Grabbing The Hot Gate- Chapter 3

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Battle on This Side of the Gate

Gladys stared at her Bible for hours. Something was wrong but she didn’t know what. Ever since she got that power, she had stopped having a desire to study her bible. When she received the ability to see visions, she felt good, excited. That was her third week of getting into the realm of this power; yet, it still felt fresh, rich and heavenly. She now imagined things, and saw it happen like a coincidence.

However, for no reason, she had been extremely busy and hadnt had time for her quiet time. Who could have time for a quiet time when one had recently been promoted to the post of the managing director, to lead the best marketing team since the inception of the company?

But being a Saturday, a work-free day, she picked up her Bible to read, but the words were becoming blurry to her. More so, the usual joy and hunger that accompanied reading the Bible were missing.
At first, she attributed the new development to pain and stress from her weekly activities, so she took some seed of Opium Poppy, the herbal seeds she got from a store on Jumia, a Nigerian store, to help relieve such things as pain. Now, that she was awake, agile and fit for any work, she still couldn’t get herself to study the Bible. She slapped herself and repeatedly said, ‘Gladys Bolawole, the devil cannot control you’.

Maybe she would have garnered a lot of knowledge from the church, but her insatiable desire for more of God and the power that followed him had so much encompassed her being that even if Stella hadn’t compelled her to pray, she would have gone to the prayer room herself.

The ordeal that was the most intriguing, yet the scariest of them all, was the moment they started praying one Tuesday. Stella asked her to speak in tongues and blank her mind. It wasn’t hard to do. At that moment she wished she had used the lovely rosemary herb or Brahmi herbs, they would have helped her focus.

‘Just feel like water, feel everything becoming empty’, Stella said and reduced her voice gradually like the dying down of a storm amidst a roaring forest.

That instant, things began to happen. It was as if she saw herself like a leaf flying in the sky. Everything was happening so fast. She saw herself moving into the church. She became two. A cord was attached to her praying self, and the other body was moving towards the church. The experience was so cool. She was excited. She could feel herself from both sides. It was a silver cord. Immediately she got home, she searched the Bible for it, since she had read something around that. Her problem didn’t start with her inability to read the Bible. It started like a sprout. The moment she sat to read the bible, something would surely happen at first, it was only phone ringing, neighbors chatting away, dogs barking, birds chirping. But today, she was tired, which was absurd because she had enough sleep. Being tired, when it came to reading the Bible, wasn’t one of her features. That was unusual.

Something was wrong. She had to talk to someone, and there was no other person than Stella.
‘Gladys, hope all is well? Stella said as soon as Gladys’ call got through to her.

‘Please, can I come to see you?’ Gladys said as she stared at the City Flower laying in a corner of her room with the hope she would get excited about her new ways, but she couldn’t feel the joy in reading it.
‘This night?

‘Yes. I really need to hear your comments on something’.
‘My comments? Of course, you can. Just state it’.
‘So, can I come to your place?
‘Not right now, I’m only receiving your call as a courtesy. I want to lock myself in a room to pray. If it was someone else, I wouldnt answer’.

‘I am having a bit of trouble here. Remember that day we were praying at the back of the Church?’
‘There are many times weve done that’.
‘Yes, this last Tuesday meeting’.
‘Oh yes. I felt God’s glory radiating through you. The energy you exuded was so great that I was refreshed’.

‘Yes, I think I have a problem. I saw myself and I could feel myself in two places at once. I have been seeing for a while now, but it became more pronounced that day’.
‘Hmm… That’s a spiritual transportation’.
‘I know. It doesn’t feel right.
‘Why do you think so?’

‘Ezekiel, in his book, said, I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and then he would proceed to describe things of the spirit’.
‘Yes. That’s right’
‘But I feel mine’.
‘You are meant to feel it’.

Gladys rose from her fluffy bed, which she had covered with a blue flowery bedspread, and she paced about in the room as she adjusted her hearing aid. ‘You don’t understand me. I’m not supposed to feel it’.
‘Who told you so?’
‘It’s not consistent with the word of God’.
‘Hmm Gladys, what are you now? A guru of God’s consistency’.
‘Did you notice anything strange?

She stared at her giant mirror and stared at her perfect body. She mindlessly used her finger to trace the curve of her body.
‘I saw a silver cord’.
‘Like a thin line…Silver?’
‘Yes. It was like hands. They were two, actually. Each one was attached to the two bodies. I could feel it in both ways. It was amazing, wonderful and great but scary’.

‘Wow. That’s a feat many Christians in this generation would not be able to achieve. Even at the peak of their walk with God. That’s a big gift’.
Gladys smiled. The mirror was right: she was beautiful.
‘The first record of such was in Ecclesiastes by Solomon. Is your Bible close?’ Stella continued.

