A loud bang above made me look up and it was just in time to see the luggage compartment cave in, falling on our heads. The screams were unbearable, the anguish unspeakable and the mournful wail of a young mother behind me were sounds etched in my memory till eternity.
Men and women of honor who boarded this ill-fated plane an hour ago luxuriously attired with all the confidence and pride of success now look pitiable. Their bodies mangled beyond recognition by the broken machine, their branded clothing burnt into rags; barely hanging on the remaining pieces of their bodies. I listened as they screamed in terror, their horror filled eyes darting about as if expecting help to come from somewhere.
A body was violently thrown forward from the back seat as the tail caught fire. The passenger was already dead. In the mist of all the chaos, I looked at the victim and realized it is the gentleman who said we should pray shortly before the aircraft took off. I was among those who ignored him. I couldn’t help but notice the peace on his pale face. In a normal circumstance, he could be mistaken to be asleep. Human parts are flying all over as the plane collapsed and caught fire. A limb that has been ripped off the owner fell on me and I almost blanked out from nausea.
The realization that the end has come made the passengers go berserk. Someone had a seizure and died instantly. Screams of ‘’Jesus help me’’, muhammed, allah filled the air. If only Jesus will show up now and perform a miracle. As we all waited for the end, someone gripped my shoulder and I looked to see the lady whose legs caught the attention of all the males on board. She has the most beautiful toned, long, slim legs I ever set my eyes on.
Now, she is a sight to behold. One of the legs has been ripped off when the plane crashed into the first building as she sat by the window. She was asking me something. I thought I heard her say ‘’Pray for me’’ It was too late as another impact from the plane throw her against the door and her neck snapped and broke.
The plane hit something huge, and everything went black. I heard nothing again. It is like being buried alive. I couldn’t feel any part of my body, couldn’t move, everything was dark around me. The screams, noise and wails of other dying passengers stopped. All I have now is my thought. I can still think and remember scenes from the past. Oh God, why does it have to end this way? Barely an hour ago, I had a beautiful life ahead of me filled with promises of a bright future; nobody knew the end was just by the corner.
Where will I end up Lord? I don’t want to end up in hell. I am not a bad guy, but I never served the Lord in a meaningful way either. I only attend church to network for business contacts and never gave a thought to anything spiritual. I had in my briefcase the signed copy of a contract worth several millions on Naira. It is the big break I chased all my adult years, but now to what end?
If only I took mum’s advice before she passed on ten years ago. She was a devout Christian woman and lived all her life in total devotion and obedience to the ways of the Lord. I tried to follow her path, as I was brought up to know the savior but later abandoned the way when it was becoming increasingly difficult to belong and get jobs. I was advised by a pastor to be patient and wait for the Lord to bless me at his own time, but patience was not one of my virtues. I had to be like the joneses. I did want to serve the Lord after becoming wealthy. I even wanted to donate huge money for my church building project, but that will never be again forever. The owner of life has come for his possession.
‘’Have mercy on me Lord, forgive me for my stubbornness, give me the grace to enter into your kingdom and be with you forever. I know what I am asking is too big, but you are a merciful God.” I mourned and prayed deep within me as I began to lose consciousness. I remember my beautiful wife and three kids at home. A deep pain wrenches my heart apart that I will never see them again. I wish I can have the opportunity to tell her to bring up our kids in the fear of the Lord so they won’t end up in the pit. That ageless biblical phrase suddenly came to my mind; ‘’what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his soul’’ How true that is. All my material possessions mean nothing to me at the moment.
I spent my life chasing the shadows, worthless things that mean nothing at the other side of heavens. I could feel the darkness closing in on me and as I drew closer, a sense of foreboding filled me up. Suddenly I saw a shadow of something huge floating towards me. Oh no! please, pl…………..