Love Letters

Love Letters

Bible, hymn book, Holy Communion booklet and I was set for Christmas service. I hadn’t been to church for a couple of Sundays now but there was no way I doing that with Christmas service too.

By 9:15, I was in the church compound. Seeing no parked cars around, I realized I had either being misinformed about the 9:15 time or service was going to start late as usual or maybe Mary was still in labour. That didn’t put me off in any way. I somehow knew Christmas service was gonna rock. Something kept telling me that and I wasn’t gonna stop ‘faithing’ just yet.

Well, church service finally started at 10:00. And I left at eleven after a few good and sweet hymns have been sung in the most boring way. This was the most boring Christmas service ever.

But as I was leaving, I was smiling. Now the smile didn’t have anything to do with what had happened between 10 and 11. The smile was because of what happened between 9:15 and 10:00.

I had entered the church building not really expecting to see anyone. But there she was. Someone I had loved since I was a child. Beautiful as always. A little fairer now. There was a period in my life I loved her more than anybody else. That was how much I was crazy about her. I stood at the door admiring her like I had always done in the years. I wouldn’t have stopped if the children hadn’t chorused ‘Mary’. She noticed me and stopped for a while. That smile again. I went over and whispered to her that I would just sit and listen to her.

She is more than seventy now. She has new set of children now. In fact, she has had a few sets of children since I stopped Sunday School about twelve years ago. I didn’t stop actually. I had remained after most of my mates and even those younger than me hadleft. I had become one of the Sunday School teachers. Then along came a university admission and I left. Up till that point, she and a few family members had thought I was going to be a priest. I even thought so too. (Maybe my crush a priest’s daughter had something to do with me thinking that way.)

As I sat down and listened to her, fond memories of the singing competitions, Boy’s and Girl’s Brigade and children’s harvest all came back. And  the girls too. Back then the girls made church much more interesting. It was the same story we heard every year but somehow still enjoyed listening to it each year. The pregnant virgin. John the Baptist. Angel Gabriel. The three wise men. Herod. The manger. Simeon. The stars. The shepherds.

Everything seemed the same. Just that now, she was much older and slower. She didn’t talk too much too. But she still ‘talked’. She still had the same love for children. The same love she had loved us for thirty four years.

I shifted my attention to the children for a while. Things hadn’t changed for them too. They still wore the bright new Christmas dresses. New rubber watches and rubber glasses. Their moods were still the same – joyful. Even the dusty heads that had big round patches dandruffs and ringworms were still shaking very happily. Looking at the children, you would have this feeling that nothing could change that joyful mood. What mattered to them most was that they had new clothes and shoes. A lot were not even paying attention. But that didn’t stop them from chanting ‘Mary’, ‘Emmanuel’ and other answers to questions she would ask them from time to time.

As the children’s Christmas service drew to an end, I realized she actually taught me a lot of things. Traveling had made me realize I was a better person because of all those years I spent with her. I remember her telling me she was disappointed that I was the ‘poet’ behind a particular ‘popular’ love letter. The letter was actually written by me but a friend had employed me to write it. We didn’t really consider rewriting the letter. Probably because they thought I had a good writing. Somehow the girls knew my writing then. I was that ‘popular’ then. She told me she wasn’t going to take any further actions on that letter but warned me very seriously not to try it again. She got more letters written by me but never my handwriting again.

As we said the grace, I kept looking at her wondering if she still had that letter. If she ever read it again.

Then I walked home from church on 25th December 2010 smiling and realizing that I’ve really missed those days… and the girls… and the love letters.



27 thoughts on “Love Letters” by Jaywriter (@jaywriter)

  1. Very beautiful story… I started reading this piece with a picture of the Catholic church on my mind… I got further and realised you mentioned an issue about the priest’s daughter… I had to come to conclusion that your setting could have been an Anglican church… Am I right..?

