“Happy birthday to you
“Happy birthday to you
“Happy birthday, happy birthday
“Happy birthday to you”
It was my sixteenth birthday and my parents organized a party for me at our house, my friends were there, my age mates from the estate were there and my favourite teacher. I was elated because for the first time in my life my parents agreed to organize a party for me.
“Hello everybody, hello.” I looked up and saw dad with a mic, dad wants to give a speech or what? “Unbelievable.” I exclaimed.
“I want my pearl Tekome to come upstage please.”
I walked gallantly to where he was standing amidst ovations, I was shy but I had to maintain (My crushes in the estate were there and yes I have more than one)
“Um….” I could fear in his voice but I wasn’t certain. “I want to once again congratulate Tekome on her birthday and in the presence of you all give her a present. A very important one my dad got for me when I was her age. It’s no ordinary that I’m giving it to her now. Tekome, I love you, mummy loves you and same with your siblings and we ask God to preserve you and keep you safe. Amen.”
“Amen.” We chorused.
My trio friends with arms stretched hugged me tightly. “We love you too though our names were skipped.” We giggled.
The part went on until 6pm, I could notice that the place was getting darker a little breezy. I held tightly to the little parcel in my hand while I left those that were cleaning up the place and went straight to the balcony, my dad never leaves that place until 8pm. He was sitting in an arm chair facing outside and it seemed like he was expecting me.
“Sit down.” He mentioned me to sit down in another chair close to him.
“Dad, what was it that you gave to me? You haven’t bought me anything for the past 2 years except food or sweet.”
“I’ve always known presents are opened when given, not asking the person the content. Open it, it’s something special.”
I unwrapped it slowly until it revealed something like a wristwatch. But it wasn’t looking like my normal wristwatch or chain wristwatch, it was glittering and it was quite big and manly. “Daddy, you bought me a wristwatch, a manly wristwatch dad” I sounded sarcastic. “ You had probably forgotten I was I’m a girl.”
“It’s not a wristwatch dear, now you have to listen very carefully to me. What is in your hand is La Poitrine meaning Chest in French. My dad gave it to me when I was 16, there are 6 other ones like this. My dad was a stunch Christian but also a great scientist that spent a later part of his life at Paris. Somehow he learnt that the earth was one day going to fold up like a curtain it was successfully attacked by some demons they termed Neurophites. They will fight against earth with their advanced machines and inject victims with a serum that is going to make them not to think straight especially Christians and once they get you, you are doomed. Then my father thought of something that could give immunity to the marked and they 7 scientists made this, I will show you how it works later.”
“In each of the 7 families a person was selected to handle it and from my dad’s, I was. But now I’m over 50 and for efficiency I have to transfer it to someone else, that is you.”
“Why not Aaron or Tola or even Aunty Tobi?” I asked.
He smiled. “You were chosen”
“I don’t know if you will ever find the remaining holders but I know somehow you will scale through. Let me stop here, don’t worry about school tomorrow, just digest all what Ive told you, this isn’t some game, it’s the earth at stake that you must rescue.”
“Okay dad…….. I will talk to you later.” I walked back to my room, there was more to think about. I’m just sixteen for God’s sake.” I said as soon as I laid on the bed. “Earth, that is Nigerian, the whole of Africa, United States, United Kingdom, over how many hundreds of countries.” I was going paranoid. “What will I be doing? Probably holding a gun, standing in the middle of the earth In the sky and shoot them down, yes I’ll stab them in the throat, heart, anywhere.” I imagined myself as a beast covering more than half of the earth. I screamed with my whole energy.
“But on a second thought, why am I having them, the words I hear too?” it wasn’t up to a minute when I entered my boat of thoughts that I started dozing. I was too tired.
It was a long sleep I had, I slept throughout that day till the next morning by 7:03am with a headache. My head was throbbing badly because I had slept longer than usual. Dad had told them not to wake me, very surprising. I yawned and stretched my body real hard.