Birds clattering while sitting on electricity wires. Our caged parrot had found a new word of the day, “Hurray”. Not to be left out, Richie, our new kitty that recently became my alarm clock , caressing my cheeks and got me woken. Our dog, Beethoven, had been bathed clean and the lawn, close by the house, mown neatly to the ground level by the gardener.
It was a hazy, sunny atmosphere at the brisk of dawn. The weather devoid of humidity that one’s lips could bled open on trial to extend his/her chin. The trees that claps its leaves and bade us goodbyes each passing eve had begun to shed their leaves, making the branches to appear in their birthday suits. Yeah! The enthralling and alluring nature of the trees which hitherto had been inscribed by the ever blooming leaves and by some that bore enticing fruits have deserted them like a prodigal son who has squandered his father’s wealth extravagantly on a frivolous lifestyle. The soil has become so hot and dry, very swift to lavish its dust generously at the slightest breeze. These were the myriad of events that comes with the harmattan at St. Thompson’s street.
Mom had earlier told me the night before being 30th December, that we would be celebrating the New Year's Eve with our relatives, both distant and close. Aha! I exclaimed, my heart throbs in ecstasy, my lips quivered like one who has found a long lost brother with no words emanating from it. I felt dangling butterflies in my stomach at the arrival of such news. Though, welcoming the New year in was a ritual performed by my family, (as we had to perform our ablutions before the event which glitters the moment) but this one was somewhat different as I would be turning 20 as the midnight hour chimes. Then, thus came the fantasy of having a first kiss with my girl friend rushing through the frontal lobe of my cerebellum like a tornado in search of a place to exert its devastating effect. Though ,this didn’t linger farther when mom made an apparition distracting my thoughts with the new clothes she had bought for me to wear at the occasion, at least to prove a point that she was a doting mother. [smiles]
The ceremony was scheduled at 10pm. Mom had drafted a list of family and friends and called via the telephone, at the early hours of the day's morning “necessary guest and personnels”; ( Master of the Ceremony, Comedians, Clowns and neighbours ,whom have turned her "besties" within a space of 3months after our packing in, at St. Thompson’s street) , as she firmly believed, for their graceful presence. While she was doing so, I reached out for the cell phone in my ”baggy trousers” to put a call across to Rosabella, my high school girlfriend informing her of the impending ceremony. Though, one would think I was being a good pal by the invite, but the ulterior motive is yet to be unraveled when the cock crows at dawn. [grins]
Our house was well decorated by the talk of the town event planners and well lit with various colour shades of disco lights and bulbs. Variety of dishes were prepared by renowned chefs. Desserts was prepared by mom, this was where she was in her elements. The aroma exuding from the kitchen had already triggered my salivary duct that I began drooling like a famished dog ready to pounce on its prey. I had no option than to quench this ravaging thirst with a glass of red wine as mom had earlier instructed, “no eating until dinner is served”.
Guest started trooping in at the late hours of the evening precisely at 6pm, starting with my mother’s immediate younger sister and her hubby, the couple which I loved the most, as they sure know how to entertain their guest in this case, I, each time I visit. Hmm, there came the family which mom had once told me their parents never gave consents to their union. She said, “they felt they were so much engrossed in love and had to elope to a town in New Jersey were they got married and consummated their love”. I do tag them the “Romeo and Juliet couple” as in the Shakespearian novel.
The room's ambient was now filled with varieties of cologne worn by the attending couples. There came my grannies at the late minutes of 8 o' clock being brought by my mom’s elder brother in his newly bought creamy Volkswagen. Perfect timing, I muttered to myself as I was already yearning for the mouth watering “Pure Bliss biscuit” they usually brought as part of their “kola”. Everyone was chattering and this was a nice avenue for a "get together party", as we also had the time to play with our long seen and almost forgotten cousins. No one ever was bothered with the question, Where are we gonna spend the night?, as they had no iota of qualms that there were enough rooms for each family because our house seems more like an extended family home.
Yeah! Finally, it’s here. It’s exactly 10pm. These were the words of the Master of Ceremony (MC), after about 30 minutes of his arrival. Everyone gathered round the well trimmed, round center dining table. Each staying closely to their niche.
About Rosabella, hmm... she arrived an hour late, after the dinner had been savored, but this wasn’t a killer joy as she came right on time the actual fun ( games session) was about to kick off which to me was the main crux of the whole ceremony. There, we played devil’s pocket, I dare you game, Ludo and lots more. Jokes were chipped in bits by bits during the games with smiles lighting everyone’s face. Clowns were not left out as they garnished the occasion with their funny faces, acts and tricks.
Time was drawing nigh to the break of dawn and everyone was in anticipation. A karaoke session was in play and those who could dance never hesitated. They made a brief flex of their muscles and rocked every hip pop songs played. I stealthily stole this moment to be with Rosabella and said to myself, its high time I told her how I felt. Indeed, she was as gorgeous as a princess, her eyes brightened like the morning star and she was the talk of the class back then in school. I surreptitiously dragged her to the place I termed “the reserved spot” there and then, a young lad poured out his heart felt emotions. She was muddle headed like one hit by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as she was finding time to assimilate the words but she finally concurred, saying vehemently... " I feel the same way for you, Lary".
Yippie! I growled, as I checked the watch caressing my wrist, it was 30 seconds to the wake of dawn. The Master of the ceremony ordered everyone to grab their glasses, I could see wives eyes holding sternly the gazes of their husbands to theirs, chin extensions, so charming that some produced dimples, I looked closely on Rosabella's face and found some traces of blush, we made a 10 seconds countdown and thus came my much awaited first kiss after the countdown to midnight on New Year's Eve. [winks]