A DAY IN COURT!“Ouch! David! You should not be leaving your toys cluttered in the hallway. I told you that!”“Sorry dad. I’ll come get it!” Greg kicked the toy further down the hallway. He entered the kitchen and paused for a minute to rub his awfully aching toe. The reality of having to take care of David single-handedly began to glaringly dawn on him. David dashed in. “where’s my breakfast dad?”“You better fix that yourself son, you’re twelve!”. That was the exact number; twelve. Twelve years of battling Cancer. It started right after David’s birth and Stacey was never the same again. She just kept sinking into a complete shadow of the bubbly beautiful lady Greg walk down the aisle that faithful Wednesday.“Mrs. Jenkins is looking forward to the meeting with you today. Would you come at lunch or after school?”The question startled Greg out of his thoughts. “Um – what?”“The parent-teacher student assessment? It’s my turn today. Remember?”“Oh no, I mean yes, and um – I mean no too. Can’t make it!”“But you promised! Mum would have – ““No more mum cards young man. Finish your cereals and let’s get moving. Go get your bag; I have an important case in court today”“Mum would have come!” David finished. “Guess the case is more important than my education is!” He trudged off.David was right! That case was more important than his education. It was a deal breaker. His last shot at getting the money for Stacey’s surgery. She was at the brink of death and he owed her that duty.Just as Greg dashed out of their ebony door that cost quite a fortune, the phone rang.“Greg speaking!” There was a quick change in demeanor. “Nhmm – aha, oh- ok.” Greg banged the phone; so hard, he wished his frustrations went with it. It was the hospital. Stacey had slipped into the coma as predicted. She had but a few days to survive. The surgery had to take place. Then came the angry look his mum always dreaded. If only Stacey had heeded his advice not to meddle in this GOD and divine healing stuff, maybe she would have been much better. She kept expecting a miracle until she was inches to the end of life’s tape.“Dad!”“I’m on my way”Greg dropped off David at his school, making sure Mrs. Jenkins was not around the corner. He sped off as soon as David characteristically banged the door to ensure such an encounter never happened. As he got closer to his office building, the case at hand came flashing through his mind. First was this rude disheveled man who walked into his office asking for an attorney. Without asking what the case was, he willingly committed himself; a decision he regretted right after taking it. Then, he got to know the case; the man wanted to sue GOD! “What on earth would push a man into thinking he could win such a case? How can you sue GOD for negligence?”“Well for starters, America can boast of incredible lawsuits where the Prosecutor walked away with millions to his name for no particular reason. This is America dude; a land of freedom!” Josh was by far the only friend who stuck with him through all the tough times. But his steadfast virtues couldn’t take Greg out of this mess for the first time ever. The two lawyers walked into the courthouse just as the doors were opened. It was Greg’s culture to get to the courthouse much earlier than anyone else so as to take the anxiety of court proceedings away and to give him enough time to study the case at hand and strategize.Mr. Simon soon walked in. he had also become accustomed to the idea that his lawyer was an early bird. He walked over to the two gentlemen who had not even noticed there was a third person in the courtroom now. Mr. Simon was a short stout man with broad shoulders. He had blue eyes of a rare shade that at this moment reflected much fear of the unknown. He was particular about brushing his well-trimmed hair all-back. Back in high school, he was taught in a beauty class that it would make him look taller and he ensured that he never brushed his hair any other way.“Mr. Simon! How are you?”“Couldn’t be different Josh! Just hoping this case ends soon”Greg chuckled. “Could you remind me of why you are suing GOD again?”Mr. Simon felt neglected. He had been a very faithful attendee of the popular local church every other Sunday he didn’t have a hangover. He had prayed and cast his seed money of faith on several occasions. Then all went down gradually. He lost his job, lost his house and ultimately lost his wife and only child in a car crash that left him with a few missing teeth. And that was it. The church told him of a caring GOD that always cared for him; a GOD that would never forsake. That’s what the Bible said right? So GOD had to pay- every single dime. If he could not get him, the church should be made to pay instead.Greg kept staring at the man he secretly called a piece of bad luck. Stacey was dying. Three days was all she got and this case didn’t in anyway look like it would end soon. He quickly wiped off a tear that had just began to streak down his cheek. He glanced around to be sure no one noticed it and stared ahead as the Judge walked in.