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July 19, 2024
Santa's Coming for Us

This Christmas

  • December 22, 2023
  • 18 min read
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This Christmas

                  Chapter one

              Many words are left unsaid. Many feelings are left unshared. Many lapses are made. Many promises are unkept. Sophia sat pondering. Several times, Sophia had found herself writing to her lost love. Many times,she had realized it not quite possible. She had a lot on her mind to say. Many feelings to share but there is no enough words to qualify how she is feeling. No words that can express her. She crushed the nineteen papers she had tried to write. Her head bent,her shoulder fallen. She used her head to hit the table. Once again,she pick up a new paper and start scribing down some words by she had she had felt earlier. No words is enough to qualify the depth of her feelings.

      She drop her head on the table. Her shoulder fallen. Everything became blurred in front of her. For minutes,she maintained that position. Her phone vibrated. As she raised her head,a smile appeared on a face. Like a tiny light searing it way through a hole to a dark alley. She picked up her phone with a great enthusiasm. Only for her smile to became weekened and turned to a sad one. She started at her phone blankly and allow it ring for the third time before picking it up.

       “Hello mama. I have been wanting to call you but am kind of busy at work. How is everyone doing?”Sophia asked.

“Please,biko. Keep your greetings to yourself. The only thing you can brag about is your job. No spouse or husband. When are you going to give me my grandchildren hunnn. Biko, answer me,”mama asked.

         “God time,I think,”Sophia replied.

     ” You are such a funny girl Sophia, aren’t you?”

“Mama…,”

       “Don’t mama me,”Mama said cutting Sophia short of her word.” Don’t Mama me. The last daughter of Mama Nkechi got married last month. Nkechi herself had already given birth to three children. So is Amaka,your immediate younger sister and Chinnere. When are you giving me my grandchildren? The only thing on your mind is work!work!. You are a female. In less than three years you will be in your menopause. Is that when you call ant to give me my grandchildren. Hunn, answer Sophia. All those kids that are born right in front of you have gotten married with their own kids. When are you going to give me my grandchildren?”mama demanded.

          “Mama,I will make sure to send Christmas allowance,”Sophia said trying to change the topic.

           “Do not change the topic Sophia. I am asking you when you are going to give me my grandchildren?”Mama asked again.

Sophia refused to reply.

           “I know you will not answer me. Anyway,you must come home this Christmas,”mama blurted out.

          “Mama,you know that is not possible. Am busy. I got a lot of work to do. Mama please try to understand. Make a list of everything you need for Christmas and I will send the money,ok mama,”Sophia said.

           “That is the excuse you always give. Am busy mama. That is the only excuse you always give. Last Christmas you were busy. When Chinnere gave birth to her third baby,you were busy. When Mama Nkechi invited you to her second daughter wedding you were busy. When are you going to be free. When? I want to know. Your company can survive a day or two without you. I did not want any excuses. Come home for this Christmas. That is all I will say to you,”Mama said and cut the call.

      Sophia stood up from her chair and  sat in the chair. Tears blurred her face. Christmas is in three days time. It a season of love and season of joy but to Sophia it a season of comparative and abundance insult. She is a young woman in her early thirties with no husband and children. Her head hit the softness of the bed. She knew she was lying when she said  she is busy. A kind of excuse that did not work on mama anymore.

                              *******

Sophia set out from her house early the next day. She uploaded her suitcase in her car booth and headed to her village. Throughout the journey,she braced herself for what is about to happened. She arrived at her parents compound late in the afternoon. Celebration is in the air.  Christmas light was used to decorate the building. The children were busy running round the house. Sophia packed her car in front of the building. As she got down from her car the children run towards her.

          “Welcome auntie Sophia,”they all chanted.

Sophia hugged them,one after the other. She opened her bag and brought out the gift she got for each of the children. This make the children more happier. The older children help her carried her bag to her room. She met her father sitting outside with his eye glass reading a newspaper.

     “Papa,”she said kneeling down on her two knees.

“How are you my daughter?”papa asked.

“Am fine,”Sophia replied taking the seat next to her father.

“Hope it not stressful coming here. I know that you are a busy lady”,papa asked.

“Not at all,papa,”Sophia replied.

“Welcome sister Sophia,”Amaka said.

“How are you Amaka?”Sophia asked.

           “Are you the only one that arrived. Where are your children and husband?”Amaka asked ignoring Sophia question.

       “Amaka,what are you trying to insulate?”papa asked.

“Nothing ooo,biko. I am just asking sister about her family?” Amaka replied .

Papa made to talk but Sophia smiled at him.

“Don’t mind her papa. She is still immature,”Sophia said with a smile on her face.

“Immature you said? I am a married woman with four kids. Am a mother of four. So if anyone is been immature. It should be you,”Amaka rants.

“Amaka do u know that it is your sister you are talking to like that?”papa asked. 

        “Sister foot. Tell her to live by an example. Provide grandchildren for me,”it was mama voice.

“Mama Amaka,”papa called.

“Yes,”mama replied and continue,”Sophia don’t you have no shame. All the girls younger than are already married.”

