The Candle In The Wind
It’d been a big struggle to quit my addictions!
Same for my big bros!
How the whole thing started was actually what I did not understand!
Drugs, incest, cigars, clubbing, serious fashion lifestyle, all!
Dad never envisaged this happening to his kids-neither did we tho!
Although since we were young, we had always thought of being ‘big boys’ and’ big girl’, you know that kind stuff shae?
I never really loved church!
I used to like it when we were in the children church where we sang, ate biscuits and sipped caprisone but immediately we got to the youth church, we were compelled to fast to church, yet, dad would still be asked to wait for meetings after meetings.
Oh those Sundays!
It was different from what I watched on TV or what my friends had told me about their own churches.
There was so much freedom in their churches but ours had always been solemn- no this, no that!
In the long hours of the message, we would start dozing and then nodding like agama lizards, shaking our crossed legs in order to show that we were following in the Spirit!- such pseudo!
While peeping to see if mum was watching, her smiling face would greet me, laden with really loud undertone that I read to be ‘Ride on sleeper!’ and then she would look back at her husband, nodding as the message sunk into her being.
What was she learning from the biblical gibberish he was narrating?
Those were the strange thoughts that my brain processed whenever I watched on.
I just realized that the Spirit of God comes in a small still voice most time while at another time, he could come as a mighty rushing wind!
So, even in very solemn assemblies of God’s children, without bang or boom, God would be present as they offered themselves holily before God!
The age difference between Ruby, Gem and I was a year each so by the time both of them graduated, they didn’t do well in their international examination and dad wanted them to study abroad by all means.
Dad’s dream though!
But we loved it!
The joy of going abroad, posing with different wonders of the world and pasting them on my Facebook wall was mind-boggling;
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The excitement of leaving this dark continent was killing;
My brothers wanted to go badly and by the time I graduated, we all passed the IOEFL exams and off to America we went!
It was to my dad’s greatest joy and my mum’s displeasure
We all wept as she hugged us goodbye but we had to go.
Looking back at that time, I wish we had never left!
I wish we had stuck close to those boring sermons for one day, we would have found it as honey in our mouths and music to our souls!
I wish we had been under mum’s gentle but disciplinary measures and dad’s strict correctional measures too!
I wish we had stayed in our fatherland because being groomed by the noise of generator and being bruised by mosquitoes alone could have been enough discipline to make us sane!
Oh I wish!
We left years ago and coming back now, it was a great difference.
We were no longer the kids our mother used to think we were!
We knew a whole lot about sex- oh mine!- we practiced incest!
We smoked stuffs!!
We used drugs
We went to clubs to dance and all!
We rocked ‘real’ fashion!
But for money issues, we would have done real plastic surgeries!
For us, we were not influenced by friends o!
We had seen people around do it and we wondered why they could do it and our own parents kept on restricting us!
All these vices we engaged in were all out of curiosity
I wished dad and mum had told us that our bodies were really precious to us
They told us though but we thought that they were just being religious about it
How I wish they had been more explicit about these truths!
How I really do wish!
While the three of us rode in our small car from the movie theatre in Los Angeles where we had gone to see a movie, I received a call from Abigail that we should come home immediately.
“Are you for real? Come back home? You think this is Lag?” I had blurted out that day
“I am sorry but you have to find all the means to come back home” she argued
“I think you are sick Ab! What is the problem?” I was getting angry.
“Mummy is dead!” she exclaimed and I chuckled
“What?” I asked to be sure
It sounded too unrealistic and plastic!
“What!” I exclaimed as my brain booted for a second
“what do you mean?” I screamed and the car screeched to a halt as Ruby and Gem looked back at me with questioning eyes.
I dropped the phone and my head was blocked.
“What does that mean?” I asked dumbly, my heart, muddled up.
“What’s it?” Ruby asked, his eyes widened
“Did somebody die?” Gem asked, expectantly and I nodded
“That was what Abigail said” I said and they both held my hands as if being controlled
“Who?” they asked almost together
“She said mum” I still said on.
I was unable to decode the message well, so I was seated, blinking hard as if my brain depended on them to function well
It was a riddle unsolved!
“What! Mum’s dad? Are you fucking kidding me right now?” Ruby screamed
If nothing, the guys had been mum’s favorite for a long time now.
“And you are still talking and all? It’s definitely impossible!” Gem cried out too.
Ruby placed his head on the steering and broke down into tears.
“Mum, You can’t die ma. I won’t wear these god-forsaken rings again. I will throw them away bt die, no!” he cried and started removing the rings he was wearing.
Those had always been the cause of argument between him and mum before we left Nigeria.
Mum said those numerous rings made him to look like a criminal and that she didn’t want that for him.
As they wept, the pictures of mummy smiling, praying on her knees, correcting us in love, caring and laying her hands on dad all relived in my brain and my heart became swollen.
The swelling reached my brain and my whole head became large and heavy.
My eyes couldn’t bear the pains that suddenly befell it and immediately, they became clouded and blurry.
I placed my head on the driver’s seat and my tears flowed.
Oh precious mum!
As I held her already death-infested, cold and stiff hands, my tears fell upon her lifeless body and I placed my hands on her chest.
Her eyes were tightly shut but the smile on her face remained there- though, very dry!
“Mummy, I had always caused you tears. I had always behaved like a prodigal daughter. I had never for once done you any proud but I know your worth and I really do love you. I can’t believe you are dead mum…” I cried on, tears still streaming down my face.
