There’s this tradition that comes with the end of the year that I can never be too big to overcome or outgrown. I know people say visiting your past is like having a taste of what the pain feels like all over again. Personally, I see it as a way of reminiscing around some of the things life has offered or thrown in my way and I am still breathing, living and smiling.
As a young girl who has always heard and fantasized what love really is, I watched any movies that is all about love and Titanic has to be my greatest of all time and I never stop driving all night just to get to my love in his sleep. That’s the price you pay as a young girl who listened to Celine Dion.
Our love started out like every other love story that bring those tiny love butterflies, the kind of love that has your tummy in a knot. Dave was an undergraduate student and I was a Jambite, waiting for admission into the number one University in Nigeria. But wait why do tertiary institutions in Nigeria argue for supremacy? This will call themselves number one in Africa another the Premier while another refers to itself as the King? Anyway on with my love story.
Dave and I attended the same church and most ushers never separated us when we walked into the church. I think the Holy Spirit has revealed to them this was “ordained so do not put asunder” don’t get me wrong Dave and I were not married, just young lovebirds who adored each other.
Getting upset with Dave most times always revealed how Important I was to him, he would send his elder sister to apologize on his behalf and dropping a beautiful love note that usually made me giggle.
After one beautiful Sunday service, one of our favourite ushers walked up to me all smiling and asked about Dave. Faking my smile I was about to answer oh he’s fine when a teardrop ran down my left cheek.
I followed Ms Clair to the usher inner room and narrated how we lost Dave to the cold hands of death.
Coming back from Christmas Eve service, Dave and I decided to take a stroll back home with our fingers locked whilst counting the stars as we walk through a lonely path. We decided not to drive back home in the family’s car, and we agreed to sneak out of the church when the priest was about to share the grace in fellowship.
I remember we loved doing a duet of ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran featuring Beyoncé’ and me all singing my Beyoncé verse all loud when some hooligans stopped us and while one of them was trying to tease me by touching my breast, Dave tried to stop him and it resulted into a fight which got Dave stabbed and bled to death before help could arrive.
It broke me to the extent that I refused going to church whenever it was Christmas Eve just to avoid the bad memories flashing through. My PTSD finally stopped when my father got transferred to the Northern part of the country and all the family had to move with him and I had to live with the fact that Dave was gone forever.
We’ve all had one weird Christmas experience that no matter how we try to forget, has become a scar that will forever be there. Here are some of the experiences shared by others;
“My weird Christmas experience was when I was 12. My parents couldn’t buy fish, let alone chicken or Christmas clothe for me. We ate ‘Beske’ – a four-edged thing made from soya beans. Normally, we do eat it, but eating it on a Christmas day, it tasted like suffering mixed with shampoo and sprinkled with salt. It was a bitter experience, but it taught me a good lesson.”
“My weirdest past Christmas must be my first Christmas after mumsy died…the celebrations was just different because it wasn’t like it used to be”
“My weird Christmas experience was when my mother couldn’t buy me a nice ready made and only got me what she could afford. I was seven years old and ready made dresses then used to be a competition amongst my age group. I was teased by my other friends so bad that I went to cry in a corner. This experience brought low self-esteem until I had to deal with it and get it over within secondary school”
“As for this, I have reply never celebrated Christmas. Nothing feels weird.. I’m always home”