I summoned the little strength I had left in me and cried out as loud as I could. “God, I believe you. I believe you now. I am not ready to die, I don’t want to die. I believe you now, and all you have said. I believe you now Corey. I don’t want to die!” I put the longest finger on my right hand into my mouth and induced myself to vomit. I vomited the poison out. I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and towards me. The door opened and it was Henry. “Don’t worry Juniper, I am here, don’t worry!” He gave me a shot of something and administered unto me a lot of drugs to stabilize me I guess. I spent a few hours asleep on the floor trapped in my mind. It was just me and Henry! I believed now, I saw the craziness I had dived into and saw that there was no reason for me to be corrupted by it. I believed in God now, I believed in his love for me. I should have died a long time ago but I was still alive! Hours later Henry gave me a laxative and the moments after where not entirely pleasant. My system was cleaned in the process but I felt powerless. He gave me glucose to give me energy and cooked light porridge-like meals to get my system back in order. It took time for me to stomach what I was eating. Deep in my mind I knew I had come to the final conclusion, I wasn’t going to die! I wrote a message to Belana, “I believe you now. I believe in God. I want to serve him now. I believe in his love for me now!” After I sent the message I asked Henry to take me to Youth at Belana’s church the following day. He hesitantly agreed. Henry did not leave me alone that Thursday night. He fed me and kept me in working order. He got rid of all the alcohol and cocaine lying around and kept me safe through the night. He was paged a million times but didn’t leave. “Henry, how did you know I was about to die?” He looked at me from the kitchen and came and sat next to me on the couch I was lying on. “I had a dream half an hour earlier that felt real. I saw you take poison and start dying. I didn’t have time to figure it out so I just came here with the idea to save you. I honestly would have loved for it to be just a dream but I was surprised when I saw you on the floor and came to realise that it was in fact reality. You’re ok now, that’s all that matters!”
Friday came and he spent the day with me again. Around four o’clock in the afternoon he helped me out of the apartment into his car and drove me to Belana’s church. He left me there though he didn’t want to leave. The pager was now going haywire and he had to attend to it. Belana was happy to see me and she thanked God as soon as she hugged me. Words trickled into my mind, “Despise not the makings of a perfect man for in the end there is peace!” She held my hand and led me into their church and up the stairs into the small auditorium for the youth. The place was packed and everyone looked at me as I came in. I guess they all wanted to know who the visitor was. The entrance was such that you could see the audience well before you see the person on stage as you came in. I heard the voice of the person on the microphone and I knew it was Corey. “Thus says the Lord God, try Me and see if the words of your mouth remain the same by the end of next week Friday!” As I went up the stairs towards the available chairs Corey caught a glimpse of me but didn’t say anything. He continued speaking and going into the hearts of people. A chilling silence was across the room but it wasn’t a silence of boredom, rather it was a silence of introspection. “No man by any right can claim that he is not loved by God. How dare you say God loves you not? Know ye not that He is the Lord God strong and Mighty? How dare you?” I felt like I was attending a service for the first time in my life. I looked around and saw tears lining faces, some were lost in their thoughts, going into places they hold their doubts and misconceptions of God. I was one of them; I had insulted Him so many times, even denied Him. I felt I did not deserve His mercy but I sure as hell wanted it. For a few times in a minute, Corey stood in one place, outside of that he would go into the crowd while he was speaking, looking into people’s eyes and that in itself just sent chills into people. God for sure that day was there in person. The people there were just like me, teens who have their own versions of hell on earth. “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, try Me and see if the words of your mouth remain the same. One week, one week only. Try Him! It’s time to confront your situations and this He says, ‘I shall not leave you nor forsake you’.” I was now so lost in my mind thinking about everything that I never noticed Corey come up to me. By the time I saw him, his eyes were fixed on me like a heat seeking missile. I looked at him and I was just moments from erupting into tears. He came right in front of me and everyone turned to look at both of us. I looked down, ashamed of who I was, afraid of being judged. He didn’t budge, he stood there and started speaking softly, “God loves you Juniper. My gosh, He loves you! It doesn’t matter what you have done, He loves you. Let Him in, He can fix everything up. He loves you Juniper. Despise not the makings of a perfect man for in the end there is peace!” He opened his hands and I just erupted into tears. I felt everything I felt, everything that I hated about myself, every ounce of disgust I had developed for myself rush to my tear ducts. He held me for a time as I kept on crying. I thought of my parents, I thought of Danny and the guy in the alley. I thought of all the craziness that had happened from the time my father passed away. It had only been less than a month but I had crushed down like a comet into the face of the earth. He kept on holding me and started to walk with me down to the pulpit. We got to the pulpit and he turned to face the people. “If there is anyone who wants to give their life to Jesus Christ, come!” People came out of their seats, one after the other, all with something on their face; a distant thought of where life started going wrong for them. Corey released me and left me to stand alone. He walked farther away but I felt I was in the midst of enormous power. He stopped walking and turned and faced us. “Repeat this after me if you will.” He led a prayer of repentance and I followed him, word for word, thought for thought, emotion for emotion. I prayed wholeheartedly for the first time to a God I believed loved me. After the prayer Corey was now immediately in front of me as I opened my eyes. He had a smile across his face, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I make all things new!’” I wiped away my tears and the crowd burst into a cheer. I honestly thought it was a rugby game from the noise!
