MY BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBOUR #6 (SHORT STORY)
The Story So Far:
In the last episode, Razor experienced the divine encounter her brother Ebony ran from. This led to revelations of what transpired in her childhood that transformed her into the powerful and mysterious young woman she became. She just couldn’t stop the tears of joy resulting from getting a second chance from God when she thought her fate was sealed.
Will Ebony toe the same line or will the lure of the sins of the flesh and unbridled pursuit of money prevent him from doing so? Then there is the case of Tasia, his beautiful neighbour, who returned ahead of schedule towards the end of the last episode? How will she fit into the current developments?
Find the answers in this sixth and final episode of our captivating story. If you’re just joining us, be sure to read the previous episodes before this to get the full load of entertainment and blessings.
MY BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBOUR #6
“Where’s Dinma?” Tasia asked.
My mouth was agape. Chidinma was Razor’s given name but we all called her Dinma way back. (That name was our mum’s idea but our dad called her Ifeatu*.) After she changed and became a toughie, everyone started calling her Razor. I’d never mentioned her to Tasia. I only told her about my elder sister, Nonye. So how did she know her, down to her real name from childhood?
Razor opened the curtain and peeped out. The next thing that happened baffled me even further. Tasia left me and ran to my flat. She gathered Razor into her arms and began to crush her like a long-lost friend. Razor, on her part, clung to her. Unbelievable! Razor doesn’t do mush, I reminded myself. What is going on?
Tasia, disengaged herself from Razor and held her some inches away. Looking into her eyes, she said, “You have done very well. Congratulations and welcome to the family of God!” She enfolded Razor in another extended hug. My goodness! I was overflowing with questions but I had no chance to ask them.
Tasia took Razor by the hand and they sat on the sofa. She explained that she needed to be properly prayed for to cut her ties with the kingdom of darkness. She would also need to be in close company with believers who would nurture her in the faith and help her battle through the inevitable attacks that would follow her renunciation of the devil. She had arranged for Razor to stay with her pastor and his family and would like to take her there right away.
“Whoa! Hold your horses, would you?” I cut in. “It’s my little sister you’re talking of.” For the first time in many years, Razor looked and acted like just that. Her 5 ft. 1″ frame had started shivering and I felt it was my duty to protect her as I would have been doing all these years if there had been any need. “I can’t just let you take her to live with strangers. I won’t be there to see how they treat her.”
I was referring to the new Razor before me. If it was the old one, I would have been more worried about the welfare of those she was to live with, not that she would have ever agreed to stay under anyone’s roof. Tasia wanted to say something but I held up my hand indicating she should let me finish.
“I see the need for prayer, but we can go when it’s scheduled and come back here.”
“Believe me, you don’t want to stay with her, not right now.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“I mean you are not equipped to handle what’s coming.” She ran to hold Razor down as she had started convulsing.
“Tasia, you’re scaring her.”
“You mean you,” she replied, indicating I was the one who was petrified. She was right but I wasn’t going to admit that.
“We’re wasting time. Go and start the car.”
“She doesn’t need to go anywhere now but a hospital.”
Just then, Razor let out a bloodcurdling scream and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Her eyes began to roll till they were all white and she did a series of high-pitched shrieks that sent me sprinting for the door. I started the car, warmed the engine for a few minutes, then revved it and tooted the horn several times. When they didn’t emerge, I turned off the engine and came back to see what was holding them up, only to see Razor slumped and Tasia commanding the spirit of death to let go of her.
Death? I ran to her and felt for her pulse. None.
“Chineke moo!* Jesus, where are you? Didn’t you promise you will defend her? This can’t be happening! It shouldn’t be happening!”
I was babbling. Meanwhile, Tasia was pacing the room like a military general, quoting the Bible and speaking in some strange language. Then she commanded me to be quiet. Commanded was the word. I’d never seen the woman speak with such authority.
“She will be fine.” How do you know that? I couldn’t voice the question because she had knelt beside Razor as she spoke, placed her right hand on her chest and began to sing and laugh in this foreign language that filled me with dread. I had goose pimples all over my skin as she carried on. This woman is deadly, I told myself. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of this her chant. I realised I never even knew her. I just saw the beautiful wrapping, I had no idea she had so much spiritual power.
I didn’t really want to be there but I was paralyzed with fear. Besides, I was anxious about Razor. Then I noticed Tasia was calling Razor’s name. The surprising thing was she didn’t call her Dinma but Ifeatu. I figured that was the name she was known by in the spirit realm, probably because she was initiated with it. No one told me but I knew she was summoning her spirit out from the realm of death. I closed my eyes and sensed thick darkness.
I began to whisper, “Blood of Jesus! Blood of Jesus!” There was no power in my pronouncements. What right did I have to seek coverage from the blood of Jesus? Then I remembered a story I heard about demons entering any available person when they are chased out. The way Tasia was sounding, that could be any moment. I didn’t want to die, not just yet. So I ran into my bedroom and wonder of wonders, the Lord Jesus, was waiting there for me.
