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Flash fiction

VALENTINE HANGOUT

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woman leaning on piano
woman leaning on piano

Valentine hangout, a phrase Mitchell had come across in the series of love stories she had read without for once nursing the idea of putting it to test. The story she read last was still fresh in her memory. Haven read quiet a number, recollecting them individually had become an issue, but this particular one remained fresh in her memory. One could rightly describe it as stuck! How she wished the story never ended! The description of the fantasy and awakened emotions got her salivating for more. The romance she thought was going to explode was suddenly cut short the moment the protagonist found her hat. “Wow! The TRAVELLER’S hat by Dera would have been a best seller if she turned it into a novel” she would always tell herself whenever she recollected the story.

Also read https://derasstories.com/2021/01/06/the-travellers-hat-a-short-story/

Being a working class single lady without much friends, Valentine period was never her favorite time of the year. As though being single at 30 wasn’t bad enough, she was equally not people friendly. She had lived in Phoenix, Arizona since she was 27 yet, couldn’t boast of having made a single friend. Worse is the fact that she knew close to nothing what the names of her neighbours were. The little she could remember was that a young beautiful red head lived next door. She could still remember the unforgetable incident that took place just a few days to Christmas the previous year. The red head had been involved in a serious argument that resulted in a fight with one petite blond. She had been too scared to go outside but she could pretty much hear what the fight was about from her window, her dog in her hands. She kept peeping, entertaining both herself and her dog till the police came and the fight was disolved. She still found it difficult to believe that two young pretty ladies would want to fight to death because of a man.

woman holding dog beside christmas tree

The incident had discouraged her from extending a hand of friendship not just to her neighbours but to everyone in general. She was a wonderful singer and a good keyboardist… something she had learnt from her dad, growing up. Whenever she wasn’t busy with work related stuff, she would always bury her head in singing and playing her keyboard or in reading stories from her favorite authors….Something she always did, especially during the Valentine periods, to cub her loneliness. It was another Valentine and it seemed like all caution had been thrown to the wind. She had exhausted everything she knew how to do yet, still felt so deserted and alone.

A hard knock on her door brought her back to reality. “I’m coming” , she managed to say. Squizzing her face and murmuring some incomprehensible words, she quietly stood from the spot she had been seated on for God knows how long, to go get the door. The shock on her face when she opened the door got her looking more ridiculous. Her red head neighbor was standing at the other side of the door…her first visit to Mitchell’s room since she moved into the neighborhood 3years back. “Yes, how may I help you?” She asked, wearing an expression that screamed “you are not welcomed here”. “My name is…” “Skip that part. Just move over to the part where you tell me what you are doing in my room.!” Mitchell interupted rudely to the shock of her neighbor.

woman sitting on brown wicker chair with right hand on neck

A friend of mine came into town with his friend and he has asked me to come with a female friend… She was beginning to stammer as Mitchell gave her a look that burrowed into her soul. “Alright, I get it. I know we haven’t been in talking terms but… you are free to say no if you are not interested. He wants us to hang out. Ordinarily, I would have called my friend Lucy but we didn’t part on a good note the last time we met. “You mean to say the last time you fought?” Mitchell cut in, still wearing her cold expression. Okay! This was a bad idea. “I’m so sorry to bother you” the red head said and turned to leave. Wait! How do I know that I will be safe around you guys? For all I know this could be a plot to endanger my life!

For someone who didn’t like outdoor activities, Mitchell was having such a good time. The restaurant was so fanciful and her companions were madly fun to be around. She couldn’t help but imagine what she had knowingly denied herself for years. Her neighbor, whom she had just discovered to be Melisa was cool, as opposed to her earlier notion of her. They were eating, drinking, gisting and laughing. It was the best moment Mitchell has had in a really long time, maybe in forever even. It was in the course of the discussion that she discovered that Melisa was a Lawyer and that her friend, Lucy had fought her because her boyfriend had called it quits the moment he set his eyes on Melisa. Even though Melisa never said yes to him, Lucy still accused her of being responsible for their split up.

The Valentine hangout marked the beginning of a new friendship. Mitchell allowed herself have friends for the first time in her life. The sudden transformation surprised even herself. Melisa and the guys, especially Jake, the one she was beginning to let her guards down for, had unlimited access to her house. She could even eat out now, hang out with friends and go on dates with Jake…Things she never thought she would do a few months back. One thing needed clarification: who was Jake to her? She still wasn’t sure…He passed for both a best friend and a crush!

portrait of happy young woman using mobile phone in city

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Dera

    February 14, 2021 at 12:08 am

    a valentine package for you all! hope you like it.
    let me get your comments please…

  2. Alex

    February 14, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Nice.
    I enjoyed reading it all the way.