“Court Rise!”As court proceedings rolled, Greg was miles away from reality. His dad had always taught him to be a man; never shedding a tear. Tears were the sign of weakness and he couldn’t afford to be weak at this point. This day, Josh did much of the talking as he kept staring at an emblem in a frame above the judge’s head. It read “In GOD we trust” at the bottom. Since Stacey’s illness, that motto meant nothing to him. It only invoked anger in a GOD who could watch an avid believer like Stacey slump into such a journey of pain and care less what happened. If not for his atheist stance at the moment, he would have been suing GOD too.Greg turned to look at the Defense Attorney; a sixty-something-year old pastor who in previous sittings had been literally heckled by all these insurmountable witnesses Mr. Simons had managed to bring to court as proof that GOD had been neglectful. Josh kept quoting from the Bible all the good things GOD promised but failed to honor as he presented his case that morning. It was quite a lengthy opening statement. Too lengthy for Greg to digest above all the stress. Three days; that’s all Stacey’s got. No family, no inheritance, no bonds, nothing to fall back on. Not even his Insurance brokers were lenient enough to include that surgery in the things they covered. Just as Greg began to shut off the proceedings from his mind, he heard something that startled him. “Your Honor, the defense has changed its plea to guilty!”“Oh my GOD!” Greg blurted- loud enough before realizing two things; he was still in the middle of a court sitting, and he was supposed to be an atheist. He stood up.“He is guilty, he is guilty. Josh, he is guilty!”“One more disruption of sittings Attorney and I would be forced to throw you out.”“Sorry your honor! He is guilty! Yes! He is guilty! I knew it. I knew GOD would be guilty... well, that’s if he exists!” Greg paced around the courtroom. He ran to the stand showing not so meaningful gestures. He dashed back to Josh, shook him vigorously and shed a few tears; this time allowing it to freely flow. All in the courtroom stared silently at Greg. He noticed the stares and returned to his seat. It was a relief, Stacey would be just fine! With 25% of a million dollars as a reward for winning the case, Greg was certain, Stacey would be just fine. He was overjoyed and bubbling with joy. He just couldn’t control himself. However he realized he had to just control himself till the court proceedings were over. The court proceedings continued. But in five minutes, Greg stood up again.“Stacey would not die. He is guilty. Huh. Gotcha!” he turned to the pastor as he broke down in tears. “Stacey would live. I’m so glad your GOD is wrong. He is so wrong. Stacey would live!” he kept pointing his fingers at the defense attorney as he spoke.“That’s it! Out of my courtroom Attorney! We would all be just fine without you!” The judge snapped. Greg picked his briefcase and strolled gaily out stopping every few pews and screaming, “he is guilty! Stacey would live”“In three days buddy!”“In three days, that’s great! Three days! Three days! Three days? No, not three days!”“Why is that? It’s a cool deal. Verdict in just three days after a trial? That’s awesome!“No! No! No! Josh , if Stacey doesn’t get that surgery in three days, she is going to die, she is going to die. When would I get that money? No! Can’t we make it tomorrow?” Greg frantically paced around the office. His frantic pacing reminded him of the day David was born. He had done the same thing. This however was different.“Look, all we have to hope for is the money in time. Then we can rush back to the hospital and settle the bills. Is that ok?” Josh patted his longtime friend and calmed him down.“Three days. Three days. Three days!“Dad, I got my bag. Can we go now? I don’t want to be late and you better not be late for your all-important case!” David stared at him from the hallway.Greg came back to present. His aching toe kept him rubbing his foot hoping the pain would all go away. Today was the third day. The final verdict was today. There were no jurors to lengthen proceedings. Hopefully, everything would be smooth by noon. Then he could rush off to the hospital and pay for Stacey’s surgery.“Well I’m going to make this as quick as possible. Defense, you pleading guilty?”“Yes your Honour!”“Your GOD is okay with this? Has he agreed to pay the one million dollars Mr Simon here is suing him for?”“Yes your honour”“Well ok. He should have made up his mind earlier too. Then we wouldn’t have to go through all this drama in the courthouse. Prosecutor, you happy with proceedings?”“Yes your honour! Really glad it happened this way. My client has been proven right. I’m sure more of these suits would be coming right up!” the crowd laughed.“Well I wouldn’t want to preside over those! Ok… Pastor –““Pastor Jason your honour”“Yeah Pastor Jason. You some Bishop or sheik or something?”“Reverend your honour!”“Oh yeah! Reverend. Y’all got creaky titles. Are you sure you’ve got one million dollars to spend defending some GOD somewhere? Or do you need some council of religious bodies to help out? I wouldn’t be putting my neck on such a line dude.”“Yes your honour! I’ll sign out a checkright after the court proceedings.”The crowd in the courtroom burst out in laughter and murmurs.“Wooo-o glory hallelujah! You already got a checkbook ready?” someone said from the crowd and there was further uproar.