The blood of the lamb, was shed for me on the cross at Golgotha. The choir continued to sing while the Bishop walked around the church,solemnly, pouring incense. Other than the choir singing, there was dead silence among the congregation. He died today, like he died so many years ago. For you! You sinners caused our dear Lord his life. Oh children! Why? Why couldn’t you stay away from sin? Even as he died, you ungrateful sinners still live in sin, punishing our Master for what he believed he didn’t do but still paid for it. The Bishop cried out in agony, in an effort to prick the conscience of his members. Oh come to him, come you sinners to the feet of he who hung on the cross for your sake. He added. Some members went out to kneel at the base of the altar. All crying as they begged for forgiveness. They confessed how they were sorry for partaking in murder by being the reason Christ died.
Oh yes, for his blood was shed. His innocent heart ripped by the swirling whip. Do you not know? Your sins killed him and hung him on the cross at Golgotha. The choir continued their special Easter song. The Bishop stood over the crying sinners begging to return home. He sprinkled Holy water and anointing oil on them as he prayed to God to forgive their sins because they had no idea of what they had done to his son, the Christ.Anna, an elderly woman whispered to the young lady sitting by her, Anna, go and beg for forgiveness. Go now as the Bishop is pacifying the wrath of God. Auntie, I will not go. Anna replied sharply. She didn’t want to be there. She didn’t want to be sitting among the people she believed to be liars from the pit of hell. Yaa! You want to burn in Hell? I told your father, don’t let this child live in the world, but he wouldn’t listen. Listen to yourself, you don’t want to go and beg for forgiveness for the crime you committed. Yee! Auntie was clearly stimulated and looked as if she would drag the reluctant Anna to the altar herself. Auntie, God has seen my heart. If he says I have sin, then I will beg him. God please don’t send her to Hell for killing your son.
She will come to her senses soon and beg you. Amen. Auntie said a quick prayer as Anna scoffed at her. Time is going. The blood is shed. Come and fall at his feet and confess. The Bishop kept speaking through the choirs’ song. Anna Jacobs wasn’t always apathetic towards religion or life. There was a time in her life when she walked the path of a true believer starting from the tender age of five,she had been actively involved in the choir, even getting to lead in worship services. Everyone loved the pretty little chocolate skinned girl with the wide innocent smile and eyes that shone with ecstatic enthusiasm. She was the second of the three children her parents had birthed, and now, the only one living child. The misfortune that had befallen the Ade-Jacobs was one that not even a seer could fathom. They went from being one happy and thankful family to being resentful and separated units. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, Victor Ade-Jacobs Jnr, the eldest of the children had been scheduled to return home from his study over-sea and the entire family, especially the father was thrilled. His son meant the world to him because.
He was still one of those African men who believed that a family without a son is a lost cause. And now his son was coming home after a decade in a foreign land, he wanted to make it special. Being a middle-class worker, he had just enough to keep his family in a very comfortable lifestyle. Mr Ade-Jacobs requested that everyone be in their best wears as they all got ready to go to the airport and wait for the arrival of his flight. Hey! Daddy I think that’s him! The youngest girl, Olivia said while tugging at her father’s left arm and pointing in the direction of the person she had seen.You have the eyes of an eagle. Yes, that is your one and only brother, dear. Her father replied and gave her a pat on her head making her short afro hair look bumpy and uncombed. Turning towards the direction of the boy, he began smiling broadly and waving both hands in the air, he whistled out loud to signal him. Victor turned immediately to see his family standing about 500 fts from him when he heard that familiar bluebird’s sound. He and his dad always announced each other’s presence to the other with that particular whistling sound. In an excited attempt, he threw down his luggages and ran arms open wide to go meet his family and in a moment of ignorance, he did not notice the yellow “WET FLOOR” sign and he slipped, falling face-down.
A woman screamed in the crowd when she saw him hit the floor, others either made the cross sign or shook their heads and continued to their different destinations. He stood up, still smiling and made a calculated attempt to move away from the wet area. However, luck was not to favour him because he did not notice his shoelace had come undone and he fell once again, this time hitting the back of his head on the marble floor. His mother came running to him first before the others got to him, but he reassured them that he was okay. The airport security offered to call a doctor for him to check if he had a concussion or something but Mr. Ade-Jacob held out a hand to stop them.If my son says he is fine, then he is fine. He is a man and a man must fall down in his life once in a while.
