The morning alarm had rung several times and each time it rang, I’d snooze it. My phone rang, it wasn’t the alarm, it was Gold calling me. You remember Gold? You sure do!
“I don’t know why he wants to see you. Honestly, I don’t.” Gold said.
I sighed. “Is the issue that important? Can’t he tell me on phone?”
“He sounded like the issue was urgent and he doesn’t want to say it over the phone.”
“I don’t know but… Do you have any clue of what he wants to say?”
“He didn’t give any clue at all.”
“Okay, it’s alright sha. You still remember my place, abi…”
“Yes! I do.”
“E dey alright like that. Come with him this afternoon.”
“Okay, no wahala. Michael, how’s your walk…” I did not let him finish his statement before I hung up the call.
I knew what he wanted to ask him and I was not in the mood to answer questions like that. There was nothing I felt besides hatred for my father and guilt from my past. I wish I could forget everything.
They say God blots out our sins once we become His own by believing in His Son – Jesus Christ, but why did I have to remember everything? How wonderful it’d have been if God had just told me loud and clear that He had forgiven me and that I should not stay with my broken chains on. Probably, I’d have been convinced beyond doubt that I was truly forgiven.
I would always look at the past, and find it hard to believe that God had forgiven me. I killed Margaret. Yes, I did. If she had not come visiting, she would not be dead. Fredo also died. It felt like I killed them both myself. A night would barely go by without having a nightmare about it all.
The estate was dead silent as usual, and the knocks on the gate pierced through the thickness of silence. It woke me from my nap.
Baba – the gateman, entered the living room, “some people dey look for you. Him talk say him be Gold, another person dey with him.”
“Let them come in. They are my friends.”
Gold came in with Perry – we stayed on the same floor in the hall before the whole Fredo incident happened.
“Welcome, guys. How far now?” I shook Gold.
“Everything dey o. Na you I see like this.” Gold smiled as he sat down.
“So, this is Perry. You sabi Perry now, abi?” Gold pointed held Perry’s shoulders.
“I know him na. Why you come dey introduce him?” Perry’s silence and the face he wore got me a little worried. He looked like somebody who couldn’t wait to spill something out.
“Me and Gold don dey gist since, you no talk. Wetin dey now?” I looked at him.
“I think I should leave you both to talk.” Gold stood to leave and Perry pulled his hands almost immediately. “Stay.”
Gold looked at him, and Perry met his gaze with a pleading eye. “Please. Sit.”
Gold looked at me, then sat down.
First, I thought Perry wanted to come tell me how he was sorry about all that happened to me. But there was more, and at that point, Gold and I were so eager to know what he wanted to say.
“You see, the night Fredo died, I was with him before he died.”
I raised my eyebrows, and before I could say anything, Perry said, “You know I didn’t kill him. I did not…”
“Then why are you here?” Gold said in frustration.
“I can’t just get my head off it that I was there when he had his last breath.” Tears filled up his eyes. “Night after night, I keep having dreams of that scene. It’s making me go crazy.”
“Perry. You didn’t kill him.” I rubbed his shoulders.
“But I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t do anything. I also didn’t tell anyone that I was there. You could have been imprisoned”
“Because there was nothing you could have done. Thank God, he didn’t end up there.” Gold said firmly.
Perry raised his head, “all I could think of was telling him to believe in Jesus. And I don’t even know why… And I’m the least of all believers.”
“I’m not sure, but I think he did. I remembered the prayers I said when I believed in Christ. That was the same prayer I asked him to say. But I’m not sure if it’s that simple.”
Gold screamed. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” He jumped and jabbed his arm in the air like someone who had gotten a million dollars.
“It is as simple as that, it’s all in Romans 10:9-10.” Gold said smiling.
“Gold. Fredo died!” I couldn’t make a sense of it, how he’d be rejoicing at that moment.
“But he’s definitely going to live if he put his faith in Christ before dying. Isn’t that enough to rejoice? Weren’t you also worried about his soul? Abeg, you should be happy.”
For a while, Perry and I were silent. Honestly, I believed Christ, and His saving grace but I found it hard that it could be as simple as that.
Gold sat and replied to my thoughts as if he heard them, “It is as simple as that. That costs the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. I hope you’re not doubting the forgiveness and justification you have received in Christ.”
Before the unexpected happening, the evening had been full of thoughts. I kept thinking of what Gold said earlier that day. As much as I believed, guilt still nagged back at me about my pasts.
“You’re an ungrateful man! Stupid!” My mother was furiously raining abusive words on my father.
I ran down to see what was happening. Before I knew what was happening, my mother was packing her loads. She kept foaming at the mouth.
Immediately, I thought. “The letter! She must have read the letter.”
I was utterly confused. Was that the only part she read in the letter? I could not even resist her from packing her loads.
“I hope the church never reinstall you back as a pastor! You’re a snake, and I trusted you!” She hissed and snapped her finger.
My father was on his knees sweating profusely and weeping. All he could say was, “please, don’t leave.” He held her, “there’s nothing more to explain. You explained everything already in the church.” My mother replied.
For a moment, I felt sad for my father and joined him in pleading to my mother.
“Michael! Do you know what your father did? He slept with my biological sister! My sister! Not once, not twice! They did it for years! What if she never dropped any letter before she died. You will still be silent about it.”
“Honestly, I was going to tell you. I was just looking for the perfect time.” He went back on his knees.
“Now, it’s all over!” She wriggled herself out of his hold. “I’m gone!”
And she was truly gone!
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