            “Mama,it is your love for grandchildren that pushed Amaka to get married to an abusive husband. Do you want the same for me? Hun,you want me to get married to a man that beats me at the slightest mistake. No mama. I am not doing that. I get married until I found my soulmate. Everyone is finding theirs even some married woman are still looking for there soulmate,”Sophia replied shouting. Tears lurking at the corner of her eyes.

         Mama hand fell on her cheeks. The slap was painful but the hurt in her heart is more painful than that.

        “How dare you talk to me like that?”mama asked fuming.

“Mama,I am not Amaka nor Chinnere or any of Mama Nkechi daughter I am me. I am Sophia,”Sophia said and start walking down the street. The lurking at the corner of her eyes fell. She could hear papa and mama voice calling her but all their words fell on deaf ear. The tears blurred her vision and she headed to a place of no destination.

 Chapter two i

       Tears blurred her face as she walked down the street. Her heart shattered,her leg became weakened. She kept walking oblivion of everything around her. After some minutes,she wiped away her tears. Cross the street and headed to the village stream. She sat on a rock,her hand wrapped tightly around her leg.

         “If only,”she wondered.”if only the Christmas will be a season of joy and happiness for her. A season of love for her she would have appreciated it. But Christmas is always a time for unbearable pain and comparative between she and her younger sister. Since she had clocked twenty five, Christmas time had been a sorrow time for her. But everything got worse after she clocked thirty-four. Her  mother had immensely reminding her about the pain that hurts her the most.

       “If only,”she thought. “If only she has not chose her job over Thomas. If only she hasn’t broke up with him. If only she would have been married to the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life. But she had chosen her job,her career and left him all alone on his own.

           “Maybe if she chose both of them. If she had chosen allow both of them to chase their dreams together. Maybe then she wouldn’t be in a situation like this.”

She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn’t realize someone was sitting beside her.

The person who sat beside her clears his throat. Startled,she threw her body backward. A strong warm arm caught her before she hurts her back.

       “Tho-thomas,”she stuttered.

He pulled her back to her sitting position.

“You still sneak up on people,”she asked.

“Guess it was an old habit I formed when am around you but.. i didn’t sneak up on you,”he said. “You were the one engrossed in your thoughts.

She realized,she had been caught. She was the one to be blamed. She could feel his hand on her shoulder. All at once ,she remember the warmth that arm use to emit into her body. She wanted to fall into his embrace. She wanted to tell him all her trouble but she couldn’t. He must be happily married and maybe with beautiful kids. She was the one who left him so why will he wait for her. Why will he?

        “What are you doing in the village?”she asked.

“Hun,I guess to see my family and families,”Thomas replied with a smile.

“Family and families,”Sophia whispered. “His he trying to show off or trying to make her regret her decision,”she thought. “He his actually married with kids,”Sophia kept reminding herself. They sat in silence. Both engrossed in their own thought. Each with a different thoughts. After some minutes, Sophia became uncomfortable. She couldn’t speak the ways he wanted to not do what she wanted to do. It was her decision and she must live with it. She stood up.

      “I would love to be on my way,”she announced.

“Am also leaving. Maybe I can drop you off. Am here with my car,”Thomas offered.

“No,”Sophia said. If only they had not break up. If only she hasn’t break up with him,she would have jumped at the idea of spending more time with him. But now it dangerous. Too dangerous to be spending so many times together. She headed back to her house. She reached home late in the night. She met her parents and her sisters and her mother grand children eating. Everything became blurry in front of her  she headed to her room and threw herself on the bed. She passed out with tears on her face.

                   *****

       The next day was Sunday. Before Sophia woke up,her family had headed to morning service. Feeling relieved that she was left behind. No constant nagging from her mother nad her sister Amaka. No more Chinnere soft talk. She was happy. Happy to be left alone. Alone at last. She said her prayers quickly and fervently. She went to the kitchen and ate her food. After that,she had her bath and dressed in a silk gown. She headed to church. By the time she arrived at church,the morning service had ended. She saw her family sitting at the first row. She saw Chinnere waving her hand at her but she ignored it and sat  at the back row. She heave a sign. She couldn’t concentrate on the sermon. Everyone kept asking her about her children and husband and she kept giving them the same reply she had always been giving them. “They will be here when it time.”

A woman had sneer at her,”only those who had used  their youth ungodly live in regret when when they are old enough,”the woman had said and Sophia had understand what the woman meant but she could not reply.

   Everyone in the village kept pointing their index finger at her, telling their children never to be like.

“Hi,”Thomas said offering himself the empty seat beside her.

“Hi Thomas,”Sophia replied.” Where are your family and families?”

Thomas smiled.” They are right here ,”he replied.

Sophia forced a smile. “Shouldn’t you be with them?”she asked

“I prefer been with you,”he replied staring at her eyes.  They became lost into each other. It was Sophia who broke the contact.

Throughout the sermon but kept each other company and they both made each other to laugh. Deep down, Sophia wanted this to happened. She knew this is what she wanted. To spend her whole life with Thomas but sh has ruined the chance many Christmas ago. Her heart wanted this to continue but her minds knew that it will only last for a while.

