Once Upon a Valentine

  On the fourteenth day of the second month, Patrick has bobbed up, belly wise. He will bend very well and sweet, dance while moping, eat foofoo and okasi soup, take his bath without a


On the fourteenth day of the second month, Patrick has bobbed up, belly wise. He will bend very well and sweet, dance while moping, eat foofoo and okasi soup, take his bath without a sponge and apply hair cream on his two bushy eyebrows. He has been doing that since SS3. Things looked normal yet he had a feeling that something must happen to him. Something must happen or he must make something happen. Must. He waited till 3pm and got no text neither did his phone ring. His parents had gone to work. His siblings on mid-term break were watching Skinny Girl on Transit in the living room. He bounced pass them. Lera wanted to say something but he dramatically gave him a hard hand on air that paused the parrot’s utterance. He walked to the junction and refused to board a bus that will take him straight to where he had in mind. Instead, he took three taxis consecutively, stopping at different junctions, each leading him to the next.

That day, everything must be done in a reversed order. Worst, he didn’t speak nor greet anyone on his way out. When a guy at the extreme of the back seat of the taxi he first boarded smiled at him and began to make a move. Silence rebuked the fellow for him.
On his way to the state capital shopping mall, his brain hit a reminisce. Under the mango tree, Shedrack was holding his hands crying, “You will forget me. I don’t know but how can I even see you? When will I see you again? When will I see you, my love. I don’t know where they will transfer my father to next year, maybe.” Patrick said similar things to him, they hugged for over five minutes before he ran home and went to cry at the back of his Grandma’s kitchen. He departed his grandmother’s place as a teenager and went to town to grow with his parents. Shedrack, his first love at the moment, seem like a blurry but lovely memory after nine years. They couldn’t get in touch and time, the adversary, did what it knows how to do best.

Since then, every relationship he had were like bombs, counting down rapidly and exploding, sending sparks of heartbreak into his heart.
On the evening of the first Val Day after his unwilling separation with Shedrack, he was at the streets with his new friend and they saw their neighbour, a girl about their age, jumping towards them. The girl walked to them in great enthusiasm of lovers’ day, heralding, “If una see, if una see where I dey come from, I dey come from Presidential Hotel, Presidential.” Shedrack had never been there before so he smiled his ignorance through the gist.
The next Valentine’s Days were always out of luck. He never made it out to rendezvous. But this time, he must go out, he must walk, fly or just see people around before wandering back home. 

Patrick thought that celebrating love is cool. People will be out, things will happen, couple hold hands and kiss new kisses. The fights and sudden break ups. The sparkling events and congestion of restaurants, eateries, pubs and every joint. It was all worth the day, for love that is a dove yet so reckless.
He refused to see a film at the Mall’s cinema or even get a pizza, chicken and chips. Patrick excitedly ordered eba and egusi soup at the cafeteria and ate voraciously, enjoying the eyes on him or maybe the stares at his breasts that refuses brassier. He relished his decision to be upside, down. When he was done with the local food. He padded towards a bar adjacent the cafeteria and ordered a shot of Royal Challenge. A wonderful experience was about to happen. Cut that sentence short now! The biting alcohol sent a crashing sensation through his chest. Patrick’s eyes exploded. He began to rub his chest vigorously. The female bartender muffled a laugh. Patrick embarrassingly pushed a thousand naira note towards her and went to order a milk-shake from the pizza outlet.

No sooner had he recuperated from his burnt chest than Evans appeared into his eyes. Gift said Evans was her boyfriend but Patrick was seeing another girl with him. He rubbed his eyes and looked like an astronomer. The girl sitting beside him was Miracle, Gift’s friend. No way!

Patrick didn’t run down a stream of many thoughts, he staggered towards them and took Evans by his shirt collar.
“Breeze blow, fowl yansh show!”
“Excuse me?” shot Evans trying to take his hands off his white shirt.
“You are my friend’s boyfriend.”
“Is this one mad?”
Miracle joined in the dragging.
“Don’t ever try yourself, Miracle. Get your hands off this fight. Hostel she-goat. I’m fighting with my friend’s boyfriend not you.”
“He is not even your own boyfriend.”
“My friend’s boyfriend is my boyfriend!” Patrick roared.
With that, Evans pulled harder, taking Patrick with him backwardly. They collapsed into a throng of people, most of them putting on white and red or pink. Chairs ran helter-skelter. There was already a crowd around them. Shortly, two security men arrived, paving way through the people to reach the fighters. Miracle was still talking, one of the security men has taken interest to her story. The mess suddenly appeared blurry to Patrick. What had he dispensed in the presence of the world? He found a little awareness and dragged himself up into a chair. Evans was already up trying to exonerate the situation.

Someone nudged Patrick. He turned around, one of his hands still on his head, trying to make out what had just occurred. Zoro was smiling at him, extending his milk-shake to him. Zoro was his mathematics teacher in Federal Government College.

“Here, your drink, you haven’t even drank anything. I had to guard it for you till you finished with your wrestling. Batister! ”
Patrick blinked his surprise with an open mouth.
“Uncle Zoro!”
“O yes!”
Patrick turned around as if he had had enough of something bitter.
Meeting a mathematics teacher on a Valentine’s Day in a disgraceful manner. What could be more bitter? His name was not even Patrick, she was Patricia in school, till Uncle Zoro caught her smoking hash with a group of boys and nicknamed her Patrick. 

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