by SD Chinyelu
The universe forces a young professional athlete to take a look at the life he's living.
|Like a bolt of lightning, my entire body felt a jolt that would change my life forever. It was a revelation similar to Muhammad when he went up to the mountain. It was like when Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. My epiphany took place during a time when everything around me was bearing witness to my debauchery. Not only was I lying in bed next to a beautiful woman, I also was in a five-star hotel with all the amenities that one could possibly ask for. Cocaine was scattered on the mirror sitting on a cart filled with various foods. We had just snorted cocaine, celebrating my two-hundred-yard football game as a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. I was awesome, to say the least. My natural speed and athleticism helped our team win a division game that would put us into first place. Life couldn’t get any better than this until everything suddenly changed.
Lorraine was a beautiful bombshell that I met in Charlotte, North Carolina. Whenever I came to town I could call her and we would turn it up. She was physically the closest to being the most perfect woman you could lay your eyes on. She had a golden brown complexion like the color of French Fries. She had pretty Walnut eyes like Terry Ellis from En Vogue. Silky shoulder length hair that was black with brown streaks to compliment her complexion. Her body was that of a goddess. She was everything most men would die to have. Standing at 5’5 in height, she was built with the measurements of 36-24-38 and when she stood in front of me naked it was like paradise knocked on my door. We had just finished having wild sex when she considered calling up one of her girlfriends to join in. You know how that goes; beautiful women only hang out with other beautiful women. Right before she was to make the phone call a sharp pain hit me in the center of my forehead. I tried to shake it off but I was stunned. Lorraine must have felt the impact of what struck me directly. She hesitated before entering the number into her phone. She turned towards me with a wrinkled brow.
“Are you okay, Genesis?”
“I don’t quite know.”
“Do you want me to get you some water?”
She promptly climbed out of the bed to fetch me a glass of water. I reached for the glass to see her handing me medicine as well.
“Take two of these Ibuprofen and whatever that was, will go away.”
I waved to indicate I didn’t want her pills. She glared at me like I was crazy then walked back to her purse to put the pills back. I stared at her while she climbed back in bed with me.
“Did you feel what hit me just now?” I asked warily.
“I felt something.”
“Yeah, I can tell that you felt it but not as strong as I did. I think that I’m going to have to quit playing football.”
“Why are you talking crazy, Genesis?”
“That was like some kind of revelation or epiphany. I’m not fulfilling my purpose in life and running from it will only destroy me. I have to go.”
I climbed out of the bed and began putting on my clothes. She lied in the bed for a moment trying to absorb what was going on with me.
“Look baby, you don’t have to leave. I’m about to call my friend Cindy and we can both make you feel good.”
“It’s not a question of sex Lorraine. It’s a question of knowing that I don’t belong here anymore.”
“But you’re talking about giving up football and this is only your second year in the NFL. It would be crazy to quit now and you're one of the most promising wide-receivers in the league right now.”
She subtly pleaded with me while grabbing a hold of my pants. I stared at her beautiful face and couldn’t imagine God creating a face more adorable. My eyes scanned every curve and every crevice from the part in her hair to her pretty toes. She was the epitome of beauty to me and it hurt me to walk away from her.
“What if I was never meant to play pro ball for a long time? What if the Most High has a higher purpose for me than what I’m doing right now?”
I threw on my shirt and reached for my jacket. She followed closely behind me trying to pull on my arm.
“Whatever you think is your purpose shouldn’t stop you from playing football when you’re really good at it. God wouldn’t give you that much talent to just squander it away on a whim. Come lie in bed with me for a while and think about it first before you just jump the gun.”
“It’s a decision I have to make.”
“You would make that decision after me and you just had sex. You’ve got what you wanted now you have to go.” Her eyes narrowed.
“No, I have the room booked for the next three nights and the card key is right on the table.”
She shifted about while biting her bottom lip. It was obvious that she was trying to think of a rebuttal but she was stumped.
“Please, don’t go Genesis. Don’t you want to stay in this warm bed? I don’t just want the room but I want you in bed with me. If you want time to think I will give you that as well.”
“I have to go.” I replied with direct eye contact.