“Order! Order!”Greg was squirming in his seat. All he wanted to hear at that moment was a ‘court rise’ call and a crisp checkin his hands. Time was definitely not his pal today. Josh had to be with Stacey and he had to sit right through! He was getting impatient.“When is all this going to end? Huh?”“Attorney, you would not just be nicely kicked out of this room this time round, you would spend some hours in jail for contempt of court if you interrupt proceedings again. Let the court do its work!”“Sorry your honour! Just made plans for the money and I need it so soon to…”That brought much more murmurings as people giggled and laughed including the judge. “That lawyer is defrauding GOD to get rich!” shouted a grey-haired man in the courtroom. Greg wished he never mentioned that. It only brought more murmurings, which the judge surprisingly condoned.“Order! Order!”“Well before I finalise proceedings, do you have anything to say defense…?” “Yes your honour!”“A message from GOD? Some prophecy?” finished the Judge sarcastically.Now Greg actually felt stomach rumblings. He took a quick glance at his watch; it was a quarter to noon. Beads of perspiration broke on his forehead. All of a sudden, a cold chill pervaded the courtroom… or so Greg thought. Then his nightmare began.“Your Honor, I’m glad this case went just as it did. Yes, GOD pleaded guilty! But this is just a reminiscence of what Bob Marley thought through one of his lyrics…”“You listen to reggae preacher man?” a dishevelled man got up, dousing a lit cigarette in his hands. “I thought reggae was for the unbeliever” he got some nods from a few people around and a good shove from the court security guard who dragged him out.A text message came in. “Greg, where are you?” it was Josh so he texted back. “I’m still in the courtroom. Stacey ok?”“No man, better get here soon. She has been moved to life support”Now, Greg‘s nostrils just flared up watching the defense attorney slowly go through a written speech. He walked up to the defense Attorney and held on tightly to his shirt collar.“That’s it! I don’t care what your GOD has to say or what Bob Marley had to say. I don’t give a damn what anybody has got to say!” he scrubbed off two streaks of hot tears that managed to escape the vigorous squints of his eye so as not to cry. “All I want is your money to save my dying wife. Doesn’t your GOD care about that? Stacey is dying and I am in no position to hear your speech”His face was red hot with anguish; he was losing it. He dropped the old man carefully on his seat as the courthouse security guards rushed in.“She is dying, can’t you see? I need that money!” they bundled him up and started dragging him away. “Don’t do this to me, I need that money …” his voice trailed off!Pastor Jason was speechless and startled; first at the thought that he was nearly strangled to death and secondly because of the depth of love he saw in the eyes of the Attorney they just dragged away!“Um… your honour, as I was saying…. Bob Marley said…. He, who runs away from a battle, lives to fight another day… That’s all your honour!”The courtroom was silent; you could hear sweat drop. Greg’s actions left everyone speechless. They had laughed away the proceedings as someone in their midst was in much agony. Mr Simons wiped out his tears; the tears he had promised never to shed tears again after Monica and his only son passed away right before his eyes. He wished he had a chance to help them like Greg did now. He wished he hadn’t taken gone for that booze after being given the sack. He wished he hadn’t stolen the money that led to the sack too. He also wished he had never gambled away their life savings that led to him losing his house and then stealing that money to settle it. Monica would probably have been alive and he wouldn’t have to sue GOD. He filed this lawsuit for her; she believed in GOD. Why didn’t that faith save her from his hands? Now he had put another man into a mess. He knew this case was Greg’s last shot to gaining a bonus and promotion but he never knew the depth of the pain that led Greg to share those secret tears he quickly wiped away.Stacey was the preacher that preached the promises of GOD every other Sunday he could make it to the front pew of that old church building along the dirt road. She had been the Apostle of good news; the news of the unfailing love of GOD. She had started all this mess. Mr Simon thought a lawsuit against GOD and his church was a very legal way of gaining back his pound of flesh.Greg raced to the hospital. He was too unstable to drive and the courthouse security guards ensured that never happened by seizing his keys. For once, the taxis in New York City seemed to crawl before his very eyes. After five minutes in a traffic jam that led to the throwing of insults and vulgar words between drivers, Greg kicked open the door of the cab and bolted. He could hear the insults and screams of his cab driver though, but he could hear his heart beat more. He was drenched in his own sweat as he took the emergency exit right into the reception parlour of the hospital.The Senior Pastor of Stacey’s church was in her room, bending over her body as he prayed. For once, he didn’t feel like kicking him over. Anything was needed to save her now. There were tubes all over. She looked more dead than alive. He rushed to her side.