�Hey Joe, wake up� I heard someone calling my name, as a light tap lands on my shoulder.
�Gosh, who the hell is disturbing my sleep this morning� I thought, flickering my eyes open as it landed on Jones
�What the hell guy�why are you waking me up, it�s barely morning� I stated, getting on my feet, yawning loudly, as I rub my eyes gently.
He rolled his eyes
�It�s morning already, it is few minutes past six�: Jones stated, going to pick up one of my jackets
�Oh�but it�s still damn early, the others are still asleep�
�Yea and this is the best time for we to have a stroll, before they wake. Because when they do, we will start the morning prayers and later on, go for our morning chore. And trust me, everyone is included in the chores� he winked, as my eyes became clearer. I stared at my other two cousins, who were still sleeping soundly, covering their body properly with the blanket with them.
I collected the jacket from him, going over to were my shoes as we stepped out, into the cold morning
�Phew�it�s damn cold out here� I mumbled, covering my head with the head warmer. I stared at Jones, he was fully dressed too
�Yes, Christmas comes with winter� He chuckled
�But it�s fun, because we would get to ski on the ice�
�Sure� I replied
�So Jones, how long have you been staying here in the countryside, or do you only come here for holidays� I asked, as he shook his head
�No..i live here with grannie Maggie. I have been staying with her for six years now. I also school here� he replied, I nodded
�So how is the school over here, is it fun�
�Yes�I love my school; it�s one of the best schools in this environment. We are always in for any competition� he smiled proudly
�So you prefer the countryside to the city?� I asked
�Well I have once lived in the city too, but I still prefer it here�
�Why, isn�t this place lonely� I asked
�Naahhh�it isn�t lonely, it�s just a bit quiet, and I love it this way. Unlike the city where everything is rowdy and all that, we rarely get into danger over here. Everyone is kind and loving, always ready to help one another. But in the city, it�s always mind your business� he scoffs
I laughed out
�And trust me when I say that many people are not currently in their homes, because they left to spend the holiday in the city. When they all get back, it won�t be as lonely as your think�
�So what about you�do you prefer it here..or the city� he asked
�Well, I love the city� I smirked, he nodded with a smile
�Why�if I may ask�
�Because I get to see beautiful girls everyday� I snickered, he laughed out
�What? Come on, we gats lots of pretty and innocent girls over here. The city has pretty girls too, but most of them ain�t close to the word innocent� he stated
�Good, I�m glad you recognize that. Come on, let�s me take you the river, you will love the sight� He muttered, dragging my hand as we run along
Getting to the river, I marveled at its sight. It is looking crystal clear, so pure and smells nice. The trees around are also fresh, having yummy fruits on it
�This place is beautiful� I muttered unconsciously
�You will never find a place like this in the city� Jones smirked, as I frown
�Hey guy, are you trying to convince me to come stay here in the village?� I asked
�It�s gonna be fun, you know� he stated, as I sighed
�I and my friends come here always to pluck some fruits, those trees produce every month; it hasn�t for once dried up� he stated, taking off his shoes, I took mine off also
�It looks yummy� I salivated
�It more than delicious�trust me� Jones resorted
We walked closer towards the tree, and managed to pluck down some fruits. We walked closer to the river, and wash of the dirt. I didn�t waste any time in digging into mine enjoying its sweet flavor.
�Hmmm�it�s so delicious� I muttered as Jones grinned
�Well I prefer the tree behind; delicious will be an understatement, if you taste it�
�Yes� he nodded
�Fine, let�s go get some� I yelled out in ecstasy as he laughs out
We continued our journey to get behind the river, but stopped on hearing something
�What is that sound� I asked. He shrugged
�Sounds like someone, hitting the tree. I think someone came here before us� he replied, as we came closer to where the tree is, but saw no one.
