Love is in the air
Flowers, chocolates and roses
A red and white affair
One chapter opens, another closes.
The real story behind St. Valentine leaves us with the adage that true love never dies. Bishop Valentine believed in marriage in a society that believed that marriage weakened the resolve of soldiers. He continued to marry those and when it was discovered that he was acting against the Emperor’s orders he was told to desist. When he refused he was detained. The jailer’s daughter was blind and Valentine healed her sight. They fell in love, but it was ill fated for Valentine was sentenced to be beheaded the following morning. The night before his death he wrote her a letter and signed it “From Your Valentine.” Despite his unfortunate demise, this tradition of love, though be it materialised and commercialised is celebrated today. Permit me to share with you another memorable Valentine’s day story:
Her body still ached from the surgery she had two weeks ago but she was determined to go. Dressed in her best, waiting at the entrance of the restaurant, she leaned in and whispered into the host’s ear: “Table for one”.
The host took in the stunningly attractive young lady and thought to himself that it was ludicrous that a delicious looking lady should be by herself especially like a night like tonight: Valentines night. Before he could stop himself, he said: “Where is the young gentleman?” to which she calmly replied: “Where is the table? I just want to be treated like a Queen tonight.”
The host completely understood. Instead of sitting her at the bar as she had requested, he insisted that she sit at one of the finest tables in the restaurant. She complied. He showed her the wine list and she waved it away to expertly order a bottle of the Blackwood cabernet sauvignon. As he left, she opened a book and began to read a novel by her favourite Nigerian feminist author.
No children, no calls from work, nothing but peace and quiet. No awkward pauses in fake conversation with a date alongside her. Another waiter came to serve her wine and expertly poured it into her wine glass. She looked on appreciatively at the technique and the waiter’s physique and leaned in ever so slightly to make a request. “May I see the menu? I would like to order.” He quickly returned with the order. She set her novel aside and she perused the menu. After making her selection, she enjoyed the relaxing lounge music and the crashing of the waves on the boardwalk outside of the restaurant.
Thinking to herself, she realised that this was truly the reward for the dramatic and traumatic year she had: a turbulent pregnancy, a broken marriage and an unfulfilling career. She was beginning a love affair. A love affair with herself. She took care to arrange her clothes, her hair, her accessories before coming out on her own this Valentine’s night. She did not need to fit the mould of the other couples around her. She was responsible for her own happiness and as the main course arrived, she sipped her wine and took a cleansing breathe into her body for her mind and soul were content. She would not have it any other way. She took another sip of the wine and as it coursed through her body, she thought love lives on. Though it may appear that this is the end it truly is a wonderful beginning. She lifted her glass halfway in the air and whispered: Happy Valentine’s Day!