Eshe is crying, somewhere. Vivian presses ahead.
“Is this necessary?” How can I admit I am just as afraid as Eshe behind us? That my heart has lurched from its hiding place and sits in a panic between my ribs. My eyes are open, but I blink and I blink. The dark seeps through me. Vivian’s darkness is consuming.
“Vivian! Asika!” Eshe is eleven. She has a beautiful, round face that seems unsupported by a thin neck. I know that Eshe fears ghosts like she fears the monsters under her bed. Someday, Vivian’s enthralling dark, in this moment, will capture her too.
The moon hangs like a noose above us. I look behind us, watch as Eshe’s round face contorts in each shadow – how her olive complexion blanches. I wonder which one of us Vivian is challenging.
Cairo is in our year. At sixteen, the boy remains apathetic to the concerns of his sister. Eshe latches onto us, out of admiration or perhaps loneliness. I think Vivian understands better than me. Something about Eshe taunts her, makes her crawl with unease. A pause stifles my thoughts. Vivian’s ragged breath at my ear.
“We’ll be rid of her after this.”
I look back at Eshe, peer at her intensely. The graveyard swells around her – threatens to eat her up. Later, I will contemplate whether Vivian wanted to scare Eshe away, or wanted company when digging up her dead mother.