An Unexpected Valentine (Part 1)

It was Wednesday, and the weather was so perfect that I overslept and forgot about work. It was already 9am when I checked the time, and a strange laziness accompanied by a slight headache kept me glued to the bed. I decided to call in sick, grateful I didn’t have much work piled up at the office.
“I don’t trust you. Are you sure you are sick?” that was the first question, Cassy, my best friend at work, who also happened to be HR, asked after I called to tell her that I was sick and wouldn’t be coming to work.

“Hmmm, okay o, enjoy yourself, play safe, and don’t forget to bring some goodies for me tomorrow”, she continued, laughing as she spoke.
Even though I was a little bit confused, I didn’t bother to ask her why she felt I was lying about being sick or what she even meant by saying “play safe”. Since I was already used to her sarcastic attitude, I didn’t try to read too much meaning into her words. Countless times, we’ve made jest of each other’s problems, no matter how serious they may be; it was one of our little ways of getting over them quickly. We shared a few laughs and gossip before ending the call.

With the day stretching ahead and boredom setting in, I scrolled through my phone gallery. A picture of Johnson and I caught my eye, sparking a flood of thoughts about our unique friendship. After a few swipes, I stumbled on another photo of me and Johnson. I couldn’t help but admire how we looked so good together. Talk about someone who comes into one’s life and changes everything; he was that person for me. There is something so unique about our friendship that I can’t seem to describe.

Staring at the picture, a lot of thought came to my mind. I thought about how he makes me laugh whenever I’m sad, pays attention to every detail about me, and is always ready to do anything for my sake. I couldn’t help but ponder how he instilled in me a belief in true love and friendship and how his love and gestures toward me caused me to fall for him. I recollected how I would turn down other suitors, convinced that he harboured similar feelings and was biding his time to express them.

I remembered how I wished for years that he wanted me to be his as much as I wanted him to be mine, how sad and heartbroken I was when he told me that his family had arranged a marriage for him, and he couldn’t defy their wishes. I thought about how I had to pretend to support his relationship even though, deep down, I wished he could see that I was the one for him. I had to avoid his fiancée even though she saw me as someone she could trust. I thought about how she would have hated me if she knew how badly I wanted her man.

As I pondered, my phone beeped, bringing me back to the present, and I was glad it did because I had promised myself countless times not to think about him and move on with my life. Since there was nothing else to do, I decided to go back to sleep. I was about to go to bed when I heard a knock on my door. I was in the midst of hastily putting on some clothes to cover myself, as I was essentially half-naked. However, I stopped when I heard Johnson’s voice. I was not wearing a bra and had on a crop top, coupled with a pair of shorts that were short enough to reveal my buttocks, but I didn’t bother changing into something else since it was Johnson, and it was not the first time he saw me dressed like that.
I opened the door only to see Johnson smiling with a bouquet of flowers in his hand. Before I could think of what to say, he shouted, “Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart,” as he handed me the flowers.

I smiled as I suddenly understood why Cassy doubted if I was sick and what she meant by “play safe”.
“Aww, thanks, sweetheart. Funny enough, I had no idea today was Valentine’s Day. I didn’t even know you were coming, and I never thought you would think of bringing me flowers. I should have gotten something for you, too. Not to worry, I owe you a gift. By the way, how did you know I would be home? I don’t remember telling you”, I asked, grinning from ear to ear.
“You deserve more than flowers, Matilda. You are sweet, beautiful, and the best thing that can ever happen to anyone. So, you don’t have to be surprised by my little way of telling you that I love and appreciate you. Yes, I was going to drop this flower in your office, but I felt I should check you at home first. Luckily for me, you were around”, he replied.
I saw how his eyes were focused on my body as we spoke. I could tell he was trying hard to get his eyes off my body; perhaps my dressing distracted him, but I didn’t mind. After all, he needed to see what he was missing.

We decided to play some games as usual to while away time. After so many rounds, I won the game, and I was so happy that I was jumping around when I tripped and fell on him. The warmth of his body was so comforting that I wished I could remain like that for a while. Looking up, my eyes caught his lips, oh how I longed to kiss them. I muttered “sorry” as I managed to get off him. Before I knew what was happening, he dragged me back and kissed me passionately, like he had been waiting for that moment all his life. A gentle kiss at first, lips pressed to lips, then our tongues were touching, and I felt utterly relaxed against him. Then, I pulled away.
“We shouldn’t be doing this. You are engaged to be married soon, Johnson. What are you doing here today of all days? You should be with Grace”, I asked, brazen.
“I love you, Matilda, and you know this. I’m sorry I made you wait this long before telling you how I feel. I apologise for confessing my love to you in this manner. I wasn’t sure if you felt the same way about me, so I remained silent all these years. I was scared of jeopardising what we shared as friends. I need you in my life, and I want us to be together not as friends but as soulmates”, he replied.

“About Grace, I never truly loved her. My family forced me into a relationship with her, and the pressure was too much, so I had to give in. You know everything about my relationship with Grace, don’t you? I understand this would hurt her, but she will be fine. I will surely end things with her and settle everything with my family.”
Millions of uncertainties invaded my body. There was no other word for how the sincerity in his eyes had inflamed me until I was ready to give in to his request, not caring about the consequences. Finally, I gave in.

…To be continued.

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Dorcas Akintoye is a versatile writer with a passion for beauty, fashion, relationships, and culinary delight. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she adds a touch of elegance to every topic she explores. She is a writer at THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

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About Author / Dorcas Akintoye

Dorcas Akintoye is a versatile writer with a passion for beauty, fashion, relationships, and culinary delight. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she adds a touch of elegance to every topic she explores. She is a writer at THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

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