I admitted. I am a hopeless romantic. Several years ago, I bought fourteen roses for Thule as a surprise gift for Valentine’s Day. He was prepared to go all out with a candlelight dinner, French champagne, and sweet jazz music. She never received the roses. I never got to see her. He had hastily left the city for good.

Thule was my kind of girl. She was tall like a model, slim but not thin, and fair in complexion, a true bone yellow. She had everything going for her: a perfect body complete with curves. She had beautiful blue eyes and her set of dazzling white angel teeth gleamed as she gently blew on her carmine red nails. She had sweet saccharine lips that only spoke words of kindness. They were soft flowers. He had a soft voice and a bubbly personality. When he smiled, his oyster-white teeth spread across the room. Her high cheekbones made her face look almost perfect. She smelled permanently good: the scent of her perfume always mesmerized my senses. When he walked, it seemed like a perfectly choreographed move. He spoke softly with his iconic smile permanently on.

It didn’t help that she was a stylist by profession and had her own hair salon. She always wore it long and in a sophisticated and dark way. He dressed to kill, always with different gold chains around his neck. I once asked her about her fashion sense, she said, “I design my own clothes.” For lack of a better word, Thule was truly a village beauty, beautiful from the inside out. I was crazy about her. She had violated my heart. She was always in mind. In my spare time, I always imagined her soft lips touching mine and whispering sweet words in my ear. In fact, she was my lily flower.

Our love for each other was reciprocal. She boosted my ego to no end. She always commented that my smile was contagious. She told me that I was not able to make her angry. She was just as interested as I was. My relationship with Thule started as a house on fire. It was love in sight. I never knew that was possible. But why did he leave town unexpectedly? I guess I’ll never know.

Dear reader, let me take you back to that fateful Valentine’s Day at noon. He was dressed to the nines. I had fourteen roses in my hands. I was high on love. As he walked up the stairs to the Thule hair salon, he hummed tunes to Don Williams’ hit song “True Love.” The lyrics looked 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 maintain

It is what we want the most.

I walked into the Thule salon in high spirits with roses in hand and I was met with grim faces. Thule was not in sight. I only recognized three of her friends who must have been busy combing clients, but my entrance stopped them in their tracks. I couldn’t understand why women who were always cheerful when they saw me had changed their minds. Suddenly there was a pandemonium as the girls talked to each other trying to figure out who was the oldest. They cheated on me.

A hastily convened group arranged for the representative to speak with me. The chosen one did not hesitate. He announced the news quite naturally: Thule is dead. She was buried last month. The friend’s words cut my heart deeply. Fortunately, they allowed the words to sink in properly before crying in unison. They wept no longer for Thule but for me. Time stopped. This was a time of reckoning for me. The woman I told anyone who would listen to me that I was in love; He hadn’t called or seen her in a month. There was no compelling reason for this lack of communication. He had last seen her at the end of December. She mentioned that she was not feeling well. He had advised her to seek medical help. We say goodbye on good terms. I planted a kiss on her forehead and promised to see her on New Years.

So the Valentine’s Day appearance with fourteen roses was meant to repair my miscommunication and rekindle the fire between us. Well, well, the woman I wanted to surprise had a bombshell for me. As the shock subsided, the pain began. Involuntary tears began to roll down my cheeks. My lily flower had died an agonizing death. Alone and lonely.

The love of my life Thule, the fancy dresser, the stylist and my yellow bone died out of nowhere many moons ago, but it still hurts deeply. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. None of the friends had my cell phone number, so no one informed me of the sad news.

I was so devastated by the news of Thule’s death that I threatened to mourn her publicly wearing a black mourning cloth. I never did it. After a few minutes after the pump and mutual pain, I left angry, still with fourteen roses in hand. To this day, I don’t remember what I did with the roses. Yes, I have loved and have been blessed to be loved by the best. Goodbye my lily flower. We will meet in paradise. I will bring the roses with me.

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