“2010 VALENTINE DAY REMINISCENCE: A WALK THROUGH LOVE STREET”. This is a continuation and concluding part of a blog opera earlier published on October 10, 2013 continue if you have read the first part. otherwise read it here
At the end of his account, Psts. Bami and Nathy were quick to quote some bible verses that strongly condemned immorality and indecent behaviours. They encouraged Yemi to strive towards overcoming his obsession about women.
Yemi thanked them for their words of exhortation and added that it will soon be 12am; he requested to use Pst. Nathys bible. I was amazed at his instant repentance only to find out he was studying the Songs of Solomon to get inspiration for Love text message for his girlfriends. He maintained that he must be the first person to send them a Val message.
The room was silent now; everyone seemed to be composing their Val message – the pastors not left out. Rafiu teased jokingly at Bami and Nathy by asking what the content of their text message was. Nonso was on hand to sweeten the joke; he added that they must be composing Val prayer for their fellowship members.
I was not left out in the Val text message composition. I have a habit of composing a minimum of two text messages on special days like Independence Day, Valentine’s Day; one for the elderly people on my contact list, the other for my peers.
Sleep began to take the better of me, I lost grip of my phone – the crashing sound brought me to my consciousness. I put off my world receiver and laid down to sleep.
No sooner than I closed my eyes to sleep (It seemed); it was day break. I attributed it to a longer day, shorter night occurrence. I made for the bathroom, freshened up and got dressed in a black chinos trouser, and a white top with red patterns.
My schedule was to spend the day with my guardian’s family. He lived in Pipeline area of Kwara State. There is no direct Cab to Pipeline from the University Bus Stop. The shortest route is to take a cab to a part of town named Tipper Garage, and then board another cab to Pipeline.
After alighting from the cab (at Tipper garage), I crossed to the other side of the road towards Pipeline bus stop. As I approached the bus stop, party songs reached my ears, a sign that Valentine celebrations had begun in some parts of town. My eyes synced with my ears to locate the source of the music. It was about a kilometer away from the bus stop. I walked past the bus stop: heading towards the party ground.
Coincidentally, the Street was named Love Street. The party held in a big event hall; a gathering of young boys and girls. One message was clear, no entry for persons not accompanied by the opposite sex. I observed one –to – one mapping of boys to girls.
Sip Easy, the song by freestyle and 2face rend the air, the song also emphasized the message, “If you no carry come, make you no bother come”(If not accompanied by the opposite sex, no participation).
Love street looked like a Street occupied by the wealthy. Most of the houses on it were beautiful architectural piece. I decided to take a walk through the street before continuing my visit to Pipeline Road.
Two buildings away from the party hall is Friends Place – an event center, eatery. The building is a sight to behold, it environment beautiful and serene. The flowers within it surroundings released their scent to the atmosphere and unfold their charm to the rising sun.
My stomach began to bite; this made a visit to the Friends place irresistible. Family members came to unwind and enjoy sumptuous meals. So were lovebirds in their droves.
I took my seat at the far end of the restaurant. I ran my eyes through the menu list and found out that a plate of rice costs 1000 Naira. That was all the money I had on me. I settled for a roll of fish pie and soft drink. I was about taking my first bite when Thompson and Bimpe walked in; I had known Thompson since my remedial days in the University of Ilorin.
Thompson met Bimpe in his third year in the University. They meet in a taxi; I remember how Thompson narrated meeting his dream girl. How he managed to begin a conversation but was nervous to ask for her number.
His detailed description of her was to create her picture on my mind. So I could call his attention whenever I set my eyes on any girl that fits her description. At that point I knew my friend was caught in loves web.
I waved at them as they took their seat on a table for two. Before I finished my meal, I saw some other familiar faces. I paired with my colleagues who were not in the company of their girlfriends. We watched musical videos from the giant plasma screens located strategically at different corners of the eatery. Being a Sunday, premiership games across England were also televised.
I excused myself to answer a call from my guardian’s daughter. At that moment, it dawned on me that the day was far spent. The once bright sunny weather had given way for a half moon. No thanks to the fluorescent lights within the eatery, one could easily pass the night without knowing it was nightfall. A quick glance at my wristwatch showed 7:45pm
I notified my friends it was time to return to the campus. They persuaded me to stay back as the night club session was about to commence and popular musical artiste will be on ground to make the party groovy and memorable.
Since my time at the University I had never been to a night club, this is the opportunity…… I thought. At least I will see with my own eyes the tales I hear about the excitement, dance and other “atrocities” committed in night clubs. Then, it occurred to me that l had not complete my walk on Love Street. It was on this premise I summoned the courage to leave.
I was determined to complete my walk through Love Street. Against the odds, I continued my walk. It did not take long to find myself in danger. It appeared that some buildings on the street were occupied by top military men or top government functionaries. There was heavy presence of military men and mobile police men.
I was walking on a path marked out as, “keep off – military zone”. I nearly pee in my pant until I found out that they were all talking on the phone with their lovers. I overheard one saying, “the yeye oga dey inside they enjoy hin wife, me come dey here they miss out, I love you baby – my beautiful Onyinye”. (It meant that his superior was enjoying the Valentine with his wife and family, while he was out there on the line of duty). I looked up to the skies in gratitude to God for sparing me the molestation that would have result from my carelessness.
The last building on Love Street was a hall with several doors and windows. It interior was well lit with beautiful neon bulbs. I began to feel jittery from within and felt the best option was to turn my back and run. As I nursed this thought, I got the shock of my life. I had a voice say, “how has been your Valentine?”. I stood in shock, looked around – there was no sign of any human around. Then, I thought to myself that the voice I heard was from within; out of fear. But I was wrong. The voice continued, “Oloruntobiloba, I love you”. Not many people knew me by my middle name “Tobi”, how come this ghost knows me by name. I had pee in my pant now.
The final words I heard was “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears my voice……………
BabT! wake up; henry tapped me on my back. Come eat Valentine food wey Segun cook for everybody (He was inviting me for breakfast). Only then, I realized that Love Street was all a dream. What a dream!
As I opened my eyes, I saw my roommates seated around a pot. Thanks to the Chef in the house, Segun. He has a degree in kitchen affairs and was generous with his gift.
I was yet to get over the excitement of the dream. Yemi observed my mood and joked about it. See as he de look like say he see ghost for hin sleep(Nigeria pidgin: Meaning look at the strange look on his face), you better come chop before food go finish (Nigeria pidgin: Join us on table else you will be left with nothing to eat).
Before I retired to bed on the night of Feb 14, 2010, I narrated my dream to my roommates; they found it interesting and puzzling. Pastor Bami pointed out that the words I could recall where familiar Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
For the first time in a long while Yemi wore a sober and thoughtful look, I was surprised to see him attend church the following Sunday. You can guess why; he was touched by the message of Rev 3:20.
I am extending this message to you – The love of God. He knows you by name even before you were born. He calls out to you, the same way he called me by name.
I hope you enjoyed the walk through Love Street. Thank you for coming with me.
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