I felt it very cold in my arms
It was as if my arm had been placed in a deep freezer
It was soothing!
I opened my eyes to find myself on the bed, Alice bent over me with her tears drenched face.
What’s wrong with her?
I looked around and found no one else.
The room was quite dim and I wondered what was wrong
“Alice” I called out to her
It was then I noticed she was the one that was applying something on my hand.
“Mercy. You are awake? Ah…My God is the Almighty!” she rejoiced as she hugged me slightly
A part of my head ached and I cringed
“Switched on the light please” I said and she stood up, moved to the window drapes and pulled them down.
She afterwards switched on the light and tiptoed to my side.
“What happened?” I asked as I saw awe in her face
She smiled happily
“When I saw you after falling, the look on your face said ‘Oh bye bye…till we meet at Jesus’ feet’. I was so scared” she said and I looked lost.
What was she saying?
I tried to stand and then I couldn’t.
I felt pain all over my body and I tried to recollect what had happened
“What happened?” I asked again as I saw my hand, heavily coated in a whitish substance
She looked at me so caringly
“That’s ogi…I mean akamu…pap…you get? My oga said it’s good for burns” she said
“Do I have any burns?” I asked and she looked lost
She came close and held my face in her hands like a mother holding her infant
“You can’t remember anything?” she asked
She gasped sadly
“My oga said it o… that since you banged your head against the bed, you might suffer from concussion. Is her word coming to pass already?” she was almost crying
“What happened exactly?” I asked again
I had to remember so vividly
“My oga was going to work and I helped her carry her bag. She was about to go when we heard a very loud cry from upstairs. We ran upstairs and found the door locked. Your mother didn’t open the door till after a while when my oga threatened to call the police” she explained
I didn’t get enough details
I was still in the dark
“So?” I asked.
I wanted more information
I couldn’t afford to be in the dark
“We hurried to your room and you were on the floor, your eyes half opened with a regretful smile on your face. My madam asked your mother what happened and they have gone to discuss outside” she said and I shook my head as tears ran down my face
I felt the hotness of my tears against my skin
I could remember so clearly what happened.
“So, why ogi?” I asked and she smiled
“My oga said she should take you to the hospital but your mother said they might ask for police report before attending to you and she can’t afford police wahala. So, she said ogi is also good.” She exclaimed
Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered all
So, all she could afford was ogi?
Who can I run to now in heaven and on earth?
“But what happened this time around?” she asked as I tried sitting up
I felt pain in my right side and she quickly supported me.
“Thank God it’s just a two-degree burn. My oga said three-degree burn would have required plastic surgery” she said again
“I don’t care if it’s one or two or three-degree Alice! I would have preferred a seven-degree death! I should have died” I cried out again as thick phlegm blocked my throat, causing my voice to be croaky
She looked at me, her eyes bulging out
“What happened? You wanna die?” she asked in a voice that sounded like Cat’s voice in Sam and Cat
I nodded vigorously
“No please don’t die. Jesus still loves you. He does” she said emotionally, tears gathering in her eyes
I covered my ears and shut my eyes as I screamed so loudly
“I don’t want to hear about any Jesus!” I screamed again, neglecting the humungous pains I felt in my side
I opened my eyes as the door was flung open
There stood my neighbor and my aunt, looking so shocked
“Are you crazy?” my mum shouted, folding her hands into fists
“No I am not” I replied curtly
I wasn’t scared of anything anymore
Do your worst!
My neighbor nudged her to calm down and she faced me. She walked closer
“Are you feeling better love?” She asked as she felt my temperature and pecked my forehead
I only looked on like a moron
“Sorry dear. Next time be careful with hot fluids and other dangerous instruments. Thank goodness your mum was home. If not, God knows what could have happened now” she said and my mouth got suspended
That was the new lie created today?
“Help me tell her o” she had the guts to say again
What an effrontery!
Because I don’t want to expose them right?
The door became open and my dad came inside.
I started swelling up in anger as I pointed at him.
I was shaking seriously and I shook even more when he touched me.
“My daughter…oh my Jesus!” he exclaimed and just like a possessed dog, I screamed as I pushed him away so hardly
“I don’t want to hear that name. Stop calling that name!” I screamed as he landed in a settee, holding his chest in shock
Everyone looked at me, so shocked.
I was panting heavily as dug my fingers in my hair
“Have you seen? She is possessed already oooo” mummy wailed as she fell on her husband who was on the settee
My neighbor stood up and gazed at me for a long time
“What’s it? Is there a problem?” she asked calmly
Alice held my hands and I wept, my head on her shoulders
“First she slapped her father…during devotion for that matter oooo! ah!” she yowled again, holding her tummy
“Then, she gave me a huge blow in my tummy all because I said that Jesus is Lord! She is possessed” she cried again and I could not close my mouth as Alice looked at me questionably
“Then , she took hot water and bath herself in it before fainting. The scream was even mine. It wasn’t from her. I screamed when I saw that she couldn’t feel pain again” she lied further and I looked at everyone around.
They all believed
Alice’s oga shook her head in utter disappointment
Alice looked deep into my eyes to ascertain the truth as her mouth was left open.
“She doesn’t just want the name of Jesus to be mentioned again. Its burning her” she said again and all eyes turned to me for reaction.
I did nothing.
The humongous lies were unbearable for me.
