My ex-best friend was special. Not in a derogatory way or even in a, respectfully, special needs way. She was gifted. In the ‘bomoh’ kind of way.
In English that would mean she inherited witchcraft/black magic gifts.
She was the one who always knew when something was off before it would happen, and she would always sense if a place was haunted or not. She often saw things too, and at certain times, I was able to see ‘things’ around her too. Things would randomly follow her, and she would constantly have nightmares about demons and all that.
She started off as someone who was totally obsessed about pink. She loved all things pink and all she did was worry about her studies.
However, everything changed when she reunited with her presumably deceased grandmother – who had showed up in front of her house during our college semester break one day. Her grandmother, mind you, was a beautiful lady with luscious hair and perfect skin and a gaze that could kill. Her grandmother was also 90+. So you can imagine what sort of things she had gotten herself into that enabled her to look 70 years than her actual age.
I never truly analysed how I felt about the situation, or about the fact that my best friend was indeed a witch – sort of.
But I noticed her change after that meeting with her grandmother. From pinks she went to blacks, and she was nearly constantly moody. I felt constantly mooldy around her and I didn’t know why.
She told me that her grandmother that she needed to inherit this ‘gift’, which is meant to be passed from generation to generation, and although it skipped her own mother, the ‘thing’ found that she was more worthy of this incredible, awesome yet scary gift.
I thought everything was fine, and that as she said, she would reject it and go about her life and put all this behind her.
But each time she got drunk after a night out during college, she would sob in my arms and tell me that she didn’t want it, she didn’t want this, but the ‘thing’ kept appearing in her dreams – forcing her to submit.
Naturally, I got worried. I took her to church often.
I ignored the way she started feeling uncomfortable during the ‘Our Father’ and how she began sweating profusely and looking visibly ruffled during hymns. She would also say she would like to leave the room whenever I told her I wanted to say my night prayers. All things considered, she once told me to never remove the rosary that I wore around my neck, no matter what and especially around her.
Being the carefree person that I was, I went about my daily routine with my best friend.
However, one day things reached its peak when she was looking haggard and thin and as if all life was sucked out of her. She was quick to anger and felt the need to argue about everything.
I asked her what was wrong.
She said she needed to get away from things, from life, and just run away. But she kept talking about her grandmother – about how she always knew how to reach her, how to find her and how to communicate with her.
I told her she was strong enough to fight this, especially if she didn’t want this. She said she wasn’t sure she could fight it.
One night during a sleepover at my sister’s (where, she coincidentally had told my brother-in-law that someone had sent something to their home and was constantly sucking the good energy out the inhabitants, and that they needed to have the house blessed), she told me that she was scared, and that something was going to happen.
I told her everything was going to be fine, and that she should get some sleep. She said something about her grandmother again, but I totally fell into a deep sleep.
The kind of deep sleep where you feel like you entered an alternate dimension.
That was what it felt like for me.
I woke up, in my dream, in the same room I had fallen asleep in. Everything was just the same, the dim lights, the positions of those sharing the same room, the fan spinning … and … wait …
Who was that?
Sitting by my feet, and staring at my best friend’s sleeping figure next to me?
Her back was towards me, and she was sitting in a ‘bersila’ form, with one hand stroking her long, luscious black hair. She had an old fashioned nightdress on, something that was probably worn by our grandmothers and mothers and aunties.
The crickets that were buzzing earlier had shut up now.
I stared at the form, who was now humming gently.
I reached out with my mind – don’t know if that was even possible, really, and called out to her.
She paused, and stopped humming. Very slowly, she turned to me.
She was a very pretty lady, with tanned and beautiful skin and a sly smile. I had never met her before in my entire life, but she somehow seemed familiar.
“We’ve never met, but I know all about you,” she grinned, “She’s told me all about you.” She gestured at bestie.
“I know what you’re doing,” I responded, “And I don’t think she wants it. She doesn’t want to inherit this gift, or curse, from you. Leave her alone.”
She shook her head and laughed, and started smoothing bestie’s covers.
“It’s too late now,” she said grimly, and moved to stroke bestie’s hair. “She’s mine now. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Even her.”
She started humming again, and somehow it lulled me into wakefulness.
I woke up, and bestie was already staring at me, unmoving.
“What’s wrong?” she asked in a quiet tone.
“I just had this weird dream. A lady was just right there,” I pointed at her feet.
She seemed to know, and she seemed to just wanted to confirm it.
“What did she look like?”
“Dark, long hair. Beautiful, tanned skin. Kept talking about you and how it’s too late,” I said. “She seemed so familiar…”
I thought for a bit.
“Wait, doesn’t that sound like your grandmother?” I asked her again.
She nodded slowly and shut her eyes.
“Yep, that was her. She was here. I don’t know how, but she was here. She came to me in my dreams too,” she sighed and muttered sadly.
“What did she mean by you being hers now, and that it’s too late?” I prompted.
“She’s right. It is,” she said, and turned to go to bed.
From then on, my best friend was never the same.
She changed and began to, I suspect, practice black magic herself.
She stopped coming with me to church, and avoiding any form of prayers altogether. I also constantly felt agitated around her, and I had no idea why. She spent long hours alone, or disappearing altogether with absolutely no contact. She laid in bed in the dark during the day and stared into space most of the time. She was unreachable and I didn’t know how to help. Sometimes, she would wake up with bruises resembling fingers in the morning, with no explanation whatsoever.
Eventually, both she and I fell out after leaving college – due to the fact that she avoided any form of contact whatsoever – save for one time she showed up and spent the day with me.
When she said goodbye, she gripped my hands tightly, and said with watery eyes, “We’ll be seeing each other soon, okay?”
I smiled wryly. “No, we won’t, You know we won’t.”
She smiled back, and hugged me tight before saying, “I’ll always watch over you.”
Then she disappeared from my life completely.
Sometimes she visits me in my dreams, and I would always wake up slightly uncomfortable and with a strange feeling around me.
But that’s just that.
I wanted my best friend back. But alas, like her grandmother said, it was too late.