“Uriel! Uriel! Uriel!”
I buried my face deeper into the pillow when I heard someone calling my name from a far distance. I didn’t want to wake up from my sweet sleep. I also had a stellar dream of me becoming a famous jewelry designer, something I wanted desperately in reality.
“Uriel! Uriel! Wake up!”
I felt someone shaking me up from my sleep and I grumbled angrily, blaming whoever it was from taking away my wonderful dream.
“Uriel! Uriel! Uriel!”
A sharp pain on my ass made me jolt up from my slumber. I opened my eyes only to see my elder stepsister Chloe staring right into my face.
“Why the hell did you wake up like that?” I snapped at her.
“I was calling you and you didn’t wake, so I resorted to tapping you,” she replied.
“Tapping me? You just beat me! I felt the sharp pain asshole!” I threw my pillow at her but she dodged it.
“Calm down Uriel—”
“Don’t you fucking tell me to calm down!” I got out of my bed, preparing to go out and report her to my mom.
My mom got married to Chloe’s dad three years ago—her fourth marriage. And If I am right, Chloe’s dad should be the seventh man on my mom’s list. Don’t think of my mom as a whore, it is just that she isn’t lucky with men. Every man she dated and got married to ended up breaking her heart including my dad, making it hard for me to accept Chloe’s dad. But deep down in me I hope things works out between them and mom won’t end up getting married again.
“Uriel! Uriel! Come back here!” I heard her calling behind me but I didn’t stop.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you like that—”
I walked right into the kitchen and met her dad and my mom eating at the dinning table.
With a deep frown on me face, I said, “Mom can you believe what Chloe did to me?”
“What is it?”
“Dad, I spanked her ass.”
“I don’t like it when someone spanks my ass! It hurts so badly.”
“Why did you do that Chloe?” Dad asked.
“I was only trying to wake her up to come have breakfast.” Chloe shrugged.
Chloe interrupted me. “Why are you so mad early in the morning? I was only trying to—”
“Help? I didn’t beg you to wake me up!”
“Uriel, you shouldn’t fight with your sister on this special day,” Mom said loudly.
I turned to look at her when she said that. “What’s so special about today?”
Chloe settled in the chair facing her dad directly.
“February 14… today is Valentine!” Dad screamed happily as he stretched out his hand to touch my mom. I could see the love and endearment in my mom’s eyes as she smiled back at him.
I watched him confess more of his love to my mom. His word showed that he was truly happy to have her as his woman. If I were in mom’s shoes I wouldn’t believe a man telling such shits.
“Valentine my foot!” I mumbled to myself. I don’t give a damn about Valentine!
“Uriel, I am sorry.” Chloe gave me an apologetic smile. She’s just two years older than I am but sometimes she acts like a child.
“I don’t want your apologies.” I made an attempt to walk out of the kitchen but I heard my mom’s words.
“Uriel aren’t you seeing someone today?”
I turned to face her. “No, I am not seeing anyone today.”
“Your mom and I are going to the mall, while Chloe is also going out with Gabriel too,” Dad said.
“I don’t give a damn!” I scoffed.
“Uriel, wait… you can join us to buy some things at the mall if you are not seeing anyone today,” he added
“Look, there’s nothing special about February 14th. And from what I gather about this day, we are supposed to show love and care to the less privilegde and not getting all lovey-dovey.”
“Uriel, perhaps do you have a bad memory about this day? Over the years you’ve never liked Valentine’s days.” Chloe gave me a confused look.
“Whatever memory I have about this day is none of your business,” I hissed out loud.
“Uriel, don’t be rude to your sister!” Mom eyed me angrily.
“She’s not my sister and he’s is not my father,” I pointed out.
My mom stood up immediately and I knew what was about to befall me.
“How dare you—?” Dad stopped her before she could hit me.
“You want to hit me?” I asked furiously, my chest rising and falling. “Go on, mom.”
“What’s wrong with you, Uriel? You shouldn’t talk back at your mom like—” I stormed out of the kitchen before he could finish his statement.
I went straight to the bathroom. And looking at my reflection in the mirror, I realized that this wasn’t the Uriel I knew five years ago. That sweet innocent girl became an angry human because of what happened to her. The slightest thing in the world made me angry. Tears streamed down my cheeks as memories flooded my mind. Deep down in my heart, I continued to bear this anger towards everyone around me.
Some minutes later I heard a knock from the bathroom. “Uriel…” Dad called me.
I washed my face quickly before stepping out. “Uriel, can I come in?”
