Friday, 14 February 2014

A Valentine Short story...

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all. Do make sure you have a love-filled day, either by surrounding yourself with love or surrounding others with love.
Here’s the little something something I promised.



The week before February 14 came; different thoughts had begun to cloud my mind. It seemed this year’s was going to have to be a step-up-my-game Valentine. Foyekemi wouldn’t want the epic ‘Be my Valentine’ card and a box of chocolates that I got her when I had started asking her out four years ago. She wouldn’t want those Motivational books and GL necklace I got her the year after, nor the Mr. Small’s Fast food restaurant’s cake I had secretly asked to be delivered to her work table on her birthday. Her friend had told me that the cake was rock hard like a weapon of warfare. It took effort for the knife to even penetrate the cake. My bad. So for her Christmas gift last year, I had saved up money to buy her a UK used blackberry torch 1.

I know my girlfriend. She is the type that prefers to keep quiet and pretend she loves something even if it is hideous, and so, I decided I would take her by surprise this year.

Let me introduce myself. I am Omotoye Bamidele. I am a lawyer…an underpaid one. I work with a good law firm. Everyone knows our Principal Counsel. You would think we were paid nothing less than two hundred thousand naira to say the least. But my salary is N50, 000. The other day, some friends from law school had organized a get-together. We had been discussing our present jobs and achievements over the years. I declared my meagre salary in shame and I was surprised that some of my mates even earned less! They say it’s the experience you are getting as a young lawyer; hence you shouldn’t focus much on the salary. The last time I checked, experience doesn’t foot the bills you need to pay today, nor feed the stomach that needs to have lunch right now.

Before the year began, I told God I wanted my dream job to happen. I had applied to hundreds of companies, and written several aptitude tests. I graduated with a second class upper degree at the University and also at Law school. I eagerly wanted to pursue a further degree but my father is done with paying school fees. He expects me to begin to handle the bills of my younger siblings. Since I saw that Master’s degree plan wasn’t looking too realistic, I had started to apply to different companies and read up a lot at my spare time.

Foyekemi had always been the girl of my dreams. I had first laid eyes on her when we were in law school. She was so calm and warm. She just had this good-girl nature that endeared me to her. I made my enquiries and began to set the props to ask her to be my girlfriend. When I heard her ex-boyfriend had just broken her heart, I decided to key in, and it sure worked, although with a lot of the usual fronting of the female folk. And that’s how we became Foye and Toye. We both weren’t rich, but we were happy and in love.

NYSC came and we were posted to the different states, but that didn’t separate us. Instead, our hearts grew fonder of each other. I served with the law firm where I work now, and she served at a school in Benin, teaching Government. By the end of the NYSC period, I got retained, and she came back to Lagos, job hunting. Many months after, she got a job as an admin assistant with a small real estate company.
You know how ladies are. Time began to pass, and her friends began to get married. I attended some of the weddings with her, but then I stopped because I always saw the look in her eyes that she was anticipating when I would pop the question, even if she never said anything. In fact, the last wedding we went for together was her cousin’s, Laide, and I knew she felt jealous because it had been us who had introduced the girl to her husband. They had dated only six months, and were now tying the knot.
Foye always complained about her job and how small her salary was. We decided to pray and fast about both our jobs, and perhaps, God answered hers first. She had met someone at one of those weddings I didn’t attend with her, and the uncle had taken a sudden interest in her. He was a politician and had helped her with a job as his Personal Assistant. I didn’t like the idea, but I decided there was nothing wrong. I know my girl, and I trust her. However, three weeks after, the Foye and Toye relationship had started to take a nose dive. She called less, picked my calls less, and hardly had time to chat with me on BBM (The BB that I laboured to buy her o.) Once, she complained she didn’t have airtime. I sent N1, 500 worth of airtime to her, and all she did was to give me a missed call!

Maybe it was my fault. She was probably trying to pass a message across that she was getting tired of our Methuselah relationship, and so, I decided I would give her the ultimate Valentine present. I would pop the question. At least that would hold her down with me for some more time before we started wedding plans.

