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WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA YAKUBU
(CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE 3)
As I looked up at what had just held my neck. I fell down flat.
My heart jumped into my mouth before I could blink as I looked up at the image before me. She looked so beautiful yet afraid and angry.
Immediately she saw me, she came rushing at me on her single leg, falling and rising up as she did. I knew she was planning to probably fall against me and fight but I saw her protruding tummy and knew that I had to stop her from falling against me so she wouldn’t hurt herself.
I rolled on my side suddenly, sat up, extended my arms towards her, sucking in my stomach and arching my back in readiness for her landing.
By the time she landed on me, I had already a firm stance that did not allow me to fall down so I quickly wrapped my arms around her as if we were in a warm embrace.
She smelt so warm.
In a twinkling of an eye, she rolled away from my embrace and sat next to me, staring into my eyes.
I looked into her face and saw a succulent beauty! Such beauty that mouth cannot tell. There was something about her that drew her to me. Something that wanted me to pull her close and hug her more tightly.
She had a shapely, imp-thin figure, yet, one could see her wasp-waist and glossy skin. Her hair was ebony-black, long, well moisturized and it crashed over her shoulders. She had a blossom soft lips.
Her eyebrows were slender and some velvety, full and black. She had sea-nymph ears, a dainty nose and two rapture-black eyes.
I was so drawn into her to even realize that she was smashing her tablet on the floor to get my attention.
“Hey, Doctor Psychiatrist, how can I help you here?” She asked, flashing her shiny, halo-white teeth at me. She had such a soothing voice.
I smiled at her so peacefully. She felt like an innocent angel who strayed and needed some pampering.
“Hey, listen up, beautiful doc, I will tell you this so that you wouldn’t waste your time” She said and I smiled at her. I nodded and indeed listened up.
“In a space of three month, you are the 100th psychiatric doctor that will be employed to come check me out. If the 99 doctors that had come before you couldn’t do anything, what makes you think that you will do well? I need your facts” She said, very intelligently. I smiled again.
“I am not a psychiatrist” I said and she frowned.
“Then, who are you?”
“A friend. I want to be your friend” I said and she burst out laughing, her huge pregnancy bump moving rhythmically as she did. I smiled.
“Is that the new method? They told you to tell this lie when you get here? Just to deceive me? Where is your injection? Where is the drug? Where is it? Give it to me” She said and started to touch me from my head to my toes. I allowed her. I was indeed very patient with her. When she finished searching me, she was breathing so heavily as she looked into my eyes.
“You do not have an injection indeed! You do not have a drug on you!” She said, tears rushing to her eyes. “Everyone who comes in here thinks I am crazy. They quickly drop my food and rush out as if I am a spitting snake. Even dad and mum stay that far away to talk to me. They even built a CCTV to monitor me from there. I am not crazy! Why do they all see me as crazy?” She said and paused. I smiled and nodded, urging her to say more.
“They monitor the time I get to sleep through their CCTV and a doctor enters to inject me. When I wake up, I see myself washed and beautified. They would wash my teeth, treat my hair and style it, all that stuff while I am under the influence of drugs and injections, why? They inject me to feed me intravenously at times. They inject me to scan my baby and all. They are so scared of me. Why?” She asked again and I nodded with a sigh.
“And then, you, you, you, you just came in and sat here beside me, you, you….” She stammered and burst out into tears. “You are not even holding a tranquilizer. You are not even scared of me. And to crown it all, you want to be my friend? Really? Seriously? How? What!!” She exclaimed as she allowed her tears roll down her silky face. Tears swelled up in my eyes as well. I could only imagine the difficulty she had had to deal with.
“You are so beautiful!” I said and she smiled. It was such a beautiful smile even though it was tainted with sarcasm.
“Beautiful indeed. Haven’t you seen my leg yet? Have you looked down at my leg to see that I only have one?” She asked and I feigned ignorance.
“Seriously! I am so sorry” I said calmly and she smiled sarcastically again.
“I live a terrible life! I am so unlucky in life and in destiny!” She said and wailed some more.
“God forbid! You are not unlucky in the Name of Jesus!” I said and she looked into my face as tears trickled down her face.
“You are a Christian? A born again?” She asked, the veins on her neck and forehead rising sporadically. When she didn’t get an answer from me on time, she spoke. “I hate anything Christian or Jesus or born again. I don’t even want to hear that at all!”
“Why?” I asked and she looked straight into my eyes.
“Have you seen Him before? Is he real?” She asked and I nodded.
“I have seen Him before and He is real. He is more real than even we humans” I said and she shook her head.
