By Jenn Azu

“We expect him to come around soon.” A male voice said. “His vitals are stable but we will keep him on ventilation until he comes out of coma.”

“Thank you doctor.” Replied a familiar female voice.

At first, the blurred images above me moved sluggishly like tall trees and my body felt too heavy when I tried to move. Where in the world was I and why are trees talking?

I heard some footsteps and it seemed someone or people walked away.

“You will be fine honey.” The female voice whispered close to my head and at the same time a soft hand caressed my arm.

“You will walk out of this place on your own two feet.” I recognized the voice this time, it’s my wife’s. I have missed her. I wanted to scream and hold her but still could not move. I could not understand why my body would not obey my desire to move. I struggled awhile within and was about to give up when I heard her start to cry.

Her cry did a solid blow to my heart. I could be all shades of evil but not heartless to my wife. I have always known she is one good thing, if not the only good choice, I ever made. How do I tell her I can hear her? I felt helpless. What happened to me anyway?

“Honey you are crying!” She suddenly said with awe in her voice. “Oh my God! Those are tears running down your temple. That means you are awake. Hallelujah! Praise God.” She said pulling her hands away from me momentarily. I imagined she threw them up in the air in worship as typical of my very religious wife.

I had adored every bit of this woman except her piousness. When I first met my wife, she had no particular religion, yet conservative. In fact, she first caught my attention because she was extremely beautiful but modest which was a rare combination among girls her age. However, I fell in love with her for her personality. She was innocent, shy, introspective and intelligent. It was two years after our marriage she started changing. Not that she deviated from her normal self. She just became deeply religious.

“Dear, I enjoyed us more when you had no religion or made obeisance to no god like me.” I would complain.

“Honey, every man worships a ‘god.’ People just don’t think of it that way but they do.” She would retort.

“How do you mean?”

“Some people worship money, some fame, and some others worship pleasures like appetite, sex, alcohol etcetera.”

“Those things are normal to life, dear. They don’t make demands or have laws to abide by as your faith and God demands.”

“And that is exactly why no one sees their idols as ‘gods’ but whatsoever reins control over a man is his god and they do make demands too.”

“How? ” I wanted to understand her view point

“Take money for example, to be rich, one has to dedicate time and resources and also understand the rules of building wealth and follow them tenaciously. In doing all of this, a man will be following the laws of money and striving to meet the demands of owning it.”

Listening to my wife at moments like that make me a proud husband. Not for what she was trying to defend for that makes no sense to me but that she understood things like ‘rules to build wealth’ well enough to use it for her analogy.

“There is nothing wrong in making money, dear. It answers to our needs.”

“Money is not wrong in itself but when a person cheats or kills to get hold of it, it has become his or her god.” She would explain. At such point, I would shake my head and give up on the conversation because I may start to feel condemned by her responses if I pushed any further.

I did not understand why someone would have so much reverence for an unseen God and believe so strongly in a book written about that God that they try to practice whatever is written in it regardless of how inconvenient it may be to them. One day, Michele had told me that her God does not approve of sex outside of marriage. Not that I approve of unfaithfulness for the married but I don’t see anything wrong with the young unmarried ones choosing to express their natural emotions. What? Are they supposed to repress their emotions until they are married? Such unintelligent and stupid set of laws to follow. it makes no sense. I’d shake my head that the thought.

I still loved my wife but maintained my hatred and distance from her religion or any religion until I ran into trouble at work. At the time, I was only a junior inspector of police who managed a police unit. The adult son of a state governor was accused of crime and was kept in the custody of my unit until his trial. Unfortunately, My team was attacked on our way to court on the day of trial by a gang of armed men and the man got kidnapped. Not only was I afraid of losing my job, I was afraid for my life because top powerful people quickly got involved. I still clearly remember my distress that period. I was stripped of my uniform and sent home to await my fate while intense search continued for the missing person.

“Honey, the boy will be found.” My wife blurted two days later while serving dinner.

“How do you know? And he is not a boy.” I sneered

“While I was praying this afternoon, the Lord impressed it on my heart that he will be found.” She insisted. “He will be found before the end of Thursday. His captors will cheat on themselves and one of them will spill the truth.”

Needless to say it happened exactly as she said it. If I had not known my wife, I might had been suspicious of her for foreknowledge of the events that followed. But there was no way she would have ordinarily known the high profile case involving a political rival of the said governor whose son got roped in maliciously except, of course, by some divine means. Besides, her gift to predict events accurately proved itself overtime but she always attributed it to “The Lord.” I gained a new respect for her faith ever since.

“Your driver found you lying unconscious in our bedroom four days ago.” Her voice interrupted my thoughts. “What could have happened to you?” She appeared to whisper it to herself than to me.

I was found unconscious four days ago? I darted my eyes back and forth, wanting her to say more but I doubt she understood. Slowly, it all started to come back to me. The dream, the strange wind and the force. The memory of them all made me break out in cold sweat.

“I will go call a doctor!” She said and rose to step away. I wanted to hold her back to stay with me. The return of the memory of what happened brought on a fresh slew of fear but she was already gone.

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