In the end, I had to trust in the handsome young man called Yaw Boat.
I told him I had to speak to my mother and the girl I loved so much and yet hurt so badly, Kuks.
I informed Yaw Boat that my mother was four hours away at our village, and he told me that my mother was already in the city; he explained that my mother had had a series of bad dreams about me, revealed to her by the Lord, and so she had already come to the city.
She had called Kuks, whom she was still in touch with. Kuks had already been informed by Sandra, Randy’s bride-to-be, that we had been involved in an accident and that I was the only one who was still breathing but in critical condition.
And so, Kuks had been on her way to the hospital when my mother called her. She had met my mother, and both of them were now at the hospital waiting for me to come out of the operation room.
I stared at this young man for a while and asked softly.
“How did you know all that?”
“I know,” he said softly as he opened the door of a huge, sleek, black Escalade and got behind the wheel.
And I marvelled greatly.
This man was so young, so handsome, so charming…and yes, so rich!
And yet he was filled with a gift as awesome as seeing into the spiritual world and even commanding demons and death messengers! He could have been a player wallowing in decadent sin, but obviously he had found a far higher calling!
Who was he? How had he come to be so gifted?
I rode in the backseat of his car as we moved toward the hospital. I tried to ask him questions about himself, and he simply told me to ‘shut the fuck up’ and so I stopped; you see, I didn’t want him to be angry with me because he seemed to be my only hope for now.
As we travelled, I broached the subject of repentance to him and the need to get my soul back into my body because in my hovering state I had not been able to pray and repent. He told me brusquely to forget it, that it was too late, and that only God could put my soul back into my body.
Eventually, we got to the hospital and moved to the intensive care unit. He walked through with a cold face and just demanded to see me, and the surgeons and nurses were so accommodating of him, as if going out of their way to please him, and once again I was struck with wonder at such majestic favour reposed in one so young!
The surgery, we learnt, was finally over and my body had been wheeled to the ward. My injuries were too extensive and the surgeon said they had done their best but it would be a miracle if I survived.
Because of that no one would be allowed to come near me for about a week because they had induced me into a coma to help me heal!
I became quite agitated about this because I knew I did not have a week, no! The horror and anxiety increased in me and I began to go into a hysterical explosion, begging Yaw Boat to help me, but he largely ignored me.
My dear mother and Kuks were weeping pathetically in the waiting room of the ICU, together with Sandra and most of my friend’s parents. Some of our friends were also there, and the room seemed like a funeral, and if I had been human my heart would probably had broken!
Yaw Boat walked up to my mother and Kuks and asked them to follow him. My mother looked at him with great tears on her face and her poor heart broken, but her eyes widened with great shock when she stared at Yaw Boat.
“You!” she whispered with great shock. “You were…I saw you, in my dreams…last night! Yes, I was weeping, trying to find my son…and you were comforting me!”
“I saw you too!” Kuks said with rapt disbelief as she stared at Yaw Boat. “In my dreams…I was lost in the woods, and you appeared and took my hand…”
We looked at this young handsome man with reverent shock because he was indeed special, and touched us in a special way. But he did not smile as he looked at the women.
“Come with me,” he repeated and turned away from them.
Kuks and my mother held hands as they hurried out of the room and followed the tall, regal form of the man called Yaw Boat. He took them to the ward where there were three surgeons emerging out of the room I was being kept.
They tried to resist us, but Yaw Boat told him he was my friend, and the women were my mother and my fiancée, and they just wanted to see me for a little while.
The head surgeon sighed, but I knew he was going to give in; this young man had a special grace on him, and no one could really deny him. I felt rush of emotions as he referred to me as his friend.
The surgeons gave them five minutes, and then they entered the ward!
I looked horrible!
My broken body was connected to a lot of beeping machines, and my whole body was almost in a cast. It seemed every bone was broken in my body. There were tubes in my arms and patches on my chest!
There were tubes in my mouth and nostril, and tubes in my stomach!
My poor mother’s legs gave, and she would have fallen to the ground if Yaw Boat had not reached out to hold her!
Kuks had fallen to her knees at the foot of the bed and her tears fell in torrents as her heart was broken.
“Oh, Joojo, my love, Joojo!” she cried brokenly. “Forgive me, Jo! Oh, I should not have left you alone in that church, Jo! Oh, Jo! I’ll die without you…please don’t go, don’t leave me, Jo!”
My mother stumbled forward and fell on her knees beside Kuks, and her trembling hands touched my feet, and she wept so heartbrokenly that I could barely bear to watch!
I hovered over my body and at that particular point in time my agony was at its peak!
And then Yaw Boat spoke calmly.
“If I be the servant of the most true high God, the Lord of Hosts, as I am enabled by the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on Mount Golgotha, I command the peace of God into you, women.”
And then an amazing thing happened!
I saw the two women at the foot of the bed suddenly surrounded by a spectral light which was as soothing to behold as it was glorious, and they reached out and held each other, and I saw divine calm returning to their faces as they looked at me.
