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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

Dreams or Reality?

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grayscale photo of woman s facial expression


It was another bubbling morning in Nsukka, a town in Enugu state, Nigeria. I had just woken up and was all about the place, getting my things in order and fixing myself some breakfast before rushing off to work when my phone rang.
I rushed over to the other side of the sink where I had kept it, almost tripping on the chair I had used to support my weight while grabbing a parcel from my topmost cupboard. I was late for work and I knew it would be a disaster should my boss call and I don’t pick his call as well.


I finally got to the phone and behold, it was a number I didn’t save on my phone. “Well, maybe he is just calling with another number.”
I picked up the call without much thoughts. “Hello”, I said and a male voice which I could swear didn’t belong to my boss greeted my ears. Though it sounded overtly familiar, I couldn’t pin point whom it belonged to.


“Who am I speaking with please?” I said as politely as I could.
“Wow! You don’t remember my voice?” He came again.
“Uhmmm, I’m sorry but I don’t.” I said, trying to hold unto my patience a little longer.


“It’s Jerry.”


“Wow!” My eyes widened in surprise. “Jerry, how have you been? It’s been a long time. How is everything?” I said at once.
“Fine” he muttered. “Well, I’m in Nsukka.”


My eyes widened even further. Lots of thoughts creeped into my head. Jerry has been a long time love interest. One of those few who believe in persisting till they got what they wanted. I remember when he newly reached out to me. He had been friendly, nice and direct. He had made his intention known almost immediately.
Unfortunately, I was at the time already neck deep into a relationship I cherished and still cherish more than anything you can ever think of in this Earth. And of course, I didn’t hesitate to make that known to him.


For some reason, I think he mistook my words as playing hard to get. He had subsequently and continuously gone ahead to coerce me into giving into his demand. It was more like a cycle with none of us ready to give up their stand. I loved and still love my relationship too much to give it up and Jerry on the other hand, didn’t want to give in to the fact that I wasn’t his.


After one year had passed and I, still on my lane, the point I was trying to make finally began to sink into Jerry’s head, though he still ceased every little opportunity he’d got to coerce me. I offered to find him someone else but he wouldn’t listen. He wouldn’t even hear of it.


Our communication frequency reduced drastically – I think majorly ‘cos I had nothing to say and he was probably not sure what to say to me either. I was weary of creating false impressions so, I didn’t ask too much questions. From the little I knew about him, he gave me the good guy vibe so I hoped we could maintain some sort of friendship but it didn’t look like that would work out either. The more I tried to tilt towards friendship, the more he spoke about something more. As a matter of fact, he was willing to come all the way to Nsukka from the U.S, just to have a face to face talk and most likely get me to change my mind.


About a month after, we spoke and in the course of the discussion, he said, in a form of larment, that it was until our last discussion that he knew I was really serious about not giving him a chance. I felt surprised and happy at the same time. Surprised because I had always made my stand clear right from the outset. So, I didn’t expect that it would take a whole year for him to get the point. And happy, ‘cos, him acknowledging the state of things meant him buying into the notion of finding someone else – though I wasn’t certain of it since he didn’t say anything about it, I still couldn’t rule out the possibility.


Fast forward to one month later and here Jerry was, calling me with a Nigerian number, saying he was in Nsukka. My thoughts suddenly flew to one of the discussions we had had, where he had insisted on flying to Nigeria to talk.
“You didn’t fly home because of me, did you?” I couldn’t help asking.
“Sure. We’re heading for your parents in two days.”
“What? You and who?” I screamed, while deep down, hoping that it was just a joke.
“You in Nsukka?” He asked instead.


“Yeah.”


“I called for something else actually. Wanted to invite you to my wedding. It’s tomorrow.”


I was still for like one second but soon found my voice. Though shocked by the news, I was genuinely happy for him. I knew how much he had wanted to get married, I knew how hard he had been trying – I knew how much work he put into trying to make me his. I screamed lots of congratulations! I am happy for you!! and asked for the invite to be forwarded to me on social media so I could get a clearer grasp of the direction to the venue.
The moment the line went dead, I dialed my boyfriend. I was and still am in a habit of keeping him abreast with things that go on in my life. Turns out he was happy for Jerry as well. He even permitted me to attend the wedding.


I did go for the wedding but not alone. I dragged one of my girlfriend’s along so I could at least have someone to talk to while at the event. We clapped, cheered and watched with so much happiness, but even in the midst of all that, I couldn’t get over the feeling like I was in a movie or a dream or something of its sort. Stories like this, as far as I knew, only happened in movies and fictions. I felt like a typical movie was playing out in my life.


Though I wasn’t in love with Jerry, I still couldn’t understand how a person who had been on my neck barely 2 months back would be getting wedded today. The mixed feeling and shock is still yet to clear out. Those not withstanding, I hope that friendship I had wanted to build before will work out this time, more with Jerry’s wife even.

Author’s note

Fictions are fictions but some fictions do play out in real life. Point is: try to pick one or two lessons from the books you read, be it fictional or non-fictional.

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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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