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                                         “I am thrilled…I am particularly thrilled about our g...

“I am thrilled…I am particularly thrilled about our guest on ‘Your View’ today,” said Morayo Afolabi Brown on Television Continental. “Often, we look to stars, politicians, popular people and the likes for inspiration, but the truth is, ordinary people do extraordinary things everyday…people like you, and only very few of them get the attention they deserve,” Morayo continued. “Our guest on the show today is, Mrs. Mary Mfonobong.” Mrs. Mfonobong appeared on the screen as the cameras beamed on her. She smiled demurely. “So, Mary, something happened in your life that changed the course of your relationship with your husband. Please could you share that with audience,” Morayo urged her. “Yes, my relationship with my husband was going downhill, so I had to do something about it. Instead of waiting for him to buy me flowers and cards on St. Valentine’s Day, which I knew full well that he would not, I decided to write him a letter…a special letter which I read to him on St. Valentine ’s Day.” “So what happened after you read this letter to him?”

“Well, before the letter, things were in a terrible state between us. I was thinking of leaving my husband. He had a streak of concubines outside our marriage, and he made little effort to hide them from me. He beat me up at will, and sometimes in front of our children. He was more devoted to alcohol and women than his family.” “So what happened after you read him this letter?” Mary took a deep breath. She was obviously fighting back tears. “He stopped beating me. He came back home early from work and spent time with me and the children. He bought me flowers and all forms of gifts…finally, he made me feel special again.” “All because of one letter?” Mary nodded her head. “This must be a powerful letter, Mary. Do you still have the letter?” Morayo asked. “Yes, I do,” Mary answered. “Do you mind reading it on air for our viewers?” Mary picked up a piece of paper from the small table beside her and began to read.

“I still remember the very evening I read this letter to him,” Mary said, as she waved the letter in the air. He was seated in front of the television like he always did, ignoring the children and I like we did not exist. It was St. Valentine’s day, and after I had cried myself silly in my room all day because he did not buy me Valentine’s Day flowers and cards, I decided to write him a letter…it was my way of speaking to the man I knew before he became rich and started treating me like a piece of rag. I walked into the living room and asked if I could give him a Valentine’s gift. Reluctantly, he said yes, and I began to read the letter to him. The letter reads like this;

Dearest Uwana,
I know I am no longer worth anything to you. I know I have outlived my importance to you. I know my place in your heart has become diminished, but I still want to wish you a very happy St. Valentine’s Day. I waited for your flowers and cards, and like the previous years, there were none. I cried myself to sleep hoping that when I woke up, you’d be standing before me with a bouquet of flower or a beautiful card in your hand. There was none. I may be worth nothing to you today, but I was once the center of your life, Uwana. In university when you had nothing, I paid your tuition twice. I was willing to die…to give everything in me so that you could excel. I gave you most of my pocket money. I sent out job applications in your name when I had no job of my own after graduation…I believed so much in you…So much in us.

I remember when you were attacked by robbers on your way back to Lagos from Port Harcourt. I was by your bedside, nursing and caring for you. I sold my jewelry in school to make sure that you did not drop out of university. I lied to my parents to get extra cash from them, so you could have enough. I am aware of your numerous concubines, so much so that when I look at myself in the mirror, I think of taking my own life. I would have probably tried suicide if not for my children. I walk around alive, but deep within, I am dead. I died years ago when you began to beat me…How could you forget the one who slaved for you? The one who made all sorts of sacrifice for your sake? Those other women, they don’t know you. They don’t love you. I am the one that kneels down to pray for you every day…the one who worries about you.

Have you forgotten, when you promised me in university that you would love me until your dying day? When you’d take me in your arms and make me feel like the most important woman in the world? You would brave the sun and the rain to catch a glimpse of me…just to see me. Do you ever recall the long strike when we did not see each other for several months? You borrowed money to come to Lagos to see me. You stayed with friends in a shanty building in Ajegunle, but you did not care. You were so happy…because you got to set your eyes on me. I remember the first time you kissed me…it was magical!

I wrote this letter to tell you that I still love you, Uwana. I may be mad at you…but I have never stopped loving you. However, don’t be surprised if you come home someday and find me dead in the bedroom, because the way you have treated me for years now has left me suicidal. I have zero confidence in myself. I have no desire to live anymore. I still pray to God for a way out, but deep within, it seems there is no way out of this. I just wanted to let you know. I wish the man that I used to adore…the man that adored me once would someday return home from work. I wish he would look me in the eye and tell me that he loves me even if he was lying. I wish he would find something good about me…like he promised back when we were in university.

In all, I wish you a happy St. Valentine’s Day Uwana.

Your loving wife,


“Wow, that was deep,” Morayo said. “So what happened after that?” She continued. “He sat there and looked at me. He could not utter a word. I think he felt guilty at that point but he did not know how to show it. He just looked at me. Crying, I left the room and dropped the letter on the table for him. The next morning, he left early for work. He later told me that he could not look me in the eye. He was feeling very guilty. Somehow, I reached out to the decent side left in him. He returned early from work that day, ate with the kids and said nothing. One Saturday morning, I walked into the bedroom and he was crying. His face was buried in a pillow as he cried. He asked my forgiveness, and ever since, he has been a different man.” “Truly, your letter connected with something very deep in his heart,” Morayo pointed out. “You are right,” said Mary. “I guess we should all find time to pen a letter for our loved ones who have strayed from the path of decency…especially on St. Valentine’s Day,” Morayo said in conclusion.

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Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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St. VALENTINE'S DAY LETTER An African Literary Blog
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