“Stacey! Stacey! I’m here baby. I’m right here! You are going to be ok!”“Greg, good you came. Have you got the money? We are still preparing her for the theatre though. Her chances are slim I must admit.”“The money? The money! The mo- Oh my GOD. I didn’t wait for the money?”“What do we do now? She is way beyond our threshold of welfare we offer our clients.”“Just do what you can doctor! Anything! I’m racing back to the courthouse for the money, I’ll be back! Please!” Greg broke down in uncontrollable tears. He didn’t mind breaking that rule if it would save the only woman who had been there for him a whole twenty years. She had been there through the tears and the smiles; she gave up a kidney for him. He had blamed himself at the initial stages of the cancer, fearing the transplant had drastically affected Stacey. All those thought came flooding at such altitudes as the tears in his eyes.He climbed up the marble steps- five at a time! Mr Simon was at the entrance, and so was GOD’s attorney: Pastor Jason.“Is she ok? Is everything alright? I have a message in a letter here for you”“It’s not the time for this Mr Jason; can I have my money now?” Greg stood at the edge of the last step grasping for breath.”“Sure! Here it is!” he handed him an envelope“A cheque?”“Sorry son, my client paid me by cheque.”“So what, GOD opted to pay me in checkat this crucial hour? Phooey! An applaud for the all-knowing GOD! I’m out of here.” He didn’t turn back“You know that situation where you really in hurry and everything else don’t work to aid you?”“Nhmm... Calm down buddy. What’s wrong?”Greg sobbed; and he drew a lot of attention. “The Bank’s internet system is down Josh, its down! They can’t confirm the cheque.”“Cool it ok. The Senior pastor just made a down payment with church bonds Greg. Stacey is at the theatre.” That was a relief and Greg heaved a sigh to that relief. “I’ll be there soon Josh! I’m on my way.” Just then, bank’s PA was turned on.“Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry for the delay. Our system has been fixed now. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused!”“Next customer please!”Greg dashed out of the banking hall; knocking over a flower vase and an old lady in the process. He didn’t have the time to say I’m sorry this time around. He just felt, maybe being around Stacey would make her feel okay. But his problems were soon not to end.“Excuse me Sir!”He shouldn’t have stopped. Right behind him were two policemen and the cab driver.“Oh no, not today!” they soon caught up with him and showed him their identity cards.“Do you know this man Sir?”“You know what, I do. I’m sorry I broke your door…”“You crashed the glass window too man!”“Yeah! I did all that. Here! My Rolex watch, my card, have it, have it all. My pin is 2335446 Just leave me alone alright!”“I’m sorry sir but you have to come with us to the station. We can then take your statement and then you can go change your card pin for your good.”“What? Station? What-?” It all happened so fast it got his head spinning. All he knew was he was at some Police Station writing a statement and Stacey was on the operating table, counting on him to be by her side.“Can I go now? Are you happy?” He didn’t wait for an answer though. He just ran off like some kid from a detention room. Just in case they changed their mind, he was long gone. Halfway along, he stopped to catch his breath, and probably a taxi. At the entrance of the hospital, he instructed the driver to park right at the edge of the road. No time for parking procedures. He reached out for his wallet; it was gone! He might have left it in the bank. What more could go wrong?“Thanks for paying buddy! How is Stacey?”“You are welcome. Stacey is still in the theatre Greg. She should be out soon!” josh fastened his steps to catch up with Greg.Soon seemed to last forever. Doctors kept going in and coming out. Other patients were being rushed in and brought out, but not Stacey!”“Daddy!” David run into the open arms of his father. In all his twelve innocent years, he had never seen his dad cry.“Dad! Are you ok?”“Yeah son, I’m just fine!” He hugged David tighter as he wiped off his tears with the other arm.“Is mum going to be alright? Is she going to die daddy?”“I don’t know David. I- I don’t know!”“Mummy is going to be just fine David.”Greg looked up to see Mrs Jenkins looking down at them. She extended her hands and Greg released his firm grip on David.“Come on David; let’s go grab some Ice-cream.”“Do you want some dad?”“Huh?”“We are going to get Ice-cream, do you want some?”“No son. Go on. I’ll be fine!” he just remembered he had not eaten anything solid for the past three days. The only thing that kept him moving was the douse of energy drinks in his car.”“Mr Greg Wakefield?”“Yes! Um- that’s me. Is she ok?”“Well Sir… the doctor would want to see you in his consulting room please!”“What? Consulting – is Stacey ok?”“Follow me Sir. You would get to know when we get there!”Josh held his shoulder as they walked into the consulting room. The senior pastor was there too.