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Searching for Me (Part 2)
By the time I got home my mind had lapsed into a tedious stillness. I thought I was dead. But I could hear the chirping birds; I felt the cold ground beneath my feet. So I knew I was alive. For more days than I cared to count, I spoke with no one. Necessary remarks were short. My folks were concerned. I hoped the best version of me would leap into me. At times I laughed hysterically at the subject of my search. I questioned my sanity, but always concluded that I was of good mind, only unusual.
Daily, the sun would come up and go down. I noticed that the moon had a will of its own. I admired the stars too, the way they knew what to do and when to do it. They never showed up with the sun. They were deliberate. At their own time, they unleashed the best versions of themselves. Men who find themselves were often called stars. Little wonder.
I lay in bed. I paced about my room. I went out and came in. Yet the sun, a creature that could neither speak nor boast appeared to have a much more meaningful existence.
“How does it feel to live your best every day?” I asked the sun one day from my room’s window.
When I started asking this question often, in the direction of the sun, speaking to myself and crying, first gentle sobs and then hearty, loud wails, my father sent for Grandma.
I requested private audience. Grandma listened with horror. Though she tried to mask her shock with the cleverness of old age, I saw it. I saw her shoulders twitch involuntarily, I heard her breathing amplify. My mind told me as I spoke “No, not Grandma. She is without the answer”
“Then who has the answer!” I snapped aloud.
Grandma shook to her feet and gripped my shoulders.
“They will fail my child! They will not succeed!” she shouted.
My parents quit eavesdropping and dashed in. I was weeping uncontrollably. Grandma held me tightly, like she feared I would run out into the streets. She kept shouting “They will not succeed! All those evil forces from your father’s household, their efforts will come to nothing!”
My mother screamed “Amen! Yes”
My father looked on, perplexed.
As Grandma kept referring to external forces, I realized something that had gone unnoticed: someone else seemed to be in there in my head. Someone was speaking in my head. It was this person or thing that had exposed the vacuum in the first place. My ignorant mind could not have known. We cannot long for what we do not know and cannot perceive. Someone had brought something to my attention and now I longed for it. Yes, I nodded. Forces from my father’s household it had to be.
I agreed to attend a deliverance session.
The session was promptly arranged to hold the following day. Grandma advised that I rest.
“Eat and sleep my son. Don’t mind them. They have failed” she said.
I giggled to myself at Grandma’s fears. Clearly, she thought I was being ripped out of my mind by evil forces.
The idea of a deliverance session with me as the subject became funny as I mulled over it underneath my duvet. I laughed at the mere thought of it – people encircling me, shaking their heads vigorously, calling down unseen fire, while I wriggled about on the ground, screaming and shouting.
When my Grandma roused me out of sleep the next day, saying it was time to prepare for the deliverance prayer session, I resisted.
“Grandma, I don’t think it is necessary”
Grandma looked over her shoulders at my mother who did not look surprised.
“What did I tell you?” Grandma asked my mother “I told you they would try and harden his heart. But they have failed”
They bundled me into the car and took me away to be delivered from evil forces of my father’s household.
The Reverend gentleman was an acquaintance of Grandma. She did most of the preliminary talking; referring to conversations they’d had on the phone. He began by commending her while peeking into the car where I sat. I stared at him, amused. It was funny how he peeked in as if he expected to see a raving lunatic. I guess the sight of a calm, neatly dressed youth was not his idea of a deliverance candidate.
“It is important to have wise elders like you mama” he said. Then added in the I-am-wise way of Reverend gentlemen “Scripture says: where there is no vision, the people perish”.
It took me years to spot the irony.
I laughed uncontrollably during the deliverance session. Grandma pulled on every strand of her fluffy gray hair. My father’s sweat could have flooded the Sahara.
…the story continues