I got out of bed twenty-something minutes past four in the afternoon. I can’t imagine how long I had slept since 1.00am when I returned from the crossover service. It was first day of the year and I was supposed to have prepared whatever meal the unrepentant bachelor that I am could prepare. I picked my phone and unlocked it. Too many messages and missed calls. No thanks to the silent mode it had been on since during the crossover service. I wanted to calculate how long I had been sleeping but I could not. I could faintly remember what the sermon was. “A New Thing – Isaiah 43:19”. I liked that theme so it was only natural that I remember it. A New Year; A New Thing. “God is really using Pastor sha”, I thought, because every word he said found a fertile ground in me. It was actually as if he was sent to me. The crowing of my New Year fowl brought me back to the present. I had tied it to the back of my window the previous evening. It was not planned for it to still be alive till around 4.00pm on January 1st. “Na the last of crows be that, you fool”, I cursed under my breath as I swiped my window curtain to a side to take a look at the unfortunate broiler. It had fed so well that it couldn’t even move the rope with which it was tied. I had paid over the odds for it, a whooping five thousand naira. Then it crowed again. “My God! This will be your last”, I said pointing at it unconsciously. It looked as if the fowl shook its head at my direction. As I tried to pull the curtain close and start arranging the ‘instruments’ that would set the bird on its journey to the great beyond, I beheld her, Linda. She walked past the street opposite my window. “Jesu! This was Linda. Perhaps she was one of the New Things that my Pastor said God would do for us in this year”. I ogled her curves in the red T-shirt she wore over a pair of blue jean trousers. Those were my favourite colours on a girl. Actually, I had always longed for Linda. She was just some kind of stubborn girl. Why I still wanted her is something I need to ask google. Perhaps it was because I love Igbo girls. (talk of sharing a like with the controversial FFK). I took more time to stare at her as she stopped at a provision store. “I will catch you today”, I promised myself without saying a word, momentarily forgetting the fowl. I closed the curtain and moved over to the table fitted to a corner of my one room apartment. There on it were my utensils and some other important bachelor stuffs. (You know those things your fiancée complains about when she visits). I opened a plate and stinking odour emerged from it. It was the plate I used to eat beans last night before going to church. (You see, beans still ranks up there as my favourite dish, it is the only thing I can pick over an Igbo girl). Just then the fowl crowed again. I picked a knife and dropped it almost immediately. “You are so daring right? I get better work on my hands now. Your time go soon reach” , I said to no one in particular as I picked my red T-shirt and a blue jean, wanting to match Linda’s colours. I rushed out of the room and walked past several other rooms of my co-tenants, savouring the different aromas of cooking as I made my way out of the house. If it was when they were nice to me, there is the assurance of a few bowls of rice – white, jollof, fried, coconut and what have you. I don’t know why they chose to not lke the bachelor in me these days. I was not the first to make passes at, or be seen doing the landlord’s daughter so I see no reason I should be ostracized. Destiny has already separated us sef because I have been served a three month quit notice which I invalidated with a letter of undertaking, undertaking not to love her again. How that is possible with her supple bosom and rare possessions remain a mirage though. I stayed on the balcony, reciting my lines as I waited for Linda to show up. I heard my fowl crow again. The silly creature making it all the more imperative on me to make sure it does not see the next morning. She emerged. A full smile making her face goddess-like. “Hi Linda”, I said, as I found my best ‘chitty-chatty voice’. Stretching my hands for a shake, I added “how come we are dressed in the same my colour this beautiful day”. “Happy New Year. I wish you the best the year has got to offer”, she responded and I smiled. “The best? You are already the best mehn!!!”, i thought to myself while still smiling. She took my hand and smiled. The freshness of her palm sent electric current to my heart and it was like God was already doing “A New Thing”. Halleluyah somebody! My thoughts were interrupted by the fowl again. Does this fowl realize that it is on the death row already? Instead of calmness and soberness, it was there crowing again. I hissed and Linda laughed baring her lower teeth which had strange colour. That was a major turn-off but I didn’t mind, I couldn’t. It was a new thing too. I however appreciated the purple lipstick on her lips. Red over blue, chocolate-brown skin, purple lipstick, stained lower teeth… na that one spoil my new thing but I must make her mine. “Linda my heart…” I began holding her hands still. I started again saying the words and fixing my gaze on her. “Linda my heart beats fast for you, For you, whatever you want I’ll do, Holding you and looking in your eyes, Make a journey, a journey to paradise, The smile on your face, your beautiful face, Sets again my heart on infinite race, I wish to see you say yes, say yes now…” The fowl crowed again and all my other lines evaporated immediately. I looked in its direction with annoyance. “Today na today, you’ll die now”, I said before I could even comport myself again. “Linda I know you understand me. I love you, and I really do want you. Not for the trivial things but more on serious things. Will you please give me a chance?” From what I read on her eyes, Linda was going to react positively. I saw her look me longingly, that kind that we call “come-and-do” look. Suudenly, I had some strange feeling in my tummy, a vibration actually. I felt it move further down from my tummy, enroute my anus. I knew what it was; I started to suppress it because I did not want Linda to go. Who starts the year with half-done business? Finally the emission came without sound and I hoped my jean trousers would contain the attendant smell. I was wrong. The smile on Linda’s face vanished and she covered her nose with the back of her hand. “Excuse me”, she said stepping back and moving away. “I’ll see you later”, she added. I felt low and I turned in the direction of my fowl. I remembered the knife inside. My love for beans seemed to immediately disappear. That was one new thing, wasn’t it?