“Just when I thought I had found a friend who could understand me; destiny has brought me a religious human again!” She sighed and I smiled.
“Why do you hate God?”
“Because He hates me!” She screamed at me.
“So you believe that He is real, right?” I asked and she sighed, shaking her head.
“I don’t even know what I believe but if everyone says He is real, go to church to announce that, but in my own life, even though I serve Him, He doesn’t do in my life what others say He does in theirs, is there not a foul play somewhere? Is there not a falsehood there?” She asked and I nodded.
“You have once served Him?”
“Ah, so well!” She said, smiling and shaking her head at the same time. “I was the president of the youth church in my province before I traveled to the US for my degree. I loved this God! I did! I obeyed all of His command and we were cool until I met this fine guy in my department one day, during my Masters”
I nodded, so grateful to God that I didn’t have to ask much from her to hear the details she was spewing out.
“You were cool with God before you met this guy?”
“Okay, so what happened?” I asked. “It is a very bad tale but the thing is, this fine guy asked me out and you know, I loved him! I did! I told him I was going to get back to him. I asked God a number of question and when I didn’t get a response from Him like I would normally do, I gave the guy, his name is Millo a ‘yes’. We started dating” She explained and I smiled.
“So, who betrayed who? You betrayed God or God betrayed you?”
“He betrayed me of course! If He is all powerful or all knowing, He should stop me from being friends with this guy. He should have!”
“I don’t think so. I think you betrayed Him. He loved you so much. He gave you peace. He made you a joy to your parents and an intelligent lady to the world. But, you suddenly saw a fine guy and went with him. I guess you walked away from the relationship, not Him!”
“How? What are you talking about?”
“When you were going into the relationship with the fine guy, did you tell God about it?”
“Even if I didn’t tell Him about it, couldn’t He tell me of the danger of going into the relationship? Couldn’t he tell me the guy would rape me one of these days? Couldn’t he tell me I would be pregnant if I walked with the guy?” She asked as her tears started getting filled with tears again.
“I bet He did but you didn’t listen!”
“No, He didn’t! I swear, He didn’t!” She said as the tears rolled down her face. “I didn’t dream about the danger. I didn’t see a vision. No, my heart was filled with so much love for this guy and I thought it was God that had brought him to me”
“You fell in love first before talking to God? I thought you were meant to talk to God about the fine guy first before allowing emotion take over” I said and she burst out crying.
“He should have warned me, though. He should have stopped me.” She wept on and on.
“Did mum and dad know about the relationship?”
“No. I didn’t tell them about the guy”
“You see! Now, you see! When one starts to do things in secret and one doesn’t want one’s spiritual heads to know about it, hmmm…something is fishy!” I said and she wept some more.
“Who was your best friend in the US?” I asked her again.
“Love” She answered, curtly.
“Female or male?”
“Did she warn you against the relationship against the fine boy?”
“She did but I thought she was jealous!” She said, her beautiful eyes turning so red.
“You see! That was God talking to you. Did any other person warn you?” I asked and she seemed to rack her brain.
“No one. It was only my fellowship pastor in the US who would let me rest. He would ask me so many times why I had stopped attending services. I told him countless times that Harvard isn’t as simple as that. I needed to focus on my studies.”
“Hmmm..did you tell him about your relationship?”
“No, I couldn’t. They would judge me”
“Judge you? You see! You intentionally wandered far away from God. He kept warning you but you refused” I said firmly.
“What!” She shot me an inquisitive look and I smiled.
“Sometimes, we want God to speak loudly in our ears. We want a dream and a vision but no, God is not static! He is dynamic and His ways are past finding out. He can speak to us in the way that He chooses. In a way that is best for us. Let me read something to you in the Bible”
I brought out my phone from the pocket of my blazer and opened to I Chronicles chapter 14.
“I Chronicles 14. I read verses 9 and 10”
9 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
10 And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? And wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.
“Can you see this verse? David knew that there were some battles to fight but he decided to ask God first to know if he should fight. Did God give him a go-ahead?” I asked and she nodded, sniffing wetly.
“But let us look at verses 13 and 14”
13 And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.
14 Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
“Can you see that? Just a few verses ago, he asked God and God told him to go after the philistines. But here, he took it upon himself to ask again. They were the same enemies but he knew how dynamic his God could be. When he asked God, did God say yes or no”
“No” She replied obediently.
“The same enemy, the same God but a different method! You see God! He cannot be boxed! He has different methods of speaking to us. All we need to do is listen up!” I said and Grace nodded regretfully. I continued.
“Many times, we blame God for leaving us, when in actual fact, we were the one who left! We blame God so many time for betraying us and remaining silent over our lives when in actual fact, we were the ones who walked away, went with someone else and refused to talk to or listen to Him!”