He has proven that he can withstand any pressure life throws at him. He said to the securities while smiling at his son, he said, get up my son, your father is here. Won’t you hug me?Are you sure you’re okay? We can just go and check for clarification. You hit your head pretty hard. Linda, his mom asked him as she squatted on the floor beside her son, examining him for any physical injuries.Mrs, he said he is ok. He is my son, he is like his father, strong and capable of swimming through even the coldest of waters bare-chest. Anna, Olivia, why are you girls still standing there? Go give him a hug, let him feel the warmth that he has missed for the past 10 years! Victor was helped to his feet by his mom, he hugged her and then his sisters. He bowed his head in respect to his father as he touched his feet. Mr Ade patted his back then lifted him up to his full height and crushed him in a bear hug.
There was no describing the emotions that was shared between the family members. Anna, who was 13 years old at the time felt left out. It was normal for the middle child to always feel unloved from time to time, hence why she stood in the background. They all made their way to the car and then back home where they all changed their dresses and got ready to go for the surprise welcome party Mr Ade had arranged for his son. Every family members and friends of the family were present. Buffet was neatly arranged at the corner of the event hall and food was in exquisite abundance. The hall had floor to ceiling glass windows, the chandeliers were well polished and they shone brightly, casting ethereal figures on the wall. The father had clearly gone out of his way to make sure the party would be one to remember forever, and it sure was.
Towards the far end of the west wing, Auntie Grace stood with her plate of food on one hand and a champagne flute on the other, she was looking around for her brother, Mr Ade. her eyes fell on Victor and she went over to welcome him home.Look at you, you’re no more the little boy your father called me to the hospital to witness his birth. Goodness! How time flies! You’re now a grown man. She literally shouted as she dropped her plate and glass on the floor so she could engage Victor in a hug. I missed you so much. Thank God for a successful life journey. My dear, on sunday, make sure to give testimony in Church. That is the right thing to do, this party is beautiful but just out of line. Give thanks to him who thanks is due. She said and released him from the suffocating hug and left the same way she came to go look for her brother. Are you alright? Linda asked Victor when she saw him rubbing his temple with an excruciating look on his face.I don’t know mom. My head is thumping really bad. It feels as if there’s a construction work going on in there. Victor replied looking as if he was about to cry.I knew the idea of not going to see a doctor after such a fall may be a bad idea.
Come on, let me take you home to rest. I’ll give you some pain relievers and by tomorrow morning, we’ll go see the doctor. Linda replied, looking more worried than ever. Excuse me, she turned to a family friend, can you find my husband? Tell him that i am in the car with the children, Victor is not feeling too well, therefore i am taking him home. Thank you. On their way out of the call, she caught sight of the two girls and signalled them to follow her. While waiting in the car, Mr Ade came and met them looking rather displeased.What are you guys doing out here when the party inside has only just begun?Dear, Victor is sick. I am taking him home to get some rest. You can stay back till the party ends. Apologize to the people on behalf of Victor and I.Son are you okay? He asked but only got a mumbled reply, Okay then, I’ll see you guys at home. He waved at them as they drove off.Back home, Linda helped her son change into comfortable clothes and handed him two tablets of pain relievers and a glass of water. After he swallowed it, she watched him go under the bed covers. She placed a warm towel on his head in an attempt to reduce the pressure.
