The Atheist – Episode Two


Copyright © Ufuomaee

I turned from the scene as I couldn’t continue to watch.  The sight of my parents looking so happy, probably the happiest I’ve ever seen them, was too much.

And my father passed away ten years ago.  It was strange to see him again, so young and boisterous.  The last time I’d seen him, he was sick and weak, as he fought the battle against cancer.  But despite all his and my mother’s faith, he’d lost the fight.

I began to walk away.  I had to get out of there.  Out of that hospital.  A place of death and life that, right now, brought only misery.  I didn’t care about this guide and his agenda.  I just wanted to be gone.

“You know you cannot run away from me…” I heard him say, as he took a seat by me on the park bench.

I sighed.  Figured.  I looked on at the children playing and started thinking about my little daughter, Lucy.  Would she understand any of this?

“Children are more resilient than you give them credit for.  It’s adults that have a problem adapting.  Too stuck in their ways and ideas.”

I swallowed.  So, he could read my thoughts.  What sort of invasion of privacy is this??!  I can’t be alone, and I can’t even have my own private thoughts?!  I was getting madder but had no way to release my anger.

“What next?” I found myself asking.

“Don’t you have questions?”

“Is this a game?”

He smiled.  “Sort of.  So, no questions?”

“Why did my father die?”

“It was his time.”

“Bullshit!” I spat out.  “You can do better than that!”

“It was God’s time.”

I shook my head.  This was pointless.  Why am I here?  The thought came to me, like it had done many times in my life when I was feeling low and wondered about my existence.  Like “why me”?  “Why this body?”  That sort of thing.  And so I asked…

“Why was I born?”  That seemed to make more logically sense than asking “why do I exist?”.  I mean, what was the point of this whole life thing?

“Only you can answer that…  You chose to be born.  And you chose your family too.  You saw your mother’s sorrow and chose to bring her joy…”

Is the guy serious?!  And then I remembered that he could read my thoughts.  “Hmmm…” I muttered.  “How am I to answer that when I don’t know…?”

“Soon, you will remember.  That’s why this trip is important.  You need to discover who you are and your meaning…and then you will know what to do.”

“Do you mean I still have a choice?”

“You always have a choice.”  He rose up.  “Come with me…”

I hesitated and made the choice to follow him.  Sitting on that park bench, watching little children play, was doing nothing to help my turbulent emotions.  I followed him to a neighbourhood that I do not remember ever living in.  We walked in the house, which was dark, as it seemed everyone was already sleeping.

We entered a room, and in the middle of the room was a crib.  I knew it was my room and my crib.  I looked down at myself.  So weird.  And suddenly, I began to cry, shocking myself.

I stepped away as I heard the steps in the corridor.  Must be mama.  But it was a surprise for me to see my father open the door instead.  He went to the cradle and picked me up.  He rocked me gently as he took me to the changing table.  I’d soiled myself.  Even I couldn’t bare the sight of it.  Still, it was fascinating watching how my father nurtured me, without even the slightest disgust.

I always thought he was too busy for us…

“When your mother had two sets of twins one after the other, in the space of two years, things got a bit more demanding for your father,” Samuel said.

“Sleep tight, little guy…  Daddy loves you.”

I watched my father as he tucked me back to sleep.  He switched off the night light as he left the room, throwing us momentarily into darkness.

It was only momentary because almost immediately Samuel began to glow, and I watched in awe as his face shone.  His eyes were so brilliant that they were mesmerizing.  So mesmerising that I didn’t notice when the environment changed.

“Where is this?”

The sounds of water splashing and kids screaming and giggling came before the visual.  I was at the local swimming pool.  And Samuel was no where in sight.  I spun around looking for him, before I saw myself again, swimming and showing off in the water.  I remember this incident vaguely.  I think I was seven at the time…

I watched in anticipation, like it was a film, waiting for the thing I knew would happen.  Again, I didn’t see it coming…  Just as I was swimming past the diving board to reach the other end of the pool, an over-excited child was springing off it.  The child landed on me, knocking my head with his elbow and sending me sinking into the water.

In a split second, I saw him, Samuel, dive into the water to save me.  It was him.  He carried me out and performed mouth to mouth on me.  I came to, but I was still rushed to the hospital for specialist treatment, as I had taken water into my lungs in my panic.  I walked towards Samuel, who was the lifeguard on duty.  He looked up at me, then beyond me.

There came a tap on my shoulder.  “Looking for me?”  It was Samuel, back in his white t-shirt and jeans.

I swallowed.  “You saved my life!”

“Eh, don’t mention it…” he smiled.

I turned to look for the lifeguard again, but the setting was already changing.  Everything was moving so fast, and there was a lot to process.

“Why did you save me then and not now?  And don’t tell me it’s because my time is up!”

“Okay, I won’t,” was all he said.

To be continued...

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