Happy Boxing Day Yarners!
I hope someone is somewhere opening up a gift today because of you, as that is the essence of Boxing day and of course the season.
If you’re yet to receive a gift, then we are pleased to present to you the concluding part of our Christmas special as our gift for your Boxing day delight.
Enjoy and drop a gift. *smiles*
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He looked out through the window from the back seat of the taxi as they cruised along the usually ever busy Ikorodu road area. The traffic was light and the drivers on the road had this easy feel to their driving as against the custom in Lagos where everyone was usually in a hurry.
He gazed at the beautiful light decorations along the road and smiled, This was one of the beautiful parts of Christmas – the shining lights.
‘Oga, shebi na Allen we dey go first before I carry you go Iyana Ipaja?’ The taxi driver asked.
‘Yes, Allen first, I wan check whether I go see something buy for my people.’ He replied, pushing the rucksack on the seat farther away from himself. He just wanted some more space.
He was used to seeing people die as a soldier but having one of yours die always felt different.
How could a soldier who could not be killed when his company was ambushed by Boko Haram about two weeks ago suddenly just become mortal in a bus-station.
He remembered the Sunday evening before the blast as Bamidele talked excitedly about surprising his kids and his wife their with Christmas gifts. He remembered the look in his eyes, the one of a proud father and a caring husband.
He had applied for his leave too with Bamidele and they had both planned to make the trip together but his leave request was not approved by his commander and so he had to watch his friend travel home for Christmas without him.
That was his saving grace as he would have been standing by his friend in Dukku Motor Park on Monday as at the time of the bomb blast. And like Bamidele, headquarters would have been silent on his death as it was a sign of losing the war anytime it was reported that a soldier was struck down by Boko Haram. The painful part being that there was no way to even identify and claim his body having been dressed in plain clothes. He had become mortal like every civilian.
‘Oga e be like say shop no open for Allen today, abi dem be open small but dem don close now,’ the driver said from the front seat as he glided past locked shops. ‘Today na Christmas, everybody dey faaji.’
‘I know,’ he replied, his eyes scanning the area to see if he could just get anything at all to take home, but there was clearly none as even though the area was bubbling, it was from a different activity.
Allen was a big party.
Eyin boys sempe ehn! Beautiful ladies sempe …
‘Make we dey go Iyana Ipaja,’ he said to the driver who was already chanting the song blaring from the loudspeakers from one of the several parties.
It was about fifteen minutes to ten ‘o’ clock at night and it was very obvious now that no gift shop would be open. ‘Pass under bridge make I see weda I go see anything buy for there,’ he instructed the driver who simply shook his head in the semi darkness, still chanting the KWAM 1 chorus.
His mind travelled to his friend’s family. The army had already contacted the wife and told her about the death of her husband and he could only but imagine the pain the family was going through right now, especially at this time of Christmas.
He sighed. To think that Bamidele’s death had facilitated his release as his commander had called him back just yesterday to give him an exit certificate for five days.
Extend our greetings to your friend’s wife, let her know that her husband was a complete soldier and that we will all miss him.
He had smiled sadly as he took his leave certificate. That was an indirect order. He was supposed to visit Bamidele’s widow at least once during his leave to pass his commander’s message but it was an errand he would have gone to even if he wasn’t ordered to do it. Bamidele was his brother.
As the taxi waited for the green from the traffic light, he saw the hawker passing by with Santa Claus cap fitted with light bulbs in his hand. ‘Hey! Come!!’ He called out to the seller. ‘How much be the cap?’ He asked.
‘Oga na one-five’ the young man answered, pushing one of the caps in through the window.
‘For Christmas wey don finish abi?’ The taxi driver cut in to the discussion. ‘If you no sell two hundred, waka comot,’ he said almost angrily.
‘Oga na you wan buy am?’ The hawker retorted, angry that the taxi driver had interrupted the conversation.
‘Na two hundred I go pay.’
‘Oga how many you go buy?’ The hawker asked.
‘Give me six,’ he replied as he dug his hand into the side of the rucksack to get out some cash. He was glad to finally have something to take home.
The taxi turned into his street as the driver followed directions and finally grinded to a halt in front of his house.
‘Thank you,’ he said as he paid off the driver, slinging the rucksack on his shoulders.
He put on one of the Santa Claus caps he had just purchased, fitting it into his head like he would fit his beret, marching past the gate into the house, his heart beating wildly against his chest.
