The Weirdo Next Door

“You’re friends with the weirdo next door. I had no idea.” I say to Amaka.

She affords me a distracted grunt and continues scrolling through Instagram.

I pad to her bed and plop down. Then I snatch her phone. She looks at me, her face contorted in protest.

“I didn’t know you’re friends with the weirdo next door.” I tell her again. “She was here minutes ago.” I continue, wrinkling my face in disgust. “You were in the bathroom.”

“Oh. Antoniette? We talk.” She ventures, the snatches her phone back and continues scrolling through instagram like everything I said didn’t matter.

See, Antoinette wasn’t like the rest of us in Glory Hostel. She was easily the most beautiful girl in the entire hostel. Maybe in the entire school. And she had a figure to die for. But she kept to herself a lot. She had no friends. She always walked face down and avoided looking at people in the eye. Sometimes she mumbled to herself while walking. No one ever saw her cook. Or buy food from the refectory. Or get groceries from the hostel super mart. She never took the bus to school, preferring to take a tricycle. Nothing about her was normal.

Her perceived strangeness was heightened when we started noticing that she spent a lot of time in the lead pastors office. And whenever she was there, the only sounds to be heard, apart from Pastor David’s voice raised in prayer, were unearthly shrieks and deep unnatural gluttaral grunts. No one ever saw her leave the office either.

So it wasn’t a surprise why people avoided her: Everyone figured she was possessed by something unearthly and powerful. No one wanted to be affected by it. Somehow, that morphed into everyone making fun of her too. She was officially, the hostel outcast and the hostel joke.

I notice Amaka drop her phone and I start talking again. Amaka doesn’t reciprocate like she usually would. I don’t mind. I just continue.

“Did she tell you what she eats?”

“No. Why would she?”

“She’s your friend.” I reply. Amaka looks at me, then shakes her head.

“You’re impossible. Please stop asking me stupid questions.”

I don’t stop. This is usually fun for Amaka and I. Today doesn’t seem so different. I venture one more question. A personal favorite.

“But why is she so beautiful?” I ask Amaka.

“I dunno. Why is that anyone’s business? She didn’t create herself.”

Amaka retorts. She sounds irked. She usually would have said something in the lines of “She probably sold her soul to the devil for beauty.”

“Whoever made her so beautiful though…” I continue. “I don’t see how she deserves it.”

Amaka stands from her bed and walks up to me. The three step walk seems to take 7 minutes as I watch her transform.

Her usually brown eyes turn to startling a black; a black so deep it feels like a black hole. Petite Amaka grows so tall she’s a towering two feet taller than my 5′ 8″. Her skin turns a very radiant shade of green: smooth, beautiful with a certain glow. And very green.

The air in the room goes from hot and humid to sub zero. I’m so cold I can almost feel my bones freeze.

She stops when she gets to my bed. Then hisses at me:

“That weirdo next door, she is my sister. And if you keep this up, you most probably won’t like the ending.”

I jerk awake to find myself drenched in sweat, even though I’m shivering from cold. I turn to check the time on the wall clock, and find Amaka staring at me. She has a certain mischievous smile on.

3 am. I know I won’t be able to sleep anymore. So I say a quick prayer. Then I pick my phone to text the Hostel superintendent.

I think it’s time I upgraded to a singles room.

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