It was the third black out that week in a tiny Egyptian village overlooking the red sea, the villagers were used to black outs which happened too often in such a remote village. It was a cold and rainy January evening and parents had their children wrapped with every rugged piece of clothing within reach, families sat huddled around tiny fires they made in grates filled with coal, garbage and anything the children found entertaining to burn; a lizard squirming in pain wasn’t excluded.
And as she sat there by the tiny square window, Aisha wished she had a family to take away the loneliness of winter; but looking around she could only feel the coldness of the walls around her, the dark corners were where the spiders saw a suitable spot to build their cobwebs and Aisha never thought of destroying them, she felt a sense of tranquility and perhaps even amusement to know that at least these little spiders considered this place Home.
Aisha never felt home in this house, not since her father passed away 13 years ago. She was only 6 years old back then, and even though her father’s death didn’t involve anything supernatural; dealing with a dying lung cancer patient would leave its fair share of scars on a much older person than a 6 year old. In Aisha’s case, the death of her father left her quite superstitious and years after, she can still feel his presence; she could hear his weak voice barely more than a whisper asking her to fetch him a glass of water, hear his footsteps as he staggered to keep his balance making his way to the bathroom and in a night like this; when she felt weak and alone the most, her father would show himself to her.
Aisha shook her head and then rubbed her eyes “pull yourself together girl” she whispered to herself, she knew that ghosts didn’t exist not even her father’s ghost. When she asked her mother where did her daddy go 13 years ago? She answered in a flat tone “your father went on a fishing trip and he will not be back for a while”, it was strange how her mother always found something to distract herself with whenever Aisha started asking questions about her father. And when she asked her mother if it was her father’s ghost which sang her to sleep on a similar winter night? She hit her. She never hated her mother for she knew she was grieving over her dead lover, and 2 years after, her hand finally grabbed his.
She stood up of her state of half sleep with a jerk, half scared and half excited she looked around for the source of the knocking; she didn’t know what she was looking for but she knew what she was hoping it would be. But the moment of excitement passed and, disappointed she went to the front door and as soon as she opened it a skinny wet figure jumped out of the rain and into the little living room.
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