Narrated by Zoei Zhang When I was a toddler and able to comprehend things, I was told that my dad was a psychic medium who specialised in helping people connect to the spirits of their deceased loved ones. I still vividly recall the many times I had seen him speaking in tongues and often in voices that were alien to me. He conducted his spirit channeling sessions at home and my dad was well known for his medium practice and well respected by the many who knew him.
A neighbour's grandmother at that time, had been battling cancer for a long time. To relieve her pain, her children used to smuggle opium in for her and the pungent smell of opium smoke became a familiar scent to me. One night my family and I were watching TV and the scent of opium which we had become accustomed to, filled the air once again. My dad stood up abruptly, went out to the corridor and started speaking to the empty space in front of him in a comforting voice, saying “It's time to go”. When he came back inside, I asked him had just happened and he said to me in a somber tone, “Auntie is gone”. I didn't think too much about it or question him about it, not knowing what he had meant. The next morning, we received saddening news from our neighbours that their grandmother had indeed passed on the night before.
Our block got refurbished a few years later and we decided to move out of the neighbourhood. Nearly a decade after, my family and I returned to our old neighbourhood for a visit and we noticed that our unit was vacant and looked like no one had lived there for a long time. This came as a shock as our old home was in a prime area. We later found out from an old neighbour who was still residing in that block that three families had moved in since we left but they never stayed for more than two months. They always packed and left in a hurry in the middle of the night, we were told! Out of curiosity, my brother and I pried open a window of our old unit and felt a chill hit us instantly. My dad then hurried us to leave the premises like as if there was an impending doom looming around that he was trying to shelter us from. He forbade us from ever visiting our old neighbourhood again and refused to tell us what he had seen there. The unit remains unoccupied till this day and I still do not know why.