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks dear.
      It’s nice to have you here.

  3. Chioma

    February 14, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Interesting story

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks honey.
      It’s nice seeing you here

  4. Akuoma

    February 14, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    More! More!! More!!!
    Such a beautiful peice

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 1:12 pm

      🤣🤣🤣
      Thanks for reading dear.

  5. Mimie

    February 14, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Nice one dear

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 1:12 pm

      Thank youuuuu

  6. Excelhill

    February 14, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Dr Dera u are really inspiration to many.

    • Dera

      February 17, 2021 at 10:52 pm

      Thanks Hill

  7. Edith

    February 14, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    More wisdom Dera. You are really doing well

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks sweetie

  8. Paschal Madueke

    February 14, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Nice one!

    Keep on it!

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks dear

  9. Brendan Sunday

    February 14, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Very interesting, keep soaring.

    • Dera

      February 14, 2021 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks dear

  10. ViKtorsobe

    February 20, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    This could have been us but you didn’t answer Mitchell.!
    Love is beautiful no be lie.
    This story is dope, thanks yet again.

  11. Dera

    February 20, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Lol
    Thanks for reading through

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Flash fiction

Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss

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a woman lighting a candle
Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss

Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss was always it for Nora. Andrew, her boyfriend had always made it even more remarkable for her by always making sure he made these candles available for her each Christmas. Her love for bridge water candles has made her undoubtedly in love with both Christmas eves and the eves of Christmas days. As she lit the bridge water candles, she couldn’t help smiling. For one, it was evening and again, the time Andrew had promised to visit had reached. She wanted everything to be perfect – a perfect Christmas for the both of them.

Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss goes way down to her grandmother. It was the first gift she had given her for her birthday. She could still remember the old woman’s voice: “it’s a magic candle that makes your Christmases magical. Always light them during your Christmas celebrations and all your wishes will come true.” Even though Nora was now all grown, she still subtle believed in her grandmother’s words. And so far, it has favoured her.

“Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss” she smiled. The name always made her so happy. She got the food together, placed everything on the table – well arranged and sat just at one side of the table. She constantly looked at her watch and then at the door, waiting for Andrew to walk in any minute but that didn’t happen. Her surging adrenaline wouldn’t let her wait anyone so she grabbed her phone and dialed his number. When a female voice came from the other end of the line, she paused, took the phone out and looked at the number to be sure she wasn’t calling the wrong person. Certain that it was her boyfriend, she put the phone back to her ear. But this time, it wasn’t only a female voice in the background but Andrews. The duo were arguing over the reason another female had called Andrew’s phone. Apparently, Andrew was dating some other lady as well. The phone gradually slipped off her hand and went for the floor. The cracking sound of the screen filled the air but Nora wasn’t bothered. She felt the entire joy she had felt moments ago turn into penury. She sank to the floor, a rain of tears cascading down her chest.

RELATED STORY – Finding Christmas Bliss

The Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss turned into a bridge water candle for festival of tears. The tears wouldn’t just stop flowing. She kept crying and wailing – worst part was, she was home alone – no one to console her. A knock came to the door and she thought to ignore it but it persisted. She sluggish got to her feet, wiped as much of the tears as she could and walked to the door. A young man, black, handsome looking and seemingly cheerful stood at the other side of the door with a gift box in his hand. “Yes, how may I help you?” She married – a signal to show the young man that she was in no mood for merriment. “Delivery for you.” He said and flashed her another smile, displaying his perfect set of white teeth. “From who?” Nora furrowed her eye brows. The young man shrugged. “It doesn’t say. Anyways, you will have to sign for me.” He fumbled through the short diary in his hands until he opened to a particular page. “Here,” he said, looking at Nora. “Are you alright ma’am?” He asked as though noticing the marks of dry tears all over her cheeks. Nora simply nodded and without saying another word, grabbed the diary. Halfway into the signing, she paused. “You know what, you should come in. I really do need company. I’m all alone for the first time on Christmas day.”