At that moment, I could have hugged that young man Yaw Boat if I could.
My mother looked at him with awe and whispered.
“Who are you, my son?”
“That is of no import, ma’am,” he said gently. “What matters now is that Joojo’s spirit is here, and he has seen you, and he wants you two to know he’s very sorry for all he did against you.”
My mother gasped.
“He’s here, right here?”
“He is,” Yaw Boat said.
“Oh, Jo!” Kuks whispered. “Oh, Jo! Please, forgive me!”
“Please, tell her I never let our C-O-L go,” I whispered with a choked voice.
“And what the hell is this C-O-L you never let go?” Yaw Boat asked.
Kuks choked suddenly and reached into her dress and pulled out the chain around her neck.
“Our Chain Of Love!” she whispered and tears came to her eyes again. “Oh, Jo! I never let mine go either! Oh, he’s indeed here! Jo, don’t go, come back to me, please! I can’t breathe without you!”
“Crap!” Yaw Boat whispered.
And so, with Yaw Boat in the middle, I made my peace with the two most important people in my life! I wished them to remain together forever. I told Kuks who had lost both parents to take my mother as her mother, and I implored my mother who was now childless to take Kuks as her daughter, and find a man who was in the Lord to marry.
Working on a hunch, I asked Yaw Boat if he would marry her, and he just stared at me and uttered one word.
My mother begged me not to speak as if I were dying, but to be positive because the God she served would bring me back. Finally, I told them about the two million dollars in my account. Luckily, my phone, wallet and jewellery on me were on a small table at the head of the bed, and Yaw Boat was able to access my account and confirmed that the money had been received into my account using my bank app on the phone.
Quickly, he transferred half the money into Kuks’ account, and half into my mother’s account as I instructed.
Eventually, the surgeons came and told them it was time to go!
I begged Yaw Boat to stay with me as they left, but he hardly paid heed to me. I had done what was necessary, but it was left with what was important and pressing: I had not been able to repent yet!
As he walked out with my mother and Kuks I screamed at him to help me, but he looked at me sadly for a while, shook his head sadly and spoke.
“I’m sorry, buddy,” he said. “Nothing I can do now.”
He looked so genuinely sad that my voice choked as a horrible truth dawned on me: I was not destined to be one of God’s chosen!
As the door closed behind them, I tried to hover outside, but to my horror, I could not! I simply slammed against the door and could not go outside!
And then I heard a horrible rumbling behind me, and when I turned slowly, I saw the horrible, smoking messenger of death standing and puffing at the head of the bed and glaring at me with fire in its eyes and throat!
And there was fire burning wildly in its hands!
It was time!
Oh, Lord, on no, oh Jesus…please, have mercy on me, Lord, oh please!
And then my tendril separated from my body!
All the machines began to beep in a prolonged mode….
I was dead!
Oh, a sinner like me!
How many times had I not heard the Gospel of God?
And how many times had I not thought about it as crap and moved on to higher debauchery?
And now here I was, faced with the most horrible of destinations! Oh, if I could for one second draw breath, I would shout with all my heart that Jesus was Lord and I would swim in the salvation of the Gospel with my whole body and soul!
But it was too late…
I had died in my sins!
As I screamed in pained anguish, that horrible demon grabbed my head in both hands and began to push me into its flaming body!
I screamed and screamed with the terror, and then the door crashed open and the surgeons came in and began to check my body!
And then, quite suddenly, Yaw Boat appeared behind them and he reached out suddenly…and caught my tendril which was beginning to disappear into my body!
“Sir, please, step outside!” one of the surgeons roared furiously. “We need to attend to him!”
“You do not command me,” Yaw Boat said coldly. “This man is going to wake up for one minute to accept Christ before he dies. Move aside!”
“Now, wait a minute, sir!” the surgeon said, his voice belligerent and getting angry. “The man is already dead! Now…”
And Yaw Boat fixed him with the coldest of stares in the world.
“You will keep quiet, and you will move aside!” he said.
And I was in no doubt when the three surgeons and the two nurses in the room kept quiet, and slowly stepped back from the bed!
Yaw Boat still had the tendril of my soul in his hand, and now he looked up and stared at the Messenger of Death.
“Let him be!” he said softly.
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“This is not your turf, Unblind!” the Death Messenger growled ominously. “You’re overstepping your authorities! The soul left the body completely, and he is dead! He comes with me! He belongs to me until the Judgement Day, as professed by the Good Book! You will let that soul go!”
And Yaw Boat scowled at the demon.
“The likes of you do not command me!” he hissed angrily. “I know that with faith I can do anything!”
“YOUR FAITH DOES NOT TRANSCEND THE AFTERLIFE!” the demon screamed furiously and tried to cram me into its flaming body.
And I knew that a deadly spiritual warfare was now going on, and my destiny was now in the hands of this strange young man.