�Hmm�no one is here�I think we were just hearing things� Jones stated, walking further towards the tree and just immediately, someone came out from behind
�Arrghhh�� He yelled out in fear, taking a step backward before regaining his composure
�What the hell Enkel, you scared the hell out of me� I heard him say, as I walk closer
�I didn�t scare you, you were just being a jellyfish� I heard a voice say, it was that of a female. She was backing me at first, as she seems to be gathering the fruit she plucked, placing them in a bag. She stood up abruptly and turned to face me; I almost lost my breath on seeing her. Is she an angel or river goddess, I thought.
She glared softly at me for a while before turning to leave. She picked up her bag and left before I could think of introducing myself.
�Hey Joe..are you ok� Jones asked, bring me back to reality
�You zoned out� he said, grinning
�Are you mocking me now, why the grin�
�Well�she is a beauty right? Too bad she doesn�t speak to anyone� he stated, as my shoulders dropped
�What�s her name?�
�I don�t know��
�You don�t know, but you just called her a name�
�Oh�It�s Enkel, that�s what they call her, but it doesn�t sound like a name to me� he shrugged
�Ok�so where does she live�
�She is a neighbor, the house closer to ours. She lives with her grandpa
�Oh�perhaps she was the one I saw last night� I thought
�Come on, let�s get some fruits and get out of here, before the panther attack us� he stated, as I gasp
�Panther�wait there is a panther here?� I asked
�It�s just a myth, I haven�t seen one since I started coming here with my friends. They are old time stories told by our grandparent, they ain�t real.
�Ok..� I muttered, hoping what he said is true. I won�t wanna meet any panther
We got back home just in time before everyone woke up; only the maids were doing some cleanings. We dropped the fruits we got in the kitchen and took some to our room. The other two cousin were already awake, but yet to get up from bed
�Is that the wild fruit� One of them asked, as Jones glared at him
�No�it�s the domestic fruit� He snickered as I couldn�t help but laugh, he also laughed along
�Don�t mind him, he loves the fruit so much, but too lazy to climb a tree� Jones scoffs
The whole family later came together to have the usual Morning Prayer; and we went about our chores before settling down to eat. We shared the fruit we got between the little cousins and went about the game Jones was talking about. We started with the skiing game
�Hey cousin�.are you good in this� Lily, the crazy cousin asked handling me the skiing shoe
�How are wish you see me when I ski with my friends in the city, I replied, winking at her. She isn�t the only crazy one you know�
�Fine, let�s see who got the perfect moves� She said as we started the game with the little ones cheering us. To be sincere Lily is really good, but I am surely the king. We ended the game with me beating her in a race
�Hey bro, I think you will be taking Lily�s position soon, she is just too bossy, thinking she is the only perfect one� Jones scoffs as I laughed out. But my mind wasn�t really in the game, I was busy thinking of the pretty angel I saw earlier.
I tried taking a stroll towards where she stays, but didn�t see her until evening time. She was coming from somewhere with two heavy bags.
�Gosh this is my chance� I smiled inwardly
�Hey�let me help you with one� I offered
�Don�t worry, I can hold up with the two bags, my house isn�t far anymore�
�But I insist� I resorted, giving her one of my charming smiles
�Ok�thanks� She stated, releasing one of the bags. We walked along, not saying anything, not until I started a conversation.
�I�m Joe�I came here for the Christmas holiday..and you are?�
�Enkel�I live here with my grandpa�
�Enkel? That isn�t a name, is it?�
�Well that�s what they call me� She snapped, but not annoyingly though
�Oh..ok�.it sounds like German��
�My Grandpa is German� she replied. I nodded, really trying to cheek in my happiness. I can�t believe this angel is talking to me, even after Jones said that she doesn�t talk to anyone not to talk of a stranger. Is it my cuteness that is working or what?
