If you missed out on the first post in this series Home For Christmas, read up here
Esther nodded to the beats of Run town’s new hit single, mad over you. She made a note of making a cover for the song as she waved out the window at a childhood friend. Pressing the repeat button on the car she wondered if Sarah would come home for Christmas this year.
She really wanted to show her new car, her 2016 4runner, a car she loved. ‘nahh ‘ she said out loud. Sarah never came home, rarely called and never asked after their niece Saddy. Sometimes Sarah wished she could be like her half sister.
Her phone beeped, indicating a text from Brian. Hope you’re close.. It read. She smiled and turned into the compound. Home for Christmas yet again…
Mr Henshaw stood by the window, watching his children laugh and hug each other. He contemplated calling Sarah. They hadn’t spoken since August. He shook his head deciding against it. She’d call when she wanted to talk, he thought; rolling his aching shoulders.
He worried about her above all her half siblings. Wondered how she fared in Lagos. He hated it there. Hated how busy and noisy it was in contrast to Calabar’s almost lazy flow. He smiled remembering Sarah’s comment on how people left Calabar to work and then came back to spend their money. He missed the dear girl.
After his half sisters left for their rooms, Brian took out his phone to text Sarah. If he called at this time of the year, she wouldn’t answer.
Brian: Hope you’re close?
Sarah: Closer than you think…
Brian: In my heart?
Putting his phone in his pocket he started up the stairs to his father’s study. Inside he found his father behind his desk, a whisky in one hand, his diary in the other. ‘She’s not coming ‘. He said sadly knowing it broke his father’s heart. Sighing and standing up, the old man walked to the window. After a few minutes he turned and spoke to his son; ‘tell the girls I’m coming down’
Sarah got her bags from the taxi’s booth, hoping to God, nothing was broken. She paid the driver and stood looking at the house. Why am I here? She asked herself panicking. A memory of the university’s pre Christmas party floated in. Amidst the laughter, dancing and discussions, she’d suddenly thought of her family. She longed to tease Ingrid mercilessly while Esther laughed and helped out.
She longed to take long drags of cigar with her dad, while her brother looked on in disapproval; to hold Saddy, her deceased sister’s child. Ironically the child was the reason she never went home.
Too many memories, too much hurt. Gathering up courage she opened the gate and walked in. Looking up to her father’s study window, she found it locked. Well they’ll be shocked, she thought smiling. Almost like seeing a ghost….