Miss Episode 6: THE PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR 6
THE PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR EPISODE 7
“Who are you?” The General was quite straight-laced while asking him the question, and Hosea found it strange. Though he wasn’t in a position to feel easy; he couldn’t deny that he didn’t feel uneasy; that was odd. Shouldn’t he be all jittery with the gun pointed to his face? There is only one word to explain how he felt.
He felt confident
No, confident isn’t the right word
He felt brave
Yes, he felt brave
Why? He was curious to know, but the question the General asked him changed his thought pattern. What absurd question was the man asking? And why?
Who am I?
The General scrooches to his side, putting his head forward, examining his facial features. He then smirked and spoke
“You are different, why?”
Hosea looked up at him, meeting his eyes confused
“Why are you different?” he whispered as the other soldiers who stood behind watched in silence thrown off balance with their General’s question.
“Whenever someone looks different to me, I always ask them who they are, so tell me young man, who are you?” the General asked huskily. He stood off as he adjusted his cap, taking a seat on the wooden chair behind him.
“Talk to me, I am intrigued by you man”
How could someone who would kill him in minutes’ time be intrigued?
God, what’s all this? Hosea spoke to himself
“Yes sir” Awal saluted, standing beside the General at attention
“You said, you know this young man right?”
“Tell me, who is he?”
“Sir” Awal exclaimed
“Yes, tell me”
What is happening God? Hosea thought
Just be patient, son
“I know him while I was in university then sir, he is the son of a pastor and an excellent friend of mine.”
“Son of a pastor…? Hmm, no wonder” he turned to look at Hosea, trying to connect the dots on why the young man looked different to him. Everyone he had killed, hostages, women, priests, pastors always shouted a name; they call him Jesus, but this young boy wasn’t saying a word. He was too calm; did he ever know about the name Jesus? What was his secret? Why wasn’t he calling that name? Even with the gun pointed at him, in most case scenarios, the people always shout Jesus, like there was a hidden power to save them in that name.
It had been long he ever saw a captive not say that name; the first person he captured was someone who looked like the young boy in front of him, that was in the year 1975; unfortunately, the man died before he killed him. A snake had bitten him then in the bush, and he had mourned his death, so stupid of him.
He had captured a lot, killed many who had screamed on top of their voices, shouting the name JESUS. Who was Jesus, and why had they called on a man who didn’t save them even when they knew death was inevitable?
Why wasn’t the young boy calling that name?
Why was he different?
He remembered the first person he met who never called that name, the first person he met that was different from everyone else.
“You are the son of a pastor, why aren’t you saying that name?”
That name? Hosea repeated within him
“Yes, that name”
“You know; everyone screams that name; many I have killed over the years died calling that name”
He had vowed never to call that name; he would wait for his captive to call it; and when they do, he was killing them on the spot.
Would the young boy also die calling the name? He was intrigued
“Call the name son, you know that name; call it” he tempted
The name? What name? Hosea bowed his head thinking
What is this God? What name does this strange man ask of?
Hosea, be patient
“Are you sure he is the son of a pastor, Awal?”
“Sir, yes sir”
“He doesn’t look like one if he cannot call the name. Maybe he doesn’t know.”
“What name sir?” one of the lieutenant asked
The General turned to look at him, and he cowered in fear of making a dreadful mistake “I don’t know the name”
“Sir” the lieutenant exclaimed
“Yes, I don’t know it”
And even if I did, I am never saying that useless name with my mouth. He was adamant, and he isn’t going to break off a promise with himself because of a young boy, after several years.
Perhaps, he was wrong about the boy. Maybe, he shone differently because of the bright sun penetrating the room. Maybe, the boy was going to live after all. That was his code
The General stood from the chair, turned his head with eyes rested on the young man on his knees, he smirked looking at him; and then spoke: “Maybe, this young man is going to live after all.”
The soldiers looked at him surprised, and he patted one of them by the shoulders smiling, “Let us go.”
They were almost a step closer to the door when Hosea softly whispered into the air
“Jesus,” he looked up as the light penetrating through the cracks rested on his bare face. The General turned back, the soldiers alongside with him
“That boy said something, didn’t he?” he asked the soldiers
“I never heard a word sir”
“I can hear him; he spoke that name” he pointed at Hosea whose face was still looking up.
“You!” the General exclaimed
“I said it, you are no different from everyone; why did I think you were?”
Hosea wasn’t listening; he had a smile on his face as he looked up into the sky; it was crystal blue, with paint of white maybe; he couldn’t describe the joy filling his heart. He was oblivious of his environment, just staring he felt his problems ebbing away, the anger towards his father, the life he lived pleasing others, none of it made sense while he stared at the sky.
And slowly, as the General and the other soldiers moved closer to his side, he called out the name so softly again, “Jesus.”
Furious to have heard the name after so many years, the General took one of the soldier’s gun and…