Even as she seemed to be burning up, the excruciating pain tearing up her insides and making her scream silently in pure agony, Julie noted that the stranger in the room was an extremely handsome young man.
He was wearing black Levi jeans and a black polo-necked T-shirt. On his head was a black baseball cap, and on his feet were black Air Jordans with white soles. He cut a really grand figure as he stood there silently for a moment, his handsome face inscrutable, and then he sighed gently.
Doctor Twumasi Dei, who had been leaning forward earnestly, face perspiring, lips open with sick enjoyment as he watched Julie suffer, became aware of a third presence only when the man sighed.
He swivelled round in his seat and looked at the stranger with eyes open with absolute shock and sudden fear.
He jumped to his feet and regarded the new man with mean eyes.
“And who the hell are you?” he asked in a furious voice. “How did you get in here? Get the hell out of here!”
“I don’t obey the likes of you,” the stranger said as he walked forward.
Doctor Dei advanced on the stranger and reached out blindly to hold him.
“Believe me, you don’t want to do that,” the stranger said, almost gently.
But the doctor was so incensed with rage that nothing could have stopped him. He took hold of the stranger’s arms, as if to turn him physically around and march him out of the ward.
However, the moment his hands touched the stranger, the furious doctor was hurled back by an invisible brute force that threw him through the air and slammed him into the wall with sickening ferocity, crashing his head into the wall.
He slid to the floor in a daze, his horrified eyes looking unbelievingly at the stranger as a trickle of blood slowly seeped from his right nostril.
The stranger barely looked at the doctor on the floor as he crossed over to the bed and slowly lowered himself on it. He took hold of Julie’s right arm, lifted it and slightly pulled it to the side so that it was hanging over the side of the bed.
And then an amazing thing happened!
A clear liquid slowly shot out of the pin-prick hole in her arm, where Doctor Twumasi Dei had injected her with the deadly Cokatis Atusalit. As the poison seeped out and sprinkled on the floor, the heat slowly left Julie’s body, and she could only stare with disbelief at the stranger, thinking that this could simply not be real, that she was trapped in a sort of nightmare that she would wake up from very soon.
If it hadn’t been a nightmare how could a drug that she had been injected with, a drug that had mixed with her bloodstream, pour out of a hole in her arm as if it were being reversed?
That was impossible!
That was inconceivable, and not possible even by the widest stretch of the imagination!
But, seeing Doctor Dei’s stunned expression as he lay on the floor, dabbing at the blood from his nostril with a clean white handkerchief, she knew without any shred of doubt that this was no dream…it was cold reality!
Doctor Dei got groggily to his feet, and stood there wobbling for a while.
He stumbled toward the door and slowly held the handle, testing it to ascertain if he had forgotten to lock it as he had said.
He gasped with horror when he realized that the door was locked solidly!
His eyes bulged as he raced to the windows and drew the blinds…they were also locked, and with the heavy burglar-resistance metal guard behind the windows, no one could come through into the room!
Doctor Twumasi Dei, confronted by the obvious, that somehow this black-clad man had defied what was a scientific fact, and had just appeared in the room, perhaps simply walked through the walls, moaned with sudden fear as he shook his head warily.
He dashed to the door suddenly, twisting the key and pressing down heavily on the handle, obviously trying to open the door and get out of the room…
And then he was hit with the second blast of horror…
The key turned in the lock alright, and the handle of the door moved alright, releasing the lock in the door…but the door just wouldn’t open!
He bent and peered at the lock to ascertain that indeed when he pushed down the handle the small metallic hook moved out of the door, releasing the door so that it would open easily.
But…the door simply wouldn’t open!
He groaned and moved away from the door, staring at it as if it were a striking cobra, and then he looked at the stranger sitting on the bed and suddenly rushed forward, his face screwed with his terror and a crippling helplessness.
“Who are you, oh please please please please pleasepleaseplease?” he moaned, reaching out to touch the stranger, and then he seemed to remember what had happened to him when he did just that a few minutes ago, and he drew back his hands with the swiftness of a child that had touched fire, and Julie couldn’t help herself but giggle insanely with pleasure at the terror besieging Doctor Twumasi Dei.
“Let me go, let me go, let me go, letmego letmegoletmego!!!” Doctor Dei jabbered incoherently as sudden agonized tears seeped out of his eyes.
The stranger turned cold eyes to him and he spoke quietly.
“Quiet,” he said.
Doctor Twumasi Dei’s mouth clamped shut like a mouse trap, looking elongated and so comical that Julie burst into gales of uncontrollable laughter, causing the stranger to turn his beautiful eyes to her.
“What ails you?” he asked, his voice both kind and curious, and Julie stopped laughing and looked at him with soft eyes that rapidly filled up with tears.
“Oh, thank you, thank you, sir!” she murmured with great gratitude. “You saved me. You saved my life!”