“No, I want to be alone!” I screamed back at him.
“I don’t want to talk to anyone!” Silence and I was happy he had left without pestering me. My happiness was cut short when he walked in without getting my permission.
“I told you I wanna be alone.” I went to stand by the window to stare out through the small opening.
“Uriel, are you alright?” he asked
Without looking at him I gave a response. “Yes I am alright.”
“You shouldn’t have talked rude to your mom like that,” he said softly.
“Yes, I shouldn’t have, but I did anyways!” I walked back to my bed and sat on it, ready to sleep in it anytime soon.
“Uriel, I have known you for three years, and I’ve noticed that you are not always looking cool on Valentine’s day.” He took a step from his spot. “Is there something wrong about this day?” he asked but nothing came from me.
“Uriel, what is it that you are hiding, that’s eating you deep inside and making you feel angry all the time?” he asked again. Silence.
“Look, it is not a bad thing to be angry, to get frustrated but you need to let go.”
I look at him. “No one will ever understand me.” I made an attempt to stand up and walk into the bathroom but he blocked my path.
He folded his arms in front of his chest. “Uriel, tell me what’s wrong with you.”
“I am alright.” I moved but he blocked me again.
“Did any guy betray you in the past?” I avoided his gaze and turned away from him when he said that.
Several seconds passed before I felt a hand on my shoulder. I could feel his presence behind me. “Uriel, tell me about it,” he said softly as he came to stand in front of me.
My phone beeped and I went for it, using that chance get away from dad. I pressed on the snooze button when I checked the caller ID.
“Won’t you answer your phone?”
“It’s not important,” I answered.
“Who is he?”
“It’s… ahmm.. Charles, my colleague at work.”
He shook his head. “No, not him.”
“So who are you talking about?” I asked.
“The guy who betrayed you.”
I rubbed my forearm to relax. “It’s… not…” I paused.
“Uriel, tell me about it, maybe that would help a bit.”
“I…was…sixteen…” I sat down slowly at the edge of my bed. A tear fell down my right cheek but I fought the urge to let more tears dropp so I could talk.
“I was sixteen when I met Xavier. He was twenty and we got close depsite the age difference. Somehow we fell in love—no I fell in love with him. We had our sweet moments, like Xavier would sing me a song, playing the guitar along the way; we did so many things together. And I thought I had found the right person to love.” I stopped as the tears that threatened to spill flowed out of control.
“So what happened?”
“A month after we met which was on February 14, I let Xavier get into my pants and then he took my innocence. I let him do all sort of things to me that day because I thought he was in love with me. I was too blind to know that I was been deceived by a son of Pharoah.” I swallowed hard.
“After that day with Xavier, I kept calling but he wouldn’t pick up my calls. I sent him thousands of messages in two weeks but he replied to none of it.”
“So you didn’t get to hear from him?”
“I did. A month later I went to the mall and saw Xavier there with his friends,” I sobbed loudly.
Dad moved closer and hugged me tightly. “Did you have a chat with him?”
“Yes, I did. They mocked me when I found out that they made a bet on me.”
He withdrew to look at me. “How?”
“One of Xavier’s friend stays close to our home, he asked me out but I said no severally because he was a bad boy.”
“So he set you up with Xavier…”
“Actually he told his friends about me, and then Xavier said he would get down with me within a month… and he did! Xavier played me! He never loved me! He lied to me! I was…” I broke down into tears again.
“I… I was… so… stupid,” I completed.
“No… no… no… Uriel you are not stupid.”
“Then what do you call someone who was blinded by love and she couldn’t see that she was been used until after they all made fun of her?” I covered my face with my palms, feeling ashamed to even look at dad.
“That guy took advantage of you because you were so young and naive.”
I nodded in agreement. “But still I should have been able to tell that he was lying to me.”
“Listen to me Uriel…”
I stood up immediately to avoid his touch. ” Please don’t try to persuade to love again,” I blurted out.
I don’t think I can even bring myself to love again, not after what Xavier did to me. The moment Xavier friends mocked and called me a slut, I knew I was done with that word called love. I felt worthless because I had let the bad boys play me as a game. Taking my virginity was nothing to Xavier; it was as if it was something he did all the time.
Over the years I have watched my mom cry over men. I have seen my old classmates shed tears over breakups. I listened to tales of how women healed from the deep wound in their hearts caused by men. At that young age I figured so many things. In relationships, some found joy, some found happiness while some found emptiness. In the end of my own relationship story with Xavier I found emptiness. And I realized that men aren’t worth a chance in my life again.