“Hmmmm….But, why didn’t I meet you two years ago? Why?”
“Because now is when God wants us to meet.” I replied with a smile and she shook her head.
“After all hope is lost?”
“Not at all. No hope is lost yet, my dear”
“One of my legs is gone. My virginity has been stolen from me. The one I love is gone forever. My parents have become aliens to me. And I have a bastard growing inside of me! A bastard with no father! So, where is the hope?”
“Your leg is gone but thankfully, you have parents who are rich enough to get you the best prosthetic device so you can walk again!”
“I do not want a prosthetic device! I do not want to be dependent on anything! I want to die! I want to end it!”
“Yeah, really! I am so tired of everything! If God loves me, He shouldn’t have taken my leg away from me.”
“Then, if God loves Jesus, He shouldn’t have allowed him to die! See, sometimes, our goodness lies in our helplessness because when we are helpless, His help is sufficient for us.”
“I wish I could just disappear from earth! I wish there was a very easy way to die” She murmured but I did as if I couldn’t hear her.
“Your hymen is broken indeed but don’t be too sad because your husband, the one God will give you, will love you for who you are” I said and she burst out laughing.
“Indeed! See, what is your name, please?”
“Zoe. Call me Dr. Zee”
“Ok, Dr. Zee. See, I will never love any man again o. I will never fall in love, no way! No man can win my heart again. I will never get married” She swore and I smiled.
“I will be right by your side and remind you of this when you eventually fall in love” I said, smiling largely. She shook her head.
“I will rather die than allow love anywhere around me again. If Millo could rape me and take my crown away, I can trust no man! I hate men! I never want to see any man close to me, ever again!” She said with all passion and I smiled.
“You shall not die!” I said and she looked at me fiercely.
“Why? Why shouldn’t I die? Of what use is this life that you will keep asking me to live rather than die?”
“Life will make sense to you again! Life will shine again. Gracey, do not kill this beautiful life that you have with your mouth!”
“How? What beautiful life? What are you talking about? Aren’t you even pitying me at all?”
“I do pity you! I do! It saddens my heart to see you pass through this pain. I wish I could alleviate the pains for you but I can’t!”
“That is it! You have not lost a leg, gotten pregnant out of wedlock, gone through pains, rejections and depression. You have never gone through life the way I am going through it now” She said and tears rushed into my eyes at once.
“Gracey, I might have not gone through all of this but I know someone so close to me, someone so dear to me that has. She has gone through a lot more than you but you know what, Blossom is still a life-giver! A hope-sharer!” I burst out at once and she looked on at me with rapt attention.
“Someone has a more difficult life than mine?” She muttered silently, yet very loud for me to hear. I wiped my tears with the back of my hands and smiled.
“I will ask her if she would love me to share her story with you. If she agrees, you will see me in your house again tomorrow.” I said and she frowned.
“And if she doesn’t agree?” She asked, rather disappointingly.
“Erm…I could still come if the Holy Spirit allows me to” I said and she sighed.
“Does it mean you are leaving me now?” She asked as I stood up.
“I will soon be leaving. I have a date with my husband”
“Oh my! That is lovely. Thank him for releasing you to me. I love him already!” She said and I smiled.
“So, you can still love, huh? And you are saying love is gone away from you” I teased and she chuckled.
“Mummy Zee, c’mon, stop teasing me” She said and I smiled.
“I want to see you wear your prosthetic device before I go. Will you?” I asked nicely and she smiled, shaking her head.
“No, please. Maybe next time. I have not worn that in months! And since you see me as beautiful now, I shouldn’t stain your idea of me with my one and a half leg” She said and gave a dry laugh. I smiled too.
“Okay, next time. Deal?”
“Deal” She said.
“Should I tell you something?” I asked as I remembered one of the salient points I had promised myself to discuss with her when I was about leaving. She nodded.
“Mum and dad love you so much. They do not want anything whatsoever to touch you. Do you know that?” I asked but she shook her head.
“If they love me, they wouldn’t use tranquilizer on me to bring me from the US against my wish” She said. “If they love me, they wouldn’t lock me in here like a prisoner” She swallowed and continued.
“If they love me, they wouldn’t be sending different psychiatrists to me as if I am having a mental disorder.”
“They love you so greatly, Gracey. They love you so much, it hurts me that you aren’t seeing it” I said she looked at me, hurt.
“Why? Why does that hurt you?” She asked and I smiled at how innocent she sounded.