Chapter Three

The service ended longer than it was expected. The pastor preaching was longer than usual. He had talked about the birth of Jesus and the arrival of Santa Claus. He admonished everyone to be of good behavior because Santa Claus is going to reward everyone based in there behavior.  After the service, Sophia meant her families ok outside the church talking to the pastor. She tried to avoid the pastor but she couldn’t has he had already sighted her. He talked to her for some time regarding the fact that she remained unmarried. This doesn’t go well with Sophia but she replied with a smile. He then mentioned her to always read her bible. The pastor bide farewell to Sophia family and he went into other family.

     Thomas chatted with Sophia father and he promised mama that he would visit later in the afternoon. Getting home,mama and her daughter went to prepare for Thomas arrival.  Food was been prepared. And as Thomas promised he came late in the evening. Food was served and he chatted with mama, Amaka and Chinnere. He gave some money to the children and he went outside to sit with Papa. They chatted for a while.

“Papa,this is your juice. It time for your medication,”Sophia said.

“Thanks so much.y darling daughter,”papa replied as he collected the juice from her.

Thomas stood up from his seat.” Papa,i would like to be on my way ,”he said.

“Ohh,what a bad timing! I would not be able to escort you. But Sophia can in my stead,”papa said.

“But papa…,”

“That is ok with me,”Thomas said and he made to leave.

Sophia starred at her father but he averted his gaze.

“I will not be long,”she said as she followed Thomas. Both started walking down the street with our saying a word to each other.

“You remember when we used to walk down this same street,”it was Thomas who break the silence. Sophia nodded.

” Then for old time sake. Catch me,”Thomas said as he took to his heel. Sophia after him and both headed to the village stream.

By the time the reach their both became tired and stood for some time to catch their breath before Thomas talked.

“Sophia,how are you?”he asked.” Are you married?”he wanted to asked but the word felt so heavy that he asked how are you?

“Am good,”Sophia replied. “He his probably married with kids she thought.

“I guess you have finally achieved your dream,” he said. Though he wanted to asked “can we be back to what we have been before. I love you Sophia.”

“Have achieved our dreams,”she replied.  Though she wanted to asked had he moved on. Did he loves his wife as much as he had lived her?”.

Both started into the eyes of each other lost in their own thought. Thomas moved closer to Sophia. His hand brushed over hers. S tremor of pleasure shit through her body.

“She must not feel this,she must not?”she thought.

Thomas brought his face closer to hers and their nose touch each other. “He should not be doing this. She is probably married,”he thought but he couldn’t just stop. He wanted her. Wanted her to know that he would and will always choosing her.

Sophia closed her eyes as their lips met each other.  Her heart says yes but her mind says no. She pulled back and started running back home. He hai teasing her,”she thought. “For choosing her career over him.”

She met no one outside when she reached the you. No one was at home. It Christmas Eve and they had wet to the village square.

      ****

   The next morning was Christmas. The children woke up early than usual. They are particularly happy about the gift they will be receiving from Santa Claus. They all headed to the Christmas tree to unveiled their gift. Different gift was wrapped and names was written on it. The eldest son who the one who shared the gift.  He handed an envelope to Sophia.

She was surprised. ” So the gift she deserved this year was an envelope,”she soliloquize.

“How are you supposed to know what is inside if you never check it out ,”papa said.

Sophia unwrapped the envelope. She read the content and off she went. Every was was amazed by her actions. She ran to the village stream and met Thomas their.

“Am sorry for breaking up with you then. Am sorry for assuming you were married with our asking you,”Sophia said.

“Am also sorry. Sorry for everything,”he said and kissed Sophia passionately. It was then Sophia realized she was dressed in her pyjamas. He uses his shirt to wrap her and both headed to Sophia house.

They met Sophia parents outside waiting patiently for her. Before Sophia could explain what had happened,the eldest son came forward with another letter. Sophia took the letter and started at her parents then at Thomas. She removed the envelope and read the content out loud.

 Christmas is a season of love and happiness and I Santa Claus decided to give you the best gift which is love.

Yours sincerely

Santa Claus

She burst into tears. Her actions amazed everyone. It was Santa Claus that wrote the first letter. He was the one who wrote Thomas letter too. He cleared the misunderstanding between us. None of us did it. He did it.  He came for us. Santa Claus came for us and gave us the best gift which is love. Papa,mama give us your blessings. We are getting married today,”Sophia said.

Everyone was amazed. But who will say no. At last Sophia decided to get married an that is how they got married on Christmas day. Santa Claus came for them and he gave them the best gift which is love.

About Author

Islamiyat Ibraheem

6 Comments

  • It was a story well tailored but due to grammatical errors and unpleasant use of words,it sounds abstract to some point ,still ,the writer was able to uphold a high level of suspense while exploring the traditional method of writing,bravo dearest

    • Thanks Ebube,i will take note of the correction

  • Nice one,
    Welldone.

    • Thanks for taking ur time to read it

  • This is a stunningly beautiful and insightful write-up. The author writes with a depth of feeling and understanding that is rare in literature today. I found myself lost in the world of the characters and the story, and I didn’t want it to end. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a thought-provoking and emotionally rich read.

    • Thanks sooooooooo much

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