Do not give up on loving because someone hurt you, there are people out there who still care!
Two weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday, I am a big boy now. My birthday celebrations for this year were like no other. The celebrations started at midnight promptly. It’s the norm here that birthday boys and girls are poured water unto, a culture whose origins I can’t explain and I was no exception. The clock ticked 12:00midnight and, splash! The first swash was swung to my direction. And the next and the next and the next. Good enough, I saw them coming so I was body and soul ready for them. This happened in the compound out in the open at midnight. The world around me was fast asleep, me I was all socked in the fervent-happy-birthday splashes. The perpetrators of the act left me alone in the dark, outside and instructed me to dry up and join them inside! I felt empty, alone and sad.
“Damn them!” – I thought. They were happily inside, warm and calm, I was lonesome, outside and wet.
“How dare they pour me water, then leave me alone, outside and instruct me to dry in the cold, how?” – I felt sad I tell you.
I now know why babies cry when they are born. May be they feel lonesome and cold the way I felt that night. I got lost in that little moment of grief for about five minutes before a door was opened and my towel was passed on to me to dry myself. I took it silently, it was a relief. Then again, the door was slammed shut in my face like I did not belong to the house but belonged to my little cold dark night outside. I dried myself and trudged back in. What met my eyes? A spectacle! The room had drastically transformed into a glow, a cake dubbed ‘Linus @ 25’ had taken centre stage! A tear or two of joy effortlessly cascaded down my cheek. My body shuddered with coldness and elation and my heart melted with joy, I stood there watching in awe. You all need friends like mine, and I swear you do. That sublimation from my somber mood outside to my ecstasy inside caught me unawares. The rest of the night was merry making, joy, laughter, dining and wining.
Day break came fast, the real shining day light of the 19th day of December was at hand.
I have no biological sisters but the Lord blessed me with a couple of female friends who became family among which are twins; Cathy and Carol.
Cathy and Carol have passed the test of time, it’s almost a decade of friendship and we are still counting nothing but pure brotherhood and sisterhood. On my 25th birthday, Cathy decided to rekindle memories of the good old days we have seen together. An invitation had been sent to me a month prior. The invitation over phone by Cathy had said that on my birthday I would be required to carry myself to her place (Cathy’s) for a birthday treat and a celebration of life. There was absolutely no way any sane person would have turned down such an invite. I am 100 percent sane so you know that I didn’t turn it down. More to the invitation, is that it was a timely one. For it was earlier that very day that someone I had thought I had a future with said I was wrong! The invitation was like a cold shower in the middle of the desert. That aside, the day was finally here.
Dressed up spick and span, I started my journey to Cathy’s. Despite the fact that I did not know her place’s location, I had no trouble getting there. She had made several calls to me to ensure that I had the right directions and that everything would move according to her plan.
“I just want to make sure nothing goes wrong,” – that was always her sign out statement on phone.
That girl is a perfectionist I tell you. I was supposed to get there at midday, I got there at a half past 1pm. on reaching, she was breathing heavy something was amiss, already. Something she had strived so much to get rid of. Apparently, I was the first to arrive. I was late. The other two she was expecting to come were not yet there and they were somewhat far, a damn disappointment.
“Sis, we are sorry. Please keep calm, we can’t afford a long face from you, not today. Cheer up,” – I tried to comfort her.
She put that weak elder sibling smile. But I could see that she was disturbed. I tried, the perfectionist in her couldn’t let her rest. I tried my best to put her at rest but she couldn’t until all the rest had arrived at least! Carol and Nicholas finally arrived and that is when smiles were seen and hugs were given. Cathy, Carol, Nicholas and Linus, an amazing quartet made in high school and bonded by singing in church choirs of Maryhill High School and St. Joseph’s Vocational School, had reunited and what a reunion it was! There was a moment of silence and just grin in the room. Every one of us trying to figure out if the moment was real or fictional. Then giggles thereafter when we all recovered from our moments of trance!
The memories were relieved, we laughed out loud, and the worries of this COVID year were expelled.
We all took turns to share our most fond moments as far the quartet is concerned. We told stories of our days in Maryhill and Jovoc picnics, our memories of the Maryhill golden Jubilee celebrations, our transformations after high school, our love lives, to mention but a few.
I was almost forgetting that I was a birthday boy until another cake appeared, the second of the day! I really felt the love that day. I felt young again, I felt loved like I have never been loved before. I forgot every heart break I have ever had. I felt appreciated, I felt a sense of belonging, I felt needed, I felt an urge to live and love. I felt like 2020 has not been so bad a year after all. I felt rejuvenated. I got that feel that people who love people unconditionally, still exist. People who appreciate others still respire, I felt re-energised to not give up on love, yes I felt that.
The messages, friends’ status updates on social media, the calls, the smiles, the hugs, the songs sent to me, the love showered to me. It made me feel very young and lovely again. My 2020 was crowned with love, my 25th birthday was the like no other.
We all need to be loved and appreciated. I hope this write-up encourages someone out there to believe in love again, to love unconditionally, to not give up on doing what is right, and to keep the hope alive. If you are feeling unappreciated today, please do not give up. Someone out there will appreciate and love you like you would want to be loved again.