ABBY’S pardon and release came through in a matter of days.
But it wasn’t only a release from a jail sentence Abby had. It was a freedom from the prison of everything.
It was a pardoning freedom. Both from the shackles of the law. And also from the imprisonment of sin.
Abby was free from everything.
It was about three weeks now since the tenacious girl came out of the Montagne Posée facility. And the young woman had successfully ticked off a few things on her priority list.
It was a bright and beautiful Friday morning. Abby was here at Pristine Energy Ltd for her last task on the list.
The freed girl settled comfortably in a seat at the receptions. She’d been waiting to see the CEO for 30 long minutes.
Abby didn’t fix an appointment for today. And so she already anticipated waiting until she’d be asked in.
But then it was Prisca Joubert’s company. Prisca’s own manufacturing startup. And that CEO Abby had been waiting to see was that frenemy.
On a second thought Abby reasoned that Prisca was deliberately keeping her waiting. That the long delay was intentional.
Abby knew her sudden appearance in Prisca’s company was a huge shock to that old friend. She knew Prisca was devastated in her office to know she’d got out of prison already.
The newly freed woman sat back in her seat now. Her eyes wandered to the CCTVs in the reception hall.
And right then Abby noticed something. It was something striking.
All the security cameras there at the reception. All of them were directly focused on her.
Abby burst into giggles and waved a hand at the cameras.
She shook her head and smiled. ‘A leopard cannot change her skin!’
Prisca fumed in disbelief in her office. For just as Abby had thought, Prisca was too shocked to see her, and had been watching her on the CCTVs.
OUT & FREE 1ST JULY
Prisca rested her jaw over her hand now, pinned her elbow on her desk; and there she kept studying her newly freed friend from the office computer.
For about 30 minutes already, the young businesswoman couldn’t concentrate on her work. She’d been studying Abby to know what was on her mind. She wanted to know why her enemy had come visiting her.
Now Prisca watched as Abby tore a sheet from a broad notepad. Abby bowed down to scribble in the paper piece.
A moment after, the agile girl raised the paper and shoved it in the camera focus.
Prisca zoomed in the footage instantly and stared at the letters.
YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO TELL BY WATCHING ME. LET’S TALK!
Prisca Joubert reached for her telephone immediately. And she phoned the reception.
‘Send Ms Abby in now!’ she ordered.
◙ ◙ ◙
Prisca heard a gentle knock on her office door.
But then she jolted up in shock… as though she heard a big blast.
The young and smart CEO hadn’t been herself since Abby was sentenced to prison. She’d found herself incarcerated since that day Abby was sentenced.
The 26-year-old had found her own body some old cage. Some haggard prison she dearly wanted to break out from. But Prisca knew that following that hungry wish simply meant committing suicide.
Yes, the young woman had checked up with a psychotherapist. She was told she’d developed some panic disorder. Prisca observed the therapy sessions religiously. Yet nothing was curing her.
For on that day that Abby was sentenced to a prison term, Prisca Joubert felt she was sentenced to lifetime agony.
The businesswoman responded to the knock on her door now. She asked her guest to come in.
Abby walked in with a sweet smile. And the radiance in her eyes was brighter than her friend had ever seen her with.
‘She’s so different!’ Prisca muttered under her breath.
But the young woman remembered who her old friend was. And she told herself Abby was here to get her revenge.
OUT & FREE 1ST JULY
Prisca couldn’t hold the strain as the ex-prisoner walked down to her.
The young entrepreneur blurted out. ‘Are you here to send me to jail as well?!’
Abby crossed over to the office settees. ‘Oh that place… that place is hell, you know,’ waved the cherry girl.
‘Even the government doesn’t want people like us there anymore,’ she added as she settled down in a seat.
Prisca was baffled and confused. Yet she was a little relieved. And so she picked up the receiver and called her secretary.
‘Bring in two cups of tea, please,’ she requested.
Then, the entrepreneur raised herself, walked over to her seated guest; and she just stood there, staring down in disbelief.
Abby talked freely without the least inhibition.
‘Hey Prisca, I’ve realised the main problem. I’ve discovered the cause of our problem…’
Prisca only stood, wondering. Who is this person? Isn’t this Abby anymore?
Abby glanced up at her. ‘Sit down, come on! It’s your office; sit down!’
Prisca was speechless. She gently lowered herself in a settee and sat.
Abby continued talking. ‘Don’t worry, Prisca. I’ve forgiven you for everything already; trust me. But that’s not even what I’m here for, uh?’
Prisca glanced at her with a curious gaze.
Abby leaned toward her friend. ‘You know what? I have found the cause of our problem, plus the solution, too!’
Prisca scoffed. ‘What problem? I don’t share a problem with you, Abby. Just spit out what you’re here for. What do you want?’ With that, the young entrepreneur looked the other way.
