Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Key

Is there anybody else out there who thinks Christmas is highly commercialized? The advertisements on the television, radio and the malls drain me out. Yes, it’s a day set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ but people have taken a new meaning to it. I am a Christian, don’t get me wrong. The media tends to focus on how we should have the perfect family, have perfect dinners and have that a smile on our faces but the world is not that perfect. Sometimes, things don’t always go perfect as we hope it would.
Enough about bitching…today is Christmas day. My first Christmas with this family that I have come to love so much. I woke up to breakfast in bed. Fred had decided to make the day special for me by starting the day on a high note. After washing up, we joined the family in the lounge area. Some pictures had been laid out on the table. I picked one up and couldn’t help chuckle. It was Fred when he was young-about eight I think. He was dressed in some cowboy boots and plaid shirt. He really looked so cute! Fred’s mom noticed my interest in the pictures so she came and sat next to me and started telling me about the pictures.
“This one was when he was starting his school.” She said giving me a picture of Fred in his school uniform.
I laughed.                                     
“He was so scared that he followed me to the gate crying.” She continued.
“Mum!” Fred said to his mother.
“Catherine, don’t mind him. Continue looking at his pictures.”
After a about two hours or so, one of the servants came and alerted us that lunch was ready. Fred and his father were in the garage. We called them up and we all went to the dining room and served ourselves. For some reason, I didn’t feel that hungry but I didn’t want to upset the parents so I served myself a small portion before having a glass of fresh fruit juice.
The family started giving our gifts after lunch. Fred had got his parents a shopping voucher in a shoe shop. His sibling received a perfume. I presented my cheap gifts to them and they happily received it. The wine that I had bought was immediately opened and we shared a toast. Fred and I received a small black box tied with a ribbon. Fred opened it slowly and inside it, there was a key. We looked at each other before turning our eyes to the others in the room.
“Dad, what is the key for?” Fred asked.
“It is for your car.” Dad answered.
“My car?” Fred asked.
“We bought you guys a car. I don’t like the way you guys hire cars just to be able to come here.”
Tears streamed down my face. I have never received something like this before. It always happens on Tv, not in real life! I quickly woke up and hugged Fred’s dad. This was too much! My perception on Christmas had completely changed! Haha!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Christmas Eve

The holidays were finally here!

The journey to Fred’s home seemed a little bit shorter compared to last time. Maybe it was because I was now used to it, or maybe my excitement on meeting my in-laws! Besides spending time with the family, the trip would provide the perfect opportunity for me to thank them for the work and assistance they provided to us during our wedding not forgetting the honeymoon.

The gate to the estate was opened by a gateman who waved us happily. As we approached the house, we saw Fred’s dad on the doorway ready to receive us into the house. He was dressed in an off white shirt with black trousers. His shoes really caught my eyes; they were made of leather and looked expensive. We got out of the car and walked towards him with our luggage. Fred was the first to hug him then I followed. He hugged me tight like he had just received his long lost daughter.

“Welcome.” He said directing us to the house.

The whole family was inside the house waiting for us. Greeting s went around as we were welcomed. Fred’s mum helped me with the bags and showed me a room at the end of the house where we would be spending. It was a corner room and it was much bigger than the other room I spent on during my last visit. I removed my sweater and joined the family in the lounge area.

“Glad you guys made it.” Fred’s dad started. “I was worried you wouldn’t come.”

“We had planned to come. Sorry about being late, there was traffic along the way.” Fred answered.

“Oh well, welcome home.” He said.                               

“Thank you.” I replied.

“Honey, bring them a drink.” Father said to his wife.

Fred’s mum came with drinks for all of us in the room. His auntie helped in serving us as we were asked about work and our visit to Kenya.

“Thank you so much for the honeymoon package. It was a nice adventure.” I said.

“I knew you guys would like it.” He added. “That place is like a little heaven on earth.”

As Fred continued giving them the adventures we had in Africa, I looked at my wrist watch. It was 3p.m! I was surprised. We had left the city around eleven o’clock then passed by the mall to pick up a few gifts for the family. We later found traffic back log near the main highway on our way here. We were scheduled to arrive here by 2pm but we had lost an hour on the road!

“By the way, we had brought you guys some gifts from Kenya. We bought them from the Maasai people.” Fred said as he came into the room.

We distributed the items to them all. We had selected on who would get what particular gift so it was easy to give out. Fred’s dad was excited by the carved keychain he was given. Fred’s mum and auntie got sandals with beads embroidered on them while the others got bracelets. They all marveled and asked questions on how much they cost as the artistry that went into them was good.

The rest of the afternoon was more enjoyable. We sat by the gazebo drinking wine while telling each other stories. I had a good laugh. The stories were funny or so I thought. Maybe I was tipsy from all the drinking. Tomorrow was Christmas….can’t wait!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013



“What?” Fred asked shaking me hard.

“Fred!” I screamed louder while trying to open my eyes.

I looked around and noticed I was in my bed. I was breathing so hard. The sun rays were already penetrating the room. A sense of relief came over me. It was morning already! Fred on his side of the bed seated upright looking at me scared. He moved closer to me then wiped the tears off my face.

“I am sorry dear, it was just a bad dream.” He kept on reassuring me.

“But it seemed so real! I saw dad.” I said.

Fred moved closer and let me put my head on his chest. “It is just a dream.”

“I’m scared.” I whispered.        

“What was the dream about?” Fred asked after he noticed that I was relaxed a bit.

“I can’t remember the where I was but I was with dad. He was alive! He held my hand and walked me down through a forest. He never said anything. He just kept glancing at me. I kept on asking where he was taking me but he didn’t say anything. Then suddenly, he fell into a hole. He was grabbing on to a branch. I tried to help me out but he was too heavy for me to lift him out. He was screaming my name out as he was falling.” I said.

