A Christmas Visitor – Part I
by Sinmisola Ogúnyinka
We checked out a three-bed-two-bath house because it was what she wanted. My fiancée of two years. We could have been married a year ago, but I wanted it done properly and we didn’t have enough money at the time. I could save, and I did. Two long years after I proposed, and we had a date.
“This is huge, Tobi.” I moaned. “For just two people starting life?”
“We start our family immediately. Duh!” She smiled at the realtor. “I love it.”
“It’s really beautiful,” the smooth-talking realtor said. “I’ll send you a contract.”
“Use my email address,” Tobi said and winked at me. “We don’t want it getting into my fiancé’s trash, do we?”
I scoffed. “Very funny.”
That same day, we had a big townhouse all to ourselves. Tobi decided to move into it as soon as she could. I was indifferent. Our wedding was still a month away and I was fine living with my widowed father until then. She’d had to squat with friends for the last few months because we didn’t want to renew our lease. This worked. Except that we could have made do with a much smaller apartment and paid almost half of what we paid here. Though Tobi brought in, no, insisted on bringing in half of the rent. I didn’t think she had that kind of money with a car note, a student loan and a job that paid twenty bucks an hour.
A week after we got the keys, I helped Tobi move in. I had to bring in some of my furniture to half-fill the place. My wife-to-be seemed too exhausted afterward, even though I did all the work.
She panted. “I think we should order something.”
“I already did,” I said. “You don’t think I’d let you cook. Even though you have your pantry filled up.”
We sat on the long couch and I closed my eyes. It had been a long hard day. I was exhausted and couldn’t wait for the hot wings and fries to arrive.
My eyes flew open. “What?”
Tobi stared at me, her eyes wide, her lower lip drooped. As though those words came from somewhere else. “I’m having a Christmas baby.”
Christmas! Five months away. My eyes shot to her abdomen. She was as flat as she always was. Skinny on her arms, and legs and face. She couldn’t be pregnant. But her eyes betrayed the truth, they bulged. Her fair skin seemed much paler than I had ever known. I sought for words but found none. You can’t be pregnant! For who? How? We’ve had a Christian courtship and never done more than kissing! Words rang in my brain but all I could do was stare at Tobi.
She twisted her fingers. “I know you should be mad. And if you want to call the wedding off, it’s fine.”
What? After I spent almost five thousand of hard-earned money getting a big house, and another twenty-five thousand at least in deposits for a wedding! She has to be kidding me. But she wasn’t. Her pressed lips, drawn eyebrows. She let me do all of this and she’s been pregnant for four months!
Only her lips moved. “The guy I called my uncle? I told you he came in from the south to visit Mom.”
“He’s the one. Not my uncle. Never been.” She snickered. “Can I say it was a mistake. Will you believe me?”
I stood abruptly and walked out of the house. Bumped into the delivery guy on my way out.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!
About the Author
Sinmisola Ogúnyinka is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer and movie producer, and the published author of Under a Red Delta Sun and Blue Dawn. She has a bachelor’s in Economics, an MFA in Creative Writing and is a Craftsman of Jerry B. Jenkins’ former Christian Writers’ Guild. She lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA.
You can read Sinmisola’s “Flash Fiction” column on the 4th Tuesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.