Written by CHIJIOKE KIZITO ONAH

Dear Ify,

I don’t think there’s a better time to write you this letter than now when the wave of Valentine’s binds me to the memory of you, and all I think of is what is there to remember of this year’s Valentine’s without you?
You could wonder if I had ever spent Valentine’s Day with you. Yes; because for three years while we walked the hallways of the building of the University of Nigeria, Faculty of Arts, I have been secretly in love, dying in cowardice, relishing in my heart the ache of love.
As academic friends, every moment of arguing about Africa’s past brought me closer to my essence. We discussed the future, and you encouraged me to go for my dreams; to bring light to my future. What if I tell you, dearest Ify, that my future is not studying in faraway Frankfurt, where my only way of ‘seeing’ you is to spend every moment on your WhatsApp? What if I tell you that my future is really you; and when you encouraged me to go for my future, you encouraged me to come to you. Here I am then!

Valentine’s is a time to renew our commitment to love. This year, it is time for me to gain a new life; to be truly connected to the mitochondria of my life. Cut yourself off me, and I will die!
You remind me every day of John Donne’s fine poetry: “So let us melt, and make no noise, /No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;/’Twere profanation of our joys/To tell the laity our love.”

If your name, Ifechidere, avows the sovereignty of fate, then you are my fate which cannot be denied; my future which I come to reclaim: come on love, and make me whole!

Your Future,
Kizito.