Valentines day means different things to different people. To some its the day of their wedding anniversary. To some, its the day they summon courage to say the words to their heartthrob. To some, its the day to ask that girl they have been having their eyes on for a long time. To some, its the day to cheat on their parner. To some, its the day their heart will be broken. To some, its the day they will share their greatest tears. To some, its the day to catch the fun of their lifetime. To some, its a day to wonder what people see in valentines day. To some, its as a normal day. To some, its a day to husle and wait for salary when the month end. To me, its a day to take a lonely work and talk to the sun if i take the walk during the day, or converse with the stars if i take the walk at night, and watch the streets full of lovers as they express themselves and walk pass me, wishing i was in their shoes. This valentine, i took my usual lonely walk routine On a daylight in the even when the scorching sun has already started giving way to the night because i will be working at night watching over the pool at the hotel where i work as a life guard. Its a fun filled event i look forward to experience. its the first valentine pool party the hotel will be organising. The popular LAPRIME HOTEL owned by Mr Funsho Davies, the most successful hotel owner in Nigeria known all over the country just opened a new branch at Abuja and i happen to be privileged to be one of the life guards employed to watch over the luxurious 24feet swimming pool open to the public for commercial use. Its the best paying job i got for now as an HND graduate that just returned from youth service, so am not joking with it.
By the way, my name is JITE. Am 32 and yet to get a girlfriend. I always get friendzoned by girls i meet from secondary school through my higher education days. Even in my youth service. The kind of ladies am attracted to always say am good as a friend. I have come to accept that as my fate. I know when i get a good job, apartment, and a car, it will all end. Ladies love a soft life and go for guys that can afford one. I dont blame them. Who no like better thing?
On this valentine day, it rained so i didnt see much love scenes as i usually do. All the lovers are indoors maybe waiting for night to come. After i have had enough of my routine Lonely valentine walk, i decided to head back home and have a little sleep In my room at the boys quarter corner provided to us by the hotel as a complement to those of us whose apartments are far from the hotel. Its the best i have gotten all my life as i had a little privacy. I have been sharing apartment with people all my life. I share a room with my eight siblings as my mum share a room with her two elder mates. My dad ocupy the one room left in his three bedroom apartment he inherited from his late dad as his share Of the family property. During my ND and HND days in school, if i couldnt go home, i squat with friends and manage any place i get to rest my head. I use to live in a one room self contain apartnent with four of my friends i met during youth service.
That day, as i strolled back to the hotel jumping as many stagnant water i come across, something hit me not too hard on my left jaw and dropped to the floor. Then a taxi on average speed splashed water on me. Then reversed before i could curse the blind driver for splashing water on me. The door of the taxi opened and a beautiful lady in her mid twenties came out and rushed towards me repeating apologies gesturing with her hands:
“Am so sorry, please forgive me and the driver. We weren’t looking. Please pardon us.”
Before i could say anything, she started using her white handkerchief to clean my blue stripe long sleeve dress and my black jeans. Tears drop from her eyes already red as she repeat herself apologizing. I couldnt fathom the tears From the red eyes.
“she must have been crying before now. Sincere apologies dont make ones eyes red.” I said to myself as i brainstormed why her eyes were red.
“Sorry my handkerchief wouldnt do anything remedying the stains on you. If you dont mind, please let me get you a new dress. We can get a boutique not too far a drive from here.”
“Thanks madam. You have done enough by reversing and coming down from the taxi. ”
” I insist, please. Let me get you a new dress. I wont sleep well tonight if i dont get a new dress for you. Please.”
Seeing that she was adamant on getting me a new dress i followed her to the taxi. Before i took a Step. I noticed a beautiful gold ring iced with something like diamond at the top, close to my legs.
“It must have been what hit my left jaw. ”
I said to myself as i stylishly picked the ring from the floor pretending to clean my snickers, making sure she didnt notice. We walked to the car and I sat beside her.
“Driver please take us to the nearest male fashion boutique.”
As the car zoomed of, i had three things on my mind. ”
Whose ring is this? If i will marry tomorrow, my wife must be as polite as this lady, or i wont marry. As beautiful as she is, she is so down to earth. Her parents did a perfect job bringing her up. Trust me, she is the most beautiful girl i have come across. Skin so fair and soft as a new born baby. Even with her red Swollen eyes, she is still looking good like she just applied make up. Why are her eyes red and swollen? Jite its not your business ”
I snapped myself back to reality as the car stopped and parked in front of a popular big shopping mall in Abuja. A place i longe to visit but my pocket wont let me. I only hear tales of how big boys and girls go there for shopping spree from my customers at the pool.
“After you. ”
She said to me as we dropped from the car and approach the big mall. I couldnt hide my excitement as i was caught up with the environment and the class of people that comes there for shopping. She seemed like coming to shop there is like a every day thing to her as she led me to a big boutique at the mall that stocked male clothings and fashion accessories.
