By: Bello Favour
“Get in the car!” mom barked.
Like a shot, I scampered into the rear seat of the car, slammed the door and in the next couple of minutes, we were on the road. I could see my mom’s angry face in the rearview mirror.
Minutes beforehand, I had handed her my report card and she had been disappointed at my woeful performance. Despite having promised to do better than the previous term, I had gotten more Fs, and now repeating high school two seemed inevitable. Well, retaking the exams wasn’t much of a problem, but what my mom was going to do to me. She had whipped me the previous term and said that I needed deliverance from the spirits of darkness. I wouldn’t say my mom was a fanatic, but when it came to failing consecutively, especially in one’s academics, she believed a supernatural power must be involved.
After what seemed like forever, I realised that we weren’t on our way home. My mom was heading somewhere else, somewhere unfamiliar. I couldn’t ask her for fear of getting her angrier. At some point, I could see “Goodbye to Westville”, and I knew we were out of town.
We drove in silence for eternity, after which she finally pressed the car brakes in front of a building. My mom stepped out and was walking into the building when she stopped after a few steps and looked back at me.
“Why are you still there? Follow me,” she said.
I followed behind her and kept wondering what was amiss with her. Written boldly at the top of the building was: “A Place of Deliverance”, and I became creeped out. What on earth is this place?
Inside were people of various statuses — young and old. At a section, I saw people covered with dust and scattered on the ground. I wasn’t in a church because the pulpit and chairs for members were missing. The entire room was empty save for the people present, and I felt an impulse to drag my mom and flee.
At the corner of the room was a young lady in a peplum gown. She was shivering; maybe from cold or fear. In front of the young lady was a man in white clothing with a small-sized Bible in his hand. I thought it was an act when suddenly the man in white laid his hands on the lady, and before I could blink, the lady was on the ground, rolling like a flipped coin.
Soon, the man in white was walking toward my mom and me. I held my mom’s hand as he came nearer.
“Nice to see you again, Mrs Han,” he said.
“Father Augustine, This is my daughter, Cynthia, that I told you about,” my mom replied.
I was in a daze. How did they meet? And what did Mom mean by “I told you about”?
“Oh, you must be Amy?” he asked, turning to me.
“Yes,” I affirmed.
“Let’s meet in my office, Amy.”
He went off, but I just stood there waiting for my mom to say something, at least.
“Follow him and do whatsoever he says,” my mom said.
When I got into Father Augustine’s office, he was seated, so I took my seat in front of him. He appeared to be scribbling down something.
“Amy, If you cooperate with me, everything will be fine,” he said. “So I’m going to ask you a question and all I need is an absolute answer.” He then raised a question that no one had ever asked me in my entire life.
“Amy, are you in a cult?”
“Amy, what cult are you?” he asked again, re-arranging the words as if that might be why I was confused.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Father.” By the way, I was not in any cult.
“You see, Amy, your mom came to me for help concerning you. God doesn’t want failure for anyone. Children of God exhibit excellence in all aspects of life, and failure shows that one has a relationship with the devil. Failure is what the devil uses to tie his prey. If you love your mom, Amy, you will confess your sins right now.”
“What? I’m saying nothing but the truth,” I screamed.
“Alright then. Follow me.”
We came out. My mom was still standing where I had left her. Father Augustine led me to the corner of the room where he had been before meeting my mom and me. Little did I know that I would be delivered too. I was trembling, and for a moment, I was in oblivion. Maybe I was possessed by the devil too, though I was in no cult.
Father Augustine came closer to me and laid his hands on me, but I felt nothing. He did it again, but I wasn’t on the ground.
“I see you’re tough, Amy,” he said.
He then held my head and forcefully pushed me. In a second, I was on the floor, squirming. To Father Augustine, my mom, and the people present, I had just been delivered. But to me, what happened was a sort of act that I could never comprehend.
It is the end of another term, and I’m holding my report card, waiting for my mom. I worked harder and managed to have Cs in all my subjects. I could smile now that no red ink could be found on my card. I did better this term because of my hard work and not because I was delivered from some spirits. Or maybe also because I couldn’t bare another visit to A Place of Deliverance.
But no one would believe me, especially my mom.