“Does your mom know about this?” he asked.
“No, she was busy flirting with her younger boyfriend when everything happened.”
“You should have told her about it,” he whispered
“I couldn’t bring myself to tell her about it because. I was scared and ashamed of how stupid, foolish and dumb I was.”
I thought Valentine’s day was the best day to let Xavier take my innocence. I thought it was the perfect day of proving my love to him. But seriously I wished I could turn back the hands of time and change everything. I wished my mom had taken her time to tell me about love, relationship and the true essence of Valentine. I wished I had learned earlier enough not to confuse love for sex.
“You are not stupid, foolish and dumb, Uriel. You are wise, hardworking and one of the most amazing women I know in the world. I envy your courage, and sometimes I wished that Chloe was like you.”
“Why? She’s better off than—”
“Look at you, Uriel,you are a talented jewelry designer. It is what you’ve always wanted to be and you are in line with your dreams. But look at Chloe—”
“You don’t have to talk bad about your daughter to make me feel better,” I cuts him off.
“No… no… don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I am not happy with who Chloe is right now. I want you to know that I cherish you and Chloe. I love you the same way I love Chloe.” He placed his hands on my shoulder blades.
“Chloe dreamed of becoming a musician but for one reason she gave up on that dream.”
Suddenly I became interested in hearing about Chloe. Sure, I have heard her sing and she does it almost perfectly.
“She gave up because a bully at school said she had a terrible voice and she would never make a penny if she became a musician. And what is she now?”
“A secretary,” I replied.
“I tried all my best to talk her out of giving up on that dream. I made contact with some friends in the entertainment world to help her musical career but Chloe’s mind was made up. So I let her be.”
My phone vibrated again but I ignored it.
“What does he want?” Dad asked, referring to Daniel.
“Yesterday he asked me if we could hang out together today but I turned him down.”
The last thing I wanna do is hang out with a man on a Valentine’s day.
“So you turned him down because of what Xavier did to you?”
I nodded. “The last time I checked I stopped thinking about Valentine because of what Xavier did to me. I fell out of love the moment I found out the truth.”
He held my hands in his large ones. “This is what I want you to understand…” He sat me down on my bed gently. “…just because Xavier told you that he loved you and didn’t mean it, doesn’t mean that love doesn’t exist.”
I tried to protest that love doesn’t exist truly but he silenced me with his words. “Just because you believed Xavier and it wasn’t true doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t believe in love.”
“See Uriel, love didn’t hurt you but someone who doesn’t know how to love hurt you. So don’t confuse the two.”
The tears flowed again at his words. “I can’t do this again,” I sobbed.
“Take a look at your mom, she didn’t give up on love after all she went through in the hands of men. I really don’t care if I am the seventh man in her life. All I care about is your mom, you and Chloe. I have story too, but that didn’t stop me from believing in love.”
“My story is different…”
“If your mom had given up on love just like you did, then we wouldn’t be here having this conversation.” He cupped my face in his large hands.
“I think I have the perfect plan to help you love again.” He smiled.
“What’s that?” My phone vibrated again.
“And that is my plan.” He gestured towards my phone.
“My cellphone is your plan?”
“No, the caller is my plan.” He gave me a smug look.
“No…no…dad, I am not doing this…”
“Daniel?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, Daniel, I want you to hang out with him today and find what he wants from you exactly.”
“No dad, he’s just my colleague at work.”
He laughed. “Well I think Daniel sees you more than that.”
“Oh stop it! You barely even know him.”
“Yes but I have seen him twice.” He shrugged.
Mom and Chloe suddenly walked in. And I became scared. Did they hear everything I said to dad?
“My baby…” My mom broke into tears. I guess she heard everything.
“How long have you been…?”
“Right since he came in,” Chloe replied. “We heard everything.”
My mom embraced me tightly. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. It was all my fault. I should have been a good mother to you.”
“No… no… mom. It wasn’t your fault.” I withdrew to look at her. “Mom, please stop crying. I should be the one apologizing, I should have told about it.”
Dad came around to comfort her while Chloe came to me.
“And I am really sorry for taking out my anger on you. Please forgive me.”
“It is okay… please don’t say sorry.” She embraced me tightly.
If you have a teenage girl please make out time to talk to her about Valentine’s day, relationships and educate her on what love and sex is all about.
Bear in mind that if you don’t take up your responsibility and talk to her about these things, someone with a bad motive will surely do that.