The nights were hauling with ghoulish pelts of rain, darkness slowly crept across the small town as the downpour was turning more ferocious, roaring in thunder, glaring in lightning, swilling the vicinity with fright. The roar of my empty stomach was louder in my ears.
Heaving for breath, for my survival, I found myself at the doorstep of a chapel. The wooden doors were stuck with a cross with Christ crucified on each side, a human-sized Virgin Mary stone statue towered over me, the candles hanging from the roof went off except for those inside.
My energy was utterly drained, I could not move a single fibre of my muscles. A priest, resembling the Messiah, dressed in all-black with the usual white block protruding from his collar, sauntered into my direction, gracefully extended the hand of God, picked me up, got me in, fed me.
I ate like a savage, disregarding any norms or whatsoever, After I eat, run. My mind was racing a thousand miles per second as the food was magnificent and abundant- a whole roast chicken with baked potatoes scattered with some mushed green peas. The priest just stood there, did not even look unto me, he was looking to his God.
Glints of silver caught the corner of my eye, it was the bag collecting tithes. I eyed the silver-filled bag and the priest. BONG! The chapel’s bell sounded, accompanied with a thunder clap. A chill jolted down my spine, I stopped my meal, my conscience darted back into those wasted days.
Seven when I was imprisoned. 19 years was my time there. Mental tortures, physical horrors, deprivation of sleep, you name it, I had experienced them before hand just because of a petty crime out of my hunger. I was seven, strolling down the streets, hungry, I stole a bread from the bakery, ate it, and got caught.
A gentle reminder to my following acts, my mind was good at it, but my self-control was not on the helm. I rested the plate on the ground, taking this opportunity where the priest was staring into his God, stuck my hand into the bag of silver, emptied everything into my pockets. Frantically picked myself up and went for the back door. Not even uttering a word or even taking a glance at my back.
The rain was coated me with zero shame and mercy. I felt no disgrace, at all. My self-control was null and void. I kept running, to where? I stopped. My mind steered itself back to normal, I glared blankly into the dark skies, mushroomed with thick black clouds. I peered down to my feet, the puddle of water reflected by the lamp shone into my sight. A horrid, gore covered prisoner was what I perceived. I kicked the puddle of water violently, trembling into a cocooned posture.
A wrestling match was inside me, and the real me was regaining control. Pak. Pak. Pak. Footsteps were distinct in the distant, No one will be dumb enough to go ou… As I was finishing my thoughts, the diabolical me sensed danger and took flight, climbing unto the roof.
It was slippery, I dragged my pumped body unto the roof, attempting to make the escape by jumping over some roofs. HEY! STOP RIGHT THERE! The muffled voices by the rain startled me awhile, I got back into my adrenaline rush, packed myself up with blood gushing through my muscles, my eyes aimed from roof to roof, analysed the whole site in a matter of seconds.
I did not look back, my eyes were fixated in what was in front of me. My first foot hold almost pushed me back down, but I gripped myself properly and leaped myself from one roof to another by sprinting and spring-jumping myself to my freedom. What do you mean by freedom? A solemn voice resounded in me, my foot took a wrong step, I made a hole in one of the roofs, fell into the building, and knocked hard on my head.
SPLASH! I got up, scanning my surroundings, there was the priest, the candles and some police. “Priest, do all these silver belong to you?” I’m done. There goes my life. My vision was swirling, my heart was pounding like horses, I was engulfed by myself- the real me. I was in deep regret. One word and I’m done.
“No.” What? “He even forget about the silver clandestine!” the priest reached out to get the shiny silver object and shoved it to me. I was petrified, stunned. Words could not describe my feelings, I was short of breath, my mind pulled to a halt temporarily, the diabolical self was overwhelmed by the priest’s action.
I stared at the priest even after the police were gone. The priest turned to me, looked me in the eyes. He was looking at me, God was looking at me through him. I repented immediately, got down on my trembling knees. The priest laid his hand on my head, prayed and saved me from being a wretched one.
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
I saw Him, at his most glorious, deluging His mercy unto me, dispelling the evil within me, veiling me in His almighty love.
Inspired by a short prose from Les Miserables (I haven’t read the book, it is in my reading list.)