I have always wondered why I don’t like birthdays. Yes, it’s meant to be a day of Joy and extreme happiness for the celebrant but I keep thinking that there’s more to birthdays than just cooked food, gifts and a gathering of people who don’t know each other, who sit in groups and cliques and talk about what every other person in the room is wearing or what/how the celebrant should have planned a “classy” bash.
Truthfully, I’ve never really liked my birthdays. Years before, I would always say a word of prayer to God and thank Him for a fresh start and a new year. My birthday is almost here and I am wondering how the day would pan out. Is there really anything to be thankful about? There’s a void in me and the aching emptiness is pulling me down a deep black hole I can’t seem to drag myself out of. Is there still hope? Would I ever find my way back to the path of righteousness? Would I ever be able to forgive myself for being so careless?
How do I even forgive myself?
As I finally find my feet to go for choir rehearsals today, I plug in my headphones and listen to Casting Crowns’ “Praise You In The Storm”. I know the choristers would be shocked to see me. They’ve all tried every tactic in the book to drag me back in but I’d always smile and give a polite “No”. But today, I don’t know why I’m yearning to be in their midst. Is this a sign? That everything will be normal again?
I’ve decided to walk down to church for the rehearsals just in case I change my mind and go back home. I remember when I auditioned to join them… I joined the campus fellowship in my first year. I waited after the service that day for the dance rehearsals. (I think it was the dance group and that day’s message that made up my mind for me to continue worshiping there). I like to see myself as very versatile (Yes, I’m blowing my horn). Nobody knew I could sing a few tunes and when it was my turn to take the stage, oh boy… I did take the stage. My Pastor was shocked because I have always been playful and always quick to disturb folks after church service(s). Kai, I can disturb ehn.
I feel a sheepish smile tug at the corners of my mouth as I relish these memories. At that moment, I feel it… My phone that is, vibrates in the right pocket of my jeans. I feel my forehead wrinkle with a slight frown. Who dares interrupt my jog down memory lane?! Looking at the screen, I see its Ayoola, my Architect friend (who Mae is secretly crushing on).
“Hey Bricklayer, how are you na? You remember me today”. I laugh out loud saying this.
“Pechichi! I’m a busy man mbok!” He replies. Whenever he calls me that name in person, I always scowl and retort with a rejoinder of my own but before I could say anything, he adds “You better stop scowling because I can see black clouds pregnant with tornadoes over my bald head threatening to strike me”. I laugh again. A passerby looks at me and wrinkles her nose with pure disdain.
“You’re not serious o. How can I help you this hot Wednesday afternoon biko?” I ask him.
“Please send me Mae’s number”.
I stop in my tracks. Just like that? I should send Mae’s number?!
“Bros, come come come!!! How far?! Which one is send me Mae’s number? Last time I checked, you have a lady in your life who you want to marry. And even if you both have ended your four years old relationship, Mae isn’t and will never be the rebound girl. Lailai! I interrogate whoever it is that is interested in her and in this case, I’m her spokesperson. Its. A. No… Moving on!” I say all this in one breathe and I realize that I’m panting. Ugh!! Talk about being dramatic.
“Zacc o. Better calm down before your blood boils and cooks your skin. I just need her number, that’s all”.
“For what na? Does she have a land she wants to develop? Abi she needs to borrow your tape measure to take a measurement of her fringe?” I ask.
“Zacc, in due time, you will know. Just send it to me first shogbo (which means “Do you understand”). Before you go all Spanish inquisitor on me”.
“Let me ask her first. I can’t give her number out to a stranger”. These two have spoken via my phone a couple of times before, hence the beginning of her crush. Mae can crush for Africa.
“Alright, just be fast about it”. He says.
“No o! Holleet dia (hold it). Don’t come and be hurrying me anyhow. I will send it is I will send it”.
He laughs, asks about my birthday plans and I sidestep the question. We talk some more and he hangs up.
What does Ayoola want with Mae? I’m ask myself… She has questions to answer tonight!
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- Episode 1 (You’re Positive). Read HERE
- Episode 2 (I’m Going To Die). Read HERE
- Episode 3 (The Long Walk). Read HERE
- Episode 4 (Naya To The Rescue). Read HERE
- Episode 5 (N0 Longer A Virgin). Read HERE
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