Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Short Story: Can They Hear Me?
I don’t think I’ve ever cried as hard as I did after reading of the tragic passing of little Daniel (son of D’Banj and his wife). It was the saddest story ever. I could only imagine how his parents were (are still) feeling, if me, with no connection or ties to their family, felt that bad.
The day after I saw the news, I wrote a story, and as I wrote it, I cried. Anytime I read it I cry. One year later, I still sob, but a few weeks ago, I read it for the first time without crying, so I believed it was time to share it.
It’s written from the point of view of baby Daniel. It’s not written to bring more pain to his family, but to bring them peace, and let his memory live on.
So here goes: Can They Hear Me?
I open my eyes when I hear my name, but I’m not sure where I am.
I hear my name again, and I instantly recognise the voice. But I’m surprised, because He shouldn’t be calling my name. The last time He did was a long time ago, and the last thing he had told me then was: “It is time...”
Before He had told me that, He said I would be going somewhere, on a journey, but He didn’t give me any more details, just a manual and a preparatory class. I didn’t know where I was headed but I didn’t want to go. I started reading the manual and attending the class with some others just like me, and just like them, I wasn’t paying much attention. I wasn’t that interested even though He said that the lessons would come in handy.
He spent time drawing up a path for each one of us with stories, experiences, achievements, and every other thing He knew that we would need on the journey we were to embark on. I still didn’t want to leave; I wanted to stay with Him, but it was not up to me.
After He completed and perfected my plan, He told me that there was one thing left. I asked Him what it was, and He said, “Time... the right time.”
I didn’t know what He meant by that.
“The right time for what?” I had asked.
“The right time to transition,” He replied. “The right time to move from here and achieve what I have planned for you with the right guidance.”
I still didn’t understand, but I trusted Him; everyone trusted him. I believed in Him, so when He said He was waiting for the right time, I waited with Him. And during the wait, He drew up plans for the others who were also going to embark on their own journeys.
I didn’t get to wait for too long because a few days later, he came back to me, and said, “It is time.”
I had cried when he said that, but the look on His face made me stop.
“I already explained this to you,” He had said, reassuringly.
I had put my head down, and replied, “I know, but I will miss You. All of you.”
“I will always be with you,” He had said to me.
I then asked the question that everyone asks before they leave. I pointed at the others like me, and asked, “Would I get to see them again?”
And he gave me the same answer as always. “Maybe, but just some of them, because you all might be in different places. You might even see those who left long ago.”
“Will I come back here like the others who came back a few days or weeks after they left?”
He shook his head, and said, “No. Those ones went to the wrong people.”
“The wrong people?” I was confused. “I thought You already had plans for them and sent them to the right people at the right time?”
“I have plans for everyone here, but the people I send them to sometimes make decisions that go against my plans, for many different reasons. Sometimes the actions are voluntary and sometimes they aren’t. It’s not for you to understand, but always remember that there’s a reason for everything, whether good or bad, and in everything be thankful.”
I stood there looking at Him for a few seconds, then I nodded, as I took note.
“Come now, it is time,” He had reminded me. “You really have to go.”
I didn’t get to say goodbye to Him or to anyone else; it happened in a flash and I was gone before I knew it, first into a dark place, then into liquid. I started growing hands and legs, and getting taller and I was being fed by a cord to my tummy. I also started to sense light and hear sounds. I heard the voices of two people, who I later met and knew as mummy and daddy.
I hear my name for the third time.
“Is it really You?” I ask. “I can’t see You.”
“You’re not. You’re still wondering where you are... why you’re here.”
“Yes, I am, because the last thing I remember is entering water, but I started going down almost immediately. I couldn’t swim, and I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t understand, because I could swim and breath in liquid during my journey. I wanted mummy and daddy, but I couldn’t speak, and they couldn’t hear the sounds I was making. I know that if they had heard me, they would have come to help me.”
“I know that.”
“So why didn’t they look for me?”
“They didn’t know that you were in danger.”
“Why didn’t you tell them?” I didn’t wait for him to reply, then I added, “You told me that you would always be there with me.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell them. But I was with you all the time, and I led you back here.”
“But you also said that I wouldn’t come back here once I embark on my journey.”
“Yes. And I told you that some of you come back because of the actions of the people I send you to. Sometimes they are voluntary and sometimes, they are not. Remember?”
I look down before responding, “Yes.”
“Yours was involuntary. It was not their fault, but that’s the way it is now.”
“I want to go back, please. I’m sure mummy and daddy are looking everywhere for me.”
“Daniel, you can’t go back.”
“I don’t understand. Do they know I’m not coming back?”
“And they are okay with it?”
“They aren’t. They haven’t been the same since you left. They would never be the same.”
“Then take me back, so that we can all go back to how we used to be.”
“I’m sorry, Daniel.”
“Please, I need to see them again. I love them and they love me too. I had the perfect story with them.”
“And they will never stop loving you. They will never forget you.”
I burst into tears immediately at the thought of never seeing mummy and daddy, my best friends. I can’t focus anymore. “What will happen to me? Will I remain here forever?” I ask.
“No. Your story, experiences and achievements will continue. You will go on another journey, and you would be loved just as before.”
I shake my head. I don’t want to go on another journey. I want my mummy and daddy, and I know they want me too. “Please,” I beg.
“Daniel. There’s a reason for everything. You might have left them, but you taught them a lot in the little time you spent with them. Yes, they are in pain, but they will surely come out stronger and better for the others who would go to them after you.”
“You will send others there too?”
“Yes. I will work on a plan to send others there, but you will always be in their hearts.”
I don’t worry any more or beg knowing that mummy and daddy will find love. And me too.
“There are still a lot of things I want to say to them,” I reply. “Can they hear me?”
“They can, Daniel. In their hearts, they will hear you. From your memory, they will hear you. From the ones who will come after you, they will hear you. From this story that you will share, they will hear you. Come with me now and help me prepare others for their journey.”