I must have been here for about 45 minutes, knees down face to the ground. Then suddenly I felt someone come into the room, it was a security guard. He was about lifting me up but was suddenly interrupted by the sound of a sweet voice from the entrance. “Do not worry I will take it from here”. It was Jasmine. She walks towards my direction. “Baba is ready to see you now, I have been briefed… on everything. I actually sensed it the moment I saw you, it was obvious. Anyway we’ll talk about it when you’re done seeing Baba. Come this way please”. She let me through the passage and stopped at the entrance, “I cannot go any further I’ll be right outside waiting for you”. She lets go of my hands, turns back and walks the opposite direction. The doors automatically swings open, an armed security guard ushered me into the room. I could see the figure of an elderly man sitting quietly on a large chair, he beckoned at me saying something in his native language. I immediately began walking towards him but then the armed guard held my hand and whispered in my ears “whatever you do, do not look him in the face”, then he let me go. I came towards the man, knelt down with my face down.
Everywhere was very quiet except for the sound of some soft malian music coming from the surround speaker in the room. It must have taken another ten awkward minutes before he broke the silence saying. “I have taken the last thirty minutes of my life receiving a briefing about you and the only thing I find interesting is that you neither believe in God nor destiny and yet you stand here before me tonight awaiting to become my son. Now tell me in one sentence who you are and what your story is. I almost looked up to reply him but then I remembered where I was. I then assumed I was in an interview and thought how best to answer the question. ‘I am a straightforward and honest business man sir’. He waits in silence then replies, “I pray our country, and the world at large can accommodate such a rarity…. as an honest man. Now I would like to know your philosophy on the term destiny Mr Benjamin”. I leaned back a bit and said “I believe a man’s life is a result of what he makes out of it”. He sits up like I caught his interest there. He replied saying “The whole world is a chess, any move can be the death of you, do anything except remain where you started… and you can never be sure of your end. Take for instance, where you sure of your end once?”… I couldn’t reply, (as smart as I thought I was, a man who had known me for barely thirty minutes had debunked the philosophy that has been guiding me all my life and he was so correct. ) “That’s what I thought” he replied. “And about religion and the holy books”, he continued, “How could you even for a second doubt their authenticity when every page has been accurately prophetic in our everyday lives.
Once again, consider this instance, in the early hours of this morning minutes after Fajr prayer, I was alone in my inner chambers trying to seek God regarding the marriage of my son to the daughter of my very ruthless business partner. I got inspired to study so I picked up my Quran and found myself in Surah As-Saffaat (37 : 101 ) and do you know what was written there”, he laughed and said “God be praised at all times”. It was the story of Ibrahim’s test on the sacrifice of Isma’il, peace be upon them. After reading the story of how God asked Ibrahim to sacrifice Isma’il, I was never satisfied with that story. Using it in the current situation I found myself in, I never saw it as a solution and so I went to seek the biblical reference of that story which I found in Genesis 22 and in the 13th verse it was recorded that Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. Does this story sound familiar to you? Do you now see, how the Holy books help guide us through our daily lives? You see everything we do has been predestined. You Benjamin are that ram caught in a thicket by your horns, at the right place and time to take the place of the sacrifice from my son -My only son. So my friend, the time has come to conclude my affairs tonight, here are your obligations henceforth – You must be loyal to the family at all times, you must set a good example as you will be representing the family in Algeria, you must never be caught drinking or any committing any act of irresponsibility, you must love your wife Jasmine as she is the gatekeeper to your destiny. Always protect the helpless… and maybe one day when I am helpless you will come and protect me. He placed his hands on my head, and some things in his native language, he then stood up and walked out through the opposite direction. I lifted up my face to find a guard standing in front of me, he politely said. “You must come with me sir”.
As soon as I came out of the room I found Jasmine waiting with a warm smile. “How did it go?” she asked. “Better than I expected” Baba is a very versatile man, I have found much reward in his company. Come let’s go to my quarters we have a lot to talk about.” I and jasmine went to a huge section of the house that has reserved for her. We talked for about two hours but it seemed as if we had known each other for a very long time. That’s the thing about talking with intelligent people, there was absolutely no need to keep my cool, or make a move, or say the right thing, everything was so spontaneous. They say love is blind and now I believe because I couldn’t find one single fault in Jasmine, everything about her was perfect. She got a bottle of champagne and as soon as I took a glass I felt a hand bang in my head, it’s like all the tension of the day hit me in one bang. I held my head and she gently lay me down on the bed and turned off the lights (as we were close to the bed) surprisingly I felt another harder bang on head only this time it felt different it was sharper and more painful I immediately jumped up from the bed and found I was sweating profusely.
It was dark but I could see a speck of light from the window as it was almost dawn. I looked closely to the figure standing in front of me and wait a minute! It was my wife. And I must have been dreaming all along. “Lazy man will you get up and go prepare the children for school it’s almost 7 and the bus will be here soon. She was wearing only a towel like she had just had a bath. She left to the children’s room to go wake the girls up. I badly wanted to go back to my dream. Memory of Jasmine, her warm smile, her kind words, I knew it had to be a dream, she was too good to be true and I was still strongly in love with her even though I knew she was only a figment of my imagination. I sat down on the bed dazed and confused, lost in thought. Enjoying my folly as I reminisced the last glimpse of Jasmine. My wife came into the room holding a rechargeable lamp and I immediately jumped up from the bed so as not to get another sharp pain on my head or hand or wherever she chooses to hit me. I went to the bathroom to get stuff ready to bath my children and stopped to think about my dream again then I heard my wife yelling from the room. “You this man, why do I have two missed calls from you at around 2am when you were sleeping right next to me!” I stopped to think about what she said and I involuntarily moved towards her direction and thought to myself how this could be true, did I dial her number in my sleep or is there a chance that this wasn’t a dream? Then it hit me that Abdul also called so his number should also be on her phone. “Is that the only number that called you I asked”? “No” she said. I immediately ran into the room with the intention of snatching her phone to see if I could get Abdul’s number. She stopped me and said “Are you okay, you acting kinda weird”. “The number, the number please let me have the number I replied desperately stretching my hands towards her phone. She faced the phone towards me showing me the screen and replied “It’s an unknown number”….