‘Ecclesiastes 12:6. It says remember your creator now while you’re young before the cord of life snaps’
‘Do you now see its consistency with the word of God?’
‘Not yet’.
‘It means we ought to have it. It has to be a part of us’.

Gladys always knew when things were right. Even when she was an unbeliever, she always had a nagging thought that always led her into doing the right thing. Something wasn’t right. She was soon becoming wrapped in a trap of weeds, and if she didn’t do something about it, she would end in the bottom of the mountain.
‘The silver cord is your link to the spirituals’, Stella continued. ‘You have to learn to use it. It’s an exciting thing, really’.
‘Thank you. Just that I don’t…’

‘Gladys, don’t bother, I’ll be here all the way’.
‘Thank you’.
Then, Matthew called to confirm if she would be available to visit Japheth. Although they promised to visit him for more than two weeks, she had been terribly busy and Matthew insisted that she must be the one to follow him up because he wanted Japheth to see someone he was acquainted with.
She stared into the mirror and traced the bulging head of her hearing aid, and wished it wasn’t in her life. It was true that every human had a sort of imperfection, but of all the imperfections that ever existed, why was she cursed with ear problem.

She had been drawn to Japheth for no explainable reason. After she got the power she had always craved, and had gotten ready to know more of God, she just found herself always staring at him during Church services. Although the church was big to an extent, she still could see his figure at the front. He loved sitting at the front. Sitting at the front was a characteristic of every first-class student in her school. She was sure he was a goal-getter, and from the look of things he wanted to grow spiritually.

Knowing that they would soon go to his place, she rubbed the cream she made from cinnamon and hot pepper on her body to have a glowing, wrinkleless skin. Even if God would want Japheth to be the one for her, she had to go prepared.

She paused. Why was she suddenly obsessed with her looks? Something was wrong. She had to quickly talk to Sister Stella again. Not today, but definitely on Sunday after the Church service.

Just then, she received a message from Mr. Akanni. He said he wanted to greet her, and said so much rubbish that should be weeded out of his head. The most painful part of his message was that all the words were in capitals. The men of the present age ought to be flogged, and tutored on how to send messages to women. She couldn’t fathom why someone would be obsessed with lies, telling her that God wanted him to marry her. Despite the numerous times she said ‘no’ to him, he kept returning with the assurance that God had sent him to marry her. Even the Sunday after their revival program, he waited till she finished praying with Stella. Gladys hissed as she checked herself in the mirror again.

Suddenly, Elizabeth banged the door and called from outside. She rushed out of the room, and wasn’t concerned if she was putting on only her bra and pant. Elizabeth had seen her like that many times. And she had no fear of being seen, no one knew her house, not even the church members. They saw her as someone big in church, someone that was already grounded in the Lord.

‘Baby, what hap… Oh my God!’ Gladys shouted as she ran back into the room to get her key. Elizabeth’s face was blackened, and her fair face had the mark of her mother’s hand on it. Her hair was scattered as if they were pulled in different directions. She was weeping without shame.

‘Enter. Enter’, Gladys said as she opened the door for Elizabeth. Immediately she opened the door, Elizabeth hugged her. She continually patted Elizabeth’s head as she locked the door and led her into the house. She set her down on her bed, rushed to her fridge, and returned with a glass cup and a carton of juice.

‘Drink’, she muttered as she poured the drink for her. Elizabeth was heaving repeatedly as she tried unfailing to stop crying. She would hold the tears for a while and burst into tears again.
‘Miss. G, I’ll kill my father’, she said after gulping down the drink.

‘Don’t say that. What happened again today?’
‘She was drunk. Then she met me watching TV. She thought I hadnt done my assignment, so she started yelling at me’.
‘Have you done it?’

‘Yes. I did it yesterday, immediately I returned from school. She then came near me and slapped me and started hitting me. She said my dad left her for another woman. That she would show me pepper for what he has done. God will pupunish my daddy’.
‘Shhh’, Gladys said and buried Elizabeth’s head in her chest. ‘You don’t need to say it’.
‘Why can’t God just kill him?’

‘Hey! That’s okay. I’ll talk to your mummy’.
‘No. Don’t talk to her. She likes you. Anyone who tells her the truth is always her enemy’.
‘But she can’t let this bad behaviour destroy your love for her’.

Elizabeth glanced into her eyes, blinked and shook her head. ‘She is only angry. She will change’.
‘God pays everyone their due. Now stop crying’.

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Grabbing The Hot Gate (A Novel) By Akíntayo Akinjide