Extra: A ghost in Kigali
By Iniobong Leroi
I was in Kigali the capital of Rwanda for a business trip with Aniekeme my business partner. We lodged at Mille Collines hotel located in the central business district of the city.
Day 2 was a Tuesday. I was alone in the hotel room in the evening, Aniekeme had gone to explore the Nyabugogo river with some French tourists.
I had declined to go with them because I had spent a greater part of the day sightseeing. I was impressed with the cleanliness and orderly nature of the city and her residents.
I got bored in the room. I dressed up and ambled into the bar.
It was a bit crowded. Some of the hotel guests were seated drinking, chatting and watching the giant television screen where President Paul Kagame was addressing a group of young business leaders in Kinyarwanda, the national language and interjecting occasionally in English.
I saw her.
She sat two tables in front of me.
She stared at me.
I studied her physique.
The typical Rwandan woman.
Tall, slender, long arms, oval face, thin lips, shy smile.
She wore a blue silky top atop a jean. She was beautiful.
I winked at her and walked over to her table.
I introduced myself to her. We talked.
She was an interesting conversationalist. Her name was Wizeimana. A lawyer, cooling off after a stressful day at work in a legal firm in the city.
I bought a drink for her.
I felt so happy and relaxed with her.
“Let’s dance”, she whispered to me.
Lionel Richie was singing on the stereo.
“We are going to party, Karamu fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
All night long! All night, all night!”
We danced swiftly to the beat of the music.
“Are you Hutu or Tutsi?” I asked my beautiful companion.
“I am Rwandan, we don’t have any tribe but Rwanda, we see ourselves as Rwandans and we think as Rwandans” She replied smiling.
“After the horrific experience of the genocide, we had to erase the concept of tribe in order to heal and move forward as a nation” She said and suddenly disengaged herself from me, “I have to go now. Thanks for a lovely evening. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Kigali.”
“No, don’t go! Let’s stay together. You are my only friend in Rwanda” I pleaded.
Wizeimana shook her head and left the bar.
“Wait! Let me have your phone number!”
She neither stopped nor looked back. She walked out of the hotel’s gate.
I ran after her.
Then I noticed something.
Her legs were not touching the ground!
She was floating in the air.
It wasn’t an optical illusion. The streetlights in Kigali were glowing brightly and I could see clearly.
I hastened towards her.
Then I saw her vanish.
She disappeared right before my eyes!
I was rooted to the spot in shock.
I turned around and ran back to the hotel.
I went to my room and sat down on the bed pondering on the encounter.
My phone beeped.
A new notification.
A Friend request from Wizeimana.
How did she know my Facebook account name?
I went through her wall.
Condolence messages from her friends and family members.
She had died two weeks earlier!
I blocked the account.
My phone beeped once again.
Another friend request from Wizeimana!
*Picture credit: Google images*