“Anything means anything!” Boat hissed softly. “With faith I can move mountains into the sea, and with faith I can declare life back into the death!”
“YOU CANNOT DECLARE LIFE WHEN THE APPOINTED TIME IS NIGH, AS DECLARED BY THE MOST HIGH!” the demon boomed. “THIS DECADENT SOUL IS CLAIMED! THE APOINTED TIME HAS DAWNED! YOU EARTHLING FOOL, YOU USURP THE POWERS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD AT YOUR OWN PERIL!”
“I do not wish to usurp the powers of my Lord!” Yaw Boat hissed softly. “But I know the harvest is big and the servants few, and I know the Lord of Hosts will leave all the rest of the sheep to look for a lost one, and yes, the whole of Heaven rejoices when a prodigal son comes home…and so, as I be the servant of the Lord, and I am empowered by the blood of His son Jesus, in that mighty name do I claim this soul for Heaven in the name of Jesus! Begone, Demon, for you and your ilk sore vex me to the core of my very soul!”
And then with a furious pull, that wonderful young man dragged my tendril down and practically smashed it into my body!
I felt a moment of sheer torture as pain shot through…and I opened my eyes and screamed…
And I screamed in my body!
I was alive, I was awake!
The machines were now going piing-piing, piing-piing, piing-piing!
The doctors looked at me with horror!
The nurses screamed, and then I saw my mother and Kuks coming back in screaming with joy!
There was pandemonium as I hugged my mother and I kissed Kuks and defied the pains in my body.
“He’s dying,” I finally heard Yaw Boat saying. “I didn’t bring him back for this.”
And they all looked at him with sudden awe and fear, and stepped aside.
And, as I looked at him, and great balls of tears fell down my face.
“I didn’t make it?” I whispered painfully.
“It is your appointed time, I’m sorry,” he said softly.
I nodded painfully.
“What do I do now?” I asked with an aching heart.
He took my hand gently.
“Pray from your heart,” he said softly. “That is up to you. Your sincerity will determine your destination.”
And so, surrounded by the women I loved, and by stunned doctors, and holding the hand of the most amazing person I had ever seen, I prayed with a sincere heart for the very first time in my life…
“I accept you into my heart, Jesus Christ,” I whispered as tears fell down my cheeks. “You came to die for my sins, indeed, and you’re the only true son of the God Most High. Today, wash my sins clean, please accept me as your son, and let my soul find rest in your bosom. I denounce the world, I denounce my sins, and I take only You as my Lord and personal saviour!’ Amen!”
I heard a lot of ‘amens’ around me.
Kuks was weeping uncontrollably, but I saw relieved joy on her face.
Yaw Boat was walking toward the door.
“Yaw!” I called feebly with tears on my cheeks, and he stopped and turned.
“What now?” he asked.
“Thank you, my brother,” I said with all the gratitude in my heart. “Thank you so very much!”
“Fuck you,” he said, and I laughed because it was exactly what I had expected…and I was laughing all along when I saw myself floating slowly up toward the ceiling!
The machines were going piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnng again!
I was dead!
My mother and my dear Kuks were holding each other and weeping silently…yeah, they were in pain, but they would be alright. God would look after them. They were becoming smaller and smaller as I ascended higher and higher, and now I could see the doctors removing the medical aids attached to my body.
Kuks was now leading my mother out of the room, and a nurse slowly draws the white sheet across my face.
That was alright, I was fine now.
My appointed time had come…
And now they had all left the ward, and my body was lying in the bed, alone, yeah, that was okay too!
I felt a bright shine behind me, and yes, I heard that sweet, sweet music behind me, and a moment later there he was, a very bright, divine angel.
“Hello, Faithful Servant,” he said gently. “I’m Angel Michael, and I’m here to accompany you…”
Faithful Servant? Really? No, I had not been faithful! I had been filled with filth, and I deserved to be somewhere worse, but maybe, the prayers of a devout mother, and the prayers of a good girl had reached the ears of a God who loved them, and I had been damned lucky…
Oh, how I wished I could see Randy, Steve and Akwasi now, and just inform them that our life had been the worst one possible.
And so, here I am, I turn now…
Oh, what a glorious sight that meets my eyes!
I cannot believe the splendour, the sheer beauty at the top of the golden staircase I am ascending!
Oh, what glory!
In the end, I fought for my salvation with the desperation of a dying tiger! Yes, I admit now, I had been lucky, so damn lucky, to find grace on the eleventh hour!
But where are my friends?
They are nowhere to be found, and I am sure they wish they had listened whilst they were alive…
I feel pity for them, but there is nothing I can do!
But what about you?
Have you listened to anything I have said?
Are you listening now?
This is my time…and I am done…
My name is Joojo MacBaiden, and this is my time…
When will your time be?
How will your time be?
Maybe, just maybe, you don’t have as much time as you think, just like I thought!
Appointed times, think about that, ponder on that…
This, indeed, is my time…
Story by Aaron ANSAH-AGYEMAN