|My iPhone alarm buzzes at exactly 06:00 am. Lazily stepping out of bed, I unplug it from the charger. I have a myriad emails, and dozens of notifications. I head for the bathroom to floss my teeth as I muffledly hear Siri read out each notification to me over the running water.|
“Message from Ann – Hey, Don’t forget about our coffee schedule. Eight sharp.”
“Notification from Facebook – Thomas Medley tagged you in a photo.”
“Notification from Instagram – Britney posted a photo.”
“Notification from Twitter – Jesus of Nazareth arrested.”
That little bit makes me pause my brushing. I slowly twist the water tap to the right, shouting out to Siri to repeat the last notification.
I’ve been following Jesus of Nazareth’s videos on YouTube. I once watched a video where he raised a man from the dead. Some regard him a powerful magician. Some people even call him a god. I’m not a superstitious person, so I just watch for fun.
I turn on my one hundred and ten inch display of a TV set. CNN has the headline in red and white.
Breaking News: Nazarene arrested.
‘Famous magician and spiritualist, Jesus of Nazareth, was early this morning arrested in Jerusalem on grounds of conspiring to overthrow the Israeli government, and Blaspheming the name of God. Israeli police and Roman troops are on the hunt for Jesus’ entourage.
High Priest, Joseph Caiaphas has in a press conference stated that Jesus of Nazareth will be tried and made answerable for his crimes.’
My thumb hits the red power button on the remote, sending the TV to sleep. Reaching the bathroom, I immerse my soul into the steamy water tub. Shortly stepping out and into my black chino pants. A black T-shirt covers my upper body accompanied by a nightly Nike pair. Yes, black is my style. I stick my key out of the hole and step into the elevator. I’m out to meet Ann.
Ann is a keen follower of the Nazarene’s. Last year she took a trip to Israel and actually watched him break two fish and five loaves to feed a hungry crowd of five thousand people. To me he is just another theatrics act, the likes of David Blaine or Chris Angel.
I arrive at SweetleafBlends, an exotic coffee place that has grown to be my favorite. Fifteen minutes later, my companion is nowhere in sight, as usual. Women!
So I withdraw my phone, text her, and then go on Twitter. Tweets from all around the world are buzzing with the Nazarene’s Arrest. The hashtag #Nazarene reveals all manner of tweets and comments from the international community. This Jesus guy is trending like a new gadget.
A very thin waitress brings me the menu.
“One Double Espresso please.” I say, without looking at it.
“Hi Brian!” Soft female hands blindfold me as a familiar voice speaks from behind. The Celine Dion fragrance definitely giving away her identity.
“You’re late. As usual.” I retort without looking behind to see who it is. Ann appears and takes a seat facing me. She grabs my iPhone, throws it into the depths of her handbag. She enjoys my total attention.
“So, let’s get started!” Ann exclaims. She is so excited this morning.
“Hey, did you see the news? Your magician guy, Jesus was arrested in Jerusalem this morning.” I say, casually, as I take a sip of my hot creamy Espresso.
“What? How? Why?” Ann suddenly looks agitated and puzzled. This Jesus guy’s got to this girl’s head.
“Well, they nabbed him on charges of um uh… Treason? Or blasphemy, whatever. Apparently, your guy claimed to be a god and that’s a big deal back in Israel.” I roll my eyes.
“Brian!” Ann looks around before uttering the mother of all weirds I’ve ever heard her say.
“He is a god.”
She looks straight into me with serious eyes. That unapologetic look a woman gives you when she means business.
Despite her current shenanigans over the Nazarene, Ann Bloomfield is a highly intelligent young woman. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a major in History and Anthropology. She’s an attractive twenty four year-old woman. Long, curly brown hair runs from her fertile sculp, falling perfectly down her shoulders. Stands five foot three, with a modestly slim figure exposing a geometry that will catch any human male eyes. Her round brown eyes are the catchiest, complimented by a masterfully carved, wonderful smile.
Ann Bloomfield, is not my girlfriend. We’re just friends. Very good friends. Since she can’t get a job, we spend hours together, joking, playing Scrabble, Chess, Poker, PlayStation, or just watching Netflix.
I’m a terrible cook. So, she always makes sure I’m well fed. We spend so much time together. The sun rises and sets on our young waking eyes. Sometimes I fear that I may be blocking other guys from being with her, because they obviously assume we’re dating.
