All I Want For Christmas Is… 1/2

All I Want For Christmas Is..
All I Want For Christmas Is..

Merry Christmas Yarners!

Okay I know we’re supposed to be on holidays but we decided to serve you some holiday specials as our gift for having stuck with us through twenty fourteen.

This 2 part piece is dedicated first to the Nigerian Soldier currently fighting Boko Haram and helping to quell the insurgency in the North East of the country and also to their families who are presently celebrating Christmas without a husband or a father figure.

We appreciate you heroes.

Do enjoy the read and don’t forget to drop a chicken comment.

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Adesuwa reclined in her chair and stared at the red and white boxes laced colourfully with red and white ribbons and sitting idly on the rug under the Christmas tree. Her lips pursed in a smile as she thought about the look that would be in the eyes of her twin boys when they finally get to open their gift boxes and see exactly what she had picked for them.

It was exactly what they had wished for on the list they had submitted to Santa Claus at their school’s end of year party, about a week ago. A set of Sony PSP gaming consoles and the much talked about educational tablet. It was a perfect mix and she loved it.

She could still remember as Santa Claus had slipped the list into her hand without letting her eight year old twin boys notice. The fun was in making the boys believe that their Christmas gifts were shipped in from the North Pole by Santa-Claus himself and not bought in some store by their mother.

She was thus very surprised when Santa Claus after letting her boys down from his laps had asked her, ‘what do you want for Christmas?’

She had looked back in disbelief to see if there was any other person around as she was very sure the question was not for her.

‘You ma’am. I’m talking to you,’ Santa Claus said with a smile on his face as he saw the disbelief clearly written in her eyes. ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ He asked again as he ordered his elf to hand her the wish booklet.

She had good reason to ignore him and just take her boys who were by this time staring at her out of the tent as they were already clutching their pack of gifts, but the thought of the questions she would be made to answer on the journey back home kept her in the room as she received the wish booklet from the elf.

She looked at the Santa Claus who gave her an encouraging nod and then into the curious eyes of her boys who were surprised to see that she was hesitant. ‘Go on mom,’ Jason said urging her on. He was the younger twin and the most vocal of both.

Her fingers moved slowly as if burdened with doubt as she penned her wish down on the wish booklet, all I want for Christmas is a car, and as she stared at her wish, she had a change of mind and scratched out what she had just written.

If she was going to be writing a wish, then it was only right that she wrote a proper wish as she scribbled down something completely different on the wish booklet. She passed the booklet back to the elf, gave Santa a quick smile and took her boys by the hand, leading them out as the ho ho ho of Santa’s laugh trailed them out of the tent.

‘Merry Christmas!’ He called out after them.

‘Merry Christmas Santa,’ her boys chorused as they exited the tent to the cold stares from parents and teachers alike who couldn’t understand why a family would spend that amount of time in the tent when there was a long queue outside waiting to see Santa Claus.

‘Mummy what did you wish for?’ Jerry asked after they had settled in nicely in their seats on the BRT bus.

‘That’s for Santa to know and for you to find out,’ she said smiling, clipping his nose with her fingers and shaking it playfully.

‘Mummy, is that really Santa?’ Jason asked, his face wrinkling in that very familiar look of his when he was about to be very mischievous.

‘Sure, why?’ She asked, hoping her hesitation at writing down a wish had not damaged her children’s belief in Santa Claus.

‘His voice sounded like Uncle Eric’s voice when he was asking you to make a wish,’ he continued.

‘Yes,’ Jerry said in agreement with his brother, ‘but Uncle Eric does not do ho ho ho,‘ He added, mimicking Santa’s familiar laugh.

‘Hmmn,’ Jason muttered. ‘That’s true, Uncle Eric does not do ho ho ho.’

The lady in the next row of seat who had been intrigued by the twins could not help but start laughing as she listened in to their conversation.

As she sat staring at the gift boxes under the Christmas tree, she smiled knowing that every doubt her boys had about the authenticity of the Santa Claus would be erased tomorrow as they opened their gift boxes on Boxing Day.

The only person whose wish would not have been answered would be herself, not that she had ever believed in the concept of Santa Claus anyway.

She sighed, ‘Lord, please keep him safe for me,’ she muttered as she increased the volume of the television. It was time for News Track on Channels TV and as the lady read out the headlines, she felt a sense of relief as there was no report of bombings as had become the custom in Nigeria during celebrations.

She picked her phone up from the side stool and with a disappointed look noticed that there was neither a missed call nor a new message when she had gone to tuck the twins to bed after a very busy Christmas day.

What could have gone wrong?

It was exactly the fifth day since she last heard from her husband and even though there had not been any reported death of military personnel in the news media in the past few days, she couldn’t help but be worried especially after the bomb blast at the Dukku motor park in Gombe state this past Monday.

She knew her husband’s base was in Yobe state but he had often described to her in his phone calls, how him and his fellow soldiers had crossed either into Borno or Gombe state for counter insurgency operations.

She had called the base, seeking to speak with her husband but the phone operator had casually replied that her husband was not in the base and had been sent out on a mission.

She dialed his number on her phone even though she knew that they were forbidden to take their phones with them on missions and like had been the case for the past few days, the call returned a switched off response. ‘Lord please keep him safe for me,’ she prayed again as she settled her eyes on the television. And just then there was a tap on the door.

She paused, not sure if she heard right as she reduced the volume of the television. She could see from the bottom right corner of the television that it was fifteen minutes past ten and wondered who could be knocking on her door by that time.

‘Who’s that?’ She called out, her voice strong and composed. After-all she was a soldier’s wife.

The only response was another round of rapping on the door followed by a chant of ho ho ho.

‘Who’s that?’ She called again, her voice testy and irritated as she could not imagine what Santa Claus would be doing visiting her house by past ten at night.

To make your wish come true, her mind whispered silently to her. She hissed at the thought as it was unusual to have Santa Claus visiting people at home in Nigeria, not to talk of visiting them at such a late hour as this. She threaded cautiously to the door to check through the spy hole who the irritant was as she was not ready to open her door to any Santa-Claus who could very well turn out to be a Santa-Robber.

She wasn’t sure what to expect but she was very sure she was not opening her door to any Santa Claus by this time of the day.

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