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Christian Sad Speculative

ONE


"Mama, I'll be fine," Nancy said, and as always, it made her mother cry. 

"I know, I know," her mother said. She wringed a weak pitiful smile that she always smiled. And again as always, she turned her face, wiping off her tears. Slowly, Nancy's mother rose from the bed and began to check on the IV, then to the screen of the system for her vitals. 

Michael, Nancy's eighteen years old brother sat observing them on the far corner of the room. His little sister was as sick as to require a lifetime stay in the hospital. Their father had died of the same disease. The doctor had said this was a disease unknown to them and that, if at all, it would require a long time to understand it. But his father had no long. And so also Nancy.

Michael looked himself up, coming out from his trance of thoughts. He was wearing a tattered denim jeans over a black T-shirt. One reason he was seated on this corner of the room was because his whole body reeked of engine oil and dirt of a hundred days of hardwork.

As the hospital bed was white, he didn't want to dirty it.

"Mama, have faith," Michael finally said. His hands had been upon the oily rosary that hung round his neck, involuntarily massaging it. "She'll be fine. It'll all be okay. I promise. God won't let us down."

"I know, I know," his mother said again.

Michael and Nancy's eyes met over the back of their mothers back. And he smiled hurtfully at her.

"I'm sorry," he said to Nancy both hinting at his dirty self and also her condition. He smiled. She smiled back. At least she tried.

When his mother sat up from a giving Nancy a tight hug, Michael rose from his seat and approached them. Inside, the pocket of his denim jeans, he bought out his darkened and oily the Gideons New Testament.

"The surgery will be conducted two days from today," he said. He spoke with such confidence and a voice free of any doubt. His mother said nothing.

"Brother... " Nancy began but fell silent halfway. She looked at Michael. There was fear in every inch of her eyes.

"Remember, you'll be fine. I promise," Michael reassured her. "We'll always be together."

Just as he was about to open the Bible in his hand, his phone began to ring in his pocket. He hesitated for a while, then decided to take the call.

"Where are you, boy!" his boss from work barked. He spoke in Hausa.

"I'll be on my way," Michael said.

"Are you stupid---"

Michael cut the call and put in his rubber ring strapped Nokia into his pocket. His mother and sister were now looking anxiously at him. Tears streamed from his mother's eyes.

"Let's pray," he simply said. 



TWO


The prayer lasted for almost thirty minutes.

 When Michael got to his work site, the first thing he did was pray, again.

"This is not a church boy," His boss told him. The man was in his mid fifties and always had with him a misbaha in his hands. He was as much a Muslim and Michael was a Christian.

Michael simply ignored him.

"You will not be irresponsible with my business just as you have been with your family, you here!" the man said. This was not the first time he disgraced Michael in public.

Michael presently, rose from his knees and went on to work on the engine of a Kasea.

All around them, their co-workers were drenched in their own works, loudly calling out to their colleagues or throttling the motorcycles they were repairing.

Abu, Michael's boss name spoke with such loudness that surpassed any other sound in the busy centre.

"Sorry," Michael apologized to him when he continued.

"Sorry?!" Abu fired. "Is that what you told your mother!"

"Stop," Michael said. His hands were beginning to tremble from a concealed rage.

"What are you going to do?!" Abu said. Now people's attention were beginning to gather on them. A sparse of murmur came with that. "Is he going to beat me like he beat his sick fath---"

A hail of screams took the air as Michael hauled Abu to the ground. And the next thing he was pounding his jaws with his bare knuckled.

"They have forgiven me! They have forgiven me!" Michael kept saying even as he was pulled off his boss.


The next day, Michael was in the hospital again. Unlike before, he had only three places in his life: his work place, the church and the hospital.

He's quited work.

Last month, they had been chased out of their rent house. Michael had to work as hard as he could to get themselves food and also pay half of Nancy's hospital bills. 

The hospital was beginning to suspect that Michael and his sister and mother had turned the hospital to their residence. And indeed it was true. They had nowhere to go. His father was dead and his mother had lost her job due to her endless cries.

Michael wore less dirty clothes today and was seated at the foot of his sister's bed. His mother sat side by side with her. And she was in tears, as always. Her black eyes were so swollen and red.

"Mama, stop crying," Michael told her. "This is all a test."

"You keep saying that... " his mother said. It was as if this was what she had been dying to say for a long time now.

"What?" Michael asked, taken aback. A dull thud of his heart announced the unease in his bowels. Despite the chill of the room, his body flared with a deep heat.

"I know, I know," his mother said. "You can't kill yourself, Michael."

Nancy was looking from Michaels serious and dark eyes to his mother's watery ones. Her eyes were beginning to moist, too.

"Michael," his mother began, then sniffled and continued, "Eat something, please. It's been two days and you haven't eaten anything."

"Mama, I don't understand," Michael said, in a confused tone. "Haven't you been fasting?"

"No, no," his mother said, apollogetically, and she sniffled again. She didn't mind the flood of tear rushing down her cheeks and also Nancy's. 

"Michael," she paused. "God has abandoned us," she finished with a voice utterly devoid of hope.

"Yeeh, " Michael exclaimed. And for the first time in a whole year, not even at his father's burial, tears brimmed his eyes. "How... how could you say that, Mama? This is the only way we can save her. Mama this is the only way you and I could have saved her. You are giving up---"

Then Nancy screamed in panic. His mother, too, wide-eyed. Michael became breathless with both the strong feeling of betrayal and alarm.