I got off the pulpit and Belana met me halfway. She whispered in my ear, “Told you, you should have come sooner. See what I meant.” Youth service ended and people left but Belana, Corey and I didn’t. Belana led me to where Corey was. I felt I was meeting the real Corey for the first time and I was a bit keen to see him. We found him talking to a group of people about something. When he saw us he quickly dismissed himself and came to us. “Juniper Trinity Rose Miles, and of course, the ever convenient Belana, how are we today?” Belana laughed and I smiled trying to find what was funny about the statement. “Forgive me Juniper, I am not much of a joker, please contend with me!” I nodded my head and I didn’t have words to say so I just approached Corey and hugged him. He looked bright enough to know that it was a thank you hug. “You are welcome Juniper, though you and I are not done yet, we still have one more thing to do. But that comes later. First, there is someone here for you.” I released him and he went away and quickly came back. Behind him was Joe, I was shocked beyond the measure of the Richter scale. “Well, he wanted to be here today so I couldn’t deny him that.” Joe came towards me and I just ran into his arms, happy as a dog I guessed. We hugged for quite a bit and I felt I had really found someone special. Corey looked like he didn’t fancy sentimental moments so he walked away. “I will be waiting for you outside Jun”, Belana said as she followed Corey out. Joe looked at me, “Can I be?” “Yes you can!” I replied. Joe ad I walked out to find Corey and Belana laughing about something that seemed to have them gasping for air in that moment. We got to where they were and Corey was all tears with laughter and I found the human nature side of him to be nothing short of a cartoon honestly. He puzzled me and still does strangely. He looked at me and stretched his hand to me, “We need to talk, a few minutes. I hope your ‘yes you can!’ doesn’t mind!” I looked at him puzzled and shocked and stretched my hand to him hesitantly. We walked a few metres away from everyone and he was back to his serious self.
“So you believe in God now ha! I wish I had that TV Jonah has, to show replays; they are very helpful you know. I am glad you came out of your shell! Truth be told I had my doubts at times but God insisted to see you through. I see His point now! I can’t allow you to go and stay on your own for the next weeks. Even though, there is something you and I must do now. Corey raised his hand and Belana came over. “It’s time!” We got a cab and went over to Henry’s house. When we got there we got into the lounge and locked all the doors. Corey pulled me by the hand to the middle of the room. “Kneel down please, we are all going somewhere!” I knelt down and Belana knelt down as well. Corey prayed for us as we held hands. Our minds seemed to go into a trance and moments later we were back in the room, Jonah’s operating room. Corey looked at me and tapped the bed. I went over to it and I lay down on it. He placed his hands on my belly and prayed. His hands felt like a pumping heart on my belly. I felt things crawling inside me. He raised his hand to Belana who in turn came close. He moved away and Belana seemed to know what to do. Corey faced the wall and closed his eyes. She cut open my shirt near my belly button and also cut the lining of my shorts in the inner part of my legs. Moments later those two things came out through the same way they went in, screaming, twisting and turning. They crawled on their stomachs and evaporated into the air. Belana smiled at me and called Corey to come. He turned and came to me and touched my head and prayed even more. I felt my head becoming warm and my mind was feeling ‘good’ so to say. He stopped praying and held me by the hand and pulled me up. I got off the bed and walked around the room. I felt relieved, like me again, and I felt good! “Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Someone or some people are here to see you!” Jonah came into the room through the wall followed by Sylvanas. They all looked angry as dogs on an owner induced hunger streak. Jonah came in and stood right in front of me with his eyes trying to get into me. I waved at him wittily and said “Hi Jonah, I take it you are not happy. Hmmm I will write that in my diary!” Corey came and stood next to me with a smile across his face. I think he smiled only when something hidden was funny. “Well, well. It seems the tables are turning!” The two fiends in front of us growled in utter anger and disappeared into the wall from which they came. Corey enjoyed the moment and one wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that he had an insatiable appetite for such things. Belana was so quiet! I was so afraid she had seen some scary thing or something for the first time in her life. The trance ended and we found ourselves back in the lounge with a very happy Corey, the only happy one it seemed.