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Stats: 1060425 members, 1229707 topics. Date: Saturday, 18 May 2013 at 02:32 PM
|Gone With The Christmas Flames by Tinkybabe(f): 12:21pm On Dec 29, 2011|
When Oga Wilson paid Uduak’s salary on the 23rd of December, he was very excited. He had thought because he was sick in the first two weeks of December he wouldn’t get paid until the following month which would have been next year. But when Oga Wilson called him into his office and handed him his envelope he was so happy he didn’t know when he went on his knees and said “thank you”. He was even more excited when he rushed into the toilet and counted the money and found out he had a Christmas bonus. He ran back into Oga Wilson’s office and thanked him again. He was happy.
After work that day, he went to Oyingbo market and personally bought foodstuff for the house, his wife Itoro was pregnant again with their 4th child. She was 6 months gone and the doctor had warned that she shouldn’t be stressed. So when she broke down with malaria a few days back he decided not to stress her at all. He bought a chicken, some pepper, rice, and all the ingredients he thought would do the magic so his family could have a good Christmas. Umoh his second son was still mad at him for not paying for his end of the year party fiesta the school had organized. He wanted to compensate him with something better. On his way back home he counted the money left on him, it was seven thousand. He shook his head. Life was becoming unbearable. He told himself he must go to the Ijaw midwife in his area and pay three thousand down payments for his wife’s delivery. It was ten thousand naira. He’ll pay five thousand the following month. She still had three months to go, by then he would have paid the bills in full and still be able to buy some baby things.
When he got home, the kids were asleep already so they didn’t see the chicken until the 24th morning. He saw the smiles on their faces. Even his wife was happy with the things he bought. The Rev Father had given him some new kid’s clothes a non governmental organization brought to the church some weeks back. So he didn’t need to buy any Christmas clothes for the kids. That had been sorted already. That is why the Rev Father had advised that he must bring the family to church on Christmas as people from the non governmental organization will be in church that day to help families with scholarships for their kids and other things. He hoped to make the list. If the scholarship can be given to Umoh who was very brilliant he would be happy. That would be one school fee off his neck and he could divert the funds to the up keep of the coming baby. He hadn’t plan for another baby. When his wife told him she was pregnant. He didn’t know how to take it. He didn’t want another baby. But there was nothing he could do. It was the same thing that happened when she told him she was pregnant with Emem, he had screamed at her for allowing herself to be pregnant when she knew their condition. She had blamed herself for being pregnant and had tried to remove the unborn baby with some concoctions which almost killed her. Again, it was the Rev Father who rescued them by taking her to a standard hospital and paid all the bills. So when she told him about this pregnancy, he was careful about his reaction. Though he didn’t want it, he was calm. He showed her more affection and care.
On the 24th night before they went to church for the Passover service, he killed the chicken and she prepared some of the ingredients for the jollof rice and afang soup she would prepare on Christmas. At least they won’t feel less when their neighbors merry, they will also merry. After the Passover service, he bought some fire works for the kids who were really crying for one. His wife slept immediately they got home so she could wake up on time on Christmas to start preparing the little she can before they go to church. This year’s Christmas was indeed special, it had fallen on a Sunday.
Umoh was the first to wake. He screamed from his sleep. He had a bad dream. He woke up screaming “mommy mommy”. Uduak rushed to him and woke him up. He asked the 6 years old what was wrong and all he could say was “church fire, Church fire, everything fire”. He didn’t understand her so he parted his head some more and took him to the bathroom to bathe him as he did for the rest. He brought out the clothes Rev Father had given him and wore it for them one after the other. The time was 8.30 already. His wife was already done cooking the afang soup. She kept the soup in a cooler, she served them some of the rice and kept the rest in another cooler. They all got dressed and left for Church.
THE CHURCH SERVICE
When they got to the church round about, they saw a herd of cow but their herdsman was not there, just the cows, roaming the junction. They were a little late for church though, it was hard finding keke napep. When they got in, service was in full gear, everybody was dancing. The choir was singing a popular tune so they also danced in and sat on some of the empty seat available. Church was jam-packed. His eyes and the Rev Fathers’ met and they both smiled. His family was looking well-kept and neat. The Rev Father was happy. After dancing, Rev Father preached a little about the essence of Christmas and why giving is important. Some minutes later the non governmental organization mounted the podium and spoke a little about their mission and why they have decided to identify with the church despite all the churches around. They gave some families bags of rice, more clothes, medicines and lastly the scholarships. They had asked all parents to submit their kids school report card for the term and for the year. Umoh had the best result so far with Chinyere Uwazurike closely behind him. Both of them were given the scholarship. The organization would pay for their school fee up to their secondary school level with the promise that they would keep good grades and be in their best behaviors. Uduak was so happy. He danced out when the kids and their parents were asked to come out. His son had made him proud. This was his best Christmas since he got married. When he went back to their seat his wife was crying already. She smiled at him and parted Umoh’s head. Then Umoh said “I want to go to the toilet”. At first they didn’t hear him, until he repeated it for the third time. The music was too loud. The church toilet was another building apart from the church. It was like a boy’s quarter detached from the church’s building. He called an usher who took Umoh to the toilet. As they left, Rev Father asked everyone to be on their feet so he could pray for them. He said “Dear Lord, we your children have gathered today to celebrate the birth of your son, our savior who laid down his life so we can live…” He was still praying when the microphone started going hot in his hands. He threw it on the floor. He let out a painful “Jesus” and everyone was forced to open their eyes. Everybody was surprised to see the microphone on the floor. Smoke was coming out from the microphone. He moved close to it to see what could be the cause. The rest of the congregation chorused “blood of Jesus, blood of Jesus”. As he kicked the microphone a little, it’s sparked then in the split of a second the whole church crashed. A loud bang was heard. The church was in smoke. Umoh and the usher fell to the ground. Bodies, half burnt, some completely burnt scattered everywhere. Umoh kept crying, some building block of the toilet had crashed on him. His left arm was trapped. The usher with him who had waited for him outside carried some blocks off his hand and helped him out. Umoh kept crying “church fire, everything fire”. His parents had been in the church. The soldiers came later and held him. Only five people had survived. And they were the people who were in the toilet. Everybody in the church was gone. Gone with the flames.
Writers words"I don’t know anything about everything. But when I heard about the bombing. I pitied us. All of us as a nation. That we have come to this point in our history when the lives of human being would be taken without cause, respect. I thought of every person like Uduak that would have been in that church.Say a prayer for Nigeria please".
|Re: Gone With The Christmas Flames by Tinkybabe(f): 12:47am On Jun 07, 2012|
Just read this again and still can't fight back the tears.May the souls of the departed rest in peace. I commiserate with everyone that has lost their loved ones in the chaos we are experiencing at the moment.It's for a short while,the storm will be over soon.The lord will see us through it all.
|Re: Gone With The Christmas Flames by omooba-nla(m): 11:44am On Jul 09, 2012|
So sad, I wonder how people live in nigeria without getting sad about all the Negative News exploding aroundthem day by day.
I pray,May the Souls of the Deceased ones rest in Peace and may Lord almighty Grant their Loved ones Strength to see these Mourning moment through Amen.
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