I have never taken a loan from the office. I have never borrowed money from anyone. Maybe it’s just my ego. But I was willing to do this to get Foye a befitting ring. I was able to get some money together, and bought her a beautiful diamond ring. My younger sister had picked it. She said Foye would gush and blush and show all those emotions that girls have. I had already booked a cab to pick us up from my office to the beach. I couldn’t afford an expensive restaurant with all the money that had gone into the ring.


***


February Fourteenth


It was a Friday. My boss never came to work on Fridays. Just my luck. I closed from work as early as 4PM and pinged Foye to start coming over. She said her boss had to travel out of the country, so she had the day free. I checked her display picture. It was one of those love quotes which had tu-pac’s face in the background. Her Personal Message read: Happy Valentine’s day to you all! Xoxo. Sure, I felt bad because I had put up a pic-mix of the both of us, but hey, it’s not a big deal.
When I saw her text: “I’m outside” I smiled. Hurriedly, I put the ring box in my pocket, and said goodbye to my colleagues.
I stepped out and looked around but I didn’t see my girlfriend. A black Kia Soul was honking repeatedly. I walked over…maybe it was someone I knew, as it obviously couldn’t be the cab man. She wound down the glass, and smiled. It was Foye!

“Hi Toye. Happy Valentine’s day.” She smiled. I had to admit she was looking hot in her white maxi dress and gold Ray Ban frames.

“Whose car is this?” I asked, surprised.

Uncle Ade gave it to me this Monday. He said for official duties.”

Uncle Ade is her politician boss.

“Hop in, let’s go. Where did you say we were going again?”

I walked to the other side, and got into the car. I didn’t even know my girlfriend had started driving! As she drove towards Elegushi, I had to ask her why she didn’t acknowledge me on her BBM. As I said it, I felt emasculated already. That was something a girl would be complaining about.

“I’m sorry dear. I hardly use that phone. Uncle Ade gave me his old iPhone.”
I looked at the gold plated iPhone 5s that she had placed on her laps. The Blackberry was sitting in the cup holder between us. I felt like that Blackberry; deserted, old, and getting useless.

As we sat at the beach, I forgot my proposal speech. I had practiced it over the weekend, but now, everything seemed to flow away with the beach water. I decided to ignore all what had just gone down, and then I held her hand and began to say all the wonderful things I had in my heart, to her. She blushed alright, but when I got down on my knee, and brought out the ring, she looked expressionless.

“Will you marry me, Foyekemi Alao?” I said for the third time.

“Em…this is so…sudden.” She finally said.

“Sudden? We’ve been dating for four years!” I said, shocked. What I really wanted to say was: Sudden ke? Do you know how much I borrowed to pay for this ring?

“Yeah…I know.” She smiled, and then said yes. I put the ring on her finger, and she hugged me.

I felt proud of myself, as I got down the okada and walked into the house. I didn’t want Foye driving late so I told her to go home, while I took a bike. My sister rushed to sit beside me almost immediately, wanting to know how everything went down. About 8pm, I checked my BBM again, hoping to see the picture of the ring on Foye’s DP. It was still the same as had been in the morning. Maybe it was my network. I removed the battery and put it back in the phone, but nothing. None of her friends even pinged or called me to tease or congratulate me. Then, her cousin, Laide, who had gotten married the other time, sent me a BBM message:


-         - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Laide £™Ω®˂that fresh girl>
Thank you for a beautiful valentine’s day, dear hubby.
  • ·        I go love o.
  • ·        I saw all the gifts you gave my cousin on her dp.
_____________________________________________________

        Toye the Barrister
        I love you to the moon and back, Foyekemi. #teamfoyeandtoyeforever
   
ü   Gifts or gift? Happy Vals day, dear.
______________________________________________________

       Laide £™ΩJ®˂that fresh girl>
       Thank you for a beautiful valentine’s day, dear hubby.

