Chibuzo is a life coach and mentor who has helped hundreds in dealing with depression and living their best lives as God intended.
The Voice in the Storm - A Short Story
He stirs slowly and then jolts up from a long sleep filled with very unpleasant dreams, dreams that are about to become reality. He has a dull headache and his breathe and mouth smell and taste like raw, rotten meat. He rubs his eyes as he sits up, the events of what he thinks to be a couple of hours ago slowly filter in through a very foggy mind. The nightstand beside him reveals the bottle of pills right in front of the half empty bottle of Barcadi and beside the bedside timer. His eyes turn from the bottle, to the pills and then to the timer. 10:00PM Wednesday.
"What?!, "I slept for over a day?" he wonders aloud as his eyes move to the neatly folded note on the nightstand, firmly held in place by his cell phone. He gingerly reaches for it as if made of thorns and pries it out from underneath his cell phone. He glares at it with bloodshot eyes. He'd written it on Tuesday night before he slept. Now he's awake. He wasn't supposed to wake up. No! He'd made sure of it. Now he's awake, the pain, anger and hate come flooding back like the waters of a breached dam. He lets loose a string of profanities that turns the very air black, picks up the bottle of pills and flings it across the room. It bounces off the opposite wall, knocks off the loosely fitting cap, sending the contents in a hundred different directions across the room. He picks up the bottle of barcardi and gulps down mouthful after mouthful of the searing content, not caring that it burns. He removes it from his mouth and hurls it across the room with more profanities. It meets the opposite wall, exploding into many smaller pieces.
"This time you need to make sure", the thought inserts itself into his head. He recognizes the thought. It had become a part of him. More than a part of him. It was sinister. Menacing. Deadly. His head moves slowly to his right as if being guided, his gaze falls on the top right drawer of the TV stand adjacent to the bed. He quickly walks across the room and opens it revealing a .44 Magnum handgun. "You should have used this when I first told you, you coward!"
"I'm no coward!", he rebuts weakly.
"Of course, you are! You are a filthy, useless coward. No one loves you. No one cares for you. Don't you see? You have no friends and your family doesn't care about you. You wouldn't even take my advice to get this right the first time and why? Because you are a filthy, useless coward. Your existence is such a waste. Your life is an irreparable mess. End it with some dignity you stupid coward!"
"I'm no coward!", he yells this time.
"Then show it. Do it!"
He quickly loads the gun, turns off the safety, and holds it in his hands starring at it.
The chants rise slowly, slowly, and then reaches a crescendo. Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! It fills his mind, controlling him and guiding his hands. The empty room around him is filled with fiendish creatures that resemble a cursed hybrid of lizards and monkeys. The fluttering sounds of their charcoal black wings sound like ten thousand flies as they excitedly dash back and forth across the room in eager expectation of the blood sacrifice to come - and the eternal sacrifice of a soul that will forever burn.
Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!
Their leader, a hulking, foul creature with fiery red eyes the size of plates, fangs dripping with liquid, putrid hatred, ceremoniously dug his talons into the head of their quarry, surrounds him with his black wings and goes in for the kill. He leans towards their prey "Now is the time, do it!", he said, spewing black smoke filled with sulphur at him. He feels it like a vortex of dark feelings of depression, despair, and hopelessness. He resolutely shoves the barrel of the gun into his mouth and starts to apply pressure on the trigger.
Then he hears a voice from somewhere within him. He does not recognize it. It is still as a whisper, yet louder than the sea breakers. Powerful. Majestic. It calls his name.
"Sam, do you really want to die when you've not even learnt how to live?"
He pauses, wondering if he should reason with it. It comes again.
“Sam, I have loved you with an everlasting love. It doesn’t matter how broken you are. I can fix you. Only I can”.
“Nonsense! Don’t listen to that nonsense! No one can fix you. Think about all the pain you’ve experienced in this miserable life of yours. It can be over, and you’ll no longer have to feel it anymore. All you need to do is squeeze that trigger”. Pictures of his sordid, painful past are dredged up and flashed through his mind to accentuate the point.
Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!
“The pains you go through in this life are only temporary. The pain you will go through if you pull that trigger will never end. I need you to trust me. Call to me and I will help you.”
“Lies! And where was he when your brother died of cancer? Where was he when your fiancée left you for your best friend? Where was he when your business went under? Where?”
“Yes where were you?”, he yelled, momentarily removing the gun from his mouth. “You say you love me, yet you allow me to go through all this pain. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t!”. The tears pour down his face, as a python like choke hold of despair overshadows him in sobs reminiscent of an earth tremor that precedes an eruption.
Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!
“I’ve been here the entire time, my hands constantly stretched towards you, but you wouldn’t take it. I’ve been calling to you, asking you to let me help you make the right life choices, but you never listened. I feel your pain even more than you do and I want to help you through it. Take my hand and let me help you. I do not promise to give you all the answers, but I can promise that if you walk with me, your life will be all the better for it – here and for eternity”.
“Lies! Do it!”, the fiends yell into his ears, their leader struggles to tighten his grip on their quarry even as he feels it begin to loosen. Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!
“Have you thought about why you woke up even though you took enough pills to knock out a horse? I kept you, I woke you up because of my love and mercy. I have a beautiful plan for your life, but I will not have the opportunity to fulfill it if you pull that trigger. You know my name. Call me and I will help you”.
The gun suddenly feels like a ton in weight as the name forms in his mind, on his lips, cutting through the cacophony in his soul like a samurai’s sword cutting through butter.
“YOU’RE MINE! HE CANNOT HELP YOU. YOU MUST DO IT. YOU HAVE TO DO IT. DO IT! DO IT....”
He falls to his knees and screams at the top of his lungs, “Jesus! Help me!” No more need be said.
A great ball of fiery light explodes in the room, throwing the fiendish creatures in a thousand different directions like dismembered body parts from a bomb blast, shrieking in pain and stark fear, their disembodied limbs hurtling through the air. He feels the occurrence as a peace flooding his soul, boundless, inexplicable. Serenity of a sort only likened to heavy anesthesia, burst of excitement, then laughter and more tears. Sam was a wreck, yet more radiant than he’d ever been!
He weeps profusely, but this time it is different. Peace. Joy. A thousand tons lighter. Love so great that he feels he is drowning. He falls on his face still weeping, before the One to whom his life belongs and bathes his feet with his tears.
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