Gizelle met Fridman in a Telegram group for singles and they clicked like they were old friends. Both of them were struggling with issues with their exes and had joined the group to learn how to move on and overcome heartbreak. They had both agreed to become friends without using each as rebound.
Fridman was then working with a mining company but wanted to further his education. He asked for paid leave to pursue some short professional courses and use that as the leeway to do his Masters. His supervisor agreed. He gained admission into a professional institute situated within Gizelle’s area and asked her to help him with his room search since he wanted to get a place before moving from where he was staying.
She was of tremendous help him to him, she was able to identify fake estate agents by informing them that she was renting for a soldier. Those who didn’t have the very accommodation they advertised will then tell her someone has already rented the place. She learned this trick from her best friend who was into real estate but in a different town. Thankfully and finally, she got him a place at a good rent rate.
She was a painter so she told him not to engage any other but her. He agreed.
The first day, he moved into one of the 3 bedrooms with just his mattress and a few items. Gizelle decided to concentrate on 2 of the ensuite bathrooms, the visitor’s washroom, kitchen, and living room before moving to paint the bedrooms.
On the first day, she finished painting the visitor’s room and moved to the living room. Hours later, she went to the kitchen for water, came back, and couldn’t find her paintbrush. It was gone. She searched everywhere and didn’t find it.
She went into his room to ask him if he’d taken it but he was on phone and gestured that didn’t take it. Gizelle had no other option than to remove a brand new brush from her bag to continue painting. There were some kids playing next door and earlier on, one of them came running to the house to beg to be allowed to pick the ball which had fallen there. She suspected that maybe one of them came for it. She went outside to ask them but they all said “no.” Very shocked she was but decided to let it go.
She finished all the rooms she’d marked for the day and went to take a needed bath. She returned to the living room and there was a glow around the dining table. She didn’t pay attention to it and moved to the room Fridman had told her to stay in. She was so exhausted that without taking lunch or supper fell immediately asleep. She was fast asleep when she heard someone laughing. She initially heard it as part of her dream.
In her dream, a man went to stand at her door and asked for a bottle of water. She told him she only had one sachet of water and he started laughing. She woke up with a start and could still hear the laughter. She initially thought it was Fridman but that wasn’t his voice too. Convinced she was still dreaming, she closed her eyes and tried to sleep again but the laughter became hysterical and then she heard a knock at her door.
“Gizelle, I don’t know who is in there with you but can he tone it down? I want to sleep.”
That made her eyes fly open because she was alone and she could hear the laughter outside the room and not inside.
“But there is nobody here except me and I can hear the same laughter but it’s from outside the door and not inside here.”
Immediately, the voice stopped. She got up to open the door and felt an instant attraction but she curbed it. Fridman was a very cute guy and she really had a soft spot for cute but because they’d both agreed to just remain friends, didn’t want to rock the boat. They both agreed that maybe it wasn’t anything. Perhaps a figment of their imagination and went back into their rooms.
The next day, there was no incident but in the evening, Fridman could hear loud snoring. He hated snorers but decided to let it go because Gizelle was exhausted after painting 2 of the bedrooms and putting wallpaper on part of the living room walls. The following morning, he teased her about her snoring and she told him she’s never been accused of snoring, ever. He teased her that he was sure her bedmates hadn’t wanted to let her know how much she probably disturbed them.
They both suspected there was something terribly wrong with the house they were in but convinced themselves it was nothing. They refused to utter their suspicion to the other thus they both thought it must be a figment of their imagination.
It all reached a head that night when Gizelle suddenly woke up with a start. She’d seen the man laughing again and had woken up. She was shocked to see all the windows and doors in her room open. She quickly closed them and as she was about to close the bedroom door saw that the main door across the hall way was also open. She ran to close it yelling out Fridman’s name. He also woke up and saw that all his doors and windows were open. They both thought armed robbers had entered and quickly secured the place whiles looking out for burglars. There was none but nobody could explain why all the windows and doors were open.
Gizelle was so disturbed that she couldn’t sleep a wink. Fridman was scared himself but didn’t want to let it out. He asked her if she wouldn’t mind sharing his bed and she readily agreed. They both slept in each other’s arms and woke to find the room flooded. The tap wasn’t on when they slept but it was, when they woke up.
As they were drying the carpet outside, she heard more laughter but this time, they sounded from kids and beyond the neighboring wall. She looked over the wall and saw 2 seven year olds giggling.
“Eiii, what are you laughing about?” They stood up and looked at her with no little surprise, all humor wiped from their faces. “Oh tell me eh. I want to laugh too.”
She took a close look at them and realized they were siblings. The older one elbowed the youngest when the boy wanted to talk. Seeing the weak chain, she turned her attention to him.
“Oh tell me. I want to be your friend. Do you want to be my friend too?”
He nodded and said, “ghosts will catch you.”
His sister gasped, “Nii, mummy has told you there is no such thing as ghosts.”
“But you just said the ghosts will catch them and make them run away like all the other people who moved in here.”
“Did not.”
“Did too.”
“Did not.”
Gizelle would have intervened but her mind was reeling at the information. There really were ghosts in the house. She asked the kids for further clarification but they ignored her and ran off. She went inside to tell Fridman and he quaked in his shoes. He’d had a healthy scare of ghosts since childhood because those were the spooky stories his mum told him anytime he was naughty. He put on a show of bravado and said, “they are just kids and don’t know what they are talking about.”
“But Fridman…”
“Enough Giz, there’s no ghost here. Just some pretty easy to explain happenings. Don’t let some spooky stories the parents of those kids have told them scare you.”
She was surprised and irritated that he talked to her like that.
“I have been staying with you under the same roof for 3 whole days and I don’t need kids to convince me of something I don’t just suspect but know. There are ghosts in that house and I don’t want to sleep in there another night. When I’m done painting your room, you can move to the one I was sleeping in. I will go and sleep in my own house tonight.”
With that said, she stomped inside, miffed that he would patronize her. An hour later, she wrapped up and went to her house. She was glad to finally be within her favorite sheets and soon fell asleep.
Minutes away, a miserable Fridman finally conceded that there were ghosts in his house. He heard the laughter again, went to his bathroom, came out to find all doors and windows opened. He closed all of them and immediately went out.
Gizelle was fast asleep dreaming of cotton sheets and ice cream when an insistent pounding on her front door woke her up. Fridman had followed the directions she’d texted to him weeks ago to locate her house. He begged her to allow him sleepover and admitted that indeed his house was haunted so first thing the next morning, he would love to go with her to give the keys back to the agent who rented out the place to them and take back his money.
His only thought was to sleep but as he lay his head on her scented pillow, the only thought that ran through it was to kiss her. A couple of kisses later, he asked her to be his girlfriend.
She said yes.
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