Akuko!’, I muttered to myself, as he went on about some global incident.

That is what the Igbos say when a discussion is beginning to enter voicemail. If you know me, you can sense when I’m not interested in something and it gets worse because when I begin to lose my patience, I make it obvious I want to be left alone.

For a 36-year-old woman in Nigeria, the first heat of the year is turned on as February 14th approaches. The matchmaking begins in December during the festivities and your parents draw up a calendar to make sure you keep in touch with prospects from last season. They send you a dress and a chauffeur, just in case any of the dudes from Christmas remembers to call for dinner on D-day.

This has been my life since I turned 30 but this year, I have made up my mind to give them a husband, so my mummy doesn’t die from fasting. Here, I am, seated with the weirdest childhood friend. You know that shy one that used to cry when the boys tease him? The one you’ll have to console as mucus runs down his nose while you use the tip of your skirt to clean it as you hide your disgust.

Well, this is he except that this time, he’s all manned up and with an accent. ‘Abeg, no dey form’, I told him as I gave the waiter my Sterling card to pay. He handed it back and paid in my stead and right now as I size him up like Daphne, he’s certainly not the guy I used to know.

In a few minutes, we’ll be out of here and I’m not sure where we’re headed but this time, my guards are down. I needed to give them what they wanted but I realize now that I too want him, and this must be the end of my quest.

________

Visit Love In A Pandemic and find free games, music and ideas to keep you and your partner pleasantly engaged this Valentine!

www.sterling.ng/pandemiclove


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Ayodeji Chinyere Taiye
Ayodeji Chinyere Taiye
12 days ago

Scums & Rings
 
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, they say, but they are also the reason we split. Two years of my life and this girl breaks up with me on Val night. Like, she literally accepted my invitation, dressed up in the red I got her, all lovey dovey and just when desert was served, sister decided to yarn dust.
 
I don’t get it; which one is, ‘I’m not feeling us anymore?’. This one reach to change accent. Ayam not understanding; we toured the States in 2019. When the pandemic struck, we were already in Dubai and in 2021, when we’re supposed to be recovering from the COVID we both caught, you’re telling me story?
 
Ah! Girls are scum indeed.
 
I remember when I told her I would get her the best gold ring my money could buy, Madam say na ‘after all we’ve been through, you didn’t consider diamonds? If scum were a person, it’s you, Kola’. How can I forget that, especially with that her stupid accent (sniffs)?
 
This girl has done me strong thing. I had to get a Sterling credit card to pay for Dubai and when I saw that we would definitely stay longer because of COVIK, I took a loan from Specta on top. Who send me go carry overload?
 
The one that is bursting my brain now is that she just dropped the bomb, kissed my forehead and walked out, into her cab. And as I look at her, all I see are my investments. The bone straight on her head is two plots of land at Ibeju Lekki. The bag, 40 bags of cement. The red dress, matching shoe and purse nko? Kai; Jezebel is no match for you, Folake.
 
I know I’ll wash plate in this restaurant for 6 months so let me just drink as much as I can before I resume my duties because, turn me upandan, shishi, you’ll not find. When they release me, I will hurry up and reserve my spot at Ajah under bridge because that will be my new home.
 
I turned around to start my new life and boom, there she was! She circled back to me; knees to the ground and arms stretched out towards me with some silver stuff and yes, it was a ring!!
 
But how about everything I just said?

Lover_boy
Lover_boy
12 days ago

My Oyibo Valentine

She walked into the stream and swam to the other side.

Wetin Bala no go see for Oyibo hand? First, I met her weeding that farmland. I followed as she glided into the sunset, hips swinging from side to side, hair strands obeying the motions of the wind and her supple light skin, glowing as the sun cast its rays upon her. I had never seen a Caucasian this curvy, ever.

I watched, spell-bound yet praying the water won’t carry her. Strangers aren’t allowed to swim here but she seemed like she was used to this. I waited to ask what she was doing in this part of the world until I saw her at the other riverbank. I believed she didn’t see me, so I screamed my questions and as she turned back to answer, there was this tone of preparedness, as though she knew what I’d ask. I wasn’t shocked; she’s got some nerve to be here all by herself. Even the warriors didn’t dare but I mean, maybe things have changed, and this city boy didn’t get the memo.

She replied with even louder shouts and a stare so fascinating I found it hard to keep back from entering the water. ‘This is fun’, I muttered. We’ve spent over thirty minutes, asking and answering each other while I scan through Ikoyi for befitting restaurants for our Valentine date. Can I get your number?’, I asked again as she blushed from a distance’, making my ego set like bread on top Mama Ejima head. 

‘Just a second’, I said, as I tried finding my phone. I lift up my head to ask for her digits and behold, I see nothing. The coast is clear. What just happened? Did I just converse with a mermaid? I’m afraid I nearly pee my pants. Goodness! I run as fast as I can, amidst falls and trickles down my trousers.

I jerk from my bed in cold sweats with boxers soaked, only to realize that I am alone in my Ebute Metta self-con, broke and single as usual. It’s time to take that Specta loan. Maybe the Lord is sending me a Sisi from Ikoyi and I cannot come and fall my hand.

Ikedi Chukwuocha
Ikedi Chukwuocha
12 days ago

This Story just caught my attention, the fact that it can be related to probably because I’m Igbo and I’m a Nigerian who used to be teased. Lol

But then the way Nigerian parents coerced their children into marriage

Ikedi Chukwuocha
Ikedi Chukwuocha
12 days ago

Why! Why!! Why!!!

