It took me a while to even consider or begin writing this last chapter. Because sitting down to write required revisiting the past, which I was reluctant to. Anyhow, here I am, determined to finish what I had started.
A Quick Reminder
As far as my experience in the house, I was the last one to know. In fact, the day I actually found out was the day we left (briefly mentioned in Part I). And it was only after we left, we started contemplating and putting together all puzzles. So where do I begin? Let’s start with the …
It must have been a week or two since we had moved in. Most of our household stuff lay disarranged. While I was at work, my mother was going back & forth setting the interior. Just then a man who appeared to be in his 50s approached her. He introduced himself as the owner of the property adjacent to the house we were renting. He in his rather dissatisfied tone told my mum, she should have at least consulted few neighbors prior to moving in. It seemed the man was trying to discourage mum or say, rather encourage her to shift back while it wasn’t too late. He wasn’t clear on the reasoning so this left her confused.
When I can home later that evening, mum shared the conversation she had with that man earlier that day. She already had too much to handle all on her own and surely, this half-baked information wasn’t helping. The above confrontation repeated which forced my mother to think. She wanted to speak to the landlord who was at the time travelling to US. Mum made several attempts but no response on the other end.
I recall, during those initial phases, most days I would come home only to see the same perplexed look on my mother’s face. With whatever little information my mum had shared, I thought that she was overreacting and there really was nothing to worry about. I tried consoling her, told her that man who seemed to discouraging us or rather encouraging us to leave, probably did so due to some rivalry they have among thseleves (who knows). I advised her to ignore the man and leave their matters to them.
Another Shock Wasn’t Too Far.
It must have been a month or two, we had visitors’–it was one of our cousins. Not sure what but sth happened to him that day. I was at work as usual. Later in the evening when I was parking, mum rushed to tell me what happened, she kept it precise with a straight face; although I couldn’t neglect the look she carried was of shock and disbelief at the same time.
It was only next day, she explained properly, she shared, she was in the kitchen and aunt was helping…then they heard a noise coming from the bedroom where my cousin was resting. I could see mum, she was short of words finding difficulty to express what she had witnessed. Our cousins whole body, she explains was literally shaking and pulled up an inch and dragged back a little like some invisible force bashing (for the lack of words). He was very cold and shivering, although it was summer. My mother and aunt they quickly grabbed some quilt and forced both their weight upon him but he didn’t stop shaking. They covered him up with a warm quilt and tried calming him down. She grabbed the phone for emergency but just then, his condition got a little better. This whole instance, mum explains, must have lasted for hardly 5 minutes but it felt so much longer–she adds.
Our cousin—a well-built full-grown man, when he regained consciousness—couldn’t withhold his tears. He wept like a child and told mum that he really thought, he was about to die. He further explained, he has never experienced such a thing in his entire life. Before leaving, he told mum that this house may not be suitable for us or anyone for that matter. Don’t know what made him say that, but he encouraged us to move to our own home (even if it was far) or ask our tenants to empty the apartment, if we must.
After hearing all this—my spontaneous response was, “has he had any illness or surgery just recently? Mum wasn’t sure. I then told her, “maybe he has…and this particular room is rather cold, you say it yourself as the water well is being dug right next to it. Although I do not know the nitty-gritty of it, just thought there must be some logic behind it.” And that’s that, there was no second guessing and we continued living as normal.
To go a little further, the very first day we moved in, as mentioned, we had most items lay orphaned between the entrance gate and the main door. Amid the act of shifting, we notice that most of our stuff got drenched by the overflow of water from the tank, which nobody acknowledged as their fault. Well, stuff like these happen (no big deal). However, my point is, looking back…the very 1st day in itself wasn’t welcoming. Although in our mind we felt welcomed (at least I did). This could be because I was desperately longing for change. A new career, moving home felt like one. So naturally I was inclined to believe that this is a fresh new start and a good one. Looking back, good or bad, who knows? Though, it was not nice that we had to experience all this in the first place but we are alive and in good health now; chased the light, and finally out of the long dark tunnel.
The above is just one, there were several little nuisances created every now and then but we never fixed our thought too long on any one particular thing. Thus, they were never that big an issue (at-least for the first few months). On the other hand, we had so many positive aspects to the house, the house was in a quiet place so we got goodnight sleep (or so with thought). There were no noises of nearby café’s or restaurants unlike when we used to live in Sanepa, which (was and is) a hotspot of ex-pats, cafes and fine dining—always bustling and we needed a break from it. Also, this house provided plenty of water, the entire house was to us, which we got at a very good deal and the rooms were nicely lit and spacious.
Death of a Landlord
A few months later, the house owner (uncle) along with his wife and son had arrived from US. They wanted to move-in upstairs although their old house was just across the road. Uncle, he had been sick for a while. Thus, they were seeking treatment in US. Shortly after they came back, his condition worsened. Prior to this they had never lived in this house, only provided on lease. Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival , we heard about the death of the landlord. His room was right above my mother’s bedroom, the same room where our cousin had gone through an unexplainable attack.
Sound of Silence: Revealed
The usual sound we used to hear late at night from one of those ECG monitors and those seemingly bubbling sounds from some respiratory devices were now gone. With my mum fast asleep in her room, that night after many nights I could distinctly hear—the sound of silence. At least I noticed the difference as most nights I would be awake up until late: either, working on my laptop, reading, or watching TV. Anyways, we only came to know much later that he (the landlord) wasn’t the first…to die in the house. There had been more deaths. Details about it in the next post.
P.S. Apologies for the delay and for extending the series to one more part. Kindly, requesting to bear with me. Until next time…