Nompilo helped the injured Tiro get up on his feet.
“Go get him, Nompilo. Now is our chance,”
“Forget it, my son. It won’t help us in any way to run after him.”
“No, you need to stop him. He’s getting away!”
“It’s over, Tiro. Let him go.”
“Then how are we going to get Dintle back?”
“I’ve done all that I can. She’s gone. I am sorry.”
‘But Lefu fears you now. He has seen your power. We could use that to our advantage. Force him to revive her. You can end his reign of pain, grief and misery. Put a stop to all the graveyards that he has filled for fun. The talented and intelligent souls he has taken away before they had a chance to help make the world a better place!”
“It’s not that simple, Thulani. I could subject him to every terrible torture and horrendous harm he has ever caused others. Kill him. End him. But then, that would upset the balance between life and death. Furthermore, I would I be no better than that pathetic bag of evil-worshipping garbage. Believe me, I do wish that there was another way to save her from being swallowed by hell forever. But I can’t think of any other method except… taking her place in death.
“Then I have no choice. I’ll do it. I will take her place in death. Lay down my life to revive her.” Tiro says looking at Dintle’s body. Empathy apparent in his eyes.
“If you do that, Lefu will hunt you down. Drag your soul to the underworld. And torture you for all eternity. All your hard work would be lost. You will never finish your quest and earn amnesty.”
“I know. But I will never forgive myself for abandoning this good woman in her time of need. I have to do this. My mind is made up. I will accept my fate no matter what happens.” He steps into her arms and they hug. “Take care of her.”
“I will,” Nompilo says as her eyes swell up with tears. “You have my word that your sacrifice will not be in vain. And I admire your courage, my boy. You are stronger and wiser than you used to be. Now you have come at the crossroads of destiny. I can only support what you choose to do from here on end.
“Thank you, ma. For everything.”
Tiro winces through gritted teeth as he walks towards Dintle’s body. He kneels beside her, silently says a prayer, pressing on her chest, begging God to reignite the flame of life that once burned in her vitals. He checks her pulse and respiration but is unable to feel neither. She remains motionless, growing colder. Desperately wanting her to live, he then chooses to do something he saw Nompilo once do for someone else. Thinking the process might work for Dintle.
Tiro placed his left palm in the center of Dintle’s chest, he leaned down to whisper in tongues. Pleading with her left ear to hear his request that she be returned to the world of the living. Making promises of a long and prosperous life in her right. Sitting up, he finished with an audible declaration.
“I offer my soul in exchange for your life. Hear my call, Dintle Namane. Awake!”
There were sudden stirrings of heated air swirling around the room. Tiro blew a blue stream of cold air from his mouth into hers. Until her chest swelled up. When it looked like she was over- inflated, he severed all physical contact, and fell back. Hoping he’d given her enough.
Nompilo counted up to five before Dintle inhaled, choked and sputtered breaths that forced her lungs to use the power of the jump start she had just received.
“Where… where am I?” Dintle asked as she crawled to Nompilo’s embrace.
“Back in a world where cats are said to get extra credits and live nine lives. In a world where a man knows that he must fight to stay alive. Even Curtis Jackson survived being shot nine times when many men tried to switch off his lights. But Thulani Joseph Mabaso took death in exchange for another’s life. He gave it all up to save you, number 9.
Tell us what you think: Have you ever experienced a near death experience? Tell us about it.