St. Valentine: Between Valerie and Valentine

Last Thursday (February 14th) was celebrated world-wide as St. Valentine’s Day. Of course love-birds exchanged love gifts like flowers, valued material gift items and surprise packages. With the new generation of youngsters seemingly re-defining love in tune with the jet age the day came and went with much that changed hands, a lot to eat and drink by Adams and Eves and a whole lot of carnalism. Love was made to take the center-stage and that was understandable: without carnal love many people would have considered ambition and resourcefulness as a waste of time.

Special romantic treats and Valentine blues were part of the Day. You have couples and ‘couples’ going to the beach to catch some fun, re-new love ‘vows’ and romantic hopefuls using roses and candies to woo girls to their world. Materialistic displays of affection were the order of the day. With the age of IT mobile phones were used to send SMS that said a lot about intentions and state of minds.

Living in a modern Sodom and Gomorrah one was bound to witness ‘amour’ fireworks, those that heal and wound as well. With HIV/AIDS statistics the highest here in the sub-region St. Valentine’s Day was celebrated with little or no consideration about the global pandemic whose effects could only be imagined. Coming at the heels of the Xmas/end-of-year festivities St Valentine’s Day could have produced inimical results which could be visible in two to three months time — when unwanted and accidental pregnancies would be the portion of many a young girl.

St. Valentine’s Day occasion has not only meant the celebration of carnal love but death and blood has been drawn and associated with the ‘Valentinic’ love day. Three years ago (Feb. 14th 2005) in Beirut the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was blown to the world beyond by terrorists. His official car was blown into smithereens by a planted remote-controlled bomb by the road side.

And just last Thursday night (Feb. 14th) one of the most attractive and talented musicians here, Ms Joelle C., was pronounced dead by her doctors. Jilted by a lover and consequently “married to Jesus” she succumbed to death on the unique night of Valentine Day, the festival of love. Officially she was said to have died from waist complications but a lot has been said about her battles with witchcraft. She once confessed openly that they were after her life! And at a time ran away from her home to her pastor’s house!

Joelle was a heavy make-up-wearing well-dressed singer like American Cyndi Lauper whose last album has sold thousands of copies despite the menace of pirates and piracy. The album titled “Kita” lies among my CD collections at home. The promotional concert she organized late last year sponsored by “Koz” mobile phone service network had its digital ticket sold out before the D-Day. I had attended the jam-packed concert “Kita Live” and Joelle C. did not disappoint anyone.

Last Thursday in the spirit of the occasion I was invited over to a popular nite club downtown by a good friend. He had asked me long after midnight to come over to witness ‘love a-gogo’ and wonderful music and dance competitions by lovers. Driving down there I could hear and feel the bliss from outside as array of flashy cars made it difficult for one to find space to park. But parked I did!

Firstly almost tipsy after my friend and I had emptied a bottle of Johnny Walker and some bottles of coca cola I stumbled into a girl in the dance floor named Valerie. As I excused her for dance she expressly obliged me. As I danced away the alcoholic effects of the whisky from my system we sat down later for some discussion over a bottle of Clan Campbell and some coca cola.

Valerie, I must add here, is a dashing urbane black beauty in her early twenties whom I later learnt was a student in a high institution here called “AGITEL Formation” in the Rivera area. The first question I threw at her was “where is your Val?” to which she answered in the negative provoking more probing questions. How could a beautiful girl like you claim not to come here on a day like this with an Adam? How on earth did men not yet discover you? Or are you a ghost?

Valerie laughed heartily declaring that she just decided to dance her sorrows away as her ex-boyfriend had left her before Feb. 14th for another girl. As she finished saying this she turned to me and asked me the same question: “And you where is your own Val?” I lied to her that my girl was based in France and since I did not go to France to celebrate with her I came to the club to while away the night.

We had a good time together and Valerie almost fell in love with me that night save for my indifference. Never mind asking me if we had carnal knowledge of each other. Nevertheless Valerie reminded me of the beauty of women and the need for one to ‘taste’ another ‘soup pudding’ apart from the one one used to eat. Monotony sometimes is a bad thing! Like President Sarkozy I temporarily discovered the “quartier-general de l’amour” (the love headquarters).

And as we conversed a dancer was mesmerizing the whole dancing floor; like Michael Jackson the fellow effortlessly held some people spell-bound by his wonderful moves and skillful steps in perfect accord with the flowing rhythm. When the music died down the guy sat down near our table and I congratulated him for his dancing capability. We instantly struck discussion as it became clear to me that he was an Anglophone national.

Valentine, a Sierra Leonian man came to the club with his girlfriend, a Liberian. And as soon as he identified himself I instantly asked him about Valentine Strasser, a disco-dancing former president of his country of origin and he dismissed him in a disrespectful manner saying that Strasser was one of those that contributed to the Sierra Leonian political troubles. Jocularly I had told him that Valentine Strasser, on this St. Valentine occasion, would have beaten him in a disco dancing contest to which he contested!

As we chatted away Valentine’s babe excused us to answer the call of nature and the plot by another man to woo her away must have been hatched in the loo. She became restless as she joined us back and soon enough her phone rang and she left us to pick up the call outside and that was the last time Valentine could see her for the rest of the night. Upon inquiry the security man outside confirmed to Valentine that the Liberian girl was seen hopping into a car as she bounced out of the club.

For Valerie she found an unwilling Valentine in me and for Valentine he was betrayed by a she-Valentine. For Valerie and Valentine therefore it was a St. Valentine of mixed feelings, mixed emotions! For both St. Valentine 2008’s memory would linger till Feb. 14th 2009. Happy St. Valentine’s Day in arrears to both Valerie and Valentine.

Written by
SOC Okenwa
Join the discussion

  • I didn’t get it either … but as one writer to another, I will be constructive…maybe putting this in a short story format or better still an introspective narrative of the parallels of Valerie and Valentine. It could have been two stories in one. You told a lot without showing (first rule of writing; show don’t tell). The article was a little bit of everthing and ended up as nothing. I still give three stars cus writing aint easy. Someone once said to write succesfully, you have to sit before your computer and pop open a vein.

  • I have to say, “Where was this article going?” It was all over the place. This article seems like a passage from your diary.