Thursday, September 19, 2019

Ghost Mistress

written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU

'Mummy, I cannot sleep.'
Rika, my daughter, standing at the door and says to me.
I walk down from bed, walk towards her, 'I accompany you to bed.'
We out of room and I close the door. I walk her to her bed room. As she lays in bed, she says to me, 'Mummy, she is here.'
I ask her, 'Who?'
She says, 'Her. She is here. She comes to me every night. She says she does not want to hurt me, she loves me. She wants me to be her kid.'
I fondle her head gently. I smile and tell her, 'I sing a song to you. Close your eyes and sleep.' She nods and closes her eyes.
I sing her favorite song. She falls asleep so fast. Even though, I stay at her room to make sure she is fine. She is just 7 years old but she saw something she should not, she met something she should not.
It was accident 1 year ago.
I got married to my husband and got Rika. She is our diamond. We love her so much. My husband loves his daughter more and more days by days but his love for me was lower and lower.
I found one day, by chance, he had mistress. I caught them hugging each other in his office. I jumped to her, but my husband stopped me. He hold me tight and told her to run away. Actually, I did not want to hurt her, I just wanted to grab her hand to asked her why she stole my husband. She ran out of office and tripped hit her belly with table. She cried and we saw blood. My husband did not know she was pregnant. He was shock. Me too. He carried her to hospital. She got miscarriage. I was sad. I did not want to hurt her, I swear.
My husband begged me that he wanted to take care of her until she got well. Any lady was glad with that? But I felt guilty, I pitied kid, I understood her feeling because I am mother too, so I agreed with him, with my broken heart.
I did not get any information about her. I just focused on my daughter. 7 days after the accident, she suddenly showed up at my daughter's school. She fought against me to get Rika.
'She is my daughter. She is my daughter.'
She cried loudly. She pulled Rika's hand and I pulled my daughter back. Rika cried. She was scared. Then I pushed her, with strength, away from Rika. She fell down to the street and a car came...
I close my eyes. My heart beats so fast. I don't want to remind that day. Everyone was shock. No one wants that. I did not get any charge because I did not want to cause harm to her. It was just an accident and everyone witnessed me that she started first. My husband did not blame me. He told police she got mental illness after she had lost her baby and it was real, she was sick and ordered from doctor to take medicine but she did not take. She was in deep sorrow as her child lost. She came to take Rika to be her child, not to hurt her, but...
My husband organized funeral for her. She was orphan so little people attended. I did not go. How could I face with her? A third person, took love of my husband from me.
Even she is gone, even my husband apologized to me, even I forgave him, but I feel she does not go anywhere, she is still with us, living with us, in this house.
I can smell her. I can see her shadow in front of my room door. I can hear her voice so little from somewhere in my house. And Rika always comes to me and tells me she goes to her bed room every night to sing for her and apologize her that she made her scare on that day. It is good that she does not hurt my daughter. I believe she does not have intention to do that but I am not happy and worried about my daughter - because she is not human.
I look at Rika. She is sleeping deeply. I close lamp and close door silently. I walk back to my bed room. As I am walking, I hear foot step behind me. I feel cold behind my back. I know. It is her. I walk normally to my room. I open the door. My husband is snoring. I close the door and walk up into bed. I close my eyes. I hear my husband is laughing like he is playing with someone. I open my eyes and look at him. He sleeps quietly. I feel her still inside my room. Maybe at window. Maybe at the door. Maybe at bed side. Even though, I don't know how to chase her away. Only I can do now is to sleep.
Since she died, I am not well. I usually have bad dream. I got insomnia. I become weak. I need to take sleeping pill but doctor recommends me to try natural sleep, and medicine is just in case.
Weekend day, I take Rika to my mother's house. My husband is busy at his company. When I arrive at her house, I meet with Aunt Sopa. She is cousin of my mother. She is not nun but she practices Buddhism for many years. As she sees me, she says, 'Your mind is not well.' I look at her and nod. She states, 'You are hunted by dark thing.' I stare at her for a short moment, then I say, 'I feel my husband's mistress whom died 1 year ago is living with us. I am not afraid but I am worried about my daughter.'
'Actually, there are two types of ghosts.' She claims. 'Soul of human after die and ghost in your mind.'
'What is with me then? Soul of dead or my mind's ghost?' I ask her.
'It depends on you. What you believe, it is.' she says.
'What should I do?' I say to her.
'Find it first. What it is in your mind. Then face it.' She exclaims.
Her speech is like candle brighten me in darkness. I take her advice to think.
At night, Rika comes to call me to accompany her sleeping. When I am walking my daughter to her room, I hear my door room open and close by itself.
I pretend I don't care. I make my daughter sleep then come back room.
As I am closing my eyes, I hear my husband moans. It's like he is having affair with woman. I got up and switch on lamp. My husband does not wear blanket. His pants are moved down to knees leaving his lower part naked. I can feel she is standing close to curtain of window and watching me. I am pretty sure she gave my husband pleasure. I walk down from bed. I walk to the door, open it and say before I shut it, 'Come out to have a talk.'
I walk to kitchen. I hear feet steps behind me, follow me to the kitchen.
When I arrive in kitchen, I do not turn on the lamp. I just open fridge door to get light from it.
'Show yourself,' said I. 'I know you are with me.'
After my word, I see white shadow before me near the wall. It is her. She shows herself.
'Tell me what you want.' I say to her.
She does not give response. I continue, 'I did not want to hurt you or your child. It was accident. If you are angry with me, come to me. But please don't hurt my kid or my husband. All faults count on me.'
She is quiet. I say, 'With all these times, I owe you one word, sorry.'
She does not say anything but I hear her sobbing. Then she disappears. I feel she leaves my house through dark night. She is going to where she should be. The cold wind escorts her. She leaves with peace. No sorrow.
I feel release too. At last, I can say word I kept in my mind for 1 year. I go back to my room. When I climb on bed, I find a paper on table next to my bed with written word 'sorry' - not my husband's hand writing.

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