Love Literati Contest: ‘Journal Entry: February’ by Adesola Billy Praise

Love literati contest - elsieisy blog

I walked into a dimly lit bar in Lagos at 2:27AM on February 7.

I hated this place; in fact, I hardly ever drank anything except the occasional wine. However, tonight was different, it was exactly seven days to the worst day of any Cupid’s life and every year since I became one, I walked into this bar on this night and drank away my pain.

For those of you who might be wondering, yeah I said Cupid. My name is Shola Adewale and I am a friggin’ Cupid.

Do not ask me for details or questions about how I became one, those things do not matter now. Right now, about four things really count.

The first is that Cupids exist, we were chosen by the Greek god himself and he bestowed upon us the responsibility of spreading ‘love’. The second is that I am one of the Cupids chosen from Nigeria, we are seven spread across the country assigned to various zones. The third is that I just got back from a yearly Cupid’s meeting in Paris and I am suffering from a major jetlag. The fourth, {which should probably have come first} is that this job really sucks.

From the moment I stepped into the bar, I caught a couple of glances from a couple of the ladies around. I shook my head and walked briskly towards the bartender trying my best to avoid their eyes. I heard some of them giggling to themselves and just before I got to the bartender, I saw one ignore her boyfriend completely as she stared at me with her mouth open.

Do not entertain the wrong idea, I’m not exceptionally handsome or what anyone would consider to be hot. This was just one of the side effects of being a Cupid and I really hated the unnecessary attention.

“Please can I get a bottle of Magic Moment?” I asked, suddenly realizing that the bartender was female.

‘This won’t end well.’ I thought to myself.

“Coming up sir. What flavor?” She asked.

“Whatever you recommend. Err, where is Paul?” I asked.

“Who?” She replied as she dropped a bottle of Magic Moment and a glass in front of me. The bottle said ‘Chocolate…’ not that it mattered to me.

“The bartender that used to work here.” I replied.

“I don’t know any Paul sir; I started working here three months ago. My name is Chinyere.” She said.

“Obviously.” I said rudely rolling my eyes and pointing at the nametag pinned to the left side of her chest.

She walked away uncomfortably leaving me alone with my drink.

Now I know what you might be thinking. You probably think I’m being a douchebag, but before you start running your mouth ignorantly, let me explain myself.

Being a Cupid comes with certain peculiarities or as I like to call them ‘problems’. One of these problems is that people (especially the opposite sex) find you insanely attractive. Another problem we encounter is that people feel the need to share their life stories with us, particularly stories about their love life. Last but certainly not least, we often feel what people around us are feeling.

Anyway, for these reasons I wanted to be left alone tonight, so I finished the bottle in silence and quickly ordered another.

Chinyere dropped the second bottle without saying a word, probably still embarrassed about our last encounter. I started to feel a little guilty and decided to say something.

 “Sorry about the way I sounded earlier.” I said to her.

“It’s alright sir. I meet worse people here every day.” She replied.

She turned to attend to another customer and I felt a wave of emotions.

“No! Not Tonight.” I exclaimed.

She quickly rushed back to me thinking she made a mistake with my order.

“Anything wrong with the drink?” she asked.

As she stood in front of me, the emotions were getting stronger and stronger. I looked at her closely probably for the first time that night. I knew this particular emotion a little too well; it was pain.

Ignoring her now would go against everything a Cupid stood for, so I downed a quick gulp of my drink. I definitely was going to need it for the next couple of minutes.

“My drink is fine Chinyere; can you tell me about yourself?” I asked.

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree as she started to tell me about her love life. For a woman with such pleasant features she had surely been through a lot.

A single mother with three kids, after the death of her husband she had suffered abuse from different men who either wanted her just for sex or genuinely liked her but couldn’t deal with the existence of children in her life.

Some of the details were so graphic and if I did not know the effect of my peculiarities as a Cupid, I’ll have called her a liar.

When she was done, she had tears in her eyes.

“Get a glass and have a cup with me.” I said.

“I’m…sorry…I can’t drink during work hours.” She said sobbing slightly.

“Don’t worry, just one sip. I insist.” I said.

She got the glass and I poured some of my drink into it refilling my glass in the process. While she looked away, I pricked my skin and let a drop of my blood enter her cup mixing it thoroughly with a spoon.

“To Love. Cheers.” I said, passing her the glass and raising mine.

“To Love.” She replied as she drank.

I finished my bottle and stood up to leave the bar.

“Thank you.” She said as I paid for the drinks.

“Don’t mention it; it’s kind of my crappy job.” I replied with a smile.

She looked confused for a bit but returned my smile, her gaze sharper than minutes before.

‘I guess some people deserve a Cupid miracle’ I thought to myself as I stepped out.

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35 comments

  1. Good story tho. Different from all love cliché that I get generally bored from after the first two lines. I hope it has a sequel tho. There’s so much promise in the story. I wish it were longer tho.

    1. It’s awesome!!! I actually like it. Mimi… You’re the only one I know who’d been overly excited about the concept of a Nigerian cupid! ??

      I’m sure you’re hoping for one in Okada ba?

  2. Im sorry. I couldnt resist a side note.

    His work far from over that night, he decided to head home and have a long needed rest. He remembered he hadnt called his lady since, yes, even cupids fell in love. He smiled as he thought of her beautiful hazel eyes, her prominent cheek bones and lovely jaw always held high, how he longed to trace a finger along that jaw. Typing a message on his phone he didnt know when he stepped into the road, a sudden screech and he found himself flying, how lucky for him that he had wings, albeit not quite noticeable or large enough to be seen but wings nevertheless and they had saved his life. He looked around to see who had noticed as he calmly landed by the sidewalk. He gazed at the driver staring at him mouth agape, he winked, bowed and kept walking, unknown to him the daemon was watching all these. Finally ive got him, hahahahahaha, this yeara valentine will be a load of misery for every Nigerian……as if the recession wasnt bad enough………

  3. Reading through it felt real, as if I was present and the undercurrent self absorption of a Cupid?. Love it.

  4. A brilliant 1, not surprisingly so ?… Can’t get enough of your writing Billy,certainly looking forward to reading more of your work

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