The sun was up so early the next day after Christmas, even though it isn't so helpful because the weather is still as cold and chilled as ever, of course it's meant to be since it's harmattan season. When the fields are damp with dew and the dawns billow with cold, when the sky is grey or white and the air pale like a ghost. That period when the streets cry of dust, and the streams whimper of thirst, when everything youths and children loves doing is to be under the blanket all the long. That moment when people are in a hurry to travel to some other place to spend their new year's day.

 

The day after Christmas is termed visiting day in Dare's family. Most of the time they go to Dare's family house at Abeokuta to greet his mother. She's an old woman in his late 80's who enjoys being in her children and grandchildren's company. Dare and his family sometimes spend a day or two with her. Damade had been feeling funny since they came back from yesterday's Christmas fun and party. It seems she overplayed and its really taking it's turn on her. "Mum, I don't think I will be able to go with you to Grandma's place" she told her mum after their normal family morning devotion. Dare and Soji were outside reading the day's newspaper while the boys are upstairs in their room. "Why? Don't tell me it's because it's too cold outside oh 'cause I know you like giving flimsy excuses for relevant things such as this" her mum snapped, as she continued dusting the dinning table, not taking note of the seriousness Damade spoke with. "Aha! Mummy, you know I will never miss visiting Grandma for anything on earth. I'm just not feeling too good this morning and I'm also feeling headache" Damade replied with a soft and sober voice. "What's wrong?" Her mum asked looking worried, dropping the napkin she was using to clean the table and touching Damade's forehead to check her temperature. "I don't even know. Just woke up feeling weak and tired" she replied with a frown and wrinkled face. "It must be the stress of yesterday. Go freshen up and find something to eat so you'd be able to take some drugs" instructed her mum "Yes ma" replied Damade, going upstairs "Please call me Philip and Ayoola when you get upstairs. I don't know what is wrong with those boys. See the way they left the whole house like they employed a housemaid to do their chores for them. By the time I'm done dealing them ehn, they will know something bad has gone out of them." Damade's mum blotted out angrily. "Yes ma" replied Damade, making jest of her brothers knowing fully well that they heard their mum. She barged into their room and saw them putting on their slippers hurriedly and rushing downstairs. She laughed the more when she saw them in that state. "Abeg commot for road jhor" said Philip half-seriously as he ran downstairs in a hurry "You don't know any other thing than to laugh abi. See her mouth like yanmayanma" joked A.y as he followed Philip downstairs. Damade went back to her room to freshen up, she later came back downstairs to eat. She was eating when her dad and Uncle Soji came inside. "Damade will not be able to go with us to Abeokuta. She said she's not feeling well" Damade's mum announced as they came in. "Yeah, I was listening to your conversation outside. It's okay, she can stay and rest at home" Dare replied undauntedly then turned to Soji, "Are you still going to Ikoyi this morning?" He asked "Yes I am. I will be back maybe tomorrow or the next. I will let you know how it goes sha" he replied "Alright then" Dare replied and he went upstairs to freshen up. Soji followed. Some minutes later, Uncle Soji came downstairs to announce his departure. The others came afterwards. "Make sure you take enough rest okay? And switch off your phone anytime you want to do that just to avoid any disturbance" instructed Dare as he took his car key and went out of the house and the others followed "Yes sir" Damade replied "please greet grandma for me. Tell her I'd come greet her personally" "No problem" replied her mum as Damade saw them off to the car. She waved them bye and went back into the house. She mostly slept for the rest of the day after taking the pain relieving drugs. "Hello! I'm home!" Announced Uncle Soji the next day. He had been knocking for long and nobody seems to be in reach so he put his mouth into the house through the window. Damade came running downstairs immediately she heard his voice. She isn't completely okay and was deep asleep in her room before Uncle Soji's voice woke her up. "Welcome Uncle Soji!" She greeted with a smile as she opened the door for him and collected his bag. "How are you Damade? And where is everyone? I've been knocking for quite a while" he said, smiling back at her as he entered the house and settling down on the sofa. "I'm getting better. They aren't yet back from Abeokuta. Mummy called me this morning saying they will leave this afternoon. " oh okay " Uncle Soji replied, "please get me a cup of cold water" he added as he stood up to switch on the t.v. "Yes sir" replied Damade as she went into the kitchen. She came out few seconds later with a bottle of cold water and a cup. She drew a small wooden stool closer to him and served him the water. "Thanks angel" replied Uncle Soji. "I can see you really enjoyed your boxing day" Damade said standing beside the small stool. "Yes oooh" replied Uncle Soji as he took the cup of water to drink. "It's been quite a while I saw Jide and his family" he added, after he finished the cup of water, and started flipping the t.v stations. "Ooh! You went to Uncle Jide's place, didn't know sha" said Damade still standing and waiting for him to reply so she could go back to her sleep.

"Yeah" replied Soji absentmindedly, his mind was on which station he was going to watch. Damade noticed this and excused herself.

"Uncle, I'm going back to bed. Let me know if you need something else" announced Damade.

"Oh!" He replied, immediately snapping out of his absentmindedness.

"By the way, how are you feeling now?"

"I'm getting better, thanks Uncle. I just need to rest 'cause I took a drug shortly before you arrived" she said with a dizzy look.

"Alright. I can see it on your face that you are feeling sleepy already" said Uncle Soji with his eyes gazed on her.

"Thanks Uncle" said Damade as she went upstairs.

 

Author: Peace Toluwanimi Odeniyi

Email: tioluwanih@gmail.com