“Bridgewater candle Christmas Bliss hum” the guy said the moment he sighted the candles. Nora smiled. “Old family tradition – my way of keeping my grandmother close.” She unwrapped the gift and was surprised to see the bottle of wine inside. She turned to the guy. “Why don’t you uncork it – a great part of the meriment.” “My name is Tom.” The guy said and extended his hand for a handshake. Nora smiled. “Nora.” Sue said and shook his hands. “Now that we are acquainted, I can uncork the drink.” He said and Nora burst out laughing.

a man by the table holding a bottle of wine
Tom on Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss

He soon uncorked the wine and poured it out for them both. “Cheers to more acquaintances, friendships, and many more joy-filled Christmases!” Tom said and they raised their glasses. Nora was the first to take a mouthful of the food and then signaled Tom to join suit. “So, why the tears, or you just like to cry while you celebrate?” He asked as he reached for his own round of the food. Nora shook her head and paused for a while before she continued. “My boyfriend is cheating on me. Just got to know about it today.” Tom’s eyes widened in surprise. “I’m so sorry honey.” He muttered in between a mouth full of food. “It’s fine. I’m kind of glad that I found out. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happened had I not found out. I will be fine.”

“Bridgewater Candle Christmas Bliss.. What might I do to replenish the idea of a perfect Christmas?” Nora burst into another episode of laughter. “Trust me, by agreeing to spend Christmas with me, you’re already doing more than enough.”

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Flash fiction

Finding Christmas Bliss

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family decorating their christmas tree
Finding Christmas Bliss

Finding Christmas bliss is always the heart of the holiday season. A typical young girl’s perfect Christmas was always that spent side by side her man. Kelly Armstrong was no different except in her case, she wasn’t only young but a mother. Being a single mother, though bothersome at first has now become the most interesting aspect of her life. She has come to love and cherish her little girl, Olive to the extent that no single decision of hers was concluded without putting her daughter as top priority.

Finding a Christmas bliss was one area she hadn’t thought about for a while now. Maybe for years even. “Pass me the flour,” she said to Olive who gladly did. Olive was just four and her expertise in the kitchen was already overwhelming. Scary even. Her mum has always been careful enough not to leave anything at her reach – a lesson she had learnt the hard way. She could still remember the fateful day she had walked into Olive trying to make an omelet. If she had been a few minutes late, they probably would not only been homeless by now but she might have lost her dearest daughter. She let out a sigh and looked at Olive – a fresh load of thankfulness filled her heart.

Finding a Christmas bliss for her at this point was spending more time with this huge blessing the Lord had given her. Sometimes she felt she didn’t deserve it. “Mummy, someone is at the door.” Olive’s voice distracted her from her thoughts. “Is that so honey? Why don’t you go get it?”. Olive scurried off immediately. ” Mummy, it’s a man. Should I let him in?” Her voice revibrated through the entire house. Hold on honey, will be right there.” Kelly dried her hands in the napkin and hurried off.

RELATED STORY – Bridge water Candle Christmas Bliss

“Finding Christmas bliss,” she thought in her mind the moment she sighted the stranger leaning on her door. “This man is fineeee” she said in her girlie tune before asking the man who he was. He flashed her a smile that swept her off her feet. She found herself feeling exactly as she had felt five years ago when she met Olive’s dad. Though it didn’t work out between them, it had been love at first sight.

The whole idea of finding Christmas bliss awakened in her. She kept starting even as the man spoke. “Hue. Who did you say you are again?” She said when she finally realized herself? “Mummy he is new in the neighborhood. He is kind of lost.” Olive’s sharp reply came, causing kelly to almost bite her tongue. Kelly managed a smile. “So, how may we help you ehmm..” “Charles. My name is Charles.” The man said and extended his hand for a handshake. After a few seconds of procession, Kelly took the hand. “I’m Kelly and this is my daughter, Olivia.” She smiled again.

“I’m on a mission of finding the perfect Christmas bliss and I have reasons to think that the lord might have just led me to the perfect place. I’m here to see my cousin Scotch but it seems he is running late. He says I can wait for him here. ” Scotch our neighbor?” Olive asked and Charles nodded. “Right. Come in. Just a minute, I have something on fire.” Kelly said and rushed to the kitchen. It was until she got back to the kitchen that she let out a deep breath. She got back to the dough she was mixing and tried to focus. The sound of approaching footsteps soon filled the hallway and Kelly was forced to look up. She was shocked to see Charles approaching with Olive on his hips like they had known each other for years.