I stepped out into the hallway and she attempted to call me one last time but I didn’t respond. She came short of walking out the door suddenly realizing that she was naked. I glanced back at her but quickly made my way to the elevator so I wouldn’t be tempted. Once I reached the first floor, I wandered around the hotel for a few hours before I walked outside. A sharp, cold wind hit me the moment I left the hotel. It was a little past midnight, so the still of the night dominated the atmosphere. My thoughts were bouncing in various directions wondering what to make of my recent epiphany. How would I be able to make a living without playing sports? Football was my bread and butter and it paid me handsomely. Trying to piece together my thoughts was also somewhat difficult. None of my questions had been answered but I was pretty sure that I had to quit football. I was under a seven-year contract and the money was nice. Once I could take my focus off the money, the chaos in my head started to go away. Of course this took hours because in this world everyone needs money in order to survive. The moment I recognized the cloud of illusion that money was putting in front of me my possibilities became endless.
Hours had passed before I came into this second epiphany. I had walked for miles before my body indicated that it was time to rest. A nearby bus stop did the trick. I collapsed on the bus stop bench and caught my breath. It was just me and my thoughts when suddenly a man approached. I could only see him through my peripheral vision but could still tell that his clothes were rags and throwaways. I tried to not look in his direction because I was pretty sure that he was going to ask me for change. There was an uncomfortable silence for at least a couple of minutes.
“What are your plans, young man?”
I still hadn’t given him direct eye contact. What kind of question was that? Was he talking to me or was he talking to himself? Growing impatient, I turned towards the man and looked him in his eyes. His brownish-red skin had a glow that had to be nothing short of divine. He appeared to be in his thirties but I could sense that he was close to seventy. He had tight eyes and high cheek bones. He glared into me as if he could see through me. I tried to cover my intimidation with a reply.
“I beg your pardon?”
“What are your plans?” He asked adamantly.
“As far as?”
“You’ve been called by the ancestors to fulfill your purpose in life. What are your plans as of right now?”
I jumped back away from the older man. My heart skipped a beat then I fearfully glared at the man.
“Don’t be frightened.”
“Do you know me?” My eyes widened and my mouth dropped.
“I know of you. You have been chosen to walk the path. Those of us that have walked the path recognize those that have been chosen to do the same.”
“I don’t know what my plans are. Maybe that is why I’m wandering the streets of Charlotte at this hour.”
By this time, I had turned towards him and gave him a once-over from head to toe. His stern face was written in wisdom through every line and crevice in his face. He was a total stranger but it was something familiar about him. As if we were meant to know each other.
“You can be in this world but not of this world. The time has come for you to do what you were born to do. How long have you been in the United States?”
“I was born here but I went away for twelve years then returned in my sophomore year of high school.” I explained.
“You were in Africa?”
“How did you know?” I asked.
“You have an aura as though you’ve been around people that had auras like you. I can tell that you went to one of the mystery schools. Your parents probably brought you back to the states at an age where you could still blend in American society.”
“How do you know all these things about me and I don’t know anything about you?”
“You need not worry about me; you need to worry about God. You need to worry about fulfilling what you were born to do.”
“I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”
My eyes wandered off into the sky pondering on what I might have been born to do. His gaze never left me. I had the impression that he intended for me to figure it out right then and there.
“If the Christ is the master and you claim to follow him then naturally you would want to be a master.”
“Yeah, but a master of what?” I asked in frustration.
“Self!!! The discipline that you can attain through practice will lead you to mastery and ultimately your purpose in life. Begin with prayer.”
“Why am I out at this time of night with no destination? Why am I sitting here with you tonight on an empty bus stop bench?”
“Because your natural abilities must be put to the test. You will prove today, on this night, that you are a servant of God.”
“If you would have witnessed the debauchery I was in earlier tonight you wouldn’t have so much faith in my abilities.”
“I need not have faith in your abilities. That burden lies solely upon you. Only you can have faith in your abilities; no one else.”
“Since I’ve been back in the states all I’ve ever done was play sports. I have faith in my athletic abilities but that’s about it.” I sighed.
“You have much more to offer than your athletic abilities.”
He stood up and walked away from me. He reminded me of my teachers at what he called the mystery schools. It seemed as though I had buried the memories of my learning in Africa to the back of my head. Things suddenly began to flood back onto the surface of my memory. I could feel the power of knowledge charge the center of my head. I stood up and felt the surge flow through my body. Everything that my five senses could feel was intensified by ten. I could hear the birds chirping from long distances away. Certain mathematical equations began to form in my mind. The measurements of the planet flowed through my mind like numbers that unlocked a combination in my brain. I felt totally alive. I became one with the universe.