Valentine’s Day: 14 Roses and a Funeral

I admit. I am a hopeless romantic. Several years ago, I bought fourteen roses for Thule as a surprise gift for the Valentine’s Day. I was prepared to go the whole hog complete with candlelight dinner, French champagne and sweet Jazz music. She never received the roses. I never got to see her. She had left town hurriedly for good.

Thule was my kind of girl. She was tall like a model, slender but not skinny, and light in complexion – a true yellow bone. She had everything going for her – a perfect body complete with curves. She had beautiful blue eyes, and her set of dazzling, angel-white teeth gleamed as she blew gently on her carmine-red fingernails. She had saccharine sweet lips that only spoke words of kindness. They were blossom soft. She had a soothing voice and a bubbly personality. When she smiled, her oyster-white teeth lit up the room. Her high cheekbones made her face almost looks perfect. She permanently smelt good – the scent of her perfume always mesmerised my senses. When she walked it looked like a perfectly choreographed movement. She spoke softly with her iconic smile permanently on.

It didn’t help that she was a hairstylist by profession and ran her own hair salon. She always wore her long and in some sophisticated darkie kind of way. She dressed to kill, always with different chains of gold in her neck. I enquired once about her sense of fashion, she said: “I design my own clothes”. For lack of a better word, Thule was truly a village beauty, beautiful inside out. I was head over heels for her. She had ravished my heart. She was always in mind. In my downtime, I always imagined her soft lips touching mine and, her whispering sweet nothings into my ear. She was indeed my lily flower.

Our love for each other was reciprocal. She boosted my ego no end. She always remarked that my smile was infectious. She told me I wasn’t capable of making her angry. She was into as much as I was. My relationship with Thule started like house on fire. It was love at sight. I never knew that such was possible. But, why did she leave town unexpectedly? I guess I will never know.

Dear reader: let me take you back to that fateful Valentine’s Day at midday. I was dressed to the nines. I had fourteen roses in my hands. I was high on love. As I walked up the stairs into Thule’s hair salon I was humming melodies of Don Williams’s hit song -“True Love”. The lyrics went something like this:

Well, you know it’s true love

Deeper than deep

Hotter than a fire

Well, it’s hard to find and it’s harder to keep

It’s the thing we most desire.

I entered the Thule’s hair salon in high spirits with roses in hand only to be met by sombre faces. Thule was nowhere in sight. I recognised only three of her friends who were meant to be busy hairstyling clients but my entry stopped them in their tracks. I couldn’t understand why women who were always cheerful whenever seeing me had had a change of heart. Suddenly there was a pandemonium as the girls spoke amongst themselves trying to figure out who was the eldest. I was bamboozled.

A hastily convened caucus agreed on the representative to speak to me. The chosen one didn’t hesitate. She announced the news matter-of-factly – Thule is dead. She was buried last month. The friend’s words cut deep into my heart. Fortunately, they allowed the words to sink in properly before weeping in unison. They were no longer crying for Thule but for me. Time stood still. This was a moment of reckoning for me. The woman whom I told anyone who cared to listen that I was in love with; I had not phoned or seen her for a month. There was no cogent reason for this lack of communication. I had last seen her in late December. She mentioned that she wasn’t feeling well. I had advised her to seek medical help. We parted on good terms. I planted a kiss on her forehead, and promised to see her in the New Year.

So the Valentine’s Day appearance with fourteen roses was meant to atone for my lack of communication and to reignite the fire between us. Well, well, the woman I wanted to surprise had a bombshell for me. As the shock subsided, grief set in. Tears involuntary started rolling down my cheeks. My lily flower had died an agonising death. Alone and lonely.

The love of my life Thule, the snazzy dresser, hairstylist and my yellow bone died out of the blue many moons ago but it still hurts deeply. I didn’t have a chance to say my goodbye. None of the friends had my cell-phone number hence nobody informed me of the sad news.

I was so devastated by the news of Thule’s demise that I threatened to mourn for her publicly by wearing a black mourning cloth. I never did. After a few minutes after the bombshell, and mutual grief, I left in a huff, still with fourteen roses in hand. To this day, I have no recollection of what I did with the roses. Yes, I have loved and been blessed to be loved by the best. Goodbye my lily flower. We shall meet in paradise. I will bring the roses with me.

Source by Bhekisisa Mncube