I believe in finding Christmas bliss – it’s why I got you this. He handed her a piece of flower. “Would have given it to My cousin’s wife but since they aren’t here, I thought I should give it to the woman who took me in. This is me saying thanks for letting me stay. Also, I’m a good baker. Can I help?” Kelly’s eyes widened but soon realized themselves and got back to shape. “Sure. I was having trouble with the dough already. I guess I missed a step again – it’s too sticky” she said as she stepped aside. Olive laughed and Charles joined suit.

“Finding a Christmas bliss! Which could be more perfect than this?” He muttered as he folded his sleeves and got to work. “Come on, let’s make some pie!” He said and Olive jumped up. He gave her a high five and they began. Olive ran the little errands while he did the mixing himself. When he was done, he let her stir the dough a bit, her mum’s contra expression not withstanding. Kelly only watched from the sidelines. In a matter of minutes, the pie was in the oven and baking. “Anything else?” He looked at Kelly who shook her head.

The idea of finding a Christmas bliss continued even outside the kitchen. Charles carried Olive above his capable shoulders. His muscular nature, Kelly could guess, would take her weight twice and not crack. He played with Olive around the Christmas tree, both laughing hysterically. Kelly followed with a tray of food at first, and then a letter with pie and other baked goods. She saw herself fantasizing about this handsome, well-built man once again. His deep brown eyes were so perfect and welcoming that it was as though she belonged there. The three sat together at the dining table, chatting as they are – the first time Kelly had felt that free with anyone in a long time.

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Flash fiction

THE ONLY WAY OUT

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woman standing near window in balcony

As Lydia hid behind the giant art work just behind the closed door, voyalge of thoughts ran through her head. Misconceptions after misconceptions. She couldn’t believe she let herself get so belittled! The perfect plan she had in her head was the exact opposite of what the world seemed to have in stock for her. The moment she heard the sound of the car as its driver drove out of the compound, she hurriedly picked up her stuff and dashed out of the house. Derrick’s voice, in all its sweetness could not stop her. She couldn’t let it. Her brain went from memory to memory, revoking every single time they had spent together to the detriment of her mental health. She couldn’t believe it had been a lie all along! How could Derrick do this to her, to her of all people!

The annoying sound from the forcefully closed door as Lydia made her way into her little sized self contain room alerted Zara, her roommate and long time best friend. The anger that sprout out her system, one she was ready to unleash on the intruder demystified as quickly as it had formed the moment Zara sighted her roommate. No words needed to be spoken, Lydia’s face said it all.

“Babe, what happened? Is something wrong with Derrick?” She asked the moment Lydia managed to take her seat.

The reply she got wasn’t encouraging. Lydia couldn’t talk. Tears poured down her eyes like a fresh downpour from a secluded spring. More tears found their way down her cheeks each time she opened her mouth to talk. Her heart was beginning to beat fast as she was beginning to choke as she drowned herself in her own tears. Zara’s heart was beginning to skip some beats, she was elated. Only one thing was capable of making a lady cry this way over a man. How she wished her guess was wrong. She knew how much her friend loved her fiance. She could still remember how brightly her eyes glittered the day Derrick had proposed.

Memories upon Memories flooded Lydia’s mind. She couldn’t get herself to understand how an already married man with a kid could lead another lady on, promising her heaven on Earth and even go to the extent of engaging her. To what end? How much more callous can a man be? She was caught in the midst of piercing emotions yet, no clue as at what to do. She pulled out the engagement ring off her finger and flung it to one corner of the room screaming: it is over!

Zara’s guess was confirmed, the worst of her fears… She was still yet to understand what could have led to the severance of a perfectly endowed relationship.

As though reading Zara’s thoughts, Lydia screamed :”can you believe that the idiot is married? His wife visited his house today. He had no idea she was coming. I’m sure if he did, he would have found a way of meeting me outside the house. Zara’s palms hugged tightly to her open mouth. The shock on her face was palpable. She didn’t see it coming. None of them did. It was the last thing she expected from Derrick.

Lydia stared in confusion, her brain turning like a wave under the influence of a multidirectional wind. Amidst the chaos going on in her head, one thing was clear, the only way out of this mess. She needed to move on, she needed to let go. Then comes the big question: can she? How would she embark on that journey of picking up what was left of the pieces??

As she wept, the realization began to creep through her system, the presence of her saviour. She felt His strongholds supporting her weak body. She felt relived knowing that the Lord was with her, the only thing standing between her and and life!

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