A final look at her white wedge shoes satisfied her curiosity, perfect she thought as she straightened her white skater skirt. Picking her bible and phone she joined her two sisters outside the house and the three ducklings walked to church. Although the day was regular close to normal but inside her she felt a spark that was foreign a feeling alien to her. This Sabbath was a musical Sabbath and among the alien feeling deep inside she was very excited for she loved music that was her balm that soothed her soul and took her to limbo. Honestly it had been a while since she had last set foot in church as most Sabbath morning’s found her hangovered. It was her love for music that made her rise up this morning. The church service was to take part inside a prison situated a few miles near her home. It would be their first time to visit one and they all felt thrilled and anxious it was going to be a great experience and maybe that was the alien feeling burning deep inside her. As the saying goes good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter, the walk uphill the prison was exiting as they met fellow church members and the crowd proceeded.
After the tight security check at the gates and leaving all other belongings apart from her bible at the entrance Naomi and her sisters were guided to an open field on the east side of the prison where a large congregation sat under tents. Multiple choirs gathered in different tents all differed by their uniforms that made a mosaic carpet of colors on the bare field. On the north near the pulpit a crowd of inmates sat down under the scotching sun as the bibles or hymn books were used as an umbrella shielding them from the sun. Despite the uncomfortable situation their gaze remained focused on the speaker at the pulpit and it was easy to note the hope and joy that was displaced on their faces. Wow she thought what a thirst they have for the gospel? Naomi felt a little bit guilty of how she had all the time and freedom but at times chose not to keep the Sabbath as per Gods law, while the captives could give anything even sit under the hot sun just to worship with fellow believers. They found a spot at the first tent near the pulpit and She sat at the begin of the raw a few meters from the inmates with nothing but space and one warden separating them. The choirs sang graceful fully that time flew by so fast the morning session was almost over. The preacher took the stage a big smile on the face of the man of God. Naomi felt the joy how glad was she that she had made this choice this Sabbath. As the preaching went on her gaze navigated through the congregation, different people but with one expression. It was difficult to distinguish between the free and captives as they all wore the face of hope behind their wrinkled faces. She looked at her sisters sited next to her and was amazed. Though they had walked happily to church that morning she knew deep inside the amount of pain and frustrations that filled them. It had not been an easy year and things were getting worse. Naomi had almost lost her faith hence the reason why she drowned her sorrow in booze and missed most of the Sabbath. But looking at them now alas!! What a transformation the worries had disappeared and hope replaced it while joy stood in place of sorrow surely there is joy in the house of the lord.
A cold wind swept by and suddenly the hair on her back stood. Strange since her dreadlocks had been all tangled tightly she thought. As sudden as the wind had blown she turned and looked to her left side where the inmates’ sat and she froze. For a while Naomi failed to withdraw her stare from an inmate among the crowd neither did the guy make any effort of retreating. He had seen the best of life one could note from the white hair that was almost covering his semi bald head. His face was wrinkled and complexion dark, the thick glasses made him spookier to her. Finally he smiled at her nodded a silent greeting familiar to her and looked away. The rest of the summon was blank to Naomi as her mind tried to race back in time trying to identify the face but failed. She was sure they had never met him but why did he make such a disturbing contact. Naomi fought against all her instinct not to look back at him. She even tilted her legs to the right so she could face the opposite direction from the man. Since it was a musical Sabbath, the sermon was to be short and she was glad when it ended a little music would take her mind off and yes it did. So much in love was Naomi with music that she couldn’t restrain from joining the choirs together with other Christians as they happily sang and matched in circle at the center of the arena to one chorus led by the host choir, at this she forgot all her worries. All that bears a beginning must have an end no matter how sweet it was the chorus came to an end marking the end of the first session.
She stood halfway to her seat staring hard at the sheet of paper folded like a rose that lay on top of her bible. Although she was scared she continued walking to her seat and picked the pile before seating heavily on her chair. “What’s wrong?” Nancy inquired a worried look on her face. Naomi turned to look at her sister but lacked words. She turned to the crowd of inmates who were now being ushered away, desperately she tried to look for the man to no avail. Although she felt hot and sweaty, she knew it was not from the singing as her hands felt cold at the same time. The lady was horrified what was happening? It was lunch break and one could easily leave for home or stay and eat the food provided as they waited for the afternoon session. Yes she loved music but all she wanted to do was run so far away from this place. Nancy had already wandered off to greet a few friends unlike Naomi, her sisters were more social and very outspoken. She sat alone under that tent everyone was chatting or singing along to the background music as they waited for lunch.
Looking down at the paper shaped rose she held between her sweaty fingers, she was astonished to see words vividly written in tiny handwriting. Part of her wanted to dump the paper rose and walk away but curiosity got the best of her and she craved knowledge of the words, maybe the words would clarify the puzzle, either way she just wanted to leave. A small metal rod fell on her feet bouncing on her toes that were exposed from the open wedge shoes as she stood up to leave. Looking down at her feet she saw a rusty key, where did it come from? It had fell from her bible. She quickly picked it up looked around to be certain no one had noticed and matched quickly towards the gate not even bidding her sisters farewell. The walk down the hill had been longer as she was anxious to know what the flower held and the key? That was another mystery not forgetting the man. Halfway home she stopped and sat at the foot of a large Cyprus trees and unfolded the paper rose. In blue ink with tiny handwriting a paragraph unfolded. She read out……
Life is a paradox somethings have meaning others will never have the beauty or ugly part of it is we will never know the difference. I worked loyally for 18 years doing all that is required of me and more without a single complain. All this years I saw light in everything. But one day everything turned and I found myself betrayed by the ones I trusted and worked for all this years. They chose me as a sacrificial lamb to cover their own tracks without my consultation, this I would have no knowledge of if I had not overhead the conversation. I couldn’t save myself from the slaughter house so I decided to take a collateral before I left. Twenty seven years I have been locked up in this walls all I see is darkness even at daylight. I lost my hope and made peace with my circumstance but yesterday when they made the announcement about the church service to take place here, I prayed for the first time in years since I landed inside this walls. I asked God to show me light once more for I had dwelt in the dark so much. This morning I sat there looking at the congregation but nothing moved me until a bright light struck my eyes suddenly and when I looked up I saw you. I am not sure if it was the bright clothes you wore but I felt this was it, I saw light for the first time in twenty seven years. The key opens a gate to an empty house with treasure i took as collateral 27 years ago now it’s yours. Your bible holds the location to the house, All I ask of you is to keep shinning for there are others in the dark that needs a reminder of the light.
Was this a joke? But she held the key in her hand and opening the page with a bookmark on her bible were the coordinates boldly written……….