It wasn’t up to an hour when she heard him screaming for help, she and the girls ran to his room and found him rolling on the floor. He had gotten up to go to the bathroom but fell because he had been dizzy and could not see clearly. Everything appeared blurry and foggy, and his head hurt even more. She knelt by him, cradling his head to her bosom.Anna, go and call a taxi! Hurry up! She screamed instructions at the girls, Olivia, go get my purse from my room and also a shawl. Meet me outside. She tried to get coax her son to stand up and walk outside while she supported him. They got into the taxi and she directed the cabman to the Family Health Specialist Hospital. She dialed her husband’s number on her cell but Auntie Grace picked the call, without wondering why someone else was with his cellphone, Linda told her to let Mr Ade know that they were on their way to the hospital.It’s okay baby, we are almost at the hospital, she tried to coo her son into being calm, can you please step on the brake? She said to the driver. The ER was notified and they came out to meet them at the hospital entrance when they arrived. He was placed on a stretcher and then taken into the theater. Mr Ade came running into the hospital lobby with his sister, Auntie Grace, looking angry and disturbed.Where is my son, what did you do to him? He asked his wife, ignoring the two scared girls who came to him for comfort.He’s in there with the doctors. They haven’t told me anything yet. Linda answered the first question. Auntie Grace sat down on the steel lobby seats, saying nothing as she watched her brother pace back and forth, invisible steams came out of his nostrils and ears.
The doctors came out and asked for the parents of the boy, Linda and Ade indicated that they were the parents. I don’t have good news. The MRI scans show that your son has intracranial hemorrhage. Has he had any head trauma recently? He asked none of them in particular.Well, he fell twice on the wet marbled airport floor earlier today, hitting the back of his head really hard the second time. And, he fell at home not too long ago because he was dizzy. He must have hit his head again, I didn’t see that. Linda answered plaintively.Why didn’t you have him checked out when he first fell? He wasn’t happy at the information he was given. Well, we will see what we can do. We may likely have to operate on him. He said.Please, do whatever you can to make my son better. Mr Ade pleaded with the doctor. He nodded in affirmation and walked back to the ward where Victor was placed. Linda was in shock, she retreated her steps till she was leaning on the wall and her two girls stood by her, all silently crying.Auntie Grace stood up from where she was sitting and went to console her brother, she brought out her cell and sent a text to the pastor of the church where they attended, telling him what had transpired. The devil is trying to destroy this family, but his plans will not work. I have called Bishop Josef, he will be here soon. Don’t get yourself overly worked up. She told her brother.
But he seemed okay after the fall at the airport. That was the reason I didn’t bother about getting him checked out. Grace, he’s my only son, I can’t lose him. He sobbed as put his palms over his face.Everything will be alright. Just have faith. Auntie said to him while patting him on the shoulder. The doctor came out to them again and informed them that he had contacted a neurologist and the surgery would take place as soon as he got there in about an hour or two. He went back into his office as he gave a nurse in teal scrubs a prescription to ring up from the pharmacy.
As if on cue, Bishop Josef walked in wearing a purple cassock with a heavy wooden cross hanging from a chain on his neck. On his left arm, he was clutching a big leather-bound bible and a brown satchel dangled on his side. Auntie turned her head and their eyes collided, she grinned and said, Bishop Josef is here, everything will be alright now. Mr Ade turned to greet him but Linda stood where she was, unmoving, her girls by her side.Bless you all. Mr Ade, you didn’t tell me that your son returned from overseas, Bishop said to them looking disappointed. It doesn’t matter anymore, I am here, the God that I serve will see him through this ordeal. Amen?Amen. They answered in unison. Their hopes were uplifted, the girls even smiled in relieve. Anna prayed in her heart that God would use Bishop Josef to heal her brother, she didn’t want to lose him.Can you take me to where he is? The Bishop asked no one in particular.Yeah sure. Right this way.
Linda opted to take him towards the room she had seen them wheel Victor into. Everyone else stayed back in the lobby. Linda spoke to a nurse and explained that the Bishop was there to pray for Victor. They were then allowed into the room where her son was laying. Inside the room, Victor laid on the bed with wires all around him attached to a beeping monitor. He had been placed on anesthetics in order to keep him in a stable mood. The Bishop moved towards him and placed a hand on his forehead, then prayed for a couple minutes. He then reached into his satchel and brought out Holy water, anointing oil and salt. He requested for a cup but Anna told him that the sign on the door said “DO NOT FEED PATIENT”. He said, Child, I am not feeding him mere food.