“Stop your blaspheming,” the stranger said, a tad sharply as he put her arm back beside her. “I did nothing. I possess no power. You were saved by the grace of God acting through me by the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ. But as God is my witness, my heart is sorely filled with rancid rancour because indeed, you do not deserve this grace you’re getting.”
Julie looked at him with horror as what he was saying sank in.
“God saved me?” she asked, her voice quavering.
“The same God whose existence you deny with every breath you take,” the stranger said quietly. “Suffice to say that I was sent here because a servant of God prayed to the Almighty to save you. Otherwise you would have been dead by now, sinful maiden!”
“A servant of God prayed to God for me, and you were the answer?” Julie asked numbly. “Is this because of Akwasi’s prayer?”
“It is indeed,” the handsome stranger said. “Yes, indeed it is. That young man has a heart of gold, a true servant of the Lord ever since he saw the light. And yes, the Lord still hearkens unto the heartfelt prayers of the righteous, and still delivers him, and his loved ones, from all afflictions!”
The stranger stood up suddenly, and Doctor Twumasi Dei, who had been standing as stiff as a rock, grunted with fear and moved backward frantically.
His legs crossed, and he fell to the floor heavily.
He moved clumsily across the floor and his back came up against the wall, and he stared with great fear at the stranger.
The man in black looked down at Doctor Dei with obvious contempt.
“Such a dark soul, filled with putrid hatred for this lady because you’re of the thought, quite erroneously, that your son killed himself because this maiden decided not to tie the nuptial knot with him,” the stranger said contemptuously. “If I had my way, oh I would’ve done awful things to you!”
He turned away, but suddenly Doctor Twumasi Dei fell flat on his face in front of the man, clamping his hands together in absolute surrender as tears fell down his face.
“Oh, please, please, sir, if you can, help me!” the doctor cried pitifully. “I’ve been in pain! I lost my only son! I have had no peace since, only pain! And I blamed this woman right here! Please, my heart hurts…please, help me understand!”
The stranger looked down at the doctor, his face wrathful for a while, and then slowly his expression softened and sighed again.
“Get up from the floor this instant, man! I am nobody for you to bow to me! I’m but a man like yourself. Your son did not kill himself because this maiden left him,” the stranger said quietly. “He killed himself because your second wife, his step-mother, seduced him even before this maiden left him. He couldn’t cope with the guilt of having carnal knowledge of his father’s wife, in his father’s bed. It corrupted his soul, and his guilt became so rancid that he took his own life!”
Doctor Twumasi Dei got slowly to his feet, his expression shattered beyond belief.
“Mabel? My wife?” whispered, absolutely destroyed. “Mabel seduced Barima?”
“Indeed, she did,” the stranger said. “And her sins eventually led to her death two years ago.”
Doctor Twumasi Dei began to weep pathetically, his shoulders shaking with the depths of his total breakdown.
“I can’t take this!” he wept bitterly, clutching his heart as he sank slowly to the floor. “I can’t! Oh, please, let this pain stop! Please, help me!”
“There’s a young man, he comes here soon,” the stranger said calmly. “Akwasi Dapaah, a friend of the maiden here. Wait for him. Speak to him. He will lead you to the righteous path. If you don’t wait for him, and you leave, believe me, you’ll end up at a place you will spend an eternity regretting.”
He turned away as Doctor Dei slowly sank into the chair he had been sitting on.
“Hey, please, wait!” Julie cried, and the stranger turned to look at her.
She had tears in her eyes now.
“Please, sir, help me too,” she moaned bitterly. “My parents just died, and I just realized they were not my parents anymore! My fiancé jilted me, and is now with my own sister! I’ve been dispossessed of my inheritance! I’m paralyzed from the waist down! I don’t know who my real parents are…I’m dying in here! Please, sir, I beg of you…help me! If you can heal me of this poison I was injected with, then surely you can heal me of my paralysis, and help me find peace!”
The stranger looked at her, and his handsome face was suddenly filled with a fury and a loathing so fierce that it took her breath away.
“Blasphemer!” he said harshly. “You’ve not listened to a thing I said in this room! You’re so pathetic! Seeking your wellbeing first…pathetic!”
“Then show me what to do!” Julie wailed in anguish. “Why did you save me from death, if only to leave me in the same pain I am in? It would have been better if you had let the poison kill me then! Please, help me!”
The stranger pointed a finger at her.
“If you want peace, seek first the Lord with all your heart, and you will find him,” he said and turned his back to her.
“Wait, please wait!” Julie screamed. “Wait, please. At least, tell me your name, tell me where to find you.”
“My handle and my abode are of no import for you now, maiden,” he said quietly.
“You have seen what you have to see, and heard what you have to hear.”
And then the door opened for him without anybody touching it, and he walked out.
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