By Ikumawoyi Toluwalase
Declare me innocent, O lord
For I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the lord without wavering.
“Where is this place?, it is so dark and cold… Wait! Am I dead?… no! Am not dead, … I can’t die yet… This place seems empty and I can’t even move myself … Am I in hell?… Ha Jesus!… No oh!! I cant go to hell… Wait it seems like I can feel something”, Joseph’s head was doing the talking to him as he lay in the hospital bed unconsciously. He had been unconscious for close to two days…
“Doctor!, nurse!…he is moving his hands…he is awake!!”, Jadesola screamed on top of her voice, she was the only one in the hospital room allocated specially for Joseph, John had paid specially for the room, and Jadesola in turn had volunteered to stay with him all through the night. She slept on the plastic chairs in the room and had put herself through the rigour of watching him all night, in case he woke up.
She had woken up and gone to ease herself, she was tired and needed the comfort of her bed but the man on the hospital bed meant more to her than her sleep.. She was not even sure she would be able to sleep if she went home…
“Where am I?, how did I get here?”, Joseph asked the nurse who came to attend to him, just then his eyes fell on Jadesola. She was wearing a sad look, he made his hand to signal to her to come closer. Just then, he felt a sharp pain cross through his body. He looked at his hand and saw a heavy bandage, his brain started processing the events that had happened in the past few days.
“You were involved in an accident. You were lucky the impact was not much”, Jadesola said smiling. She had prayed heaven and earth for him to come out of his coma and here he was though still confused.
Jadesola moved towards him and sat beside him on the bed as soon as the nurse left saying…”The doctor will soon be here”.
She smiled at him and said, “You will be fine, it just a dislocated joint and the doctor said a few therapy will heal you”. Joseph stared at her but still couldn’t picture her face everything still seemed blurry to him. Just then, the doctor came in.
“You!!, I know you from somewhere”, Joseph said to the doctor , his brain quickly processed the whole information and he could remember everything vividly.
“Can you please take me away from here!!, they both want to kill me ohh, I can’t stay here with this two betrayers”, Joseph screamed as much as his voice could allow him. Jadesola, was so frightened that she ran out of his room, while doctor Paul quickly signaled to the nurse who came in with him and he administered a drug to him. Joseph gradually fell asleep, while doctor Paul shook his head, turned to leave the room only to meet the staring eyes of John and they both went away to his office.
“Why can’t you forgive me of whatever sin I committed against you, I know I was stubborn when I was a little girl, I rebelled and fought my parents a lot and am sorry”, Jadesola said, she was tired and her eyes were red and swollen from long hours of crying.
The last time she cried like this was the night she visited Joseph in Mowe after the incident with doctor Paul…
“Am sorry Jadesola, I cant do this anymore…dating you was a mistake I regret for the rest of my life. I can’t continue lying to myself…am sorry!”, Joseph said to him, facing his window. He didn’t even give her an opportunity to explain the situation to her, and as she made for the door hoping to try again later, he dropped the bomb that shattered her entire life.
“Don’t bother coming here anymore, cos I will be traveling out of the country in two weeks time, at least our path will never cross again forever”, he said as he sat on his bed, not even casting a glance at her. “Mum, what is my sin?”, Jadesola wept on her mother’s shoulder, she couldn’t bear it anymore, she traveled back to Ibadan immediately to meet her mother. That was the only person other than Eunice who really understood her.
“My daughter, truth be told, I think its time you see, woli Joshua.. Each time I spoke to him about you, he kept telling me that I should bring you over for spiritual cleansing”, her mother said.
After many persuasions, she went with her mother, the so called woli who told her that she was suffering from attacks from her spiritual husband. “You see my sister, all you need is a spiritual cleansing with the holy water made of blood and water”. Jadesola, despite her spiritual understanding accepted to do it, after all she was tired of her situation, her father had lost his job the very day she came home with her admission letter in the name of compulsory retirement, as if that is not enough, her dad reminded her everyday that she was the cause of his problems, he had narrated how he lost his parents who were her grandparents to a ghastly motor accidents just seconds after she was given birth to. They were rushing down to the hospital to meet their son when the brake failed. So far, every important moment of her life must have a challenge. She had thought her ‘jinxed’ life had come to an end when she met Joseph, but she was far from being free from her tormentor as the spiritualist has said.
“9pm tomorrow night, come with a white wrapper, and erhm mum jade, let her come alone, because we need to face a serious battle of her life”, the spiritualist said when they asked for the time for the cleansing.
“Are you a baby, don’t you understand these things? You see, the only way you can be free is if you allow me to release the holy water I carry inside of me to your body”, the so called woli Joshua said to her on the night of the cleansing. Jadesola was alone in his consulting room, clad in only a white wrapper, and the spiritualist had come in with his white shorts. She was surprised and she asked his why he was not yet ready for the prayer session as she thought but then the actions that followed made her realise what he meant by “holy water made of blood and water”. He meant the need to sleep with her.
Angry at the turnout of event she gave the skinny man the beating of his life. She was more than angry at her mother, a non practising lawyer and writer for Christ’s sake, she wondered how her mother met the man despite her education and exposure. Well she was to be blamed. Despite her knowledge of the scriptures and her spiritual position as an executive in her fellowship back then on campus she still couldn’t take her stand.
Her life had spiraled down till she met Busayo, well things got worse when she discovered she couldn’t love him.
She finally had a breakthrough when Eunice and John invited her to their church and she attended Sunday.. Oh that was a life changing encounter she had.
“Your challenges are not meant to push you far away from God. They are meant to make you depend on God the more. You are supposed to throw your weights on him and let him carry you through the fire”, she said as she taught on the topic “rest”.
“Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. That was when he was still on earth, the moment he said, “it is finished” we entered into his rest. It is a promise made fulfilled, you do not have to carry your burdens all alone. Moreover dear, cursed is anyone that is hanged on a tree. Jesus took the curse of the law along with him, you are free from every entanglement around you, only if you believe”, Mrs Anthony said to her in her office after the service she was the assistant pastor of the church. Jadesola had gone to meet her to mentor her after the service…
Now she looked at the two situations before her, and she felt like she was back to square one. She needed to see her mentor, she needed some revitalising words…
“Sister Jade, here you are, my brother wants to see you”, Tola said to her. He had met doctor Paul on the way and he had described Jade’s location to him.
“I will be there in a minute”, she said as she took a deep sigh, stood up from under the tree, dusted her skirt and went with Tola. They were on their way when she saw doctor Paul and about three other doctors running towards Joseph’s room. She saw the nurses with panic written over their face. She was scared. “I pray he is fine”, she said as she continued on her journey to Busayo’s room with the mind that she couldn’t do anything to help him either if she was there. Just as she got to Busayo’s room, her phone rang and she saw the caller…”Hello, John!.. No!!!”, she screamed!
To be continued…
Episodes 11-15 available here