Who would believe that they were not my parents
And that my so called father molested me sexually before eventually raping and even glorying in the rape?
Who on earth would believe?
Who would believe that the woman crying so well as she delivered her falsehood-laden speech as if she was pitying me was the one behind the scalded part of me?
Who would believe that?
Where do I run to now?
Whom do I go to?
I panted like a blood-hungry vampire, tears from my eyes, mucus from my nostrils, lips wide apart as I uttered inaudible words, digging my fingers into my already rough hair
“Let’s leave her to rest then. I am late for work. I will check her when I come back” my neighbor said.
She had bought their lies
And she is a deaconess o
Didn’t the God they are killing themselves to worship reveal to her that it was all a lie?
I hissed loudly at the whole situation on ground and dad stood up, coming straight to me.
He caught my hands and pulled them to the back, tying them with a scarf, jabbing my chest forward
He placed his hands on my head and started speaking in tongues
“In the name of Jesus, I command that the tormenting spirit in my daughter Mercy Brown be destroyed by the power that is in the name of Jesus!” he screamed in prayers
With my eyes wide open and tears streaming out, I watched as all of them echoed a loud ‘Amen’
What the heck!
What devilish act!
I didn’t do anything but watch.
Where was this going to lead?
After their prayers, they all left the room and locked the door.
It looked like a film trick to me
I never imagined last night that I would be in the kind of mess I was in at that moment
My hands were still bound behind me.
What can save me from this kind of situation Lord?
Is this what happen to all orphans around the world?
Is this our devilish all Christians are?
Minutes later, Alice came back inside, tiptoeing to my side
She looked at me pitifully and quickly untied my hand.
“My friend, something is really wrong and you don’t want to tell me. What mummy has said is not true, right?” she asked and just looked at her on and on
I couldn’t trust her to tell her anything!
Do I still have trust in anybody?
Did I ever trust anybody?
But he destroyed the trust when he
destroyed my life
I felt like a badly deflated balloon!
I felt like a bone in between the dangerous teeth of a lion- crushed!
“Take this and read it. It’s true. Please believe it. I have to go now. They must have suspected that I had left following them” she dropped a paper in my hand and pecked my forehead.
She ran to the door, turned back, her face glistening with tears, she waved and then closed the door.
I stared into space for a very long time before I turned to look at the paper on my laps.
What is inside this paper?
Alice had been my very close friend since we moved to that neighborhood
She didn’t know how to read and write and her boss asked me to be teaching her. She had proved herself to be a very fast learner because within a space of 8 months after teaching her the basics of the language, she could speak and read fluently
The first day she was to read fluently, she had jumped inside he room to bring out a new, leather bound Bible
“What?” I asked, quite surprised
Her boss laughed
“She said that the first book she would read ever is the Bible. So I got her a brand new one” she had told me
She giggled happy as she read from Genesis 1:1
I looked on in wonder as she hugged me tightly screaming with joy ‘My friend, my friend’
I could only smile that day.
But what had she written in this letter?
I unfolded the paper as the pain in my right side throbbed painfully.
I peeped at my side as I lifted my blouse
Thank goodness I was wearing a very thick corduroy gown when the incidence happened.
It was just a scald that was on my body.
But for my right hand that was badly peeled!
My eyes fell on what was written on the paper and I read with rapt attention
My Dear Mercy,
Some people might carry a small bag, saying its money that is inside it fully
Some might even say that they have a houseful of money
Some might go to the extent of asking you to peep inside their rooms of money and
You would be awed when you see different currencies and denominations.
It would shock you however when the day to go to the market comes and they are unable to buy NOTHING with the currencies!
Because they are fake!
Does that mean that there are no real currencies?
Oh no…People that have it, have it!
That is how Christianity is too Mercy.
Some would tell you they are born again; some might even tell you that they hold different positions in the church.
When it is time for them to prove it, they would fail miserably.
Because they have the fake experience of salvation
Does that mean therefore that there is no real or genuine salvation?
Oh no! People that have it, have it.
That some people defame the Name does not reduce the fact that He exists
JESUS IS LORD AND JESUS REALLY LOVES YOU.
HE IS ALIVE AND HE IS REAL!
I stared at the paper for a long time before my heart burnt really well as if it was being roasted or grilled on an electric barbecue!
I screamed so loudly as I squeezed the paper with my two hands
“No!” I screamed so loudly that my intestines almost jumped out of my mouth
I threw the paper away as I tried to stand up from my bed!
Was it not just enough about this Jesus?
Even Alice could still say Jesus in this situation?
He loves me?
He is Lord?
He is alive?
He is real?
I screamed again as tore at my face with my fingernails.
I will fight this to the end
I had some new strength and I boiled with power.
I stood up with a kind of readiness.
I had a new resolve even as I rose up from my bed.
Since I already have a reputation of a possessed, devilish girl, I would show the whole family the stuff I am made of!
In school, if any guy dare come near me, or one teacher plays with me, oh…I pity such!
I will become the well anticipated demon.
If anybody wanna crush me again, I will crush such an individual
And if anybody says Jesus beside me, he/she would become a martyr!
I laughed hysterically to myself as the thoughts seemed too good for me
I felt a sharp pain between my legs.
Then, some warmth!
I looked down at the bed and there it was.
My bedwetting occurs in the day now, right?
It’s the beginning of new era indeed
I don’t give no damn no more!!!