“Mr Wakefield?”“Yes?”“Oh have a seat!” He obeyed. To cut an argument short even before it began, he sat down- but at the edge of the seat.“Well, the surgery has been completed Greg”“Good to know!” he wiped sweat from his face.“There was good response from her as we operated…”“Ok! So can I see her now?”“Mr Wakefield, Stacey didn’t make it” he finished off, avoiding the glare of Greg.Greg froze. He just froze. There were echoes of some voices and the waving of some hands but it all seemed to daze him more and more. He could remember being taken out of the consulting room into Josh’s car. He could remember snuggling David at the back seat of the Porsche. But the next thing he remembered was staring into the ceiling of his bedroom; staring into oblivion.He turned over to the right and there was a picture of Stacey. Then he remembered; she was dead.“Stacey! Stacey! No! No! No! Stacey no!”He dashed for the frame and crashed it to the ground. He noticed one thing too, his wallet. It still had the envelope with the cheque. That checkcould have saved Stacey. If only if he had gotten it at the right time. He took out the envelope from the wallet, pulled out the checkand just allowed his tears to fall unto it. But then he noticed another sheet of paper in the envelope. With shaky hand, He took out the paper, opened it and began to read.Dear Greg!I don’t know at what point you would be reading this. However, I thought I should explain why I lost this case. See, when you go to court with a case, you usually have a master plan. You usually have an idea of how things should go. And in your case, I have watched you rise early enough to the courthouse so you can revise your antics over and over again so as to win a case. This has made you a lawyer of high standards, as you never lose a case in court. Let’s say you have a client that you are to defend in court. Everything is well planned out and the client is coached by you on what to say and what not to say. Now imagine if your client changed his story when it was time to testify. Imagine him ruining all your plans and placing you right in the court of your opponents. That would be an easy win for them wouldn’t it? Also, imagine that client blaming you at the end of the sitting for failure in winning the case. Imagine that client accusing you of negligence during the trial; of refusing to defend him come what may. Imagine that client suing you.Greg, you see, man has a master plan on earth that should determine his destiny. Man was not created to exist and just go extinct. If it were so, there would be no need for him. Because then, animals would be much more beneficial than man to life. When they die, they could be eaten as food. When they are alive, they are pets, sources of tourist attractions and a whole lot. Of what use is man if he were to just exist and tomorrow be no more. No inventor, manufacture or designer creates new things just for the sake of their existence; they all have a purpose.Man’s master plan is in the hands of his creator. Now depending on whom or what you think man’s creator is; I leave you to determine his fate. With GOD as the creator, anything outside the master plan is disaster. You know, you can salvage you pregnant drug addict daughter from a wrecked life but some things would still remain. A child she never bargained for would be a constant reminder. Unfortunately, the repercussions of our actions ripple unto generations unborn.And so for the repercussions of diverting from the master plan, man thrives each day to find his identity, his worth! But a functioning Nokia battery in a Samsung phone doesn’t mean everything is all right. One day, when your phone shuts down, you will be reminded, that’s it’s a Nokia battery!Now to our story, is the client right in suing the lawyer for losing the case? Yes! That’s why GOD pleaded guilty today in the courts of man. The lawyer’s duty was to help his client win the case and that was what he had to do. But was that lawsuit justified considering the fact that the client testified against himself and ruined the master plan? I leave that to your imagination.I might be dead now, but I fought for a good cause. To prove that my GOD might seem guilty, but he will be forever justified as true! I paid for the lawsuit too. I know you don’t know I had such savings. But when I realised my condition was beyond me, I cashed out my late father’s life Insurance. I never told you the amount, but it was worth a fortune. At least now, you can get the bonus, pay rise, and help raise our son in the fear of GOD- never straying from the master plan. My lawyer; Pastor Jason, would release the rest of the money to you. No lavish funeral in my Honor Greg. Always know that I love you.-LoveStacey!Stacey packed up the tissue papers lying around. She picked up the used ones and dumped them in the bin across the kitchen table. She turned off the TV, turned off the lights and began to walk towards her room. Then her phone rang.“Hey!”“Hey!”“What are you doing?”“Just finished watching some movie.“Really!”“Yeah!”“What was it about?”“Some master plan. Can you imagine they named a dying woman in the movie Stacey! Smh!”
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