He put his head in his hands. It was one of those days. He had to get his big sister, Karuna, a present. He definitely had to. He put his hand in the pocket of his pants. There was some money there. He smiled, then groaned as he glanced at his phone screen. It was his secretary:
‘Sir, the artist is on the way for his check.’
He counted the money out of what he had found. There was barely Five Thousand Naira left. The various obligations flooded into his mind: this debt, that debt, that service, that payment… The carpenter working on the office shelves; the artist. Ah! What could he do? His secretary was soon in his house. He gave her the money for the carpenter and also the artist. The designs and settings for the new book project were telling on him. He wondered why he made such a move. Ah! How many people read books these days?
He picked up his phone to call Karuna but changed his mind almost immediately. Not for the first time in his thirty years of existence, Vasega was at a loss of what to do next. He scratched his head once more and decided that a note would be better. He couldn’t bear to let Karuna hear his voice. He sent her a couple of text messages. Then he sent different messages to Tunde, her husband. After all, it was their birthday. The ‘Delivered’ assured him she had seen it. He logged into Facebook and discovered that his younger sister had beat him to it. She had sent a birthday wish. Sonia had been her witty self wishing their big sister the best. She had added a message for Tunde. The couple had replied and Vasega could almost hear their laughter. Writing anything now would be to ape what Sonia had done. It would seem that she had taken the shine. He sighed once more. If only Sonia hadn’t tagged him, perhaps he wouldn’t have seen it. But well, he had sent Karuna some text messages. He smiled. But she hadn’t replied, was she mad at him? What of her husband? He remembered at that moment that his last exchange with them hadn’t ended on a good note. Were they still pissed at him? Sigh.
He stepped out to his day, hoping that he would meet some miracle. He didn’t find the needed miracle. He wondered if the parcel he had sent previously would get to them in time. If only he had sent them earlier, it might have been the perfect gift. He was sure that his poems would have been just the thing for her. She had been asking for them for a long time. Oh well. The book was on its way and he smiled as he thought of what he had inscribed in the book. Again, his smile disappeared. He couldn’t really remember what he had written in the book. He knew it had come from his heart though, and that each word written had carried a prayer of gratitude, love and the very best wishes for Karuna, who had come to be like a mother to him. This was not minding that their mother was still alive. Thoughts of his mother came to him. The strong woman had remained a source of strength, and every other attribute to the seven of them. Age wasn’t smiling on her but she worked on with the strength of ten horses meeting their every need. Even with the independence of her children, she stood for them aiding their every project, meeting them in every need from emotion to finance. Tears slowly came to Vasega’s eyes as he thought of them all, his sisters and his mother; such amazing women. He cleaned his dry cheek and discovered the tears had only been thought. The strength of their mother had passed to Karuna. She had seven children too and was twice the support of their mother to her family and siblings. She had stood for Vasega many times and it was for this reason that he decided that he would do something for her this year no matter what.
It was dusk as he arrived home. He picked the new book and looked at the poems within. There was one by the writer, Su’eddie Vershima Agema, ‘God bless on another day.’ He smiled as he read the lines again. Su’eddie had told him it was an extempore poem written for some of his sisters – Karuna and Sonia’s name had appeared there. Extempore indeed. He mentally dedicated the poem to his sisters too (it wasn’t only that fellow who had sisters!) He felt lame though. Why use another person’s poem when he could do same. What did poetry take? Wasn’t it just an expression of one’s innermost feelings? Pbtttt! The ink of his thoughts flowed extempore too:
For the many years you came by
You reduced the length of a sigh
The sun shines but sometimes the cloud covers it
You are the line that is on every cloud knit
Words never might paint the length
Of love that our hearts measure out
But feel the power of its looming strength
The passion would cure your every doubt…
He wondered if she would like it. He thought more and decided that it was the least he could do. Then he discovered there was more, so he brought out his pen and wrote a letter:
Dearest sister mine, you might have left our lands long but the stars, I know, shine down there like they shine here. The moon might come out a bit late but it would still be the same one that we pursued across surfaces on many watered plains. I feel the wrinkles coming but smoothen them and let the play of the day continue to colour your every moment. This, I know, would rid you of every torment. It might be night here but day still tickles you there – though I can guess that even on your day, you would be more servant than served… Dance with Tunde sis, enjoy the essence of that love that drove you wild. Look at the beauty of your several children, of our siblings and drink of the thoughts of us on this side. We might not send you all we wish but know, that even as we force words to flow, words that our feelings hardly show, you occupy a place that you might never know…
If I would ask for another sis, I would probably ask for one closer (hee hee hee)… There might be many that life has blessed us with but you, are one that remains a light none can dare compare to shine with…
Happy Birthday sis, your brother, Vasega…
He dropped his pen and stepped out. He looked to the skies. He noticed Orion’s belt. It held a promise to the traveller:
‘Keep her safe,’ Vasega whispered ‘keep her safe.’ As he thought of Tunde holding her in his usual possessive way, Vasega wondered if his prayer was to the stars, the heavens, Aôndo or to Tunde. Maybe all of them. He still looked at the stars as if expecting a sign. At that moment, a shooting star passed. He did the sign of the cross and prayed for everyone else in his life. He thought of his sister Sonia and wondered if he would call her. He brought his phone out and discovered he had a message: the couple had replied him earlier: ‘We would celebrate for you’ Tunde had said. ‘Turkey and chicken. Thanks Vasega. I’m happy today for life and grace. You good?’ Just like her to check on him at all times. Vasega also had a missed call! Ouch! He had to call another lovely lady too. For the first time in his day, he smiled fully. His sister would feel his heart’s wish. Then he groaned: he had kept someone waiting on the line. Ouch!
Friday August 9th, 2013. 22:00hrs. Nigerian Time.
Fiction o!! 😉
- GOD BLESS ON ANOTHER DAY (A Poem) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema (sueddie.wordpress.com)