‘Vally…!’ His mother shouted his name as she wiped the mixture of ash and sweat forming on her forehead with the edge of her wrapper. Her intonation was richly igbotic.
‘Valentine!!’ she repeated, this time on a higher pitch. Impatiently, she stood up straight from bending over the firewood that refused to burn. Valentine, who was in the neighbor’s hut had heard his name, but was too engrossed in the bottle-tops football match he was playing with his friend, Chude.
Mama was getting angry. ‘Valentine! Bia neba! I know you can hear me o’
He recognized that tone immediately. It was that tone he had grown very familiar with, the one Mama used to talk to Papa every time he came home drunk. Papa usually ended up sleeping outside the house after the ‘calm discourse’.
‘Yes mama!’ Val screamed and ran as fast as his thin legs could carry him straight to the hut he knew as home.
‘How many times have I warned you not to ignore me when I call you?’ Mama Val had grabbed his left ear and had begun to twist and turn. ‘Eh? Answer me.’….
If this was what my note was really about ehn, I would expect you to blow me when you see me…hehehe… My dear, I’m not writing another short story o, this is some serious biz. So don’t even start enjoying it just yet *tongue out*
Now on to what it’s really about:
I remember how my Val’s day went last year. I remember writing a series of notes about how important it was to do your thinking right when it came to decisions about your love life. It’s funny, cause, at the time I was very single. I had said several ‘NO’s in my life and I was almost tempted to thinking the problem was with me having a crippling fear for commitment. I remember vividly, also, that I wrote a note I was too shy to post, my first ever love note to the one I hadn’t seen, expressing expressly a love I wasn’t feeling, writing a story I hadn’t experienced and describing the beauty of it all.
And now, I have met him of whom those words were spoken…
Hello sir, me I like valentine! I have got all sorts: BCs, IMs, notes, etc telling me how evil Valentine is. I do not care. Life is about the choices we make. While some waste away in the name of valentine, I celebrate love, love for myself, for my family, for my friends and for the special One. Love is beautiful. You should try it sometime.
So this note focuses to address the valentinos and valentinas…
Sister Philo, you start stalking brother from Jan 1st , being friendly and giving him the green light. Brother begins to warm up to the idea of actually becoming your boo…then after the numerous gifts he sends you on Feb 14, you stop picking his calls on 15th and 16th, and then by 20th, you tell him ‘Baby, I think I need a break!’ Haaa! Sister, the Lord shall judge o…
Brother Felix, sister has been with you through thick and thin since May last year, enduring your brokenness and the fact that you haven’t bought her anything asides #100 suya in front of ODLT. Now, just ‘cause she brought up the question of valentine on the 13th of Feb, you switch off your phone throughout the 14th and 15th, then lie that it was stolen and you just caught the thief on 16th. Brozie, she doesn’t deserve this o… God is watching you!
Uncle Bankole, you buy teddy bear, vanilla cake, a box of chocolates and wine, plus including roses and pearls and give it to your mistress at work. On top of that, you take her out after work and spend some more. Then when you get home at night and your wife wishes you happy Val’s day, you tell her ‘Emi o kin ba won se gbogbo palapala yen. Omode lo n se Val..’ (I don’t celebrate it, it’s for kids.)…hmmmm…hmmm…God dey ooo…Uncle!!!
Belinda, you are still in secondary school. Just because he bought you a Bold5, you feel obliged to giving him your body. You know that your mum must not hear of it, and even the phone he’s giving you, you haven’t yet figured how to hide it from her. Yet, you accept it, and trade your body for it. My dear, if only you knew what you’re worth, you’d realize that he doesn’t truly love you, and you are just being used. And next year, he will use someone else, and the next, another. If only you’ll muster the courage to tell him to die with his gift…and keep yourself for the man worthy of you when you will do what you wanna with no guilts whatsoever. Bellie, you are better than this!
Madam Carolina, just because your PA got three cakes on Val’s day, you begin to vex for her and you make work difficult for her. You give her twice the work she was doing before, and decrease her pay by half. Nawa oo…Dem go do am for your pikin o…
Ok Ok…so what I am saying in essence is: this period is one to show one another true love…not deception. Not envy, jealousy and strife, not lust, not lip service, but love so true, so pure, so real..The kind that God has for us.…That, my dear, is the essence of the red and white you’re putting on. I call it ‘PURITY(white) AND SINCERITY(red)’.
If you can’t do it the right way, abeg don’t bother doing it at all. Just wait…and don’t waste your time.