24th December, 2017.
Over and over again, I heard the jingling of bells in an almost perfect symphony with the voice of the choir. It could have passed for a heavenly performance from the St Peter’s Church had the soloist not had her voice crackling like that of an old witch without her potions. The rest of the sermon that night didn’t excite me as much as the carols did. In a minute or two, I was asleep, laying my head on the shoulder of my old grandfather, who seems to have been away from church the moment we arrived.
Somewhere in Jerusalem.
“Mary!It’s gonna be a boy. Bet it with me.” Joseph said saddling the hesitant donkey to the spare room. Mary, a short beautiful black lady, with curvaceous hips and black kinky hair stood at the entrance of the living room carrying a basket of laundry. Setting it down to pick her phone , she dialed her cousin’s number.
” Hey Liz,what’s up?You up for barbeque?”
The answer was a definite YES! Elizabeth loves BQ’s as much as she loves her job at the foundation. She was there in less than an hour.
“Well, Jo keeps talking about how much the baby is gonna be a boy and how much he’d look like him! I wish he’d just give it a break!” Mary said as she welcomed her cousin in.
“You can’t blame him girl! He’s just really excited about the baby. That’s how it was with John you know?” With a wink, Liz spoke to Mary, letting her know that Joseph was right at her back.
Elizabeth didn’t stay for too long. She had left John at home and needed to get back to him and his dad.
“JO!!!” Mary screamed from the kitchen. “I think the baby is coming!”
“What?!the baby is coming! What do I do?!”. Racing to the kitchen, he helped his wife to the living room and placed her on the sofa. Joseph began scrambling through the pile of unfolded clothes on the chair looking for his cell phone.
“112, what is your emergency?”
“My wife is having a baby right now!!and I don’t know what to do!”
“Please calm down sir and make sure she takes smooth and easy breathes ”
” OK….what next?! How do we get this child out?!”
“You don’t!!” Mary screamed moaning loudly ” Just drive me to the hospital!! ”
” Oh yes? The hospital!” Racing to get the keys of his car, his donkey, Max, reminded him of why he was tied to the pole in the spare room.
” Oh no! We can’t go out! There’s a snow storm ”
“Mr? Are you still here?”
Placing his phone back to his ears, Jo gave the attendant an affirmation..
“We didn’t quite get your name”
“We’re gonna give you directions on how to have your baby. Are you ready? ”
” di…rection with an s?? Which means there are multiple things to be done?!..”. He panicked. ” ..ready?….no ….yes….I mean I’ve never had a baby before! “.
” Just do what you’re being told Jo! I’ve also never had a baby remember?! ” Mary screamed, out grabbing the throw pillow .It was obvious she was in pains.
” The lady on the call said for you to lay your back on the pillow ” Mary followed her husband’s directions with no hesitations just as she did with the cooking book. With teary eyes, she looked up to the roof as if it were heaven and said a silent prayer. Joseph did the same in his heart.
” Lord, I know you’re up there and you can hear me. I’m in a lot of pain now and I doubt Jo knows what he’s doing but I trust your will and plan for us. Help us to have this baby. Amen ”
“Push darling…. Push dear” Joseph encouraged her just like he had seen in the movies. He was profusely sweating now as Mary held his hand.
” If you keep holding my hands, I don’t think I’d be able to receive the baby” he said trying to lighten the mood.
” Trying Jo….I’m trying! “. She let go of his hand and held on to the pillow beside her. It took a couple of tries and a final push.
“It’s out! Our baby is out!” Joseph screamed with all excitement.
“Noel noel, noel Noel, born is the king of Israel.” the angelic voices rang out, making heaven leap and my eyes pop open. The service was over and it took over ten minutes to get granny to wake up . With eyes dimly lit, he asked,
“Was it a boy?”. Could it be his age telling on him? He ought to know but as he always says; “Never answer a question on an empty stomach”.
“Go on. Answer” he said prompting me. With a sigh I replied, “I’ll tell you over dinner Gran”.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year!
By: Victoria Aderinto Instagram: @ria_revolution