He rapped his knuckles against the door and waited, he could hear the sound of the television but soon enough he could not hear anything anymore and then he heard her voice, who’s that?
He checked his watch, It was just about fifteen minutes past ten ‘o’ clock by his watch and yes it was a right time to ask that question. He rapped his knuckles against the door again accompanied by a Santa Claus chant of ho ho ho, the sound of his wife’s voice had finally brought out the Christmas in him. He was glad to be home.
Who’s that? He heard her voice call out again and he knew the next thing she would do was to come close to the door and peep through the spy hole. He spread out his hands like a stranded husband and pouted his lips in an imaginary kiss, posing exactly the way he always posed anytime he met the door locked from his trips and was waiting for his wife to open up.
He heard the clicking sound of the door opening up and his heart beat stopped for a moment as the door swung open and the love of his life, his wife and mother of his twin boys screamed and jumped into his arms in ecstasy. He had never seen her so excited like this before on any of his previous returns but he liked it. Her excitement was rubbing of on him as he could feel his body tingle as he held her closely in his arms.
‘Merry Christmas hunnie,’ Adesuwa said, opening her eyes to see her husband staring at her.
‘Happy Boxing day,’ he replied, still gazing into the sleepy but beautiful eyes of his wife.
‘The boys would scream when they see you this morning,’ Adesuwa said with a smile on her face as she snuggled into her husband’s arms.
‘I’ve been to their room and they are still sleeping, I wonder what you have done to my boys,’ he replied chuckling.
‘It’s just past five in the morning,’ Adesuwa said smacking her husband’s hands that were knotted around her waist.
‘I hope they like the Santa Claus caps I got for them, I’ll give Bamidele’s kids the other four.’
‘They should, they’ll be crazy about it,’ she said. ‘Besides you were the one that still got them the other gift boxes. I told them Daddy sent Santa Claus down from the North Pole.’
He smiled, pulling his wife closer to himself. ‘Which gift box will you open today seeing that I couldn’t get anything for you? All the shops were locked.’ He explained.
Adesuwa stayed quiet, listening to her husband’s explanation as a tear drop rolled down her cheek.
‘You’re quiet,’ he said, turning her face to him and his eyes opened up in worry as he saw the tears in her eyes. ‘I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to come home without a gift. I couldn’t get one as all the shops were …’
Adesuwa placed a finger on her husband’s lips, stopping his explanations. ‘The tears are tears of happiness my love. I was the first person to open my gift in this house, in-fact my Boxing Day came early as I opened my gift last night,’ Adesuwa said with a smile.
He looked on confused, not sure what his wife was talking about.
Adesuwa could see the confusion in her husband’s eyes and proceeded to explain herself, ‘Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the first time I wrote a car and then scratched it -‘
‘Why?’ He asked, ‘You didn’t think I could afford to buy you a car as a gift for Christmas?’
‘No, not that,’ she replied. ‘I wanted something more, I wanted something more expensive, something priceless, something money couldn’t buy, I asked to get you for Christmas and here you are in my arms,’ Adesuwa said tearfully, wiping her face with the back of her hand. ‘I’m not crying hunnie, I’m just overjoyed,’ she said with a smile plastered across her face.
‘So all you want for Christmas is me right?’ He asked his wife.
‘All I want for Christmas is You,’ Adesuwa replied, still smiling.
‘So there’s no need to take you to the car shop tomorrow like I was planning to and surprise you with a car gift since you already have all you want for Christmas?’ He asked with a grin on his face.
‘Really!!!’ Adesuwa screamed in surprise, jumping to her feet on the bed. ‘All I want for Christmas is you and the car,’ she shouted excitedly.
He laughed, happy to see his wife so happy and just then their bedroom door creaked open and his twin boys walked in.
Their eyes popped open as they saw their dad in the house and their mum jumping on the bed.
‘Daddy?’ Jerry called out in surprise as his brother Jason rushed to his father on the bed.
‘Come here boys,’ he urged his sons as he helped them on to the bed.
‘Can I play jumping on the bed?’ Jason asked, already on his feet and bouncing playfully on the bed.
‘Me too,’ Jerry said, joining the fray as he jumped on the bed with his twin brother and his mum.
He smiled as he watched his family jump all around him on the bed shrieking and screaming in joy. Christmas never felt this good and if there was ever a perfect gift to ask for on a Boxing day, this would be it. All he wanted for Christmas was right here with him -his family.
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