·        The cupcakes, the iphone 5 and the galaxy tab on her other bbm now. She just added me on it.
________________________________________________________________

        Toye the Barrister
         I love you to the moon and back, Foyekemi. #teamfoyeandtoyeforever

ü   Can you send me the picture please? My network is bad so her dp isn’t changing           on my phone.
_________________________________________________________


She sent me the photo, and it was the same phone I had seen with her today. So it was actually a valentine’s gift from her Uncle-cum-Sugar daddy! I called her phone immediately. She picked up after two calls.

“Are you even wearing that ring? Is it so hideous you can’t put it up as your dp. I thought you would be happy about this?” I snapped.

“Toye, come on.” She was speaking in a really low tone. “I like to keep this a secret, from prying eyes and gossips.”

“Why are you talking in that voice?” I yelled.

“I’m in church…” she started, then I heard Uncle’s deep baritone at the background, asking her to come to bed. She knew I heard, because she went silent.

“Are you sleeping with him already because of an iPhone and a tab and all that rubbish?!” I yelled louder.

“Toye, I’m sorry. I can’t do this anymore. I think we should break up. Let’s face it, you’re broke. How do you expect me to marry you?”

It hit me like a Tyson punch. I was shocked, and all I managed to say was…

“Please I’d be needing that ring back.”

As I dropped the phone, I slammed my hand on the table in anger. How could she do this to me? Who does that? On Valentine’s day?! What a fool I had been? She had better return that ring. I don’t care if she laughs at me.

By 10.30 PM, I finally grabbed my phone from where I had flung it in annoyance. I was almost deleting her contact, when a text came in.

SHELL (DO NOT REPLY)
Received 10.31PM
Dear Mr Omotoye Bamidele, we are pleased to inform you that you were successful in the final interview stage of your assessment. You are to take your medicals by Monday, February 17, 2014 and resume your employment with the Legal Department on Monday, March 3, 2014. Thank you.


I screamed at the top of my lungs, and my parents and sisters came rushing into the living room. As I shared the news with them, my mother knelt on the floor, crying and thanking God. This was indeed my valentine gift from God!

I changed my Personal Message on BBM: The greatest Val gift ever! I got the job!
In about five minutes, Foye pinged me.

Hi my Love. Was it the Shell job you got! God answered our prayers! I’m so happy for us. I’m really sorry for what I said earlier. I can’t live without you. I didn’t mean it. #teamfoyeandtoyeforever”

“Thunder fire you!” I began to type back, trying not to insult her like I really wanted to.



*fisayotalabi
*The names and references in this short story are entirely fictional.
Thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this story. Please drop a comment, and share with your friends and loved ones.






23 comments:

  1. P.S HOPE YOU GET THE BBM CHAT...SORRY FOR THE ARRANGEMENT.

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  2. Lol... wonderful story dear.. Happy Valentine...

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  3. And fisco killed it again.....nice story....but there are girls like foye ooooo.

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  4. Uncle Ade of life lol!

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  5. hahahhahahhaa, hilarious, OMG. u r just an awesome writer. we want more pweeeeese

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  6. Nice story again Fissy, Happy Valentine's day.

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  7. wow....so intriguing....u r awesome...Happy Val's day, really!

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  8. Nice piece Fisayo. Highly commendable

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  9. I can relate with Toye's situation. hahaha. hilarious. thunder fire you, foye. haha

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  10. I love your stories! I can only wait for you to write books so I can keep for my children to read!

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  11. Nice one Fisco! Rily interesting.@ anonymous 1:24,so many of dem mehn...loll! Gud 4 Toye tho and Foye had better return the ring...loll!

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  12. thank you all so much. hope you had a nice feb 14th, xoxo!

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  13. Love it love it love it

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  14. Sooo lovely...happy valentine in arrears.

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  15. Rock hard like a weapon of warfare hahahaha!!! Epic!

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  16. Money good oo..lol. weldone Fisayo.

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  17. I totally love this and I can relate with the guy cause I'm a lawyer and the pay is really bad for young lawyers, I'm presently praying for a breakthrough for a change of job too. And the girl had better return the ring. Patience is a virtue.
    P.S I hate attending weddings eehhnn everybody stylishly looking at my finger.

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  18. Lovely. .God bless you Fisayo.

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