Living with the ‘devil’

IT is not every day that one meets up with Lucifer, the devil, and even if one does it is viewed as a bad omen considering that he is evil.

However, meet 52-year-old Manasa Bukasasa who met the devil at a supermarket veranda on Taveuni and invited him to stay with his family.

The year was 1999 and the then 33-year-old four-wheel-drive vehicle taxidriver who did odd jobs transporting people around the island was on his way from Vione towards Waiyevo on the south of the island to drop a customer.That was when he met a stranger who would change his life.

Mr Bukasasa was passing Kaba’s Supermarket at Naqara when he noticed a crowd of shoppers along the shop’s veranda.

“There was however a man who stood out in the crowd, and being in the taxi business, I have developed a habit of identifying new faces on the island easily,” he said.

“He was among the crowd dressed casually in three quarter shorts and a T-shirt and a dark sunglass which covered his eyes perfectly.

“The lustre of his face and skin and his built, which made any man look tiny, was something that stood out about the stranger making him stand out from the rest of the people in the crowd that day.

“When I returned from Waiyevo after carrying out my job I was keeping my eyes out for the stranger.”

Mr Bukasasa said he had just parked his vehicle in front of Kaba’s Supermarket to wait for his next job when the stranger popped out of nowhere greeting him in his native tongue.

Originally from Wainiika in Udu, the stranger seemed to know Mr Bukasasa’s name as he said, “Bula si’a Manasa (greetings Manasa).”

“I was surprised because he knew my name and I did not know how to react to this strange twist so I just smiled at the stranger and did not want to show him that I was surprised and at the same time scared too,” he said.

“The stranger then told me that he had nowhere to go and knowing that he somehow had links in Wainiika because of the way he spoke the dialect I told him that he could stay at my home.”

Meeting Lucifer

The stranger then asked Mr Bukasasa if they could do some shopping at the supermarket for his family.

“All this happened while the stranger did not even tell me his name nor did he remove his dark sunglasses which made the whole experience strange,” said Mr Bukasasa.

“I was instructed to get a shopping trolley and fill it with anything I wanted so I did just that. And when it was ‘bursting with goods’ I followed my visitor who also had his trolley filled up with goods.

“Imagine my surprise when he took out a $20 note to pay for the goods in both trolleys and I clearly saw the cashier return my guest his change which was really strange to me at this point.

“I decided not to make him feel uneasy and thought that my eyes had been playing tricks on me so I collected our shopping and we went home.”

Mr Bukasasa said when they got home, he introduced his guest to his family and did not even know what name to give him so he told his family that he hailed from Wainiika too and was his kinsman.

“During the first, second and third day of his stay at home our guest had the whole family spoiled silly with food and all the luxuries of life,” he said.

“We would converse about our experiences with life and tour the island as he was keen on sight -seeing.

“On the third day, we had finished dinner which took place at 12 midnight as per the wish of our guest when he called me outside and we started sharing a lively conversation.

“After a while, we had run out of things to talk about and just when I was about to suggest going back into the house he asked me to stretch my hands forward to him and shake his hands.”

While shaking Mr Bukasasa’s hand the stranger then asked him if he knew Lucifer or had he ever seen him.

“I then told him that I had heard of him in the Bible preached in churches as the fallen angel cast out of heaven and that he was the father of everything evil,” he said. “At this time my guest removed his sunglasses and I then saw why he preferred them covered because they emitted this light that was different from all other lights on this Earth.

“Imagine my fright at this time and to make it worse, I could not run because he was holding on to my hands and considering his stature there was no way I could free myself.

“He smiled at me and said: “Bula si’a viro Manasa, o au saraga qo o Lusefa. (Greetings again Manasa I am Lucifer).”

Mr Bukasasa then gathered his courage, looked up at his guest and returned his greeting.

“He told me that he was on the island to see me and that he had come especially for me so I told him I had no problem and that he could stay with my family for as long as he wanted,” he said.

“At this time seeing the way he acted I had forgotten how scared I was and I told myself that I am not going to be scared of him anymore.”

Stranger with the sunglasses

Mr Bukasasa’s wife Timaleti Bukasasa had never seen so much food and luxury at their house since their guest arrived.

However, the 50-year-old mother of seven had always wondered about the strange ways of their guest for he never removed his sunglasses and always ate at midnight.

“I spoke to our guest during his stay at home and never felt scared or never bothered to ask him his name knowing that he was my husband’s relative,” she said.

“A day later, I was told by my husband of our guest’s identity and I had told him to get him out of our house.

“I told Manasa we could not be staying with an unholy spirit in our house but my words had fallen on deaf ears.”

Their eldest son Apete Bukasasa said they would never forget their guest as he was one of the best ever hosted in their home during the three months he was there.

? Tomorrow: Lucifer asks to make a covenant with Mr Bukasasa for the sacrifice of his daughter.

? Sunday: What do the churches say?

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