It all felt strange; her soul didn’t feel like it belonged in her body. The legs walking down the aisles were moving at their own impulses, her brain completely detached from the activity. She didn’t feel like she was in her own body.
As for her heart, it was trying to burst out of her ribcage. She could feel it beating so fast she feared people could hear it.
What am I thinking? Am I even thinking? she wondered.
She looked around with caution and carefully made her way down to what she came for. It was a now or never situation.
She arrived at the jewelry aisle and there it was. A diamond-encrusted necklace made from the highest quality gold. It was still standing where she saw it the last time she came she was there.
There was no one else on that aisle. She looked up for the cameras. She spotted one staring straight down at her. She quickly averted her gaze.
Carefully, she turned her back to the camera, positioning herself such that she could do the deed without being caught on tape.
What am I doing here? she wondered once again. Her hands were moving, just like her legs, of their own free will and volition.
The alarms would go off any second now, and she only hoped that all her shaking extremities would allow her to execute her brilliant escape plan of quickly finding that place behind the shelves where she would speedily ditch her kimono, her baseball cap, black sunglasses, and toss aside the round ball that had been her baby bump in ten seconds or less.
Then she will make the quickest dash to the grocery section, and join the Easter weekend rush crowd. It was a big shop and before the guards would get to the jewelry aisle, she would safely be on her way to the pawnshop. Her plans should work. They should, shouldn’t they? she pondered.
Her hands stopped moving. She just stood there, staring at the jewelry, going over her plan in her head, while her heart kept pounding in her chest. Then she heard a voice saying “What are you doing here? I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Her heart stopped. Literally. She held her breath as she turned to see the man walking past her.
I am sorry, sir. Her eyes pleaded although she was tight-lipped.
She ran up to him. “I am not a thief, I… I was, I’m desperate” her heart whispered.
She swallowed hard.
The man had stopped. There was something about him. Genteel. Trustworthy. Understanding. Inviting.
He looked at her. He just nodded and walked on.
She couldn’t take his silence; she had to explain her situation to him. So, she went after him as he left the mall.
She had to make him believe her. After all, she had never done or attempted to do anything like this in her life.
Turning to her, he said, “I believe you.”
Then after a pause, he added, “And he won’t be needing that surgery.”
She felt goosebumps all over. How did he know? Was he an angel? She looked up and saw him disappear around the corner at the end of the block. She was speechless for a few minutes.
After regaining her composure, she made her way back to the hospital – her leg leading all the way. It wasn’t a long walk but it took her twice the time it usually did.
She kept wondering about what might have happened if the stranger’s gaze hadn’t stopped her. She might have been on her way to jail now, she thought. And then, who would have taken care of him? A chill ran down her spine as these thoughts ran through her head.
She was soon in the hospital lobby. Waiting were her aunt and younger sister.
What were they doing down here, who was watching him? She was about to ask the same questions when she saw tears on her aunt’s face. Her sister was hunched over like she was also crying. What is happening?
Her aunt saw her and ran up to her. Without a word, she hugged her and held her tight. Her head was telling her that it was all over, but her heart refused to take it.
She felt numb, even dumb; well, that wasn’t new. She sat down weakly on the closest chair. She had no strength to entertain the questions going through her head.
“The doctors are with him.” She looked up immediately, giving her aunt a puzzled look, her eyes pleading to know. Are they trying to revive him? she asked.
“He’s out of the coma, sweetie. They said he won’t need that expensive surgery.”
What? She exclaimed with excitement. She couldn’t feel her legs as she was floating on cloud 9.
All she could think of was the amazing grace of a double miracle in the midst of hopelessness. Who says there is no God?
Chiazo Obiudu is a wife and mother of three, a writer and biochemist. She lives in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. She believes writing is the tool God gave her to reach the world for Christ. She has one novel, self-published, and other works yet to be released.