This piece was first featured as a guest post on Victor’s Thought Process. I hope you enjoy it.
“…the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart…”
Rosa snapped out of her preoccupation. That was her young sibling reading about Christmas from a little red book. She sighed at the little boy’s naivety; who talks of charity when the situation is just a tad shy of poverty? The atmosphere is already abuzz with the jamboree, but market is still not moving.
“Ladies and gentlemen, kindly toss your bags, wallets, smartphones and other beautiful things on you to the front while you remain silent. The guns are real and loaded… but we’re nice.”
There was no objection; apart from the disobedient soft music that emanated from the blinking colourful lights that decorated the mart. The cashiers and shoppers did as told and were quickly relieved of all their valuables.
After years of dispossessing folks of their belongings, Jero and co.—a five-man robbery gang—understands the effectiveness of the combination of kind words and right amount of arms.
“Thanks people. You’ve been true to the season. It’s the time to love and share, right? We’re glad to help you fulfil your duties. Let’s do this again later.”
Charles moaned at the peak of his second wave of release; a mutual sensation he shared with Mrs. Coker—his paramour-cum-member of flock of two months and two years respectively.
While Mr. Coker—the politician and top donor in the church Pastor Charles shepherds—was busy generously tipping stakeholders and youths to cast their votes for him in the election, Charles was busy doing something similar: casting his votes in Mrs. Coker’s ballot box, which also doubled as Mr. Coker’s.
Charles attempted to give his usual post-coital mantra about their infidelity but Coker silenced him before he even began. She made him see reason, for the umpteenth time, why it was no big deal. He feeds her spiritually and she does the same, albeit physically. She was sure her husband was with Amara at about the moment.
“Relax man of God! Isn’t it the sharing season anyway?”
Jero strolled boisterously down Sekem street; the route he was now familiar with after his girlfriend Amara eloped with the politician. Scantily dressed ladies loitered the street that led to the popular hotspot; the happening zone widely called the Arena. He was shocked at the sight of lights that beautified the entrance to his destination.
“Na wa o. Even ashawo house sef dey get Christmas light! E be like say Brother Jerome go enter Rome tonight.” He smiled as he stared at the swell in his trouser; the device he proudly calls Brother Jerome, or Bros J.
Rosa caught Jero’s attention in no time, leaving Suzie–his regular customer who generously gave him discounts when he was broke–hanging, much to the dismay of the girls of the arena. One thing led to another and finally to a room that enclosed Rosa and Jero entwined in a roll, leaving no room even for the slightest rigmarole.
Rosa sighed in relief, market showed up after all.
“We all make mistakes and sin as we strive in our daily living, but the good news is that we can always run to the gracious One with the assurance of His forgiveness… if we are totally willing and determined to let go of the old ways. Today we celebrate the birth of the saviour that brought us this privilege…”
Charles delivered the speech as the congregation listened raptly. He cast a furtive look at Mrs. Coker who was tightly fitted beside her husband, slightly uncomfortable. The politician himself wasn’t so attentive at the moment; Amara was somewhere within the scope of his vision.
“…it is the season to love, to extend a helping hand to the less privileged and to share with open hearts…”
Chinedu stifled the mirth that swelled in him as the pastor spoke. Charles reminded him of the muezzin that wakes his neighbourhood every morning before preaching about love and sharing; a gesture he so well exemplified through coital sharing with the to-be bride of a member. He knew everything, from the Charles-Coker affair to the adventures of Mr. Coker with Amara; the erstwhile girlfriend of his gang leader.
Maybe the season is just so overrated, or abused. All he could see around him was a bunch of folks with laundries dirtier than his, yet putting up jolly façades and superficial benevolence. Even his landlord he gave the moniker “winch” would at least give him a smile, just before showing him the disaster la originale she’s made of.
It’s the sharing season after all!
The season preaches love and kindness, but the essence grows dim; it is outwitted by celebration, deceit and unfaltering crooked lifestyle.
Chinedu’s phone rang in a tone that echoed the voice of the patient madam in Aso rock. He smiled and mimicked, altering a part of the tone to suit the situation.
“Chai! All these things that we’re sharing…”
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