Start from Chapter 1: December
woke up to a serenade outside my room and for a moment I didn’t know what was going on until I opened the door. Choruses of “Happy birthday” filled the air. It was followed by, “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”
If this had been any other Christmas, I would have cheered along, tucking my hands into Dad and Ariva’s. Together, we’ll do a winged leg dance while Jideofor strums his guitar, Mum swaying with a homemade cake. But instead, I stood staring at everyone like they were performing a silly circus.
When they ended the song and asked me to blow off the candles on the cake, I turned into the room and bolted the door leaving them banging on it.
“Chinny, open the door.” Mum’s voice called.
I glided my back down the door and emptied my eyes of the tears that had filled it up with fresh overwhelming pain immediately I remembered all that happened hours ago.
I couldn’t remember how I got to my bed after leaving Sheba’s house nor how I managed to drive down to the house. When I came in, everyone had left for the Magic of Christmas Show at the cathedral, probably thinking I’ll join them. Thank heavens I had my keys on me. I simply forgot about the nativity night and went to my room. The only thing that kept playing over and over in my head was Francis on her, whoever she was, and their muffled sounds.
I got up and started walking to my bed but it kept playing till I screamed and kicked something. I heard Jideofor’s threat to break the door if I didn’t open it but I cared less.
All I saw was Francis but not with the mystery girl, it was me. The first time we met. I was beginning to drift when the knob twitched, and everyone barged in.
“Chinny, what is wrong with you?” It was Ariva, she crouched beside me, trying to lift me off the floor. I looked up with swollen eyes and nose dripping with mucus.
I raised my hands to her face, “Three years, Birdie, three whole years.”
Dad walked in and pulled me up to face him. “What happened, Princess?”
“She caught Francis with another woman in bed.” Someone said behind Dad. Everyone turned at the same time and almost immediately chorused “Eh!” in despair.
“What the fu—” Jideofor was beginning to say before Mum cut him short, “Nna, not in this house.”
She eyed him and he murmured a sorry. Dad showed me to the chair, while everyone found somewhere to sit, making the large bedroom shrink.
“I knew this guy had something up his sleeves with the way he looked up every girl but I will teach him a lesson of his generation.”
Mum touched him, “You won’t do anything. What if they got married before this happened? I think this is the Lord’s way of showing us the truth before anyone made a mistake.”
A minute silence passed, Mum and Dad tried their best to cheer me up and to de-stress them, I pretended to be collected. After they left the room leaving behind Jideofor, Ariva and Sheba, I crawled into my bed and curled up.
Sheba sat at the foot massaging my legs, Jideofor sat by my side beside the nightstand and Ariva sat up on the bed.
“I’m sorry for ruining everyone’s Christmas,” I said, sitting up with my legs hugged to my chest.
“It’s fine,” Sheba said, looking at the others to get an affirmation. They all nodded.
“Chinny, we are here for you and as for Francis, he was never worth it.”
I sensed the anger in Jideofor’s voice, he was always against Francis. When he told me he was suspecting his motives, I bluffed him and called him overprotective of his elder sister.
“I should have listened to you, but I felt it was time to try a relationship. Now, I know it wasn’t meant for me, it’s a sham,” I said to Jideofor.
Ariva looked away. Sheba said I spoke out of my pain. For a moment, I forgot about myself and thought about her. Why wasn’t she even seeing someone if she thinks my stand on relationships was wrong? I’ve never seen her with any man or maybe I haven’t been trying to.
When I looked into her eyes, I saw something I had never noticed. She was in love with someone. Lord of Hosts! She was in love and I didn’t know.
Enjoyed reading Chapter 5? Continue the story in Chapter 6: Christmas