    1. Thanks for reading. And yes, Anglican church it is.

  2. This is lovely, but I was a bit confused along the line. Is the Narrator over seventy too? It threw me off a bit, but I had to get back on for the sake of the story.
    Nice one Jay…

    1. @raymond – Thannks for reading. The reader is almost 30.

  3. Awwwww! This is really sweet! You had a crush on your Sunday school teacher and she inspired love letters… the ultimate story of teenage hood! I had a crush on one of the altar boys who couldn’t handle the heat of my passion and reported me the the parish priest.It was so humiliating but i had a good laugh later on in life…is Idoko right? Anglican setting?

    1. Hey thanks. And yea Anglican setting it is. The guy must be a slacker then. If a gut does that where me grew up, you’ll have no friends again.

  4. @jaywriter, talk about something worth reading aND i’ll think of this… i’ve been bored by lots of drab but this is like sun shining into the tunnel… initially, i thought you were talking of a young GAL not a sunday school teacher…you do well

  5. My thoughts are quite different on this piece. I don’t it was clear enough on several issues. The MC’s age for one, and what he was doing at the Children’s service.

    1. @scopeman – Thanks for reading. @xikay really got the whole story.

  6. @scopeman, for me..its clear enought…12yrs after, university…maybe he’ll be 23-27 and as for the Children class bit, he might have decided to stay with the children class… i did it when i returned to a place i used to live, in the same manner

    1. @xikay – Think you have a way with stories. You somehow get the whole story the way the writer intended it. You’re very right. Thanks for reading.

  7. @jaywriter, the story just tells my own situation only that mine was after 6years. i felt lost in the environment… it was exhilarating though i did not meet my old playmates.

    1. @xikay – Just feels nice knowing that you sat there innocently years back listening to all the bible stories. No matter how many that passes, it’s always a wonderful moment to go back.

  8. @jaywriter and you feel a kind of attachment…

  9. @ Xikay: yeah thats true.before I went on my freethinking way, i remember those days of Sunday school with nostalgia.

    @ Jay: Good musing.Its good to see you do stuff that are not plays.

    1. Thanks @lawal.

  10. @lawal, so u r now a free-thinker, hmmmmm

  11. Hmmm … Jay …

    I think this is the best post written by you that I;ve read for a long time (my analysis anyway).

    Even though you missed a word in “(Maybe my crush a priest’s daughter had something to do with me thinking that way.)” as you were to write: (Maybe my crush on a priest’s daughter had something to do with me thinking that way.). You missed the word “on”, yet it was still great!

    You really are a great writer … and this one even inspires me much!

    Nice stuff once more. Keep it up!

    1. @boomingsols – thanks me dear. Kinda blushing a little.

  12. I found it sweet that the story was really about your feelings towards your old Sunday School teacher. Maybe it’s because these days, the theme of tender feelings towards romantically involved couples has been done to death. I do wonder what the ‘offensive’ love letter was about, though… Estrella seems to feel it was written to her, but you never explicitly say so in the story.

  13. @tola – kinda felt the situation is what most of us could easily relate to. But in Sunday School then, if you ‘loved’ a girl, you usually wrote her a letter. Got my first love letter at 12. It was very common then. So the letter in question, a friend approached me to write for a girl he ‘loved’. Sometimes, because we were children then, some girls reported and showed the letters to our Sunday School teacher. Hope you get it now? And the feeling towards my Sunday School teacher is like the feeling of a son to a mother.

  14. Nice scribbles, Jay. I enjoyed it.

  15. totally loved every bit of it
    nice.

  16. @paul – thanks. Long time. You met @xikay.

  17. Nice story….brings back memories of ma Sunday School days
    I remember one Christmas that I had to practically sit by the tailor to sew my cloth on 25th b4 I wore it to attend the remaining half of the Christmas service in church. Kids and Christmas…lol
    And to have a crush on your Sunday School teacher who is obviously way older than you? funny man

  18. sweet. Just sweet.

    Sweet. Pleasant memories. Sweet.

    Nice one Jay.

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