THE QUIRK OF FATE

Episode 9

Where am I?
I wished that someone could just answer my question.
Am I dead?
I felt ethereal at that instant but I was afraid because I felt pain and I had heard that you don’t feel pain in heaven.
Am in hell?
I felt serious pains in my joints and marrows and then, I felt wet- yet I could still feel warmth.
Somebody was holding me!
I heard sobs!
Where am I Lord?
I was afraid because if it was hell, then I was doomed! If I missed heaven, then I would be in eternal damnation forever.
I couldn’t even feel my body!
Just then I felt sudden weakness and I sneezed loudly.
‘Jesus!’ I heard that voice very close to me. Who was mentioning that sacred name?
Is this heaven? I kept on asking myself, very confused.
‘Princess!’ the voice called me, I felt firm, warm hands touching my bare shoulders.
My heart skipped a beat.
A man’s hand!
Bare shoulders!
‘Am I naked?’ I screamed aloud and then, my eyes opened. I closed them again and then opened them.
Am on that earth again?
That deadly stupid earth?
I opened my eyes again in a bid to see who had earlier touched me.
Then, I saw him, sitting on the stool with a bible by his side. He was looking intently at me, his head bowed as if in prayers. I checked my body and I was well clad in a very free armless top, my body covered with a plain white duvet.
It was a hospital!- an intensive care unit ward!
What had happened to me?
‘Niel!’ I called out and he smiled broadly, his hands raised to heaven.
‘Lord I thank you. I really worship you. You are real!’ he said and my heart went sour.
WHAT!
This one too can pray? This filthy guy?
Don’t call what I have purified unclean! I heard that voice.
He has been activated! I can hear his voice!
I was excited to hear his voice but I wasn’t ready to obey it. Not as far as Niel was concerned!
‘I thank God you are awake! We have prayed and prayed. All thanks to God. It’s been a week’ he said.
Nice baritone voice! Gritty!
I shook my head to order
‘Don’t even think about it’ I said to myself and stood up. My head was tingling in pain and there was a tube connected to my vein.
Drip!
‘Did you just say it’s been a week?’ I asked and he nodded
‘Yes it is. Today is Thursday’ he said, smiling, his teeth sparkling white.
Well set!
I shook my head again.
‘Princess, get yourself together abeg!’ I told myself silently as I tried to stand from the bed. He stood up too, dragging the stool backwards
‘Please take it easy’ he said in a very caring, concerned tone but I was irritated.
Why was he here? Who brought me to the hospital and got me admitted in the hospital- the intensive care unit for that matter!
‘Where is my mother?’ I asked him and he looked into my face with his hands folded behind him in obeisance.
‘She went to the church with your sisters. She called me over here to stay with you.’ He replied and I looked at him.
‘My mother called you to stay here with me?’ I asked, almost irritated and he smiled, a little bit embarrassed.
‘Yes! She had no one else to call. After we both fainted that day, I woke up later when Briton started barking and I realised you were still on the floor, almost lifelessly. I called out in a loud voice but the soundproof door wouldn’t allow anyone hear my voice’ he said and I tried sitting back on the bed when I had a sudden headache.
He rushed to hold me so as to guide me back into the bed but I shrugged him off!
‘You are feeling dizzy?’ he asked and I smiled in my heart.
So precise!
I loved a man who is sensitive and precise when dealing with a female counterpart like anything!
He got it correctly. I was feeling dizzy but I would not be deterred. I removed the thin tube fixed into the vein on my right hand and he opened his mouth.
‘Why?’ he asked and I didn’t respond.
I stood up again defying my pains and the heavy throbbing in my head, slipped my long beautiful feet into the slippers nearby and looked around the room for my purse- possibly and right beside my pillow it was. I smiled
Everything is working in my way!
‘Thanks for everything’ I said to him and the look on his face was sad
‘Where are you going to?’ he asked and I smiled. I nodded like an agama lizard as I approached the door.
‘Gracias!’ I exclaimed as I went out of the room
As I went past the wards that were nearby, I was determined not to allow anybody stop me from achieving my goals.
‘I have to go back to Germany! If I am there, maybe the Holy Spirit will come down from heaven and force me to Nigeria. I am not disobeying him o. But I am only saying no!’ I said to myself as I walked on fervently.
I flagged down a taxi and as I wanted to board it, I heard my name firmly behind me. I turned back and saw Niel. I frowned
‘What exactly is the problem?’ I asked him and he pursed his lips, folding his hands in balls.
‘Are you…perhaps…princess, are you running away from…everyone because of…perhaps because of me?’ I said incoherently, his voice shaky. I smiled
‘You defined it!’ I said plainly, entered the car and it zoomed off.

