#5DaysToVals Contest Entry – Submitted by Ojo Blessing
He was standing behind me. Some distance apart. His hands dropped sideways. Mine across my chest. The tiny voice of my heart kept calling and beckoning me to make-up with him. I insisted at first. Later on, when I wanted to, it was too late. I woke up to see only myself under the shade of a mango tree in front of my resident where I slept.I’ve been having a similar dream since Kelvin and I parted. I still have a soft spot for him. But, I doubt if he still loves me the way he used to before fuel subsidy removal popped up in January 2012.
Kelvin and I were both living at Abuja, though we are from Energy. Our parents were at Enugu too. I relocated to Enugu in 2010 for the purpose of pursuing higher education. He often pays visit three times in a year to see my now ugly and irritating face, that he once termed a resplendent, radiant and graceful face. Also, to see his parents.All his visiting time were festive periods-December ending to early January, valentine day and Easter period. I enjoy his visits during valentine day because that was the day we celebrate our love. It reminds us of the colourful event surrounding our first meeting in a park on February 14, 2008.
Valentine day was so special in my life. Kelvin visits a day before the celebration of love. He stays with me of campus, unlike the other two visits. He stays with his parents. But we do see each other. On the D-day, we will dress in white, different from others that wear white and red. We will visit park to remind each other of the promise ‘never to let go.’ It says all his idea. ‘The white,’ he said ‘is a symbol of my untainted and so spotless love for you.’ And I believed him until fuel subsidy removal came up on Sunday 1st January, 2012.
Kelvin was with his parents at Enugu where he lodged for Christmas and New Year celebrations. We both visited each other. It was time for him to return to Abuja. Transport fare became more than thrice the initial. His parents were not financially buoyant. So, he spends his little savings whenever he visits his parents, leaving only his transport fare, or a thousand above. This time, things took a turn for the worse, but he needed to return to Abuja where he worked as a security officer for a school. I was stranded.
Each morning, I’ll look up to heavens to make wishes. I’d wished my dad had given me my school fees or house rent. I’d wished I learned a tactic I knew I lacked-pester power. I would have used it on my father to get money for the one I loved.
All my effort to assist Kelvin fell into a deep well. It wasn’t my fault though that fuel subsidy was removed, but I blamed myself. I felt I’ve not done enough to raise the fund for his trip.
Kelvin was troubled. It remained just two days for his work leave to expire. I was scared of him becoming ill. It would be double trouble. This was a test of love. It was a time for me to provide a proof of my love for him. Indeed, I wanted to be a friend in need.
After sometime, an inner voice spoke into my ears. ‘If I were you, I would sell my belongings to get him the money,’ the voice said. I thought about it and I decided to sell some of my late mother’s gold jewelries.
Afterward, I gave him all the money I made from the sale and said to him: ‘my love for you is not of words but of deed. I sold my inheritance to get you these. Please keep me in the most holy and sacred part of your heart.’
His words that fateful day were not different from the ones I’ve heard from him before. He said: “I love you Helen. And I know you do too. The chord that binds our hearts together will forever add strength every day and add insignia at every dawn of valentine day.” I began to miss him that moment before his departure to Abuja.
Kelvin sent his greetings to me on arriving Abuja. Few days later, I received a text confirming that he was ill. I called and told him I will visit, without considering the financial implication. True, I still had some of my late mum’s jewelries, but I wanted keeping them for future occurrence. Perhaps, selling some to get money to pay a surprise visit to him during Valentine’s Day. I don’t expect him to come to Enugu. I was aware of his circumstances. I couldn’t just afford to miss the 4th anniversary of our love-my first love. It was Kelvin’s third.I called him on the morning of the day I promised to visit. I broke the news to him. “Why did you break your promise to come? Why?” He queried. I could detect it from his tone that he wasn’t pleased. I promised to make-up with a surprise; something that thrills him. He concurred.
I traveled to Abuja on February 13, 2012 in order to fulfill my promise. I bought a white t-shirt, trouser and underwear for him. I lodge where I was before I relocated to Enugu; my aunt’s house.
On the following day, I dressed in white and headed for Kelvin’s house. I had no iota of doubt that he will not be displeased. I’d fixed his favourite weavon -Rihanna- a hairstyle I fixed on the 14th February, 2008. That, he said made him came after me. I took the clothes I bought for him along.
I knocked on his door. There was no response for the umpteenth time. I pushed the door. It opened and a quick loosened movement in different directions on Kelvin’s bed occurred, as though a cat sets itself free from a cobra that weaved itself round it. He was with another girl. He did what he vowed never to do as long as I remain his.
“I can explain,” he said. Short of words, I ran out, dropping the gifts I brought for him in his room. That was the last good thing he received from. He never came back to plead. I returned back to Enugu that day. But his appearance hunts me because he was my first love.