27th May 2024

He said, “I have something special for you. Come home tonight.”

If your boyfriend tells you on Valentine’s day that he has something special for you, usually, you begin to think of all the special things he could give you. I started thinking, “Is it a new phone?” That wasn’t likely because I got a phone for the previous valentine. “Is he going to buy me a car?” That was also a dream too far. “Or it’s a diamond ring. Maybe he’s going to propose.”

Immediately the clock hit 5pm, I packed my bag and rushed home to get ready for the night. I put on my best dress and wore my red heels. I picked a nightie, just in case. It’s valentine and one cannot predict how far the heart can sway.

I knocked at his door. No response. I knocked again and again. I saw his call on my phone, “Are you the one knocking on the door?” I asked, “Are you expecting anyone apart from me?” He came and opened the door. He said, “I wanted to be sure it was you. You know friends and how they walk in when you least expect them.”

I sat down, waiting for the surprise. He said, “Today, we are celebrating valentine right here so I cooked something for us.” He took my hands and led me to another room where he had already set up the whole place. You could see a lot of plans went into it. I asked him, “You cooked as in you prepared the food yourself or you ordered them. Or you asked someone to cook for you?”

I knew Jackson. We had dated for two years and never had he mentioned anything about cooking. So yes, I was surprised just as he wanted me to be. We had a few drinks before the food. The aroma was good and exotic. I didn’t believe he cooked it until I put the first spoonful in my mouth. Overly spicy and punchy on the tongue. Obviously, he thought the more the spices the sweeter the food.

I wasn’t going to break his cooking spirit down by telling him how bad the food was so I kept a straight face and pretend I was having the best meal of my life. Every minute he would ask me, “Are you enjoying the meal?” I would only nod. It was hard eating it but I tried to eat as much as I could. Soon we were done. He served some ice creams which I ate too much just to drive the lingering taste of the food from my mouth.

We watched a movie together. He read me a poem he’d written in a card. It was a sweet surprise and I appreciated it with all my heart.

We had a bath and went to bed.

That was when the real ordeal started.

Around 1am I rushed to the toilet. Just about three minutes later he came to knock; “Please hurry up, it’s an emergency.” He entered immediately I finished. Just about an hour later, when I opened my eyes, he wasn’t around. I heard the sound of the toilet flush. I entered when he came out.

We were both in bed unable to sleep. Then he started farting. And then I responded. He blasts I blast. He blasts I blast. Soon he would run to the toilet. Then I would follow up. At some point, he said, “I think we should bring the bed inside the toilet to avoid this marathon.” I asked, “Is this also part of the surprise?” He answered, “I’m even surprised. Maybe something went wrong somewhere. I picked the recipe from online.” I said, “You did your best. We’ll get some drugs tomorrow and we’ll be fine.”

He tried surprising me but he ended surprising himself too. I loved the care in his arrangement and the thought behind the whole surprise. Things didn’t go as planned but we had the best time together.

Last year he called to tell me he was going to cook something for my birthday. I told him, “We have kids now. I can’t afford to bury them the next morning. We can drink water for my birthday and I’ll be fine.” I couldn’t risk it. Once bitten, twice shy.

— Chichima, Nigeria


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