“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Meso…..,” I opened my eyes to my family singing right beside my bed. I couldn’t believe days had gone by and it was my birthday all of a sudden. I covered my face with my palms trying to hide my tears of joy. My parents had always celebrated my birthday but never had they seem so excited to surround my bed early in the morning to sing happy birthday to me with a cake. It was so weird to see them sing for me like this. Normally they would just wish me a happy birthday, pray for me and tell me they would fry chicken for me. I mean, they used to celebrate my birthday at times but It wasn’t regular, especially in this manner. I removed my face and looked up as uncle Sam slowly walked into the room. My smile became wider and I giggled with joy in my heart.
“It was uncle Sam that got the cake for you and told us to come and sing for you!”Esther said and jumped up with excitement when she saw him.
I guess she shouldn’t have snitched that way because I suddenly became a little sad. Although, I still smiled on the outside to show my appreciation I wasn’t really happy. Probably because I already thought my parents must have been so excited for me to decide to buy a cake and come sing beside my bed. I pushed that to the back of my mind and focused on what was going on at the moment. “Blow out your candles! Blow out your candles!” Esther yelled. I smiled at her and blew out the twelve candles that stood on the cake as they clapped and prayed for me. I thanked everyone and they all left the room except uncle Sam. He smiled at me and sat on the bed beside me. He stared at me for a moment and finally asked if I liked my cake. I said yes and thanked him for buying it for me.
“Anything for my love,” he said.
I just smiled at him and he hugged me. His arms were around me for a while which seemed weird until we heard Esther yelling out my name before he suddenly stood up and said he would talk to me later. I stood up, went in to take a shower and later went to spend the rest of the day with my family. Senior Daniel even texted me and wished me happy birthday he said he even had a gift for me and would give me when we resume school. I also got calls from some of my friends wishing me, happy birthday. I was so happy all through the day and didn’t let anything ruin it for me.
A week later……
“Uncle Sam, please leave me alone. I don’t want to do that with you.”
“Just once and that’s it. Meso please do it for me. Don’t you love your uncle? Just once” Uncle Sam held me as he was begging me.
I was crying and telling him I didn’t want to do it with him before I woke up to sweat running down my forehead and tears running down my eyes. I just had a very confusing, weird but scary dream. Why was I crying in my dream? Why was uncle Sam begging me? I asked myself. I sat up when I realized Esther was beside me. She said she had been waking me up but I just kept saying,”No! No! No!” I just told myself it was a dream and let it go. It was the first day of school after our Christmas break and I couldn’t wait to see my friends and school father. While I was moisturizing my body, Frank suddenly walked in. I immediately grabbed the towel that was beside me and covered my nakedness. I couldn’t believe that just happened. Why does my day have to start this way?
“Ah! Sorry oo, I tink say you dey for bathroom. I dey look for Esther.” he said when he saw me naked.
I felt like using the bottle of cream in my hand to throw at his mouth. He just had to walk in at that moment. I grumbled in annoyance and quickly dressed up before he would come in again and say it was a mistake. I hissed when I was done dressing up and went to have my breakfast before leaving for school. Frank already took Esther to school since he was the one who usually takes her while I went to meet my friend who lived two blocks away from my house, so we could go to school together.
After school, my school father sent for me so I went to see him in his class. When I got there, all his friends that were with him started hailing him and smiling at us.
I couldn’t understand why.
He just smiled at them and said, “You guys now, Na my school daughter oo.”
I just stood there in confusion until he asked me to hug him. I found it really strange and it became really awkward between us because I had never hugged him before and I never even hugged my own class boys. I didn’t want to cause more awkwardness so I just hugged him. All his friends were just raising their brows and winking at him. They sure looked funny. He later reached for his bag and brought out something in a gift wrap.
“Happy birthday!” he said as he handed the gift to me.
Smiling, I thanked him and then he said I could go and insisted that we talk on the phone later. As usual, I went to meet my friend who had been waiting for me so we could go home together. Later that night, I spoke with senior Daniel on the phone and he apologized for the behavior of his friends. I told him it was okay and I found it rather funny than upsetting and he sighed in relief before saying goodnight. In a week’s time, I was going to the hostel as a border. My mum had broken the news to me the night before we resumed school. She said one of her friends told her that the boarding house was very good for training students and so she told my dad about it and they both decided I become a boarder. I was a bit excited and sad. I was definitely going to miss home but I was excited to experience the life as a boarder. All my friends who were boarders already talked on how they found the boarding house both tough and interesting. There was always something to talk about whenever you were with a boarder. I couldn’t wait to join them and experience it myself.
To be continued
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