�So..pretty Enkel�mind if you tell me more about yourself�
�It�s just Enkel..not pretty Enkel� She cooed, I chuckle
�What if I decide to add that�you know�you are pretty�
�Thanks�but I will prefer just Enkel�
�Ok�so about yourself��
�I�m sorry Joe, but I think I have spoken more than enough to you. Thanks for your help; my house is close by already�
�Ok�but will you still come out before night time�
�No�I need to make dinner�� She replied sternly as I sighed out
�Ok..that will be next time then..it�s nice talking to you Enkel�
�You too�thanks once again� She replied, taking the bag from me as she heads in. I watch her leave with a soft smile on my face. She seems tough, but I will melt her
�So you got to speak with her� Jones asked as I explained my meeting with Enkel to him over dinner. We decided to have ours in our room
�Yes, gosh, she is just so beautiful� I smiled. He chuckled
�You see, I told you we got beautiful girls over here� he winked
I nodded in support
�That�s really strange though, Enkel rarely talk with anyone, aside a normal greeting. Let�s say you got some charms to make her speak to you for that long� He said, taking a gulp of his drink
�Yes�I�m really handsome you know� I winked, he rolled his eyes
�Yea..everyone knows that, so stop rubbing it on our faces. But mind you, she isn�t a b!tch, so don�t think of doing the wrong thing�
�Come on, do you think really bad of me�
�No�I know you are not that kind of guy..but sometimes, you act like a retired playboy� he wriggled his brow as I laugh
�Well I was kind of a playboy, but not anymore. I once had a girlfriend though. We broke up the day before I came here�
�We ain�t meant for each other, it can�t just work� I explained as he nodded.
The next day I waited again to see Enkel, but it seems like she won�t be coming outside. I never imagine the holiday to be fun over here, but let�s just say my favorite cousin, Jones, made it possible. But still, it won�t be complete if I don�t get to talk to that damsel. After waiting for a long time, I noticed it was late so I had to go in.
�Did you get to see her� Jones asked, I shook my head
�No� I mumbled sadly. He tapped my shoulder
�Don�t worry, you can try again tomorrow�
�Tomorrow�is 23rd..i really need to see her� I thought in my mind
It repeated itself again the next day. After doing my morning routine, having breakfast and doing some chores, I went towards her building, but find it hard to call her out. The doors where firmly close, I can�t even see a thing from where I stood, except the German shepherd that was placed in a cage in the compound, staring fiercely at me, like it wanna eat my balls. Gosh, that�s a weird thought.
I went back in sadly, and decided to go back in the evening, but still the same. Enkel is nowhere to be found, is she really inside, I thought. It�s been two days since I saw her last, and my time is running up over here. We will be leaving immediately after Christmas, and today is 23rd.
I still didn�t see her till the end of the day. I slept with sadness in my heart, hoping to see her again, at least, one last time.
The next morning, I woke up to the sound of a cock crow. It was still very early, as around the time I went on a stroll with Jones. I went towards the window and pulled up the drapes. My heart jumped into my mouth when I saw a figure standing by the window right in the bungalow ahead of me. It�s Enkel
I couldn�t see her face, and she wouldn�t see mine too, but I was sure that she is the one. She also stood there, looking at me for a while before leaving. I checked the time, and it was just few minutes to six. I jumped into my shoes, picking out my favorite jacket and a head warmer. I went back to stare at the window and noticed her figure, going out of the house. Damn I won�t miss this opportunity. I walked up to Jones who was still asleep, tapping him softly
�Hey bro, I will be back soon� I stated
�Huhn�where are you going?� he asked, still feeling sleepy
�Going for a walk�I might get some fruits while coming back�
He nodded with his eyes still closed
�Don�t stay long� I heard him mumbled, before going back to sleep
�Yes I won�t �I replied even if he can�t hear me. I hurried out of the room, towards the house exit, gently opening the door, to avoid waking anyone. The cold breeze hits my face on getting outside, but that won�t stop me also.
I walked down the path that leads to her house and cited her figure walking towards the river direction, perhaps she is going to get some fruits. I smiled in glee and raced behind her.
How is your Christmas going…
Love y’all ?
Vickie Dora ?