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Read Letter

Once Upon a Val

He sat back on his bed thinking about her. Not that he wanted to, he couldn’t help it. She was too beautiful for his thoughts to ignore. Thoughts of her have always been captivating, and he revels indulgently in the memories of stretches of moments.

They had met at a birthday party of one of his friends, who turned out to be her friend. There was something about her that night. He couldn’t figure it out then, still can’t figure it out. He just knew they wanted to be together. She was “open” to him like she had known him long before, inviting. She was dressed in confidence, in a simple dress. One or two of the girls tried too hard and became commercial in appeal. She was well travelled. You could tell. There was culture in her voice. And intelligence too. She was ethereal. Her ethereality copulated with her materiality. He would grow to love listening to that voice. The raspy intelligent quality engorged his imagination. Something about it animated a section of his brain dedicated to whimsicalities, foolishnesses and escapism. They were free with each other, so free. No pretenses.

She sometimes displayed a capacity for lavatorial humour to his mock shock and horror. She loved his intensity. He was a curled up ball of string theory. Could vibrate in flashes of inspiration. There was a dark fierce complexity about him that made him appealing to her. But perhaps it was his sincere heart. She had a playful dedicated approach to life – very tenacious of spirit. He stood no chance. Somehow they gelled. They’re one of those permutations that make mockery of the algorithmic approach of dating sites. Perhaps we’re configured with Bluetooth – like technology – our souls connecting wirelessly with those who share our code. It’s how we just know someone is for us. Pairing is an intimate knowledge of the soul.

He nursed his memories, like a contemplative wine bibber nursing a glass of brandy. He said to himself: She does not REALLY understand me, but she loves the essence of me. She’s reduced me to a simple definition – someone she loves and admires, trusts and cares about. I am something she feels safe in – her life cocoon. She wants us. That’s all she wants. This is why love is so uncomplicated for a woman. She reduces a relationship to a simple definition. Men on the other hand are forever questioning their mating decisions. They grill and subject it to tests of faith. This can go on for years, but he can’t know for how long since men are not known to share knowledge of such. But what settles it for a man is the simple answer that comes after a rigorous analysis of Does she love me. If the answer is an inescapable yes, then the man smiles in his soul. Men are often racked with doubt. Every quarrel instigates a grilling of the soul on that simple question, Does she love me. A man needs constant affirmation he thought to himself. But unlike a woman the affirmation must come from his soul. It’s not just women who need constant assurance. Men do too. Our denial of this fact is where things begin to go wrong. His mental soliloquy was interjected by a vision of her naughty smile. At this he smiled to himself.

But their relationship has an embedded contradiction though not of their making. They were together but they couldn’t be together. Their fathers belonged to opposing political parties locked in a vicious and desperate struggle for power. At this time, and in this season their relationship will be tagged a betrayal by party stalwarts. Politicians can be pestiferous. And their reasoning can belong to saeculum obscurum. There was a danger of escalation of abnormal sentiments. Someone might be inspired to murder. It wasn’t just the parties. Both fathers were bitter rivals in a senatorial contest. It wasn’t always like this. The fathers were friends, very close friends. Until the ambition of one threatened the other. The election postponement heightened the tension in the polity. Now they can hardly be seen together.

As she thought of him at the other end, she realized he was her valoriser. In his affection she relishes. She’s unconcerned with much else. All she wants is him. She just loves him. Can’t explain it, can’t let it go. She’s so settled in their love, unconcerned with much else, save their love for one another. The tension in the land only sharpened their love. They’ve resorted to texts, for now. And texts amplify feelings. He’s often amazed at her simple trust. That kind of trust puts pressure on a man. A lot of pressure. Sometimes however a man wants to FEEL a woman’s trust, over and over again. To feel the trust is to know that someone is still there for you… any day, every day, anytime. That someone cares about you. Their love has become a trusteeship, of his affection, and her affection.

Here he was exploring a hollow space no one knows about, a space of thoughts for two. And yet another thought intervened at a joint of his reverie, but it was a very pleasant thought. He remembered the last time they went to the movie. She went because of him; it wasn’t her type of movie. But if you love someone you want to be with that someone, and you strive to please that someone. Not being “together” is separate and unequal existence. And men sometimes have special needs. Such needs cannot be expressed in words. The more gifted the more the needs. He loves that about her – her desire to want to be with him. That does something to a man. He’s having all these thoughts going on in his head. She doesn’t know, can’t know. Just like she’s having all these thoughts going on in her head. He doesn’t know, can’t know.

His phone rang. He somehow knew it was her. It is one of those heart intelligences no one can explain. “I’m just calling,” she said. “Can’t stop thinking about you.” “Me too. Been thinking of you. Wish I could be there with you.” At that, tears welled up in her eyes. Her voice shook with love and tenderness. “I love you baby!” “Love you too my darling!” He looked at his watch, as if to affirm what he already knew. The date read February 14. It was Valentine ’s Day.

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Love, Valentine's Day

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