“I just found out the hard way that the baubles are glass, can you come with a towel?”
“Oh my God!” Mrs Osei exclaimed and rushed out of the kitchen with a paper towel. She found her daughter standing in front of the Christmas tree, trying to stop her finger from bleeding. A close examination showed that she had cut her finger and there were about six baubles lying down, all broken.
“I’m so sorry, Nana. I should have instructed Auntie Helen not to buy glass baubles. I even forgot to check to see if they were made of glass when she brought them” she said as she placed the paper towel on her daughter’s finger to absorb the oozing blood.
“It’s okay, Mom. I was absent-minded and deep in thoughts and dropped the box containing the baubles” Nana Ama said in a shaky voice and bowed her head down. She started weeping.
“Don’t cry. Don’t continue with the decoration of the tree. I’ll let Kobby do so when he comes back from the shop. Go and treat the cut while I finish up lunch”
Nana Ama kept crying and wouldn’t budge. She was overcome with emotion.
“Nana, it’s just a cut. Stop being a baby. Anyone would mistake you for a spoilt child.”
“Mom, I’m not crying because of the cut. It’s just that I didn’t know I’d find myself in such a position. Casting my mind back to last year, everything was just so perfect” Nana Ama said amidst sobs.
Mrs Osei sighed and rubbed her daughter’s back to comfort her. She understood perfectly what Nana Ama was going through. The baubles triggered painful memories.
A year ago, just around this time, Nana Ama was in high spirits as she decorated the Christmas tree with her then boyfriend, Anthony. She could still remember like it was just yesterday, the giggles and laughter from the two as they tried to outdo each other in decorating the tree. Nana Ama was so in love with Anthony and everything seemed perfect. Anthony was in turn liked by everyone in the house and it was expected that they’d soon tie the knot. Things were great between them till Nana Ama came home crying six months ago with the news that Anthony had broken up with her. The news came as a big blow to her, especially when she had left the house earlier with high expectations hoping that Anthony was finally going to pop the question. She was shattered because she had invested so much into the relationship.
She had managed to recuperate after all these months and was so sure that she had put all memories of him away till tonight. The sight of the Christmas tree and baubles triggered memories. Last year, Anthony had offered to go with her to shop for a Christmas tree and decorations for the house. Nana Ama remembered vividly how they had gone from shop to shop looking for the “perfect” tree and how Anthony was against they buying glass baubles.
“I stepped onto broken glass baubles when I was child and that Christmas was ruined for not only me but my family. We spent that Christmas in the hospital.” he had said and convinced Nana Ama to settle for plastic baubles.
“Hopefully, next year around this time, we’ll be shopping for our Christmas items and taking them to our own house” she remembered him telling her on their way home. Nana Ama had smiled at that statement and had prayed for it to come to pass. Six months later, he walked out of her life with the only excuse that he was no longer into her.
When Christmas drew near, Nana Ama made sure to give out all the items she had bought with Anthony the previous year including the Christmas tree to another family to erase memories of him. Her mom decided to shop for new items but somehow lost track of time, so she made her sister, Helen, buy the items instead and that’s how come they ended up with glass baubles.
Nana Ama sniffled and wiped her tears and took off the paper towel. Her finger had stopped bleeding. She got up and left to treat her cut. Mrs Osei sighed and walked back into the kitchen to get a brush to clean up the broken baubles. She was quite worried about her daughter and hoped for the best.
Later that night, when she was a bit calm, Nana Ama dressed up to attend a soirée. It was the Eve of Christmas and she had been invited by her best friend to watch her sing.
“Mum, dad, I’m attending a soirée at Beckley’s Hotel, at the forecourt. Adoley will be singing so she invited me” she informed her parents when she got downstairs.
“Oh great. I’m glad you’re okay now. Have fun” Mrs Osei said and smiled.
“Nana Ama won’t kill us in this house. Only your dress” her dad said and laughed. Nana Ama giggled.
“Make sure you’re back early. Be safe” he said again. Nana Ama smiled and nodded and took her leave.
On her way out, she stopped by the Christmas tree and stared at it. Her brother had decorated it nicely. She cast her mind back to the previous year when she was on her way out to dinner. She had stopped by the tree just like today to make a wish. Her wish was to have a happy life with Anthony, if he was truly meant for her.
“Perhaps he wasn’t” she told herself and closed her eyes. She took a deep breath and made a silent wish. Her wish was to find happiness again. She quickly walked away from the tree.
Nana Ama was a dreamer who believed that Christmas comes with its own magic and that wishes come true during Christmas. “Only if you believe” she always emphasized.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hope the magic of this season brings you all your heart’s desires. Merry Christmas. Raise your glasses, make a wish, believe in it and drink to it. Thank you” the speaker said and left the stage. Nana Ama was wowed by the speech and made a mental note to commend the young man.
“We now invite the sensational Adoley, to sing us some Christmas tunes. Tap your feet, sing along and dance if you want to. Enjoy” the emcee said as Adoley hurried up the stage. Nana Ama cheered her on. She took the microphone and smiled, revealing her dimples.
“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining” her mellifluous voice filled the place.
Nana Ama nodded to the rhythm of the song. She was so proud of her friend. After a few minutes, she went to refill her glass with juice and missed her step on her way back. She dropped her glass and psyched herself up for a fall. Someone suddenly held her from behind which prevented her from falling. She was dazed and after getting back on her feet, turned around to find the young man who just gave the speech smiling at her.
“Thank you” she said to him and smiled shyly.
“You’re welcome. I want to compliment you on how good you look in your short hair. And your dress! You look like Christmas” he said and smiled.
Nana Ama grinned. “I’d also like to commend you on the speech you gave. I see you enjoy Christmas as much as I do. Especially about the Christmas magic”
“Oh yeah. Christmas is a wonderful time. I’m glad I’ve met another African mind that shares in the make-believe Christmas magic. I’m Jake. You are….”
“Nana Ama. Nice meeting you” she said.
“Nice meeting you too. How about sitting over there to enjoy the night” Jake pointed to a spot across them. It was quite secluded.
They had a good time chatting about Christmas carols, movies, the birth of Christ among others. Before they left, it felt like they had known each other for a long time. For the first time in six months, Nana Ama felt genuinely happy as she spoke to Jake. He was a great character and an entertainer.
“Okay it’s time to go” Nana Ama told him as Adoley beckoned her from afar to join her.
“Oh okay. My birthday is two days away. How about us meeting up to continue with our conversation? I enjoyed your company” he suggested.
“Sure, why not? I enjoyed your company as well” she said and entered her contact onto his phone. They embraced and parted ways.
Nana Ama smiled on her way home. “Maybe the happiness I wished for, has begun” she whispered to herself.
Jake hummed happily to Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” as he drove home. He had been single for years, after the demise of his girlfriend and had completely shut down his feelings. He had wished for a rejuvenation of his romantic life this Christmas. His interaction with Nana Ama had touched him and he felt he was loosening up. His wish seemed to be coming true. Christmas indeed is a wonderful time of the year.