Hello! I’m sorry for the silence that has been here lately. I seem to be suffering from something i know not. Any attempt to write or think of a story leaves me with a bad headache. 😦 Sob story aside, today’s story was written by a newcomer here, @jjjawfu . He’s actually a bassist for a Nigerian Christian rock band, Stage One. (And they’re SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!) Ok, gushing aside, Enjoy!

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I sat there in the church, hardly listening to the words read by the pastor from the Bible. I opened my bible and stared right into it but I didn’t read anything. I just let my mind wander about, thinking of my family, friends, my girl friend, my work. I started analysing myself, my life. Was I happy? Fulfilled? Satisfied? I bent my head and closed my eyes automatically as the Pastor said a prayer during his sermon. I opened my eyes as the congregation chorused “Amen”. Less thinking. Listen to the sermon. I chided myself. I sat there listening to the sermon and I could see the strange looks I was getting from Faith and Paul, my church buddies. What? Did I suddenly go transparent?? I ignored them.
After the pastor concluded his message, we all stood up as he walked away from the pulpit. I noticed Faith and Paul had wide annoying grin on their faces and I heard Faith whisper “Maybe he’s asleep.”

Who was asleep??! I looked around and everyone seemed alert. “Who’s asleep?” I whispered to them. They ignored me.
At that moment, the Pastor told us to pronounce a blessing on one another. I turned to the fellow behind me and as I turned, I saw the most horrifying and shocking thing ever. I was standing up but I appeared to be sitting down, head bowed. How was this possible? My eyes widened in panic. I was horrified! I talked to Paul, asking him a question but it seemed like he was ignoring me…or couldn’t hear me.  I screamed at him ‘LOOK AT ME! AM I DEAD? WAKE ME UP PLEASE!!! FAITH! PAUL!’

They didn’t hear me.

What was going wrong? What was happening to me? Was I dead? I could fee my heart rate doubling in trepidation. Surely, the dead didn’t have heartbeats! Everyone in the church sat down and with trembling legs, I walked to the centre of the congregation and screamed! A fly on a wall would have gotten more attention.
Was all this a dream? What was happening to me? I couldn’t wrap my mind around this so I walked up to a pew with a man sitting alone on it and I sat on the far edge. I needed to think but the soft murmuring of the man beside me kept breaking my concentration. I turned to him. I ‘ve seen him in church, every Sunday. He would walk into the church, greet the pastor, pray and then leave without talking to anybody. I was getting distracted. I bent my head backwards, easing the kink in my neck when I heard someone sobbing softly. I heard a voice, far removed from the hubbub of the service. I paid attention. It was coming from the man beside me. He was crying inside; I could see his heart bleeding, blood staining his pristine white shirt. I sat up in fear and worry for him. Was he alright? I moved closer to him. Suddenly, I could see a clear image of a woman and a boy in my mind. His wife and his son, somehow I knew. He was thinking about them, so why was he crying?!
“I wish you’d forgive me Grace, if you can hear me, I’m sorry. I wish I could take it all back”.

A certain scene kept playing out in his mind; I could see it. I was somehow able to share his thoughts. He replayed the argument he had with his wife the morning she stormed out with their son, Ben. As she drove, crying and heading to her friend’s place, she had been hit by another car and their vehicle tumbled into a ditch. They died on the spot. Eight years had gone by and he still blamed himself.
He cried silently at night; no one could see the pain past that “smile” he always wore.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and I jumped up, terrified. The link between the man and I was broken. I turned, terrified as I saw a woman sitting beside me.

Tell him I have forgiven him and tell him to move on.”

I stared at her and it suddenly clicked. His wife! She smiled at me.

“You should be getting ready.”

I didn’t understand what she meant by that. Before I could ask, she was gone.

I took in a sharp breath as I woke up, into the real world this time. I tapped Faith lightly and she turned, looking at me with disapproving eyes. I laughed in delight! I was alive!

The service ended and I looked for the man I sat with on the pew.I caught him before he left church and pulled him to a secluded corner.

“Your wife gave me a message for you”  I whispered. His eyes shimmered in tears as I told him about what happened to me. Sitting him down, I spoke words of comfort to him. He smiled in gratitude as I finished.

“Thank you. God bless you brother.”
I smiled.

I approached the door to exit the church, where Paul and Faith had been waiting for me. I called out to them and waved. I could see their smirks and knew they couldn’t wait to tell me off for ‘sleeping’ during the service.  As I walked up to them, I felt my body suddenly collapse and I fell to the floor.

I heard faint sounds of  running footsteps and screams, someone shouting for the ambulance to be called.

Slowly, the sounds faded to nothing.

THE END.

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