Before, he could act, the doctor and some nurses came rushing into the room. They pried his mother, from Nancy and with Michael, they were pushed outside the room. 



THREE


"Nancy, Nancy," his mother cried behind the closed door. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." She banged her hands on the wooden door. All eyes were turned on them. They were in outside a hallways whose walls had doors to patient rooms.

Michael was stunned and had his eyes stuck upon his feeble mother. A burning kind of uneasy anger was building up inside him.

Nancy's scream had since subsided and all they could hear was muffled voices of the medical practitioners inside with her. Also with the distant chatter of passerbys.

"Michael..." his mother said, after ten minutes had passed and neither had spoken. Her swollen, red eyes were still watery.

"Mama," Michael said when she didn't finish, "why?" Suddenly, he was in tears again. He sniffled and began to rub the tears away with his hands that were now naturally oily and dark from engine oil.

"I'm sorry," his mother said. "Please, I'm sorry, Michael."

""I have noticed it Mama," Michael said. "It is why Papa died. I was a lost soul. I know I smoked and did all such bad things. Nancy was too young to have faith. You, Mama, you were the only one who could save him. But you didn't. You failed him. You failed God."

"Michael..." His mother reached for him, but he tugged his arm away from her. She began to sob.

"You don't have to kill yourself," she said. "You saw the video. Your father forgave you. I have forgiven you."

"No, Mama, yes, no, "Michael said. "I want you to know this Mama. If Nancy dies, it's all your fault."

Then he half ran, down the hallway, out the hospital.



FOUR


Outside the hospital, he sat on a seat on the corner just before the gate and facing a vase of fresh plants. 

There he cried recklessly.

The cold faint wind of the night brushed his skin, and did its best to dry his tears.

Michael could remember the last words of his father to him.

"Faith can move mountains, Michael. I love you..."

And also the words of his pastor:

"God's arms are always open."

His imagination displayed a fresh goodloking being with white blinding robes. His arms open and wanting to hug Michael, despite his black and dirty and oily body... 

The next day, Michael and his mother stood outside another door. A transparent one. They could see the doctors, three or four of them swarming their hands over the unconscious body of Nancy.

His mother was mad in tears and crying as loud as she could. Again, they were ushered out of the view.

From time to time, his mother would stand up and would walk to one end of the waiting room, then return. Her wrapper threatened to loosen and her hair spiked out of her forever scarf. She looked like a mad woman with a little sense in her.

Michael however, had in his hands his father's New Testament. At some points during his internal prayer, the same memory of his little sister would flash in his mind.

It was a month before his father's death. He had barged into their house and have taken out all stuffs that could be sold off and had not returned until the torment of Nancy's words had disturbed him enough.

"I hate you, brother," Nancy had said, in tears. Then she had hugged both her parents... 

Michael flinched from this line of thought. He started over with the prayer.

When he woke up later at night, he found his mother leaned against his shoulder and in deep sleep.

"Go away!" Her voice rang inside his head, like an alarm which casted a powerful pain inside him. Those were her words when he had returned home.

He felt like a prodigal son. Like he had sinned the most heinous of sins. He had. Wasn't this the reality of the curse of the old woman beggar whose money they had snatched so they could satisfy their worldly desires? Didn't his father died due to that curse...? No... No he didn't. Michael had asked God for forgiveness. He had. And God always forgives. The father accepted the prodigal son... He had faith now. He was all baptized by fire and by water... 

Only a few people remained in the waiting room. Again, Michael flinched from the same dream that had woken him up. He checked the time and saw that it was past three pm. His stomach growled loudly and transfered a wide yawn up his mouth. Michael returned his eyes to his mother.

A great pity overwhelmed him, and a great guilt. From the tip of tear beneath her eye-lid, he could see that it wasn't long that she had fallen asleep. He reached to wipe them off, to comfort her. But his hand paused halfway. He sighed inaudibly, and turned away from her, his heart nurturing up a heap of rage.

A minute later, Michael had shifted from his mother and was buried in prayer. At the back of his mind, he knew the great solace God gave him. He felt accepted and forgiven whenever he had a gripping religious sensation; the feeling of awe.

After a while, a door opened and a familiar nurse called for him. Instantly, his mother woke, agitated. Before Michael could move, she was holding unto the nurses arms and asking about Nancy, with a husky voice. One strained with all the world's sorrow.

The nurse smiled at her. But Michael caught a sight of her pressing shut her eyes so that drops of tears rolled down. The nurse, hurriedly and doing her best to avoid his mother's eyes, ushered them further into the hospital.

The doctor was just closing the door to the surgery room when they reached.

"I'm sorry." It was the first thing the man said. "Nancy just passed away."

Michael was numb for a thousand seconds. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't think. He couldn't... 

His mother had fainted and was being lifted off the floor. Michael, involuntarily gazed at his mother, and the next thing he was running, sprinting as far away from her as posible. 

There was only one fact in his combustive mind: she was never going to see him again.


December 01, 2020 08:57

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2 comments

Kendall Defoe
02:03 Dec 13, 2020

A very dark tale and you have created a stimulating narrative. You should spend more time checking your spelling and word choices ('quited'?). Otherwise, I look forward to reading more of your work!

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Godwin Efu
09:00 Dec 14, 2020

Thanks and noted.

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