MY BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBOUR #5 (SHORT STORY)
The Story So Far:
In the last episode, Ebony, feeling he had come to his wits’ end, attempted to pray for a “reasonable” means of livelihood. His involvement in online scams had not yielded the steady windfalls he had expected. However, he cut his prayer short when he sensed he was about to have a supernatural encounter and invited his sister, Razor, to help him fathom what was happening.
Will Razor, whom Ebony has repeatedly described as evil, help or worsen his situation? As Ebony himself asked, is he ready to change or he just wants to flirt with God to get some financial stability while continuing in his old ways?
Also, he did say his beautiful neighbour, Tasia, was due back. How will her return affect Ebony’s bumbling steps in God’s direction? Answers and unexpected turns await in this episode. Have fun!
MY BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBOUR #5
Shortly after 6 p.m., I noticed my key bunch was in my trouser pocket and since Tasia’s key was in it, I decided to sit in her flat, rather than stand outside. I hadn’t bought Razor’s suya* but I figured we could do that when she arrived as I had no money on me. Nothing could convince me to enter my flat to get some money. I kept Tasia’s front door open to see when Razor came.
About 6:20 p.m., I heard a knock on my front door and peeped out. Razor had arrived and I invited her over to join me. The moment she stepped on Tasia’s welcome mat, she jumped back as if she had walked on live coals.
“Are you alright?”
“Is this a trap?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I can’t enter that house. The woman who lives there is a beautiful soul.”
“Are you telling me? She’s the one I told you I fell in love with. She is not just beautiful, she is exquisite!”
“I can’t enter there. If you want to talk to me, come outside.”
She moved to my porch. I locked Tasia’s door and followed her.
When we entered my flat, I felt we would talk in the living room since I had been praying in the bedroom before taking fright.
But Razor turned and bolted.
“What is wrong with her today?” I asked myself, only to come outside and see her crying and babbling by the ixora hedge in front of the house.
I didn’t know what to do but call her repeatedly. This went on for about three minutes. Then she seemed to be nodding and turned. She was coming back to my flat. I ran to Tasia’s side of the house. If Razor has gone mad, I need to stay far from her.
She beckoned on me and went inside with the tears still streaming from her eyes. I approached gingerly but when I looked in and saw her sitting on the sofa, weeping, she seemed harmless enough and I walked in. I chose an armchair some distance from her and sat.
“Would you mind telling me what is going on? Why are you acting so strange and crying? Razor, you never cry! What is wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong. In fact, things have never been better.”
“Does that make any sense to you?”
“I saw the Holy One and I got a second chance.”
“Second chance at wha…? Wait a minute! You saw Him! So I was right. I wasn’t imagining that Presence.”
“Wait! Why would you see Him while I didn’t? Razor, you and I know you are evil.”
“Just like that?”
“If you can only wait, I’ll explain to you what just happened.”
I kept quiet and she continued.When we think all hope is lost, God can give a second chance. Click To Tweet
“I refused to enter your neighbour’s flat because it’s holy ground. You know that I was close to Dad and he handed over his powers to me before he died.”
“No wonder!” I exclaimed. “But how could he do that? You were only seven, for goodness sake!”
“He said I was his favourite and I was intrigued by his control over people and situations.”
“And where did that get him? He was just in his thirties when he died.”
Something just occurred to me. “Oh my God! I can now see why he named me Ikemefuna*.”
“He said the moment you were born looking like mum, he knew you would be cowardly.”
“What? …” Razor cut off any further protestations.
“Then I came along looking just like him. And as double confirmation, I loved the power so much. But to make matters worse, I have been developing them.”
“Ewu Chimoo, Razor what have you got yourself into? I always felt you were involved in something bad but I never bothered to dig into it. Are you a witch? Or is it one of those esoteric societies?”
“The less you know, the better for you. Anyway, if I entered your neighbour’s flat, I would be disarmed. I would lose what I’d gained through years of training and sacrifice. But a more serious threat stared me in the face as soon as I entered your flat.”
I was warming up to the story. She had stopped to cry but she sensed my impatience and continued, albeit in between sobs.
“The Holy One was standing in your bedroom doorway. I fled because I knew it was death to see Him or acknowledge Him. I’d made my choice at seven: I wanted great power, I wanted to control people and I forfeited part of my life span for that, meaning I would die young like Dad.”
“As I ran out, He appeared before me at the hedge. I felt His goodness and knew I had chosen wrongly but I thought it was too late. He read my thoughts and said He was giving me a second chance. I told Him I had a master already. He said, ‘I died for you. You may think you still have time but your current master is a liar and will take you before you reach 30.’ I told Him that my master would kill me anyway for talking to Him. He replied, ‘I am the Lion of the tribe of Judah. I will defend you.’
“I had always thought I would be at least 38 like Dad before dying or I could even buy myself more time with higher sacrifices. But as the Holy One spoke, I knew He was telling me the truth. My defences fell away and I fell in love with Him. He is pure and totally good. I accepted his offer of a second chance and asked Him to be my Lord henceforth.” And she started weeping really hard.
“Is that why you are crying like this? What you’ve just told me is very good news.”
“Don’t you see? These are tears of joy. I never knew I could ever get a second chance. I thought my fate was sealed.”
We heard a car arrive and behold, it was Tasia! In a taxi. I ran out. She was a day early. I was expecting her kids in the car but she was alone. I wanted to help carry in her suitcase but she wasn’t carrying any. It was just her handbag and a big look of concern on her face.
To be continued
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2017
*”suya” is roasted meat sold by Hausa street vendors
*Ikemefuna is a male name in Igbo that means “Let my power not be lost”.
*”Ewu Chimoo” is “Oh my God” in lamentation mode
LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt all hope was lost and God’s mercy stepped in to make things fine again?
What is your take on the saying, “Serving the devil is a poor choice because you will lose more than you will ever gain”?
Have you experienced or observed parental favoritism anywhere? Do tell us about it and how it affected the children, especially the favoured one.
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