Ann has stood up guys on several occasions because, she was with me. I kind of feel bad about that. I enjoy her company and intellectual outlook but, I can never be her boyfriend. I see her as the sister I never had, and to her, I’m a brother.
Ever since the passing of my mother, I’ve lost zest for things such as pets, girlfriends, love and marriage, etcetera. I reckon if we’re all just going to die, what’s the point of it all?
Of course, Ann has a different opinion. And whenever we argue about that, I feel alive. I get a kick from it. Ann Bloomfield keeps me from straying from the path of sanity and falling deep into my delusions. She too knows this truth.
Now, this Jesus dude is getting the best of her. She’s been obsessing about this magic man since her return from Israel. Apparently, this Jesus has that effect on people. He must possess some kind of voodoo spell. Whatever it is, this guy is good. I’ve to hand it to him.
Ann is the most logical person I know. She’s all about facts and proof, and doesn’t fall for superstition easily. Which is why I’m very surprised that her scientific mind would deem a magic stuntman to be a god.
“Ann…” I shake my head and lower my voice. “Are you alright? Is everything okay?” I look her in the eyes, sounding like a concerned mother. All meant as sarcasm. She knows I’m about to burst out laughing at any moment.
“Brian, I know you think I’m seriously hyped about Jesus. And I know you think I’m going kuku nuts… But, it’s true. I have researched him.”
Ann speaks, her big brown eyes lit and focused onto mine. Her hands motioning in the air as she talks, as if leading a choir. A habit she has unwittingly inherited from spending so much time with me.
“Hmm… Researched?” I motion to the waitress for more Espresso. I have a feeling I need some extra caffeine.
“Last time I checked, this guy has no biological dad and was born from a virgin girl in a manger. Grew up as a carpenter. Suddenly acquired some magical powers and begins to bring people back to life. Are you talking about that research?”
I spit it right in front of her. Feeling good about myself as a smirk forms around my mouth.
Without another word, Ann reaches for her handbag and pulls out what looks like an ancient manuscript.
“There!” Ann slams a rusty-looking old book onto the table. It smells like rotting paper and looks like the sort of thing that must have survived three world wars.
“That’s the original Hebrew Holy manuscript. The Torah. Its pages are three thousand years old.”
“Where did you get this thing?”
I whispery inquire as I slowly flip open the wooden cover.
“The other way round.” Ann corrects.
“Hebrew is read from right to left.” She smiles, knowing she’s beaten me at that knowledge. But I mean she’s the Anthropologist and all. She should know better.
All I’m excited about is being able to place my hands on a three thousand year old piece of history written by prophets of um uh… God. Not that I actually believe in that sort of thing but, suddenly, I can’t help but marvel at the thought.
“You know, the only Hebrew word I know is Nazarene.” I joke. Ann does not seem to find that amusing. The skinny waitress appears with a fresh mug of coffee and sugar sachets on a saucer. She smiles and asks if they’d be anything else. I raise my eyebrow at Ann for confirmation, and she nods.
“One cappuccino for the lady, thanks. Please bring me our bill.” I gesture her away with a smile.
Ann flips through the old book and mutters something in Hebrew under her breath. She gets to a page and pauses. Looks at me and then continues to read out in the language.
“Alright. You know I don’t speak gibberish. Translation please?” I retort in sarcasm.
“This is the book of the Prophet Isaiah. He spoke of the coming and life of Jesus. According to Isaiah, Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God. And it’s all come to pass so far.”
Ann reveals something I’ve never heard before. All jokes in my head are suddenly provoked and replaced by intrigue. For the first time, I’m genuinely interested in learning more. He was foretold thousands of years ago? I ponder on the possibility. That challenges everything I believe in. Heck, it challenges everything I don’t believe in.
It must be the Espresso. I know it’s the Espresso. That waitress must have put something in this. I’m suddenly getting thoughts of suing SweetleafBlends right after I walk out of here. That’s when…
“Brian, I know, its mind-boggling right?” Ann interrupts the chain of possible lawsuits and claims against SweetleafBlends flowing through my head.
“What exactly did this Isaiah foretell about the Nazarene that has come to pass?” I stroke my chin with thumb and folded forefinger, intently gazing at the old book, completely ignoring its rotting stench.
“Let’s go home. I want to show you something.” Ann says, knowing just how to suspense me.
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