“Would you like us to conclude our discussion now?”
I didn’t actually see Him or hear an audible voice. It was just like before, words in my mind and a Presence in the room, only that this time, I knew those weren’t my thoughts and I wasn’t going to run away.
“With all due respect,” I said, “there’s a dead body out there. Shouldn’t you be more concerned about that?”
“Dead or alive, Chidinma is mine.” He must have seen the look of alarm on my face ’cause he added, “But I’m on it as we speak.”
I don’t know how but I clearly understood what He meant. Tasia was His representative or better still, He was in Tasia dealing with the matter. That also meant the outcome of that situation was in the bag. I then saw why Tasia could declare calmly about Razor, “She will be fine.” I exhaled.
He gently explained that He sent Tasia to be on hand when Razor surrendered to Him and to hand her over to saints that would care for her. He revealed that Razor was destined to be a fiery evangelist but that the enemy came in early to pervert her call and steal her soul.We can have no better pilot for our lives than God who plotted our course from time. Click To Tweet
“I have come to take back that which is mine. You also need to come home to me. The ways of the world will frustrate you more and more but in Me, you will have peace. Do you surrender fully to Me now?”
I closed my eyes and said, “Yes, Lord, I do!” Such joy filled my heart that I broke out in worship. This is what I do for a living, entertaining crowds with gospel songs, but this time I wasn’t singing for tips or applause. I was lost in pure and unadulterated adoration to the Lord. I forgot about time, the commotion in my living room and everything else, until Tasia came and touched my uplifted arm.
“He’s gone!” I lamented when I opened my eyes.
“The Lord. He was right there,” I pointed towards the centre of the room.”
She stared at me for some seconds and saw that I was serious, then she said, “Dinma is sleeping.”
“Praise God!” I shouted, running towards the living room. Tasia followed me with a blanket. She covered Razor, who was curled up on the floor, with it.
“I fed her a meat pie and some fruit juice I had in my bag when she came back. I think we should let her rest. I’ve told the pastor to send a prayer team to attend to her later tonight when she awakes. Tomorrow, we’ll get her settled into the parsonage. Then I can leave for Lagos.”
“Thank you so much.” We stood there in silence, watching Razor sleep. My heart told me I will now be responsible for her upkeep. Then I remembered there had been no time to ask the Lord for a solid means of livelihood but I had got the greatest gift of all: reconciliation with Him. I was excited that I would be embarking on a journey of faith with Him and there would be plenty of time to ask Him that and many more questions along the way. There may be some rough times ahead but Razor and I would be fine regardless. I was certain of that.
The journey would see me making some major adjustments to my lifestyle, like in my relationship with women and how I think about them, especially Tasia. It won’t be easy going by how steeped in that stuff I am, but with the kind of interest the Lord Jesus showed in me and my sister today, I’m confident He’ll help me reorder the trajectory of my thoughts about them and act accordingly. And in Tasia’s case, I can start by calling her a more respectful name, the name she used to introduce herself to me, Mama Chinonso. It may not seem like a big change but it will be a constant reminder that she is not to be messed with, not that I would dare to do so after the kind of display she gave today.
Listening to Razor snoring softly almost made my heart burst with joy. It was such a precious sound to hear and it was possible because of the mercies of the Lord Jesus and the angel standing beside me. She went to stretch out on the sofa and I decided it was time to ask some of the questions that arose in my mind when she arrived suddenly and all alone. I sat on an armchair adjacent to the sofa.
“My children said they wanted to spend their entire hols in Lagos, that means we’re spending Christmas and the New Year over there. But I had a burden for you and your sister. I prayed and fasted about it for three days and the Lord told me to come here today, that you guys will be needing my help. I got my husband’s permission and flew down.”
As I listened to Mama Chinonso, I knew that she was an epitome of true beauty: not just a pretty face and a shapely body but a woman with an intimate relationship with the Lord and a deep love for others. She had shown me nothing but kindness from the first time I moved here and had brought out the best in me. I knew that if she had let me have my way with her or even encouraged my immoral moves in any way, I would have lost my respect for her.
They say, “Beauty is only skin deep,” but I guess they’ve never met Mama Chinonso, my beautiful neighbour.
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2017
*Ifeatu means “a wonder” in Igbo
*Chineke moo! is Igbo for “Oh my God!” It’s lamentation in this context.
PS: It has truly been a pleasure regaling you with this inspiring narrative. May God guide your steps and bind you to Himself with cords of love in Jesus’ name.
LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
What do you make of Ebony and Razor’s confessions of faith? Do you feel that Ebony, especially, can last as a believer?
Have you ever faced a life-threatening situation in which God displayed His awesome power on your behalf?
Now for a roundup: Kindly share what you’re taking away from this entire story, “My Beautiful Neighbour”.
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