These are but instruments to facilitate his healing. On that note, Linda asked Anna to bring him one of the disposable cups that was sitting by the fountain in the corridor. The water, oil and salt was mixed together, he then lifted the cup up and prayed over it. Victor, though barely awake was made to open his mouth and the mixture was forced down his throat while his mom pressed his nostril closed. This was to make him gasp for air and in the process swallow the drink.Oh yes, Father thank you because your son has been made well. Amen? He finished his prayer and the others answered “Amen”. Grace, it was a good thing for you to have called me here. Anna and Olivia, cry no more okay? Wipe your tears for the God of zion never fails us. He laughed heartily as he spoke with them in the lobby. He bade them farewell and left the hospital. Everyone was looking relieved and hopeful. They all sat down on the steel chairs looking less worried. The neurologist walked in and the doctor introduced him to the family, after they gave them their word to do the best they could, they both walked away to go do what they knew how to do best.While waiting, the girls both laid on the cold chairs and slept off. Even Auntie was gradually dozing off. Linda sat beside her husband, both holding hands and praying in their heart.
His heart rate is becoming too rapid, nurse, check if his anesthetics is still active. The doctor said to his team members. The patient, Victor was becoming more unstable. The room was becoming increasingly fast paced, everyone was running around trying to see what they could do to steady the patient. The machines kept beeping incessantly. Victor began to retch and cough as well. However, because of the anesthetics, he was unable to consciously spit out the vomit and in the process he inhaled the it. The doctors saw this and became worried. Earlier, when he had been examined, he was not at risk for aspiration but now, the doctor was confused. He stepped out of the room to the lobby and found his parents. He asked them if they had fed him any liquid or food while they were all waiting for the surgery, they told him that the Bishop came and gave him some mixtures to help heal him. There was no phrase that could describe the emotions the doctor experiencing. But the sign clearly says “Do Not Feed”? Moreover, he was under sedation! He nearly yelled at them but had to comport himself. Doctor, a nurse that was also in the OR signalled to the doctor and he walked over to her, we lost him. He aspirated on something. She said to him and walked away to go perform post mortem care on him.
The doctor looked like he was about to cry, he looked at his wrist watch and the time was well past 2am. Anna and Olivia had woken up and were staring at their parents wide-eyed and a little dazed as to where they were. The doctor came up to them and shook his head, gave them his condolence and walked away. Linda screamed and shot daggers at both her husband and his sister who were quietly taking the information in. No, mummy no, Vic can’t be dead,no!!! Olivia screamed and then ran outside. Anna ran after her to console her but she was not fast enough because Olivia ran straight into a backing ambulance vehicle and fell flat on the ground. Anna stopped in her tracks and pierced the night with her high pitched scream. She ran to her sister, just as her family came out to see what made her scream. As the paramedic nurse felt Olivia’s carotid pulse, she shook her head, saying she was sorry. Linda went mad with rage. She began to tear at her clothes and hair and had to be chemically subdued. Mr Ade went numb with shock, he had not just lost two children but his legacy as well. He sat on the ground and wailed like a child whose candy had been taken from him. Auntie was torn between weeping and trying to console Anna and her brother.
It’s been five years. Five long lonely years for Anna and the leftover of her family. She had to grow on her own because her mother had long been admitted into a support group home for psychologically disturbed people. It wasn’t like the psychiatric hospitals. There, she could try and live a normal life, interacting with people who shared similar experiences with her while also getting therapeutic help. Anna and Auntie visited her during the weekends, even though she most of the times won’t remember who they were. Mr Ade cared less for his life let alone the life of those around him. He was living on autopilot all he did was go to work and come home to drink till sleep overpowered his insatiety.
And now, she found herself sitting in the same environment she told herself she would never step her feet in. How she loathe the Bishop and his teachings and his supposed miracles. Her life had been ripped from her, even though she turned out quite okay. She was at the top of her class and was aspiring to be a civil rights activist lawyer. The pew became harder as she continued fuming inside her. Every word, every movement Pastor Josef said or did irritated her. Auntie, I am going. I can not bear to sit through any of this anymore. She finally said to her aunt. You can meet me at home. And she walked out of the church amidst the dozen pair of eyes staring in her direction.
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