I hope you've been great. I'm back with another story. In the spirit of Valentine's day past, I wrote this piece. Enjoy and feel free to comment. Please also like and share with friends etc. xx
The Huffington Post
Amaka had grown to be a wiser woman over the years. Her past relationships and those of her friends had taught her to prioritize what was more important in life. With every wrong relationship she had experienced, she became more certain that she was closer to her prince charming and farther away from her frogs; that was hope to her. She had had multiple heart aches and every time she went through them, she updated her list of qualities that she did desired and those she did not. The interesting thing about her list was that she also had a segment titled “my weaknesses.” This was where she listed the things she had come to realise were her bad habits or things that she felt she needed to work on, in general, as she believed that no one was perfect, including her. She wanted growth, to grow into the woman that the kind of man she desired would also desire. And from all the years, she had discovered that her Achilles’ heels were gifts.
Oh yes, Amaka loved gifts very much, regardless of what they were. As long as they came wrapped or in pretty boxes, she would get excited and very happy. It was not because she was materialistic, she was not; rather for her, gifts used to be a sign of love. Growing up, she grew accustomed to the little gifts she received from her parents, especially her father, and other loved ones on occasions such as Christmas, New Year, Birthdays, from trips and even sometimes on random occasions. She also had no hesitation or problem with giving gifts too as that was her way of showing love and appreciation. However, things had happened over the years to Amaka that made her review her perception about gifts.
These changes started little by little but became more prominent with her ex-boyfriend, Chima. The first time he flew into Nigeria to visit her from the States, he bought her an IPhone which made her ecstatic; the next time, it was an IPad and the time after that, it was an Iwatch. “He must truly love you”, her friends said as they all stared at the gifts in awe. She was also excited but something felt off to her. It was not only because she did not think that he could genuinely afford the gifts but somehow she felt that the gifts were being used to cover up for something that was missing. She just was not sure of what it was but she began to realise that every time he got her upset, he would appear with a gift and then, they would sweep everything else under the carpet like nothing happened. She tried to convince herself that there was no way that he would buy her so many expensive presents if he did not love her. Things got really sour with time in her relationship as cheating rumours were flying around as well as stealing rumours and slowly her trust for him started to plummet. But every time she found a reason to break up with him, he got her a gift to keep her with him. This carried on for a few years until she got a dreaded call one morning. The lady on the other end said she was his main chick and he had run away with some things she had helped him buy without paying her. “Things like what?” Amaka asked, holding her breath; “Many things” the lady replied, “including an IPad, IPhone and I-Watch.” That was the day Amaka’s relationship with Chima ended, after two long years; years that she would never get back.
But time had gone past since then and she had grown although she found it difficult to go into another relationship or accept gifts. It was no surprise that she had developed trust issues and in every new relationship, she wondered if she was the side chick. Now, she was dating another man, Ikenna. They had been together for about 6 months and she was beginning to feel more confident in their love or at least that was what she thought until he disappeared on Valentine’s day. No gift, no cards, no message from him except his reply to hers wishing him a happy Valentine’s day. She had sent him some chocolates and even though she was not expecting any expensive present, she had thought that he would at least take her out for dinner or try to spend the day with her. She was disappointed and when she voiced her concerns to him, his response did not make any sense to her.
“You know that Valentine’s day is just another day and we don’t have to wait for that day to show love” those were Ikenna’s words.
“Yes, I know that we don’t have to wait but I still think it’s important to spend it with loved ones, just like Christmas, birthdays etc.” she replied annoyed.
“Fine, we can go out for dinner this weekend and we can stop on our way to buy a gift, if that’s what you want.” Ikenna replied.
“That’s not what I want…” and so their argument continued.
Amaka had questions and she wanted to know where Ikenna had been on that day, who he was with and what he had been doing. He had refused to give her any meaningful answer the entire week and every day, they had a new argument.
A week had passed since the event but Amaka was still not satisfied and became more doubtful. She brought up the issue again and this time around, Ikenna walked away and came back into the room a few minutes later. “I know what will cheer you up” he said, “I have a gift for you.” Amaka instantly turned away. “Don’t think you can buy me with gifts!” she snapped without looking at what he was holding. She refused to look at him or receive anything and insisted on finishing her conversation. So Ikenna was forced to keep the presents away and answer her questions. He was shocked by her attitude and so was she, although she also felt proud of herself for rejecting his gift, whatever it had been. For her, she had succeeded in achieving a milestone in overcoming her major weakness and she had shown Ikenna that she could not be distracted by material things; something she felt like she should have done with her ex-boyfriend. They had a long conversation that night and Amaka came to the conclusion that Ikenna was not being honest with her. Although she did not mention it to him, she knew that she had to break up with him soon and just before she fell asleep, she told herself that she would do it the next day before she left his place.
It was just past midnight when Amaka woke up to use the bathroom. As she walked back to the bed, she saw the wrapped present. Ignore it, a voice said to her but she wondered what harm it would do if she just took a look; after all she had already made her point clear to him about not being able to be purchased with gifts. She was just curious to know what was inside. She took a look at Ikenna and he seemed to be fast asleep. So she carefully unwrapped the gift as quietly as she could. She covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming when she saw what was inside; it was a Rolex diamond wristwatch and she stood there in admiration until she was startled by Ikenna’s voice.
“Do you like it?” He asked; she almost dropped the watch in shock. She was speechless and confused at that moment because she had been so sure that he was asleep. She was not sure of how to respond so she just smiled. He got up and kissed her “I knew you would like it” and then took her back to bed. That night, Amaka cursed in her mind “Damn curiosity, Damn gifts!” she said to herself. She was very upset with herself because she knew that once again, the breakup which she had scheduled for the next day was no longer going to happen on that day.
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