Ruby screamed again as he turned back from the window side from which he had been staying for long.
“Mum, you can’t just die. We didn’t release you to death and you are going nowhere” he cried aloud.
Abigail sobbed loudly.
“She died since Tuesday and it’s already Thursday. Her doctor even used some embalming chemicals on her if not; she would be smelling by now.” Abigail explained and Ruby charged at her with his blood-shot eyes.
“What do mean? For how many days was Lazarus dead before Jesus raised him?” he asked and no one answered
“Well, that is even the tip of an iceberg sef. A whole army died and they had already dry bones….dry…very dry I mean but what happened when God asked the Son of Man if the bones could live?….” he asked on rhetorically
“They lived eventually” Gem replied, teary.
“They were raised up as a very mighty army and God promised life to Israelites that no matter how grave the situation could be, he would come to the situation and save them.Read Ezekiel 37” Ruby preached on.
I watched on
From Ruby who was delivering the sermon, to Gem who was nodding as an enthusiastic listener…
I was really dazed!
When did my brothers become pastors like this?
While we travelled down to Nigeria, we all held our hands to get strength from one another and as we sat down, we cried silently when we thought about so many things.
Everyone noticed us..
But a man on the same row with us noticed us more.
He smiled at us and my brothers looked away irritated
“What sort of a Job’s comforter is this oh Lord?” Gem complained but Ruby just adjusted his seat and plugged his earphone.
So the man would not feel embarrassed, I smiled back at him and he started talking with me.
He was a Neuro surgeon and I was studying Neuro sciences too so it was easier for him to get me through that.
I told him about my problems and what had happened to my mum.
He started to preach to me in a way that I had never heard before.
He stirred my faith and consoled me, saying that all would be well whether she eventually lived or not.
My brothers weren’t listening so how did they get to hear all these?
Where did they get such a kind of faith from?
“While on board today, a doctor told us that if we have faith like mustard seed, we can move any mountain…I don’t think you have seen a mustard seed before but I have seen it, I have eaten it. Even if I hadn’t been a good boy, it’s never too late. That was what he said and funny enough, I believe it.” he said on and I was amazed.
He actually was listening to the man on te plane then.
“No other choice but to believe it as long as it’s gonna bring back my momma” Gem rapped on, tears stains on his face
“Exactly. I have nothing as I stand. No dime! Only drugs, cigar, beer, whisky, vodka, nonsense! They can’t revive mum” Ruby almost screamed loudly.
“Those things didn’t revive Nancy when she died last month. In fact, those things killed her…oh shit!” Ruby lamented on and on
Nancy was the love of his life.
They had always loved each other until she died of Tramadol overdose last month.
It was a real trying time for us all as Ruby couldn’t take charge of himself no more!
“If Jesus could wake my mum again o, chai! I swear that I would give all over to him. I would be a changed guy. I will drink no more, smoke no more, and fornicate no more, no more sin! I swear!” Ruby cried on as he knelt down beside mummy, placed his head on her tummy.
“She died of blood cancer! It was the second relapse of the chemotherapy. Even fibroid was another thing.” Abigail said again.
She was obviously worn out and tired.
Ruby looked up strictly, stood up, pulled Abigail’s hands and dragged her towards the door.
“I used to think that you were a Christian. You were always preaching to us over the phone. So, where is that faith? Where is the faith that Mr. Douglas talked about? Where?” he said firmly
as he dragged her out
“I was only saying the fact…” she defended herself
“No fact is needed here gal, only faith!” Gem said and I looked up at him.
“Gerrarahere please! I don’t want anyone who isn’t strong to fight this battle with me.” He said as he jammed the door
He dusted his hands together after turning the key over and over again to lock it.
“No wonder God ordered Joshua to screen the thousands of men first before they started the battle. God doesn’t fight according to the number of people available. He is present where two or more people are gathered” he said as he walked back to the bedside.
“Anyone with shaky faith here should go out of this room.” He said and there was no movement.
“If you all have faith, join your hands with mine then” he said again and we all joined our hands together and we went on our knees.
“Oh Lord, we are sinners…all of us!” he started the prayer of confessing our sins.
The sins, especially our incest act alone would kill mum even if God decided to raise her up.
“Since we have confessed all our sins and have promised never to go into them again by your grace, we pray that you help us oh Lord in Jesus’ name” he prayed on
“Amen” we all replied.
“Father, heal our mother. Her blood had been said to be cancerous before she died and she had been said to even have fibroid. One thing I believe is that you have our spare parts in your hands” Ruby prayed on and I opened my eyes to gaze at them.
They were both sweating profusely and shaking all the members of their bodies.
“Oh yes Lord” Gem replied, opening his mouth and closing it as if he had eaten something peppery.
“Toyota has spare parts for all its products, same for Sony, same for LG, so for all other producers. Then let’s talk more of our own God whom we do not deserve even to call on” he prayed on
How did he get such prayer points?
When last did we step into a church?
It was so strange to me but I loved the feeling of it.
“And Lord, since the salvation of three dirty children depends on it here Lord, glorify your name. please oh Lord.” Gem cried too.
I swallowed hard.
I was the only one who hadn’t been touched by whatever had touched these people of mine o.
God have mercy!
I closed my eyes firmly and remembered Sunday school, I remembered the little things we had been taught ever.
I wept bitterly
But I didn’t feel anything special
I didn’t feel anything that would make me weep and quote scriptures like my brothers did.
I felt really bad
I wanted to experience it too…
I was constipated…
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