(Precious has been mad at me for some time, She still chats me up as though nothing happens but that vibe isn’t there. Somehow this makes me love her even more, Well I was the one that asked for a stubborn spouse and God answered me in his benevolence… What a might God we serve🤣)

Me: Precious, Are you mad at me or something?

Precious: What does it look like (Staring into my eyes)

Me: (Trying to avoid her stare, coming close to hold her hands) You do know that even though in the future, we shall become one flesh, we would never become one Mind. I won’t know what’s on your mind until you tell Nne.

Precious: (Knowing how persuasive my words can be, Looks at me with the most piercing eyes)

You know we are going to be one flesh right? It’s ironic how the words you’re telling me are the same reason why I’m angry with me.

Me: (Looking very confused at this moment) Okay what was it that I did?

Precious: You had an issue and you didn’t tell me your Precious, Jedice you didn’t tell me about the interview, (mentioning other things I had gone through that she heard from third parties)

Why? Why? Why? (Squeezing my hands with each Why?)

Me: (Bowing my head, I’m hurt that I’ve hurt her)

I’m sorry it won’t happen again, I didn’t want to bother you (looking at the floor, avoiding her piercing eyes)

Precious: You didn’t want to bother me? Jedice it bothers me that you don’t bother me with these stuff, stress me with your problems, It’s part of the package that I signed my self into.

Me: (I look up and catch her stare, I’m wondering this time How did I get so blessed to get this lady, Even with the hurt I did to her She still counsels me with so much Love that it makes me want to cry)

I’m sorry na, Do you want me to cry?

Precious: Actually I do (She smirks) so that you will learn your lesson

We laugh, And Hug each other warmly…

Aquinifa Ademola
Aquinifa Ademola
11 days ago

The Queen’s Gambit

It was supposed to be my Gambit but as I stand over his lifeless body, blood splattering like the broken Queen’s fountain and gliding so soullessly across the hallway, I realize now that I was played. I just killed my lover, for a flimsy reason!

I began to cry. ‘It’s for the greater good’, a voice told me, but the only good I now see are our memories. Tori Olorun, last year was difficult but this trip; my reward for all the lies I forgave, the cheating I endured, the gifts for mystery girls mistakenly sent to me which I overlooked, the numerous threats from girlfriends past that I dismissed. The horror of COVID no reach am half.

Under Diary of a Naija girl’s posts, I thought I found the perfect Valentine. Things got serious when we finally made it to my DMs, after months of liking and replying each other’s comments and in June of 2020, I had my first lunch date in three years.

It was a zoom affair and so, he sent green juices from Sofreshng and correct swallow from Miel’s Efritin kitchen to my place. ‘You fine’, I remember teasing as we laughed our way into the night.

Now, time moved eerie slowly as the blaring sounds of sirens frequently interfered with my thoughts. The cuffs were too tight, I couldn’t breathe. Is this the end of me? After months of planning, it’s pretty clear to me now how I’ll be spending my Valentine.

But, how did I get here?

Stephen_writer
Stephen_writer
11 days ago

From the Barracks with Love

‘…this is all I can offer, at least for now’. Those were his words when I entered the cantonment.

Bamidele was stationed in Ohafia the year I got into the university. I had only seen him once; the break after WAEC and he was just there. Nothing extraordinary except that he had this smile that could melt the strongest heart and there was also something about how he helped the older women carry their wares across the road. He wasn’t the classic TDH guy but, that one dey sha.

I was carrying my mum’s coolers home that evening when he asked to buy some okpa. I told him we were sold out and that was how it started. I returned home late that evening and took my strokes in strides, knowing full well that my night was fruitful. Mgbeke had told me about this guy but you know how spoilers can take the snuff the fun out of seeing the movie.

Now that I’ve met him, I know it wasn’t all hype. I personally brought Okpa to him the next day and he paid for an extra one for me; how sweet. I noticed he didn’t do much that day which was unusual, considering that he was a recruit, and they did the most work. It was on Sunday, after church that he explained why. His Commanding Officer had seen us together the night before and decided to leave us to catch up. Thank God I’m a brown skinned girl; the blush would have been obvious if I was fair.

It was a week to my first year in Uni that I heard that school would not resume as planned because of COVID. I started learning to sew in Aunty Elebe’s shop, close to the barracks and so, seeing him became easier. I had an hour break to spend with him and after one of our ‘dates’, he took me to the Sterling branch to open an account. I had planned to do this in school but I’m like, ‘why not?’.

He deposited 10k into it and for the first time, I hugged a man that wasn’t my father. I was so happy I didn’t tell my Mum; else my joy would be short-lived. School is in session and it’s the second semester, but Mama is ill and so I’m back to tend to her. He came to visit and asked that we hang out the next day.

I call him as I walk into the barracks that evening and I hear his voice some feet away, over the phone. As I turn to my right, there’s a blanket with plates, drinks, chocolates and red roses on a green well-trimmed field.

Oh! Bamidele, what did I do to deserve you? ‘Baby m (in his thick accent)’, he said, you deserve much more but…’

Amuzulu Roselyn
Amuzulu Roselyn
10 days ago

This story isn’t complete. I don’t have comment. I couldn’t comprehend it.