Death is an illusion Segun. And anyone who leaves this earth by dying does so by choice…not necessity.
It had been two weeks since Dr Segun Adesoya met Baba Idris and one week since he cheated death. He had to deal with apprehending and somewhat scared looks from everyone around the hospital who could not believe that he was actually alive after time of death had been called.
“Alright explain how I am still alive” Segun said to a colleague who was bold enough to ask him exactly what happened.
“Honestly Shege I can’t explain” the colleague replied scratching his bald head “This is too much for anyone around here to handle”
“Are you not happy I am alive?” Segun asked with a smirk on his face.
“Of course we all are” Said the colleague “But… the thing weak us sha”.
“I am going back to my office Boris” Segun said “I have work to do”. With that Segun walked back into his office and shut the door behind him.
In the silence of his office, his most dominant though in the past week came haunting him again. I killed Chris. Oh my God this is messed up. But I didn’t mean to. I panicked.
He had sent a handsome sum of money to Chris’ widow after he heard the news of her husband’s demise and he was not happy at all. I didn’t know it would actually work. What has Baba got me into?
“Can you feed five thousand people” Baba Idris asked Segun as he sat on the floor of his inner chamber barely two weeks ago.
“But Baba” Segun said “Is that not extreme?”
“Feeding five thousand?” the juju man asked “You wouldn’t be the first to do it you know; in fact the other person who did it successfully was able to cheat death”
Segun thought for a second. Of course he knew who the shaman was referring to; the whole world knew him.
“Baba I mean having to kill someone” Segun responded “I think that is a bit extreme”
“Well maybe” Baba Idris agreed “I can see that you are a good person on the inside”.
Segun breathed a sigh of relief as he heard those words. He was sure he was breaking bad at this point. However his calming thoughts would not last long as Baba Idris spoke his next words.
“Speaking of cheating death Segun” Baba Idris said smiling faintly “Let me teach you a trick”
“Doctor your wife is here to see you and she is not alone”
Segun did not realize that Chioma his secretary was already inside his office. His memories of his meeting with Baba Idris were so vivid that he would ‘zone out” for minutes at a time only to return with a start in some cases.
“Oh Chioma!” He said trying not to seem distracted as he ruffled through some files on his desk. “Sure let her come in”
“Daddy!!” a young voice shouted as Segun’s office door opened again. The owner of the voice was obviously elated to see him.
“Oba” Segun called back “Come here” he said as the boy came in for a tight hug from his father who had adjusted his chair to give them space.
“So what’s it like being a six year old these days?” Segun asked his son.
The boy smiled and was about to say something when his mom cut in.
“You have something to tell your father don’t you?” Toyin said.
Segun looked at her with some confusion in his face. He had completely forgotten about saying hi to her as she entered.
“Oba you have something to tell me?” Segun asked his son who was still seated on his lap.
“Yes o!” Toyin said. She had also taken a seat “He had a weird dream”.
“Really?” Segun said looking at his son who was looking downwards “go ahead tell me” Segun pressed. “What happened?”
“Okay” The boy said as he started his narration.
“I saw you in your car daddy and I was in the back seat”
Segun listened attentively.
“You were angry at someone and then you didn’t see someone who wanted to cross the road so you almost hit the person”
“So did I hit the person in this dream?” Segun asked
“No daddy; you shifted your car but it now went and hit one pole by the road”
“So what else happened?” Segun was at the edge of his seat at this moment but he tried to stay calm.
“You were not wearing your seat belt so your head hit your steering and you died” The body was shaken by this experience and it was obvious to Segun and Toyin.
“But I am here now” Segun reassured his son
“But there’s more” came Toyin’s voice. “Tell him the last part Oba”
“After you died, both of us went somewhere and you met some people and after you people talked, we came back…and I woke up”
“That’s why he insisted on seeing you to make sure you were alright” Toyin said.
“Oh that’s interesting Oba” Segun said smiling “Thank you for telling me; nothing will happen to me okay?”
“Okay Daddy” the little boy replied.
“Are you happy now?” Toyin asked her son “Can we leave for the market? We’re losing daylight”
Segun sat back and breathed deeply as he analysed his son’s dream. The thing is; it wasn’t just a dream.
A week ago Segun was driving back from the bank at a high speed and without a seat belt when he almost knocked down someone hawking bananas. He swerved his vehicle to avoid impact but he ended up at the bottom of a concrete electric pole. What happened next is what Segun failed to tell his wife and the other doctors.
“Let me teach you a trick. You see Segun death is an illusion. And anyone who leaves this earth by dying does so by choice…not necessity.” Baba Idris had this serious look on his face. “In the moments before death, a person knows that death is inevitable but it is the moments after death that hold the secret to this trick”
Segun listened attentively
“You can choose not to die and the reason many people don’t choose is because they are scared of the pain they are coming back to face. You see Segun, when you die, you know everything; Past – Present – Future! And before death is official, you can negotiate your way back”
“Negotiate?” Segun asked
“Yes!” Replied the shaman “The easiest way is to trade a life for yours; but you have to do it in time”
Time sure was an important factor because Segun remembers how it felt after the accident. He was light as a feather and he could feel himself losing touch with this world. As he faded into nothingness he felt peace and fear at the same time.
Oh my God I am dead…or dying. I have just been in an accident Segun thought to himself. I can’t die just like that.
“This is what you do Segun” The shaman had said. “Your thoughts manifest instantly when you are in the world between worlds so you should be extra careful. Think of the person whose life force you want to trade for yours”
Segun thought of everybody who he knew and he couldn’t believe he was even considering this. Was it even real? But the feeling of fading made it very real to him and he had to focus.
“When you have thought about a particular person, their face will appear before you and when you see their face, you call out their birth name”
Segun was dying and all he could think about was his wife and two children. Before his thoughts could complete, Toyin’s face formed before him. “NO!” Segun shouted. Not you!” and with that, the face vanished before him. He breathed a sigh of relief as he continued to fade.
Next, his son’s face formed in front of him and he was horrified. Anyone he thought of in that state of fear manifested immediately and he knew if he called out their name, that would be it for them. He resisted calling out his son’s name and as the fear increased, he remembered him. He remembered the person who got him angry enough to rush of out the office in the first place; he remembered his face and voice as he shouted over the phone and the anger came back. He thought about the fact that because of this man, he didn’t wear a seat belt as he drove back from the bank and with that anger, a new face started to form. It was Chris and Segun felt no remorse as he called out his name. “Christian Nwonodi”
“Calling out the birth name of your target is just the beginning” baba Idris had said. “There must be emotion attached to the name you are calling. You must remember the person as vividly as you can” and yes the vision was vivid for Segun.
“Finally Segun; there is a light which we all carry and in that state of death, you can see it. When you see it, here is what you do”
Segun imagined the light being transferred to him just as he had been instructed and within seconds he saw that it was working. He was beginning to feel heavier and more real. The feeling was amazing. He saw his target’s light go off gradually and his own light get brighter. He did not care for the fact that Chris just had a new born baby; he didn’t for a second think of the consequences of what he was doing. He had to live and nothing else mattered.
When Segun considered all that had happened and how, for the first time in his life he had literally snuffed the life out of another person, he knew for sure that he was becoming a different version of himself… He knew he was breaking bad.