Monday, December 22, 2008

One Christmas Eve

I began to hate God at the tender age of five.
I hated him for allowing my parents to be killed in a fatal accident. I hated him for pushing me out in the rain, cold and alone. I hated him for everything.
With my parents dead and gone, I was forced to stay with an aunt, who blamed me for everything that ever went wrong.
“Kolawole!” she would scream my name and I would run fearfully to her, fully aware that her wrath could bring down the earth.
“Where is the money I put on the table?” she would roar at me.
“I didn’t take any money. Aunty, I swear.”
“Liar! You better tell me the truth now or I would put an end to your miserable life!”
“But I didn’t take the money.” Though innocent, she would cut my flesh with razor blade and rub the wound with fresh pepper. I endured this hell until I could take it no more. Barely ten years old, I wandered into the street.
The street brimmed with pain; its calloused hands offered nothing but venom and good grief. Days spent rummaging rubbish for food and nights passed under the frosty bridge tore my pride apart. Everyday, I saw fear, every hour, I saw tears. But in all these dark hours, I never saw God. I was certain he was long dead. So I thought until I clocked twelve.
It was Christmas Eve and also my birthday. The sky glimmered with dazzling fireworks. There was colourful harmony in the air but in my heart, there was deep sadness. Earlier in the day, I had wandered and saw kids like me. They were all happy because they had everything to be thankful for. Their beautiful attires glowed, and my beautiful rags showed, I felt so low. In shame, I retired to my lonely abode, wondering how the world could be so wrong.
My head was still bowed in self-pity when I heard the voice.
“Merry Christmas.” It said and I looked up to see an old man full of grey. I hissed at him.
“Leave me alone.”
“Why should I?” he moved closer with a smile.
“Can’t you see it is going to be a beautiful Christmas?”
“Maybe to you. Why not just go away, old man.”
“Can’t you feel him? Can’t you feel the God of Christmas?”
I started to my feet. “I feel nothing. He is probably dead.”
“Oh no my boy. He will never die and he cares so much about you.”
“He does not care about me!” I raised my voice angrily. “He killed my parents!”
“Am sure you don’t mean that. And talking about your parents, they are not happy, you know. Especially your mother.” I hissed at him again.
“Your mother is in heaven but she is not happy because you are angry with God.”
“That is a lie. God killed her.” I looked at him closely. “And who are you?”
“An angel. God sent me to you.”
I refused to be impressed. “Then go and tell him I hate him.”
‘He knows that already. He wants you to know that he cares about you.”
“Tell him he is a liar!”
“He protects you from the danger that rules the street.”
“I hate him!”
“He thinks about you every seconds and he wants you to know that.”
“I don’t care!”
A moment passed and he said. “Your mother sends you a gift.”
My spirit lifted at that. “Mother?”
He gave me a wrapped package. Anxiously, I unwrapped it and inside the box was a beautiful photo album. I opened it and saw pictures of myself.
In one of the pictures, I was sleeping under the bridge and a big snake crawled towards me. An angel appeared and killed the snake. It immediately brought back the memory of a dead snake three days earlier. In another, I was leaning against a wall which was about falling. An angel was seen preventing the wall from falling on me. I looked at the angel, then back at the album.
I saw how an angel put some fresh fruits where I could easily find it; tend to me when I was sick. These sights softened my heart and I cried.
“Yes you could not see it but God has always been there, caring for you. And now, he has prepared for you new parents. They would make you feel loved again.”
Through tears, I said “He has?”
“Oh yes. Come with me.” He led the way and I followed. I had no idea how but I found us standing in front of an oak door, right inside a beautiful garden. The angel asked me to knock and I did. The response was immediate, as if someone had been waiting all day.
When the door swung open, it revealed a pleasant looking middle-aged lady. I could see in her eyes that she could not believe what she was seeing.
“Oh my God!” she exclaimed. “Darling, come here immediately. He is here at last!” she was joined by her husband. He was surprised too.
“Oh my God be praised!” he too exclaimed. “Hi my young man, please come in. we have been expecting you.”
Seeking a reassurance from the angel, I turned back. What I found was nothing. He was gone. Probably to rescue another lost boy, on a beautiful Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 19, 2008


of hushed whisper
amidst swaying trees

of stolen gazes
amidst wary crowd

I am tired
of loving the moon
and not saying so