Fiction

The Atheist – Episode Nine

THE ATHEIST - EPISODE NINE

Copyright © Ufuomaee

I hear a sound in the distance. It's dull at first, and then becomes sharper, piercing through my brain until my eyes open. I open them wide, as I take in my surroundings. Where am I now?

The ceiling looks very familiar. I turn my head sharply to the left, as the sound is even louder, and red luminous lights are arranged together to say 5:00 am. It registers in my brain that it's an alarm clock, but why would it be set at such an hour? My alarm doesn't usually go off until 6:30 am. I stretch out my hand to silence it and enjoy the swift relief it brings.

I rest my head back on the pillow, now aware that I'm in my bed, in my bedroom, in my house. I turn to the right, but that side of the bed is vacant. Okay... What is happening now? Where's Samuel?!

Samuel... I haven't seen him since... I sit up suddenly, my hand on my pounding chest. This feels different. Am I alive?

I look about slowly, assessing the room. I climb out of bed, switch on the lights and realise all I have on are my boxer shorts. I catch my reflection in the mirror, and I walk towards it. There's a simple test to know if this is real.

I stretch my hand towards the mirror and bump my fingers against the glass. I lay my palms flat on the mirror, pushing against it. But my hand remains firmly on the mirror. I am not able to pass through it. So... Ummm... What does this mean?

I start to smile, realising that I'm not dead! Was it all a dream?! Oh my God, was it a dream?! What day is it?!

I look around for my phone. It's on top of the dresser, where I usually keep it. Picking it up, I unlock it and, on the home screen, the date reads 22nd September, 2017. An alarm had gone off at 5 am on it too. How weird! Why would I set an alarm to wake up at 5 am?

And that's when I remember.

I have a flight to catch at 8 am. This is the weekend of my getaway with Kim... So, we haven't gone yet... And that means, she's also safe at home.

Unsteadily, I step back and sit on my bed. Okay, what's going on? Did I have a premonition? I swallow as I think of what this means. Had any of it been real?

I still remember seeing and holding my kids, like it just happened. I try to remember the last things I saw and heard while in that place. My memory of it all is in pieces. It didn't feel like a dream.

Where's Angela, I suddenly wonder? I just know I need to see her. I wonder why she's not sleeping in our room. Maybe she's gone to check on Lucy. Oh, God, is Lucy okay?

I hurry up and slip on a shirt and shorts, before sliding my feet into a pair of slippers, and head out the bedroom door. The house is still dark. I open the door to Lucy's room, but she's fast asleep, and Angela is not there.

Closing the door slowly, I go down the stairs, wondering why everywhere is so quiet, if Angela is awake. Has she gone out to do something urgently? At the bottom of the stairs, I start to hear whispering. That's strange.

I follow the sound to the guest bedroom downstairs. I lean against the door to listen. It's not all that clear, but I can distinguish Angela's voice.

"Arrest him, Lord! Please arrest him," she seems to say over and over.

Is Angela praying?! When did she become a Christian? Or is this some other religion? A cult? I listen some more.

"I don't know what to do. He doesn't care about us anymore. I don't know if I can stay. Lord, please arrest him!"

I swallow. I'm convicted by her words. She doesn't think I love her. But what does she mean by arrest him?

I want to open the door, but I can't. I don't want her to know that I've heard her prayers. But I feel so sad.

I creep back to our bedroom and pick up my phone. There's a text from Kim.

"Hey, you up yet? I'm almost ready to go. I can't wait to see you xoxo"

I stare at the message as tears gather in my eyes. Angela knows about Kim. I know that now. How long has she known? I click to respond.

"I'm sorry. I can't come. I'm sorry."

She sends a message seconds later.

"Why?  Is everything okay?"

Moments later, my phone vibrates. She's calling. I reject the call and proceed to switch off my phone. I know what I have to do. I can't wait to do it. I need to make things right.

I head back out of the room and down the stairs. Angela is still praying. I open the door.

She turns and looks at me, wipes her tears quickly, and stands up.

"Everything okay, Darren? Is Lucy okay?"  She's suddenly worried.

I go to her and hold her hand, my head bowed. "Lucy's fine," I say through a choked throat. "The problem is me."

She looks at me, clearly surprised and a little anxious. "What's the problem, Darren?" she asks with such genuine care.

"Something happened to me last night... I had a dream. I think it may have been a premonition. I think God was warning me..."

"Darren, you don't believe in God..."

I look in her eyes and see the joy dancing behind them. She is as shocked as I am when I say, "I believe I do..."

She looks at me, expectantly, waiting for me to finish.

"I heard you praying just now... You were praying for God to arrest me?"

She looks away and down at her hands. She nods.

I swallow. "Well, He did. He even did the whole celestial court thing," I chuckle, though it's not funny.  "You know, I didn't know you were a Believer..."

She looks at me. "Honestly, I have had my doubts. But I am now."

To be continued...

Photo credit: www.pixabay.com.

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4 replies »

  1. This episode took me by surprise. Not sure why I didn’t anticipate it might be a dream, as I’ve had my fair share of rapture dreams over the years…always felt so real.

    I was really interested to see where you were going with the “Touched by an Angel” eschatology pattern…

    Well done, Ufuoma. Good read, as usual!

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