“Pick three for the one i damage.”
“Am okay with one ma. Thanks.”
“For the inconvenience, please pick three. The other two are my way of saying sorry. You can pick something for your girlfriend as well. I wont mind.”
She smiled a little as she used the last line and acted like she didn’t say a thing.
” i dont have a girlfriend. Am okay with one. Thank you ma.”
My last line caught her attention.
“Okay. Siut yourself.”
I went round confused not knowing what to pick. The shop was stocked with everything valentine. After a hard time deciding what to pic, i settled for a white t-shirt with an inscription on red ‘BE MY VALENTINE’. And a black skinny jean. Before i could take them to the counter she picked a red snickers and gave it to me.
“You forgot the snickers.”
We then walkwd to the counter together to settle the bill. The shop attendant pushed his computer and gave us the bill. Everything cost 20k. It was then i noticed everything i picked had a price tag.
“Silly me. This is toomuch for a good deed.”
I soliloquized And made move to return them to suggest we vist a cheaper boutique. Before i could take a step. She held me back.
She brought out her ATM card and settled the bill. Then goes into the boutique to shop some male clothings herself and came back To the Counter to do the bills. It was two pairs of jean, two snickers, two pairs of t-shirt, and two longsleeves. After the bills, we headed for the taxi.
“Thank you very much, ma. Am very grateful.”
“The thank is mine for spoiling your day.”
“If this is what a spoilt day look like. I want to have it all my life. I have been dreaming of going shopping on that mall, my pocket wont let me.”
I tried joking but she was amazed.
“You mean its your first time of going out shopping with somebody.”
“actually, i go out shopping with my friends. But its on a road side boutique where we have to bend down and select our choice.”
“Bend down boutique you mean.?
She couldn’t help smiling as she laughed. But her smile Did not cover her swollen red eyes. But i was glad i was relieving her. She looks like she has been crying all day before meetng me.
“We all had that experience. Life is a stage. Growth is a necessary change that will come if we dont give up on our pursuit of a better life.”
I held on to her words like she knows where i was going to. She must have had her experiences. I wanted to ask her about her day before we met but again, i told myself its not my business.
“Where should we drop you?
“LAPRIME HOTEL, ma.”
She looked at me excited.
“Dont you think you should go home, take a bath and change your clothes before you meet up with your girlfriend? I know you only told me you dont have a girlfriend as a cliché guys use when they meet a beautiful lady like me that seem single. Am not new to it. I think we should drop you home. I can arrange the cab driver to come pick you up when you are ready. Bills on me for spoiling your clothes. ”
She seem a little lightened up as she speak.
“Actually ma, its where i stay. I work as a lifeguard there. And i dont have a girlfriend like i told you earlier ”
“lucky you. Its where we were headed. My fiance booked an apartment for us to chill and have a good time tonight. But not anymore.”
Tears drop from her eyes as she tries to cover it with her handkerchief. I now know why her eyes were red.
“It could be heart break or her fiance just had an accident. It must be something else. If not, who did she get those mens wear for? Her fiance off course ”
I said to myself, but the fear of increasing her pain made Me hush. We got to LAPRIME HOTEL and lighted from the taxi. She handled the bills and handed the shopping bad containing the extra clothes she shopped to me.
“These are for you. I know you wont accept three for one so i went for theM myself so i can hand them over to you at a time you wont say no. Its how i pay you for the inconvenience. Please collect it. ”
Dumb founded, i collected the bag from her.
“Thank you ma. GOD richly repay your kindness. ”
“Amen. My pleasure. The name is TEMI”
“Am JITE ma.”
I responded as she leave me and walk to the reception of the VIP suite of the hotel where an elevator will take her to her suite. I wanted to invite her to the pool party that will be taking place at the public pool of the hotel that night, the luxury she is exposed to at her part of the hotel made me change my mind.
“It must be heart break. A lady whose man is in the hospital wont have all the time this lady gave me. Some men are crazy. How can a man with his 5senses working leave this angel of a lady for another woman? If i have this one as a girlfriend i will never have a quarrel with her even if she is wrong, i will take the blame to be at peace with her. I will even wash her undies if she demands it. JITE you don kolo oh. WASH A WOMANS UNDIES? She is worth it cha. ”
I came to reality and headed to my room to rest for the pool party. Before i rest, i soaked my wet clothes, washed the wet snickers, take a cold bath and tried the new clothes on. They all suit me like they were made for me.
“she knows her man well. To bad he left her.”
