A valentine to remember
Short story

A Valentine to Remember

Chinaza finally had the chance to breathe. After running for about thirty minutes, she sat down under a mango tree. She felt she was at a safe distance, how she wished she knew how wrong she was.

The day started off for Chinaza like any other girl. She dressed up, making sure she was exceptionally beautiful. She was going on her first date and felt like she was on top of the world. Matthew had always been every girl’s dream since Chinaza knew him. So, it was sort of a shock to her when he asked her to be his girlfriend. Both of them came from opposite sides of the world.  She had to literally struggle for anything she wanted, but on the other hand, Matthew got anything he wished for as easily as the snap of a finger. He came from a wealthy and influential family, unlike where she was bred, a poor and wretched home. Amidst all her disadvantages, she had something every guy wanted. Even with her tattered clothes and unkempt hair, you can never reject the fact that it took God everything to create her. She was a true epitome of beauty, every curve in its right place. Every guy wanted her, even if it was just a night. And with her determination and upbringing, her friends always called her the perfect wife material.

She wore the perfume her best friend, Oge, had given her the previous day, after hinting her the perfume was a head start. She had worn her black swimming trunk, which she won last year in a swimming competition. At least, Matthew wouldn’t think of any illicit act, not on the first date. She then wore her red dress; her mum had given it to her when she turned twenty. After three years, it’s still the best dress she’s ever had. She showed up at the restaurant around 2pm. She waited for more than two hours before Matthew walked in with two of his friends. He sat down opposite her and immediately asked the waiter to bring the menu.

What does this guy think he is? No apology for being late.

Instantly, she regretted why she accepted the date. Her Prince Charming just turned out to be a cheap mongrel. He’s definitely one of those guys who think that every girl’s bought with money. Well, he has to change his mind after today because she will show him another brand of girls he has never met before. She asked for water; if she had known what would happen, she would’ve opted to take nothing and walked out on him. After taking few gulps, she started feeling dizzy.

She woke up to an unfamiliar scene, it was an uncompleted building. She saw Matthew and his two friends at one end of the building smoking. They turned around when they saw her awake and started walking up to her. She was still weak from the effects of whatever was in the water she drank. She saw them removing their belts and unzipping their trousers.  One thing came to her mind; she was definitely about to lose her virginity today. Damn, she had promised herself to keep her virginity for her husband or the man she truly loved. Well, it looks like she failed her promise. The trio came up to her and laid her back on the floor. If it were only Matthew, she would’ve fought back but the other two guys were muscular.

“Matthew, please don’t do this?” she begged him.

Matthew, instead, let out a menacing laughter.

“I’m going in first, then you guys can do whatever you want after that,” Matthew said while the others chuckled.

They held her hands and legs while Matthew pulled off his trousers smiling. He then pulled down his underwear and came onto her. Taking out a penknife, he cut her dress, and her swimming trunk revealed itself. Matthew dropped the knife in dismay while the other two guys let go of her.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Matthew asked in bewilderment as he pointed at the swimming trunk, “Does it mean you don’t have any reasonable underwear like bra and panties or even lingerie? I mean like something seductive.”

“This girl is cheap,” one of the guys chipped in.

“Come on man, no matter what she wears, you can’t deny she’s truly beautiful. And that is obviously why we are here,” the other guy commented.

Chinaza saw her chance, she took the knife and dipped it into Matthew’s stomach. She then pushed him onto one of the guys and kicked the other one right below the belt, as she fled out of the building. She stopped under a mango tree after she had run for about thirty minutes. Believing she was safe, Chinaza took a deep breath. But her breath was cut short when she saw Matthew walking up to her. His shirt was soaked in blood and he clutched on his stomach. She stood up and tried to run only to hit one of the two guys. Turning around, she saw the other guy. She was surrounded and there was no escape.

“I’m going to make sure you won’t live to recount the tales of today to anyone,” Matthew boasted.

He had almost come up to her when he heard his name called from behind him. Chinaza looked up to the caller to see Valentine. Valentine has been her close friend since kindergarten, he had proposed to her before but she thought he was joking.

“Matthew, stop this and walk away,” Valentine said.

Matthew hissed, “This doesn’t concern you, just walk away, idiot.”

Valentine scoffed and let out a devilish smile.

“Idiot really? You just made it personal,” He muttered.

One of the two guys wanted to walk up to Valentine but Matthew stopped him.

“What do you want, Val? Just name your price,” Matthew tried to bribe him.

Valentine chuckled, “My price, you are seriously asking for my price this time. Well, here’s my price. I want her to be my wife and as a virgin too. Can you do that for me?”

Matthew feigned. “I think it’s time to put you down, boy,” he threatened.

Valentine took a couple of steps towards them and stopped. “You know pretty well that the three of you can’t beat me, right?” he asked letting out a grin.

Chinaza was surprised, the Valentine she knew was a timid guy. He was outspoken, that’s right, but standing up to these two hefty guys wasn’t something Valentine can possibly do, unless he was high on drugs. Valentine, then, brought out his phone and held it high.

“I bet you fully understand what happens when I press this button?” he asked Matthew.

Matthew nodded in shame.

Valentine continued, “Just walk out of here and I promise you that it will be as this never happened.”

Matthew feigned in frustration and motioned to his two friends. “Let’s go, boys,” he said.

As he was about to go, Valentine called him back. “Make sure you replace her dress, that’s her favourite.”

When the trio were gone, Valentine walked up to Chinaza. “Are you okay?” he asked.

She nodded, tears dropped down her eyes. “How did you find me?” she asked.

“Well, I saw you at that restaurant wearing your favourite dress and I knew the reason you were there must be special. When I saw Matthew drag you into his car, I felt something was wrong. It took a while, but I finally guessed that if he wanted to rape you, he would be going to that uncompleted building. I went there to see blood and your torn dress, so I traced the blood down to here,” Valentine explained.

“How sure are you he won’t come after me?”

Valentine chuckled. “I work for Matthew’s dad, I’m sure that if he still wants to keep his reputation, he wouldn’t think about it.”

“Thanks Val.”

“By the way, you look awesome in this swimming trunk. Just put this on our first date.”

Chinaza buried her face in Valentine’s arms. Noises around startled her, she raised her face. She had been sleeping on her desk all this while. She looked across the desk to see Valentine on his laptop. Now it makes sense why Valentine was that brave. Suddenly, Matthew walked up to her.

“I was thinking why don’t the two of us go out on a date tomorrow?” he proudly asked.

Chinaza recalling her dream, smiled, “No.”

The whole class fell into a deep silence, the first girl to say no to the almighty Matthew. This would surely make the campus magazine headlines.

“You know nobody is going to ask you on a date ever,” Matthew said trying to conceal his insecurity.

“Well, you are right,” Chinaza replied standing up, “Because I’m going out on a date with Valentine tomorrow.”

She walked up to Valentine and kissed him on the cheek.

“Don’t be late tomorrow,” she cautioned as she walked out of the class in high spirits.

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