Episode 10

As we passed through the gate, I saw my mum’s car driving in. she had grown lean as her long neck had become longer. I noticed from afar and my heart ache
‘Au re voir mama’ I said, audibly and the driver turned to look at me
‘What?’ he asked and I gasped
Was I talking to this nincompoop?
‘Drive on to Ikeja’ I said and he went on.
God, I am not disobeying you but I just don’t want to marry now. I am not ready. So, please understand with me.
Justifying the self! I heard the voice to loud and clear
I smiled.
If the Holy Spirit thought His words could allow me go back and get hooked to that rapist, then never never! Even I was prepared.
I reached inside my purse and luckily, my ear piece was still in my purse with my phone. I removed the SIM card since my people could want to reach me. then, I plugged my ears and defied the warning that the highest volume could damage my ear drums.
Holy Spirit, sorry for that! I just don’t want you to talk too much!
Just then, I heard
‘Please, let’s jam our hands together as we invite Nathaniel Bassey to the podium’ from my phone.
I hissed. Nathaniel again!
Just then I heard again
‘I want you guys to please call me Niel for the occasion of today. Say Niel everybody’ Nathaniel Bassey said
And I heard a loud shout of ‘Niel!’ I hissed so loudly and changed the music. I loved his music but not his name this time around.
I scrolled through my songs to choose another song when the driver signalled at me.
‘Madam, where you dey go for Ikeja?’ he asked and I scratched my head.
Where exactly was I going to?
‘I need to travel to Germany but I want to lodge in a hotel first of all’ I explained to him as if he were my brother.
‘Ok madam. Which hotel?’ he asked again and I was stuck. I had never lodged in any hotel on the mainland.
‘I don’t know o’ I said. He smiled
‘Should I carry you to Niel Hotel?’ he said and I looked perturbed
‘Ehn?’ I asked and he repeated himself
‘It’s a new hotel in Lagos o. very nice’ he explained and I hissed silently.
Fumbling with my purse.
You be their ambassador! I exclaimed silently.
Then I remembered I needed to change my clothes.
‘Drive me to a boutique. I need to change my clothes’ I told the guy and he smiled
‘I know a very nice one nearby’ he said. I shook my head and hoped it wasn’t a Niel Boutique or something.
As I checked through the decent clothes that would serve me well till I travel the following day, a man came near me and stretched his hands to me.
‘Good day. I am Niel’ he said and I walked away.
Niel again!
What was a guy doing in the lady section of the boutique sef! I thought to myself and hissed.
I gave the cashier my credit card and waited.
Just then, a woman with her baby swaddled to her back came in. the baby was adorable and I couldn’t resist touching her dimpled cheek.
She smiled and my heart warmed up within me. Suddenly she started crying. I was embarrassed
‘Baby, what is the problem?’ I said, trying to be okay.
Then her cries grew from ‘Wienn wieen, wieeeen’ to ‘Nieeel, nieeel, nieel’
My heart started pounding.
What sort of baby is this?
‘Give me my card please. I need to get out of this place’ I said hurriedly, took my card and carried my packed purchases.
‘We dropped you some chocolate ma.’ The cashier said and I could only nodded as I hurried out as the ‘Niel’ cries of the baby rang in my head.
What is this oh God? I exclaimed as I entered the car.
‘Please don’t carry me to that Niel Hotel please. Find somewhere else to go’ I said and the guy smiled
‘Madam, the place is nice o’ he said and I shot him a dangerous look
‘I am not going there. Is there any problem?’ I shouted and my migraine started again. D--n! I didn’t have my drugs with me.
What a frustrating day!
I tummy ached for food and I held my tummy in pain. Then, I remembered the cashier dropped me some chocolate. I reached into the pack and tore one opened.
‘Bless it Lord’ I prayed and bit it. It was delicious.
This isn’t snickers o! What’s the make? I asked myself and checked.
Niel chocolate!
Again!
Oh my God!
Tears ran down my face as I threw the wrap away and I tried to vomit the ones I had swallowed.
My father! What’s all these? I cried out and the driver turned back.
‘Madam, sorry o’ he said and I hissed loudly
‘See, driver, what’s that your name?’ I asked angrily. He smiled again and I was angry. I was ready to transfer all my aggression on him.
‘My name is Niel’ he said and my shoulders dropped. My mouth fell into a very bad posture as I started crying like a baby, beating the shoulders of the man.
‘Madam, don’t cause an accident here o’ he said as I beat him on.
‘Drop me. Let me get down jhur’ I cried on and he parked
‘Madam, are you angry about something or you are running away from something?’ he asked and I didn’t respond. I opened the door and with my purse and pack clutched to my chest, I alighted the car.
‘Madam, close my door’ he said but I didn’t respond as I walked close to a fence nearby. He came down and turned around to close the passenger door.
‘Madam, please go back home!’ he said and I cried the more. I leaned against the wall and beat it so hardly.
‘I can’t marry him oh Lord! I can’t’ I cried out
You are his other half. He needs you and you need him too
I don’t want to hear this voice anymore! Not on this matter! Please stop!
I cried the more as I was perturbed. I didn’t understand why all these was happening to me.
As I looked at the wall while I wiped my tears, I saw the flier pasted on it with the title ‘Go back home and do His will!’
I screamed and many faces turned to my direction as I cried.
‘Holy Spirit, stop talking to me! I don’t want to hear!’
‘My grace is sufficient for…’ he was saying again when I screamed louder, covering my ears.
And he stopped!
‘Stop!’ I exclaimed again, ran to the road, flagged down a car which drove me straight to Muritala Mohammed International Airport where I purchased a ticket and joined the flight to Germany slated for 5 minutes time.
I was lucky!
God had to just stop the expensive jokes!
**************

To be continued

Written and composed by Lizzy Oyebola Yakubu

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