The evening was lighted as usual. Like it is in stadiums, you wont notice its night. You can see everyone like it was daytime. Thanks to the flood light and the bright pool light. Floaters of different sizes and shapes on the pool made my job as a lifeguard easier as swimmers have something the could climb on or hold on to if the need a breather to Muscle up strength for further swimmin. Music banging, girls with bikinis and swimming suits alongside their boyfriends and invities flood the pool dancing and having fun like it was a beach carnival in the carribeans. Those who couldnt swim hang around the pool side sipping drinks on barbecue and suya as the enjoy the adrenaline pumping music from the dj. I wasnt left out as myself and my colleagues on duty focused on the pool making sure nobody drown. A girl drinking by the poolside with her legs on the water caught my attention as her boyfriend was trying to bring her into the pool with her drink. Its against our pool rules to take drink or eat inside the pool so i interfered. As i was about leaving them, i noticed a lady walking ro the pool area on bikini with two heavy bodied security men and two life guards i know work at the VIP poolside at her part of the hotel, and the manager of my side of the hotel . All eyes on Them as they approached me. It was TEMI. She made it to the party without my invite.
“Hi, i am TEMI. I believe you know these two.”
She points to the life guards that were with her.
“yeah. I do.”
“They will be releiving you of your duties tonight. The rest three will beef up security and make sure everything goes well. Trust me, you wont be missed. please come with me. ”
I had missed feelings. For the first time of my life i felt what it was like to be rich. The other one, all eyes were on me like i just overthrew BILL GATES on the worlds richest men list. I looked at the manager like i seek his consent to leave. He nodded and give me the go ahead without a word. This was thesame man that conducted my interview.
“who is this TEMI?
I asked myself as i followed her out of the poolside. I taught she was taking me to her part of the hotel until we change direction towards the boys quarter.
“You have something that belong to me. I saw you picked it up. The ring. I need it.”
“i can expl……”
She demonstrated. One finger to her mouth.
“No explanation. Just take me to where you kept it.”
We got to my room. I fetched the ring that was on top of my reading table. And handed it to her. Still feeling somehow guilty. For not telling her about the ring.
” Who would have known its was hers?
“Thank you. I didnt know i will be setting my eyes on this particular ring again. I threw it off the window same time my taxi passed you.. ”
Tear drop off her eyes as she explained further.
More tears drop. She rest her head on my shoulders and put her body on mine as she explained more in tears. I started having the feeling of a man feeling the heat of a woman for the first time.
“Behave yourself JITE. Behave yourself. Please don’t get up. Be a man. Be a man. Dont get up. ”
I soliloquise as i tried to control my Middle man from coming up. If i had my way, i would have asked her to give me some space as she narrates how the ring ended in my custody.
“Tony was my last bus stop of a lover. I taught he would be my last boyfriend for he was all i dreamt of for a man i would love to spend the rest of my life with. He was so caring and down to earth as i wanted in my man. What i love about him most was, his dads wealth meant nothing to him. Unlike his other siblings, he doesnt flirt and play girls. He was the responsible one among them. Until today when i found out he was married and has a wife and 4 year old son in America. He told me himself after i proposed to him With this ring. The most painful of the whole thing was that, he walked out on me in front of our friends telling me before them all that he cant marry another woman. Sorry am crying on you. I cant help it. ”
“Its okay. Everyone makes mistakes. Not all the time things go our way. I have also had my heart brakes. But not heart breaks as in heark break. Ladies see me as good for nothing but a friend. Am 32 and yet to have a girlfriend and a good job. I graduated part time HND Business Administration in one of the Polytechnic in my state Delta, three years back . I was posted to Abuja where i finished my service. I have been in Abuja for two years now and this job and room are the best i have gotten so far to having privacy. I have lived all my life struggling and squatting with people. I share a room with eight of my siblings from three different mothers. I had to struggle with the help of my mum to come this far. I have two other siblings by my mum looking up to me. Here i am as a lifeguard at an hotel. You see. Life treats us almost the same way. We just shouldnt give up. Till we get what we want. I know you will meet a man that will cherish and love you as you want. Just dont give up.”
“What about you?
“me like me? You want to marry a struggling guy like me?
“You are a graduate. Don’t underestimate yourself. If You get your dream job now your life will change in a blink of an eye. I can wait till you get it. I dont mind being your wife.”
Before i could say a thing she knelt down, held my hands and put the ring at the tip of my marriage finger.
“Will you marry me? Allow me the privilege of growing with you as your wife.”
“Yess i will. Only a fool will turn you down as a wife. With all your qualities. I will be privileged to have you as a wife.”
. I directed her hands and Inserted the ring on her marriage finger. She kissed me and ended my LONELY VALENTINES.
The next day, she made me resigned from my job with the promise she had a surprise waiting for me in Lagos. We took the next available public transportation to Lagos and arrived at the headquarters of all the LAPRIME HOTELS. She told me she had a friend who work there that will give me a better job. To my greatest surprise, the friend she told me about was her dad. The popolar Mr FUNSHO DAVIES, The CEO of all the LAPRIMES HOTEL around the country. She then told me her main reason of leaving lagos to Abuja was to find true love, and she did. According to her, she didn’t want to make the mistake her elder sisters made by marrying men who were only after their fathers wealth leaving them divorced after several years of marriage.Follow Love Venture on WordPress.com