My mother rested her head on her two hands weeping when I rose up quickly and ran to my father shouting when I saw him vomiting. We held him in our hands and scared when we discovered it was blood. She began to question what was in the food that made him to be vomiting blood. I knew it wasn’t the food but the repercussion of letting out the secret. My father was already lying on the floor convulsing and speaking strange words.
“Mummy! Mummy!! Let’s call Mama Bolanle. I can’t lose my father now…” I screamed as I held my phone to call her.
“No!” She shouted.
“Why? He is already weak. Aren’t you concerned about him?” I asked her still trying to call her.
“I said don’t call her.” She knelt down beside him and began to pray for him.
I knelt beside her also hearing her fervent prayers like the way Mama Bolanle used to pray for us. I never knew my mother had digested many bible verses and the effect on my father opened my eyes to the power in the Bible. It was as if each verse of the Bible was an arrow piercing him. I heard her shouting,
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper”
“You are made whole in the name of Jesus”
“You shall not die but live”
“The number of your days you shall fulfill”
“Oh Lord, have mercy on him”
She kept on quoting the Bible verses and mentioning the name of Jesus until the vomiting stopped and he opened his eyes. To be sure if he had been healed, I asked my father who was kneeling in front of him,
“Rebecca, my daughter”. He said slowly.
“And who is this person?” I asked him.
“Dad, I mean who is this woman here?” I asked again.
“Pastor!” He repeated.
I turned to my mother and said,
“Pastor, over to you. He has given you a new name.”
My mother who wasn’t in happy mood asked him if he was feeling fine and he lifted up himself and sat on the chair to confirm he was strong enough. He started staring at my mother but she wanted to know if he was feeling fine. I went to clean the blood and its mixture. That strange experience made me to realise the importance of knowing a Supreme being who can help one at anytime. I knew she called on the God she had been praying to everyday but there were still some unanswered questions bothering me.
I heard my father asking my mother where she got that power from. He told us how a dark tall being appeared to him when he revealed those secrets and choked him. He asked my mother again,
“Where did you get that power? Did you get it from the Priestesses or from Baba Oloketuyi?”
When he mentioned Baba Oloketuyi, I remembered how he once told us to buy a charm from him that would protect us from the enemies and all accidents. I heard he later died when he was hit by a motorcycle at the junction leading to his house. I concluded his charm couldn’t deliver him.
My mother replied calmly, “No”
He pressed further, “Are you now a pastor?”
“I’m a child of God” She replied confidently.
Still baffled to hear that from her because he once said only God would change my mother’s behaviour. He said,
“Immediately you began to say those incantations and calling Jesus, the tall being was overpowered and disappeared. If not for those incantations, I would have died”
“It is not incantation but Bible verses and the name of Jesus” she corrected him.
“Please, enlighten me. Where did you get that power? You have changed completely. Tell me, what happened to you?” He demanded to clear his doubt.
“Jesus Christ came into my life and transformed me.” she said.
“The same Jesus Christ Mama Bolanle used to talk about?” he asked her still doubting her assertion.
“Yes! He found me. He washed away my sins. He wrote my name in the Book of Life. He is my joy. He is my all in all. Dear, I’m free. Totally free!”
.My father held my mother’s hand and asked,
.”Can he do the same for me?”
“Of course my dear. The way I helped you to wash away the patches and white particles from your hairs and gave you a new garments this evening, Jesus Christ will do the same for you if you ask him.” My mother said with joy.
“How? I want him too in my life. I’m dirty and sinful. I’m tired of living recklessly. I want peace” He said with a crack in his voice.
My mother held both his hands and asked him,
“Confess your sins to Jesus Christ. Repent of your evil ways and accept Him into your life to be your Lord and Saviour. Open your mouth and tell him…”
I watched them as they prayed together. Something pricked my heart to yield my life to Jesus too but I shrugged it off. I comforted myself that I was still young and would do it later when I might have fulfilled all my dreams and desires. After the prayer, I saw my father beaming with smile just the same way my mother did when Mama Bolanle prayed for her. It was almost midnight and I left them there. As I got to my room, I became restless and wondered why I was still torn between yielding to one of the voices struggling to capture my thought. I went to bed with a troubled heart.
In the dream, I saw a man carrying two briefcases and opened them for me to know their contents. One was filled with many beautiful fruits while the second one contained scorpions, snakes, black ants with a human skull. I ran away when I saw the deadly animals in the second briefcase. Then, the man pleaded with me to take the briefcase containing the beautiful fruits.
As I was about to collect it from him, another man appeared suddenly and advised me to take the second briefcase. He said the animals would help me fight my enemies. The first man warned me not to hearken to the deceiver but the other man began to dangle money and beautiful ornaments. He collected the second briefcase and told me to follow him to get more money and beautiful ornaments.
After a while, the first man stopped pleading with me when he saw me following the second man until we entered a dark room and the door was shut. I began to grope in the darkness calling for help until I was stung by a scorpion and I woke up.
I was already sweating when I woke up. I felt something around my right leg and I quickly switched on the light. I couldn’t find anything but I felt a little pain there. I couldn’t sleep again until the morning. I narrated the dream to my mother and the interpretation she gave me didn’t interest me.
“Rebecca, God wants to save your soul. Won’t you yield to him? Don’t surrender to the enemy of your soul. Come now, tomorrow may be too late” She explained and asked to pray for me but I told her it was an ordinary dream.
I remembered one of the books Thonia gave me about interpretation of dreams. I looked through and found where it was written to discard any dream involving briefcases and the like. I was satisfied with what I read but fear wouldn’t allow me to forget the dream. Mama Bolanle was glad to hear about my father’s conversion and her presence in our house with another man she introduced as Brother Martins began to visit us regularly to teach us the Bible.
My parents began to read bible together and my father commanded me to participate in the family devotion. I feigned my obedience but peace eluded me. The transformation in the life of my father was rapid and so evidenced. I began to envy the joy they exuded in their daily routine. I overheard them sharing their hidden secrets and asking for forgiveness. It seemed they just got married. They were all over each other and they spent time together watching movies, praying and playing. I once heard them throwing up things in their room and laughing together.
It was a great relief for my mother when we went for Grandma’s burial and that afforded me the opportunity to give her my last respect and to see Mama Gabriel she had often spoken about. They grew up together and married their husbands from the same town. Mr Gabriel was in attendance too. He took interest in my education and promised to help me search for foreign scholarship opportunities. He wrote down his contact on a piece of paper and I lost it before we got back home. It pained me a lot which made me resigned my fate to bad luck.
Aunt Sharon travelled down from Germany and was there but didn’t talk about my travelling to Germany again. She began to give me excuses until the day I …
To be continued in Episode 21.