Prisca’s secretary came in with a tea and cookie serving now. She placed it on the low glass table in-between the two, and left the friends talking.
Abby spoke up. ‘You know you and I feel Emma is some sort of coward. We both feel she’s the weakest among us three. Yet we feel she’s trampling us down. We feel incompetent because of her. Think about it… does it add up?’
Prisca’s attention was caught. She turned to her old friend with interest; her look growing more curious by the minute.
Abby went on. ‘Think about it, Prisca. Emma is average. She isn’t social or outgoing like us. Her business isn’t anything compared to yours.
‘And yet we feel threatened by her, you know. What d’ you think? Don’t you agree it doesn’t add up?’
Prisca didn’t know when she nodded in agreement. And then she asked in a small voice. ‘And what is the solution you said you found?’
Abby smiled. ‘Patience, Prisca; patience. I’ve not even told you the problem.’
She warmed up to her friend. ‘You see the problem isn’t Emma. It is us,’ asserted Abby.
Prisca was confused a moment.
‘Yes us,’ Abby repeated. ‘Look, we are like empty cans that sound out its own frustrations when things hit it.
‘If it’s not Emma, we could have done bad to somebody else. And it’s all because it wasn’t Emma’s fault in the first place. It is the void in us.’
Abby paused to let her words sink. She resumed in a bit.
‘You see the day I was sentenced to prison, I was broken and sad. I knew it was the revenge you wanted. Yet when I smiled at you at the court, how did you feel?’
Prisca’s visage contoured into a bitter frown in that moment. But before she could mouth a word of protest, Abby responded with another question.
‘You felt shattered, right?’
Prisca acquiesced with a quiet nod, and the speaker picked up again.
‘You had your revenge yet you weren’t happy. That is the void I’m talking about. The void that can’t be filled with revenge, or anything else!’
Prisca blurted. ‘Then what can fill that void?’
‘It is Jesus, girl!’ beamed the ex-convict. ‘That’s what I have realised. That is the secret Emma had. Only Jesus Christ can make us truly happy!’ she declared.
‘Look at it, my friend. You know the moon is to shine at night, while the sun comes up during daytime. Now imagine a situation where the moon comes out during the day and stands over the sun.’
Prisca retorted. ‘Solar eclipse.’
‘Thank you,’ snapped Abby. ‘And what happens to the moon when it does that? Does it retain its beauty and brightness?’
‘No it turns black,’ quipped Prisca.
Abby smiled, snapping her fingers. ‘At that very point the sun shines brightest… in all its celestial glory!’
Prisca nodded in agreement.
Abby picked up again. ‘Prisca, we are that moon that has been trying to cloud Emma. We are that moon that has been turning blacker every day, because we try to mask a child of God.
‘Both the sun and the moon have their unique beauty, you know. Both celestial bodies have their own time and space to shine. So also is everybody, my friend. Everyone has their unique time and shine.
‘You see, if we resent other people’s shine and time, we can never shine at all. We will only go dark and rotten within ourselves,’ Abby finished.
Prisca was astonished. It was like a mystery of life and relationships. It was like that mystery had been unravelled.
Again Prisca was overwhelmed. She was overwhelmed at her enemy’s magnanimity. She wondered where to begin, when the friend she sent to jail came back looking for her good. She didn’t know where to start at all.
Prisca parted her lips open. And her lips trembled as the words rolled out.
‘I’m really sorry, Abby. I’m so very sorry for what I did to you. God knows I’m terribly sorry now!
‘You know, I thought if I stepped on you, I’ll be happy. Goodness, I must be a fool to think I should step on a good friend!
‘I’m terribly sorry, Abby! If at all you find it in your heart to forgive me, I’ll be too grateful!’
Abby smiled. ‘I’ve forgiven you before I came here, Prisca. I’m a new girl now. I met Jesus Christ in prison. You just had to send me there so I can bring Him to you.’
Prisca was amazed at her friend. ‘How do I find Jesus too, Abby? How do I find Jesus, too?!’
‘It’s simple, girl,’ replied Abby. ‘You just have to repent of your sins and surrender your life to Him in prayer.’
‘Are you sure it’s that simple?’
‘That’s what I did too, and my life had a new meaning!’
‘Let me go for it too. Pray for me; I’m ready,’ Prisca replied, as she lowered herself to kneel.
Abby knelt down with her friend, and they joined hands. She prayed with her, tears streaming down the eyes of the two.
In the next moment, the villain of the Pea clique rose to her feet.
And she rose and stood a beautiful soul.
Thank you for following through the journey and experience of our eNovel Eclipse.
We believe it was worth the while for you. And if that is so, please share with a friend; and then, another… and yet another!
Till we’re all inspired by the Great God through His Great Stories!
Until next time, let’s go make God proud!
—Kayode & Tola Olla
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