“I’m sorry.” Fred said. “I think you miss him.”

“I do.”                                                                           

“And it is not your fault he passed away.”

“But I didn’t spend much time with him before he passed on.” I replied.

“You didn’t go home as much you would have wanted to as you had just got a job. Don’t go blaming yourself.”

“I suppose.”

“So are you feeling better?” Fred asked.

I nodded.

“Alright, we have to prepare for work or we are going to be late.” He said while jumping out of bed. “I’m going to take a shower.”

We arrived in the office at five minutes past eight. As I was going to my office, I noticed that the boss, Mrs. Wright was already settled in her office. The Human Resource team alongside the boss had an early morning meeting.  I had been chosen by to present several ideas that the department had come up with to tackle the backlog the office was experiencing. The meeting started at exactly nine and it went on well. Mrs. Wright kept on asking questions towards the end. I answered most of them directing the other questions to the head of HR. That woman usually made everything hard. She made one feel scared to even answer straight.

After the meeting, I continued with the work I had on hand before breaking out for lunch. The receptionist and I went to the cafeteria below our office. She was a chatterbox. She never stopped talking even for a minute! I asked her about the dream I had earlier in the morning. She was silent for a moment then later told me to stop stressing about life so much before continuing to eat her salad. This girl was weird.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


The holidays were around the corner. Shops all over town had started decorating with the festive colors and giving out sales. Holidays have never been my thing. Yes, I have spent most of it with my family but who doesn’t know that sometimes having your family together is disastrous?  I decided to have a positive attitude this time around. Fred and I had already planned on what we would be doing. Since we had used a large sum of cash for the wedding, we wanted a low key affair for Christmas. Fred had suggested we go to his parents’ home on the twenty fourth, we spend the Christmas holiday with them then we can travel to my parents’ home by thirty first so that we can usher in the New Year with them. I agreed. Now the task at hand was to figure out gifts to buy for them. Fred’s parents were rich. What would I buy for them that they didn’t have? What if I brought them a present and they thought it was too cheesy for them?

I decided to call up Ann and asked her for a few tips. She was at home resting. Apparently, it seemed I had called her at a bad moment; she was in a bad mood. She answered the phone shouting at me. I hanged up and walked over to her flat. Her door was closed but not locked so I pushed it in and walked in. She was on the couch.

“Why were you shouting at me like that?” I asked. “What did I do?”

“Sorry about that. It is the hormones.” She replied hugging me back.

“How is the baby doing?” I asked touching her belly. It was about five months now.

“The baby is doing fine. It is already kicking.”

“Wow! That is good, isn’t it?”

“Yes, the doctors said it is normal and a sign that the baby is doing alright.” Ann replied. “So what were you saying on the phone?”

“Oh, I was meant to ask you about getting gifts for the family before you shouted at me.”

Ann chuckled.

“Sorry about that. What are you planning to get them?”

“I don’t know. They seem to have everything.” I replied. “What do you think?”

“Maybe you can go simple on the gift but it should be able to impress them both.” Ann said. “I think you should get them a good bottle of red wine.”

“Really?” I asked not sure about it.

“Yea, it is the only safe way to go about it. They love wine so they will love it. It is better you go with that instead of giving them something that they won’t use or loathe it.”

“You are right. I’ll go to the stores and get them one.”

“You see, problem sorted.” Ann said with much delight. “Now you have to do something for me.”

“What is it?”                          

“Can you massage my lower back?”

“Seriously?” I asked a bit shocked at the request.

I didn't have a choice.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Advice 101

At exactly noon, I was at Aunt Tina’s house. I found her at the lawn playing a ball game with her kids. She gave me a tight hug and asked I join them. I sat down next to her.

“So, what is bothering you?” she asked.


“What is it Catherine? Something is bothering you.”

“How did you know?” I asked.

“I could hear it from your voice yesterday.”

“Oh, that. It’s nothing much auntie.”

“Stop lying to me.”                 

“It’s my marriage auntie. Things are not going fine.” I started. “I’m getting frustrated.”

“Oh Catherine, we all get frustrated. You are not alone.”

I took a couple of seconds before continuing. “Fred has changed. He is not the man I knew.”

“What do you mean by that?” She asked.

“He behaves differently. He acts like a different person.”

“Most people go through that Catherine. Even you have changed.”


“You are acting more mature than before.” Aunt Tina said. “Maybe Fred has changed too but in a different way than he was before.”

“I know.”

“You see, dating is very different to being in a marriage. Marriage is a new whole game and you have to accept and learn the partner’s behavior. You are still learning how to live with him. If he does something that irritates you, sit him down and talk to him. Getting mad without saying anything won’t help as he will not know the exact mistake he did.” Aunt Tina continued.

I nodded.

“Take it easy dear. We all had a different view of marriage before entering it. It takes patience to build a good and stable marriage.”

After we were done talking, we played along with the kids for a few minutes before I left. Aunt Tina really gave me good advice. Although I was kind of stubborn to accept the main issues, I knew I had to go and deal with them. In the house, I found Fred still on the couch playing the video game. I wasn’t sure whether to start the conversation at that time or after we were done with dinner. I decided on the latter. Since it was almost six in the evening, I went to the kitchen and started preparing dinner. I cooked his favorite; chicken. In my mind, I wanted him to enjoy the food first and hoped it would make him open up to the conversation.
We ate dinner together on the couch. As we rested for a few minutes before going to bed, I brought up the subject. I told him straight up. He had this surprised look on his face when I finished telling him what was bothering me. He apologized then said he did those things without actually meaning it. I could see it really bothered him so I accepted his apology and let things go. We later went to bed.