“They brought you from the US against your wish because they loved you and wanted you to be safe under their shadow. They locked you in this room to shield you from danger. The last time they left you, you ran into the generator house and you lost your leg. They know the house is full of so many things you can use to hurt yourself but they don’t want that. They want to keep you.” I said and she started sobbing.
“They installed a CCTV, not because of anything but to keep you from all harms. They sent those doctors here not because you have a chronic disorder but to keep you fine and healthy for them and your baby. Those doctors, high as they are, are employed to feed you, bath you and keep you beautiful so that you do not have to stress yourself. So that you and your baby can be safe” I said again and she wouldn’t stop sobbing. I threw the remote control key in her laps.
“That is the key to this room. You want to know what the password is?”
“L-O-V-E. Love! They love you so much that it is their love that is keeping you in here” I said and she wouldn’t stop crying.
“I am taking my leave now but Gracey, never call this baby of yours a bastard again! If you have this name for him or her…”
“It’s a she. She is a girl” She said, rubbing her tummy.
“If you think she is a bastard before she is born, then, you have shaped her destiny with those words of yours. She might not have a father but she has you, she has me, she has my husband, she has your dad and mum” I said and she smiled.
“You are so nice” She said, sniffing wetly.
“If we focus on the many things we do not have, we will be sorrowful but if we focus on a single thing we do have, oh how joyful we would be! That is what is called gratitude” I said and she nodded, stretching her arms at me. I walked into her arms and hugged her for a long time.
“I love the way you call me Gracey” She said and I patted her back lovingly.
“I will continue to call you that then.” I said. I pulled out from the embrace and looked into her face.
“Promise me something” I said and she nodded with a smile.
I started to loose the scarf tied round her neck. “Promise me that you will never attempt any suicide again like you were trying to do when I came in” I said she looked so shocked.
“How did you know that?” She asked and I smiled.
“When I came in, you had a broken tablet in your hand so I guessed immediately that that must have been what you threw at the CCTV.”
“Oh my God!” She muttered, covering her face in shame.
“Then, I saw this scarf tied round your neck so tightly and knew immediately that you had tried to hurt yourself.” I said and she shook her head.
“I am so sorry.” She said and I smiled.
“God bless you, Gracey. He loves you so much, He has filled my day with so many dramas just for me to come and see you” I said.
“Seriously?” She asked with a ray of hope in her eyes.
“Seriously. I will tell you about it all, one of these days”
“I can’t wait for that day to come.” She said and I smiled.
“Do you have another phone here or is this broken tablet the only one you have?”
“I have a dozen of smartphones, iPads, Tablets and iPhones here” She said. “You want my phone number? Okay, here it is” She said and called out the number as I typed it in my own phone.
“So, can you do me one last favor?” I asked and she nodded.
“Anything for Mummy Zee” She said and I laughed.
“Watch the movie ‘God’s not dead’ online. I want you to write out your favorite lessons and quotes from the movie when you are done. When next we meet, we will talk about it”
“More like an assignment, huh?” She asked and I nodded.
“Yeah, something like that” I said and we both laughed.
“I pray to see you soon. I feel so empty suddenly.” She said, looking lonely. I picked her hand and pecked it.
“I will be back to you tomorrow, hopefully if I get Blossom’s consent” I said and she nodded.
“I will have to learn prayers again so I can see this happen” She said and I laughed. So dramatic girl!
“I pray so too. Her story will change you!” I said and she nodded.
“I am hopeful, it will” She said. As I started moving to the door, she looked at me with tears in her eyes, waving her hands sadly. I smiled too.
I didn’t know the case would be that easy.
God simply took control!
“Open the door with the pass-code I gave you” I said and she did. I looked back at her and she looked so shocked that the pass-code worked. I stood at the door and signaled for her to lock the door. She blew me a kiss, wiped her face and pointed the control at the door which started scrolling down again.
I sighed for the umpteenth time as I entered my husband’s car. He had called to ask me where I was exactly.
As the golden tricycle dropped me at the gate and I stepped out, it was his Pajero jeep that greeted me. I was so glad.
“Today is the most eventful day of my life” I started as my husband mopped my suddenly sweaty face.
Just then, my phone started ringing.
I looked into my husband’s face and he looked as dazed as I was.
“Hello Dr. Zee, please did you give Grace the key to her room?” Was the question that greeted my ears as I picked the call. My heart jumped into my mouth.
“Yes, I did” I replied and she let out a sharp cry.
“The door of her room is open and we can’t find her. We have checked everywhere but we can’t find her” She said and my head started throbbing.
“Dr. Zee, we can’t find her o” Mrs. Olagunsoye wailed once more. I started shaking all over as my sweat gland produced more sweat in abundance.
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