The Prodigal Son: A Retelling

Hello lovely people!! 😀

Exams are finally over (attachment is coming up!!!), and now I can put myself more into growing through this blog and sharing bits and pieces of stuff that motivates me, in the hope that you too will be inspired.

Today, I’ll share a story I’ve been yearning to do, but time constraints bogged me down, so when I finally got time, I sat and did this in an afternoon, spilling over into the night. And I loved every second of doing it.

I have always wanted to retell a Bible story in my own words, definitely with a twist in them but retaining as much as I can. (You could call it ‘eddie-fying’ the story😂😂). Today, you, dear readers, get to be among the first to see it!! I feel excited about this, and its my prayer that you will be reminded of God’s love through this story.

A bit of some disclaimers. First, it’s a retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, a wonderful one, I must add. Bible reference, Luke 15:11-32. The overall theme of the parable is God’s unconditional love for us, that no matter how far we run away from Him and how faithless we become, He remains faithful to us. He will welcome us with open arms, heal our hurts and forgive us our sins.

Second, this is the first part, but split into four bite-sized portions to avoid tiring you by continuous prose reading. 🙈🙈❤❤

Hopefully the last, I’ve used derived names for the retelling, so I owe my thanks to Martin (he of the mosquito allegory 😆😆), Jay Ngome, and various containers, cans and bottles I’ve come across whose names I’ve altered to make characters’ names. So, if you come across a name and you go like 😨😨😨, you have been warned 😅😅.

The rest will follow. Do let me know of what you think. Be blessed ✌✌. All to the glory of God 🙌🙌

*   *   *   *   *

There were three things Tevu Malitele could never be unable to remember, things he knew for sure no kind of brainwashing, torture or hypnosis could make him forget.

For as long as he could remember, Tevu had all he could ever ask for. His family’s name even served as a constant reminder of this fact; literally, ‘a lot of wealth’. All he needed, from the crucial to the mundane, was at his beck and call. At the snap of a finger, servants would rush up to him, ready to be of service to him. At the sound of his ‘emergency’ bell, butlers employed from England would stream into his room, referring to him as ‘Master Tevu’, something that filled him with sheer delight. When he needed a trip abroad, Bwana Malitele, his father, would not hold it back from him, and even extend his generosity by offering as much pocket money as Tevu would ask for. The pearl upon this crown was the time he told Father he needed a car for his eighteenth birthday, then woke up to find a jet-black BMW, wrapped with a gigantic blue ribbon all around it, parked in the driveway facing his bedroom window.

For as long as he could remember, his elder brother, Adili, was always so perfect. Straight A’s in school, an aspiring pastor at the local church, a full time volunteer at the local Red Cross and a high school counsellor; always clean cut, punctual, polite, well-mannered; all the perfect requirements parents everywhere would dream of in their children. Perfect was the only word that could explain who Adili was in the eyes of all who met him. All the young ladies considered him ‘most eligible bachelor’ of the town. Heck, he’d even been featured in the Daily  Notion when he was awarded by the Green Belt  Movement for planting the most trees during an event graced by the President at Karara Forest. Well, he definitely had the money to buy all the trees and pay people to plant them in his name.  Adili, the Malitele boy considered the pride and joy of the community, on his way to being heir of the empire his father had slaved to build from the ground up.

And for as long as he could remember, Tevu was the total opposite of Adili. People would say they were as alike as day and night. So much were he and Adili at different tangents that he wondered if they were at all related. Their personal differences would cause sparks to fly whenever they were together, at times erupting into violent outbursts of rage and wars of words. Many times, Adili called him a ‘disgrace to the Malitele name’ and an ‘idiot headed to total destruction’.

Tevu knew his brother was saying these because of his ego that every member in the society had massaged and fed to the size of Everest. He knew that beneath all the gilded manners and polished etiquette Adili had, he was rotting with pride. Pride that everyone would clearly see, but act like the rabble from The Emperor’s New Clothes. Pride whose root Tevu knew was his own wanton ways and childish whims.

Their turbulent relationship had caused a lot of sadness to his father, who sought all ways to try and reconcile the two.  Tevu could recall the conversation they once had during a trip to Spain he had organised as a means of bridging the chasm between Adili and himself. He’d told Adili, “I understand Tevu is irresponsible, but give him time. He will learn from his mistakes and come to apologise for causing us such heartbreak. After all, he is your brother; we can’t choose who we want as family.”

Adili, however, quickly retorted, in his self-righteous pride, “Oh no, Father, we can choose our family; we cannot choose who we are related to. Family stands up for each other. Tell me of a time your son has ever stood up to the honour of our family name. Never! All he does is waste, waste, waste. I cannot be a brother to a fool who behaves so shamelessly.”

Tevu felt hot anger rising up within him as he saw Adili glance at him with a smirk plastered all over his face. He had learned to associate that smirk with Adili’s conceit. His anger was quickly cooled when Father turned to him, sighed deeply and said, “One day, you may come to the realisation that all you are pursuing is vanity. Look what your actions are doing to your relationship with your brother. They are destroying you, my son, but you are too arrogant to realise it. When you do, it may be too late. I love you very much, Tevu, and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you, my son…”

Tevu saw a glimmer of a tear in Father’s eye. This was something that was causing the old man a lot of pain. Pain he rarely showed, pain he saw only once, when his mother had succumbed to brain cancer ten years before. Adili was twelve, he was seven. Moving on was difficult, but life was never the same without Mother. Tevu was pricked in his heart, only for a moment, as he looked at his father’s teary eyes. The memory would stay with him always.

He wiped away a tear from his eye, the involuntary action throwing him back to the present moment. He shifted his weight on to his left foot, which was barefoot and covered with mud and pig dung. He looked up, shielding his chestnut-brown eyes from the scorching sun up above. The pigs he was tending to were wallowing in their filth, and the smell of them was overpowering. He glanced at the grimy face of his battered Seiko watch. It was twenty-three minutes past eleven. He would go for the pigs’ food at twelve thirty. Till then, he had some time to rest.

Ever since he began working for Mr. Werungu, finding time between herding, feeding, cleaning and watering his employer’s animals was hard. On a good day, he’d make it to his paper-thin mattress in the musty tool-shed at half past midnight. He had to be up by four thirty. Keeping up this schedule for five weeks had its toll on him. His eyes had already formed dark circles around them, and his skin was blemished from spending the whole day in the sweltering heat, ruining his even chocolate complexion. He could not recall the last time he had taken a bath, and the odour of his clothes was particularly ripe. He grimaced at the irony of the situation, remembering how the shepherds and pig herders back at Malitele Ranch would be reeking by the end of the working day. At least they had an opportunity to have a bath, he sighed.

He looked around, and spotted a shadow formed from wall of the stone fence surrounding the pigsty. He walked over to it quickly, anticipating his nap. If Werungu found him, there would be a case to answer, music to face. Still, Tevu threw all caution to the wind. It wasn’t the first time, neither would it be the last. Gently, he leaned back against the wall, gave a deep sigh of relief, and shut his eyes. Only in my dreams will I be able to be home again, he said to himself, feeling a wave of sleep covering him and his sore body.

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