Old Town Road – PART 2

Due to popular demand, I have continued the first story from my fourth published book – Dreams from Yesterday; a collection of short stories


The story continues from here.

Old Town Road Part 2

Garba turned to face the only man who appeared to see him.

Can you really see me?”

“Yes, I can sir. This way, follow me.” The old man beckoned.

He watched the old man as he led the way. He didn’t really walk, it looked like he just simply glided like a swan over a lake. Garba promptly looked down at his feet in bewilderment.

Were his feet walking or gliding too?” He asked no one in particular as he struggled with his new reality.

The old man was like a person that got beamed in from heaven as a full adult. His fully grey and bearded face softened his look, giving him a much regal appearance in the red colored stately robe he adorned himself in.

You no longer belong to this world, the land of the living. You now exist in a new dimension that humans cannot see nor comprehend. It’s your new and temporary reality in this dimension.”

Does that mean I can no longer speak to my wife Aisha and my daughter Halima?”

The old man offered no response. He simply glided ahead until they arrived at a large open area where hundreds of men, women and children of different sizes, skin color and faces, walked about in total confusion, as they also struggled with the new reality.

Many of them didn’t survive the brutal explosion on the Old Town road.

The confusion on their faces reflected the abruptness of the transition.

In a terrible flash, the heart was torn from the city, and from every one of them who were unfortunate to be there at that exact time. Only moments earlier a child had walked the street, a sacred gift from God, with innocence and beauty, then there was only blood, crumbling walls and a sense that all that was good in the universe had cried out in pain.

The crowd looked like war-ravaged, broken people with broken dreams as they walked about lost in small incongruent and imaginary circles with shoulders drooped and faces stamped with a forlorn look. Their search for answers to the many questions that plagued their minds may never be answered.

Alfa, please I need to get back to my family, my wife needs me, and my daughter is unwell. I have unfinished works with children that I must teach Arabic lessons at the local mosque.”

The Old man looked on with a frown, staring ahead at the confused spirits walking aimlessly, in pity.

Shaking his head slowly, he spoke “Every second spent here turns into weeks and months in your former world. Nothing is ever the same the moment you realize that you no longer belong in that world.”

The old man paused before pointing ahead.

They are all lost souls, taken away by the wicked, vicious, and senseless killings instigated by the lack of love, injustice, and unfairness in the world that you know. The ghost realm is as real as this one.

Reality is only real when you’re in it. They are only spectral here; there, they are solid. To them you are the voices from beyond, whom they either serve with love or seek to hurt.”

Garba listened intently.

But here, in this dimension, you are alive again and would not need a physical body to carry out your new purpose.”

I simply don’t want to be here, and I honestly do not care about any new purpose. I want to be with my family. And if indeed every time spent here is reflected in multiple weeks and months, then I need to go quickly. What do I need to do?”

The old man turned to look him in the face.

You will need to find a willing body. All the mutilated and dismembered victims from the explosion will be unsuitable for your travel. They bear pain of immeasurable proportions and would make your journey difficult.”

A willing body. That can’t be too difficult to find. I will have to find one.” He could go to the hospital to take up the body of one of the dying patients before the soul transits or perhaps find one from the morgue.

It could be an animal too!

He had options. Garba felt a frisson of joy and triumph. This was going to be his second chance.

The old man smirked, raising his chin slowly as he watched Garba glide away hurriedly.


Aisha’s dreams took her back to the hospital. Asleep she made the leaps her waking brain was afraid to make.

In the dank air and soft light of the hospital ward, she observed the noises like they were an auditory jigsaw puzzle. She could hear the whimpers from patients in pain, the ticking wall clock, the retching of guts from another at the farthest end of the ward. In another instant, she heard the patter of children’s feet, of their laughter and the impromptu song lyrics they sang slowly.

Her mind was alive and searching. She had no idea what she was searching for.

From a seed of light, the ward was suddenly condensed into an apparition of a man who looked and smiled like her late husband, Garba. He was now a ghost that had been unaccustomed to love in the living years and so in death had no way of seeing heaven’s gate.

When she woke up to consciousness, she wondered why she was seeing images of her late husband on the third year anniversary of the terrorist-backed explosion at the old town road. They had only managed to retrieve dismembered parts of his body for the mass burial. She did not get the luxury of burying him or to pay her last tribute. She wished he was there with her, to love her and their daughter and to share the same love for Halima’s little brother that he never carried in his arms.

She only found out she was pregnant at the hospital after his demise. He had left her with two beautiful children.

What a wicked world!

She had drifted into an afternoon nap and awakened to the sound of her daughter’s laughter.

It was becoming common to hear Halima laugh even when there was no one around her. 

Squinting her eyes in the bright afternoon light, it looked like Halima was having a hearty chat with someone by the window. The only problem was that no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t see who the person was.

Bracing herself up from the mat on her elbow, she watched her son who was half-naked sleep peacefully next to her in the searing heat.

Then she watched as Halima kept on the charade, gesticulating excitedly, and laughing intermittently. Her favorite doll lay contorted on the sofa, abandoned.

Then with a steady gaze she stared intently as though expecting to see invisible images, but there simply was nothing behind the window.

“Halima, who are you chatting with?”

Halima turned to look at her mother with irritation, “I am talking with my Daddy. He is here, Daddy is back!”

Comments please


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8 thoughts on “Old Town Road – PART 2”

  1. Adedamola ilori

    Interesting and well put together, but more importantly is the lessons especially from the previous chapter.
    Regrets are just sitting by the corner, but love in its totality can make them sit forever.
    Well done Akin

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