I’m home. It’s past 1pm in the afternoon and after chatting with my family, I head upstairs to my room to freshen up and also clear my head of Jase. I head back downstairs for lunch, ready for a good time with my family.
We are in the parlour watching a soap opera when my phone starts ringing. I silence it so it won’t disturb my family and glance at the screen, it’s Jase calling.
It’s just numbers. I didn’t save the number he called me with earlier but if I check, I know it’ll be the same number calling me now.
I don’t answer. I don’t want to speak to him. I react strangely to him and he messes with my head but that’s for me to deal with.
He calls again and this time I switch off my phone.
I look away from my phone to find my family staring at me, questions on their faces. I smile awkwardly.
“It’s nothing.” I say.
They look like they don’t believe me but accept my answer.
I feel someone’s eyes on me and it turns out to be my mum.
I smile reassuringly at her, she nods and smiles back and we go back to watching tv.
It’s evening and my two sisters- Stephanie and Jessica, and I are at the dining room playing Ludo. Our mum comes in carrying a wrapped package, amusement in her eyes. We all stop our game and watch as she drops it beside me, on the table.
“It looks like someone has a gift.” She says, smiling.
My sisters wiggle their eyebrows suggestively and I grin.
“Maybe it’s from Bode.”
Jessica- the youngest, suggests. “And maybe it’s not.” Stephanie shot back at her.
“Alright! Alright, don’t get your panties in a twist. Let’s unfold the mystery.” I say and turn to my mum, “Who’s it from?” I ask.
“A young man, that’s all Joseph was able to tell me.” She looks surprised. We all are.
Considering the kind of people we are in the society, it’s hard for just anything or anyone to get inside our compound and Mr Joseph has been with us since I was a little girl.
“Maybe it’s someone he knows or we know.” Stephanie says reassuringly.
“Just open it, the suspense is killing me.” Jessie snaps. I frown at her, look at my mother, she gave a shrug. Okay!
I unwrap it slowly, anticipation growing and when I’m done we all stare at the gift.
The gift- if it should be called that, is not quite what we expected.
“I don’t get it. Why would someone send a phone?”
Jessie is the first to break the silence. She looks confused.
“A house phone.” She added.
My mum shakes her head and walks in the direction of the study where my dad is.
“Maybe the person doesn’t know that there are enough mobile phones/landlines in this house. What a fool.” Stephanie concludes. Then it struck me out of nowhere. “Ridiculous! This guy is ridiculous. So I don’t pick his calls and the next thing he does is to buy me a telephone-”
I raise the package and scan the body,
“A telephone that has an answering machine, so he can call me whenever and if I don’t pick the call, I’ll still get to hear his voice when he leaves a message behind. Ridiculous! Unbelievable!”
I rise to my feet and start pacing, my head swimming with thoughts, my anger rising.
I stop- physically and mentally. No, he won’t trigger anything in me again. I won’t give him that satisfaction.
My sisters are already looking at me like I’ve lost it but I don’t care.
“He’s forgotten that I can decide not to set it up, I can-”
“Mi, calm down.” My mum says softly as she enters the dining room, coming to me.
“It looks like you know who sent it. Why don’t you go outside and catch a bit of fresh air, we’ll take care of this.” She pats my cheek and nods, silently answering the questions I haven’t even asked.
I leave the dining room to my mum and sisters who are now quiet and do as my mum says.
I don’t know how long I stayed outside, thinking. Thinking of why I was suddenly so scared. Why he bothered me so much and how arrogantly Jase had said he would get me. How he sounded so sure when I didn’t even want to want him back.
The air is chilly now, obviously nature is aware that christmas is near. I go back to the house, up to my room, no one is coming out to speak to me. I guess they are giving me some space.
I enter my room and before I reach my bed, I spot the cordless phone with the answering machine on my dresser, a light blinking from it. With a sigh, I reach the dresser and press the blinking button.
“Hey,” His voice floats out, stilling me, stilling the atmosphere.
“I think I can imagine what’s going through your head, forgive me but I’m a desperate man.
You are always angry with me and you avoid my calls. I know you can decide not to set it up so thank you for this chance. I hope to see you soon and maybe then, you won’t be so angry with me. Stay well and think of me. I’ll be seeing you….soon.”
As if like an afterthought, he added,
“Definitely soon. Goodnight and Merry Christmas.”
It’s so strange how he gets me. I wait for the anger to rush back but it doesn’t. I guess I’m tired. From somewhere, I hear the sounds of knockouts.
Oh yeah! Merry frickin’ Christmas.