE YOU!!! YOU BETTER GET BACK TO HEALTH. IF I WAS ANYTHING CLOSE TO YOUR MUM I WILL SLAP YOU DAMN BODY BACK TO LIFE. YOU CAN’T DIE YOU HEAR ME!!! YOU DON’T HAVE THAT RIGHT!!!! FVCK!!! I WAS HAVING HEART ATTACK OVER HERE!!! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!!!! DAMN YOU!!!

  5. Jimmy
    September 17, 17:16 Reply

    I could relate to some aspects of the story though
    Loosing a lover in a society where your love is a taboo hits different because you have to choke how you grief so people do not begin to question your relationship with this person. Shit messes with you and the trauma hits different
    I remember when my dad broke the news of mark’s death to me
    My parents were actually shocked when i broke down in tears
    I kid you not
    They were like “why you dey cry?”
    My mom especially

  6. Rexxy
    September 17, 20:09 Reply

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Wefin I go read this night abasi mbok

  7. trystham
    September 17, 22:28 Reply

    You sef be ’emere’. Yeah you guys were attached, but the strength of ur attachment is way through the roof for u to spend 4 nights out of this world.

  8. BoyWithNoName
    September 18, 02:58 Reply

    Wait this stuff is real? Spirits are real? Hmm. What do spirit think of sexual orientation, did they tell you?
    Wow! interesting!

  9. Isaac Adegbayi
    September 18, 07:59 Reply

    You had a very pure connection with Duncan.
    This brought tears to my eyes, thank you.

  10. Queen Blue Fox
    September 18, 08:01 Reply

    You see this promise thingy? One really has to be very careful with what they promise o.

  11. Isaac
    September 18, 08:01 Reply

    You had a very deep connection with Duncan, JT.
    This brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for sharing.

  12. Delle
    September 18, 09:03 Reply

    Wait what?
    All that happened? Is this real? Do stuff like this happen? Hei!

    And is that a cliffhanger I see at the ending? So there is more? Hmm, this story chilled me to the bones, not sure I have the nerve to read another episode.

    • Demi
      September 18, 23:49 Reply

      Goodness lord! This is so chilling.. Never knew all this Hollywood thingy could be real… I think the Duncan guy might be an extraordinary being.. Either ways please tell the other parts quickly..

  13. DeeGee
    September 18, 20:15 Reply

    Ooh my 😧😧😧
    Is this real?
    I’m alone in the house and after reading this, my soul has left my body. I’m scared right now and to worsen the situation, light no com dey

  14. Pie
    September 18, 21:33 Reply

    Can’t wait for the next installment.

  15. Mannie
    September 18, 21:39 Reply

    I had goosebumps all over .😨😨😨😨😨

  16. Emm
    September 20, 13:41 Reply

    How could doctors not diagnosed you of COVID19?
    All just said nothing was wrong

  17. Flexsterous
    September 20, 16:19 Reply

    Chilling, my own is, who did your father day killed him

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