Life & Love
Follow the heartwarming Christmas Story of a young couple, and how their love withstood the test of time
By Oluwajeminipe Fasheun-Motesho
PUBLISHED: December 23, 2023
In our cozy little town, where Christmas turned every street into a sparkling wonderland of lights and laughter, my heart danced to the rhythm of a timeless love story with Lekan. Lekan and I have been childhood sweethearts since we were little, and we have been able to spend every Christmas together. I was clearly in love with Lekan, ever since I first set my eyes on him- everything just clicked. Whether it was hair, eyes, or even his well-toned body - I just seemed to love everything about him. We officially started dating when we were both in high school, even though we had known each since we we were little.
I still vividly remember the day he asked me out. We were on a coffee date, and he pulled up a note with the wordings “Will you be my girlfriend?” I hadn’t expected it and I found it so cute. Lekan was a talented artist, and I was a skilled baker. I would like to think our jobs complemented one another graciously. As our town buzzed with festive excitement, Lekan and I found joy in planning surprises for each other. He, with a twinkle in his eye, secretly worked on a canvas, painting our love story, while I, in the warmth of the bakery, busily whipped up a special batch of cookies that promised to carry the sweetness of our shared moments. It wasn’t our first-time spending Christmas together, but we always liked to make every Christmas special for each other.
It was our tradition every year to surprise each other with sentimental gifts that the other party didn’t expect in the slightest bit. Last year, Lekan had picked up on my need to get new pots and pans for my baking business- and he did just that. While I on the other arranged a sip and paint activity solely for the two of us. We both relished and enjoyed sipping and painting in each other’s company. On that magical Christmas morning, the air itself seemed to hum with excitement. Lekan and I exchanged our heartfelt surprises, wrapped with ribbons woven with the threads of our love. The joy in both our eyes mirrored the joy that wrapped around our little town.
Unknown to me, beneath the glow of our shared happiness, a secret weighed heavily on Lekan's heart. Apparently, he had received an offer, a ticket to showcase his art in a prestigious gallery in Lagos – a dream he had carefully nurtured for years. Lekan had always wanted to take his art to the next level- that has always been his dream. Unfortunately, he had always not been opportuned to do so- as he was always getting rejected. He would send his artworks to several galleries, and they would tell him there wasn’t any space for him. Fearing disappointment and afraid of casting a shadow on our Christmas bliss, he chose to keep this life-altering news tucked away for a little while.
Days turned into nights, and as the New Year tiptoed closer, Lekan's inner struggle intensified. His passion for art clashed with the fear of leaving me behind. Finally, on one chilly evening, he mustered the courage to reveal his opportunity to me. He looked me dead in the eyes and told me about the opportunity.
I was taken aback, my eyes widening in surprise, as Lekan spoke of his dreams. Love and joy painted his words, but beneath the surface, I sensed a shadow of betrayal creeping into my heart. Torn between supporting his aspirations and the fear of losing him to a world beyond our cozy town, I found myself entangled in a web of emotions. I had to tell myself that this has always been Lekan’s dream- Why should I be the one to deter him from achieving the dream. I put into considerations all we have been through together has a couple, and deep within me- I knew I had to let him go. Nevertheless, I was still distraught.
Lekan, oblivious to my inner turmoil, immersed himself in preparations for the upcoming gallery exhibition. He packed and prepared for the trip. On the eve of his departure, our little town gathered for a heartfelt farewell celebration. Lekan was a well-loved person in the town because of his selflessness. He was always doing one thing or another to help the people in the town. When the people in the town found out about his departure to Lagos, they were more than distraught and opted to throw him a farewell party to reverence his departure.
On that party day, emotions hung thick in the air as I presented Lekan with a carefully wrapped gift. When he unwrapped it, his eyes widened with astonishment. It was a painting of us– a reflection of our love, capturing the cherished moments we had shared. Usually, Lekan was supposed to be the artist. I had never been good at drawing or painting on canvases. Regardless, I knew I had to step out of comfort zone and give him a worthwhile present to remember me by in Lagos. I had put in all my effort and sweat in making that painting of us, and I would like to think I did a superb job.
In that bittersweet, moment, my heartache transformed into a silent understanding. I knew I couldn't hold Lekan back, but my gift conveyed the depth of our connection. Lekan, moved by my gesture, realized the weight of the sacrifice I had made for his dreams. As Lekan left for Lagos, he looked me in the eyes and promised that our love would endure any distance. We stayed up all night and talked to each other- trying to relish the last time we would have together in a long while. The town, though saddened by his departure, found solace in the hope that love could conquer even the vastness that separated us.
Months passed, and Lekan's art flourished in the bustling streets of Lagos. Lekan never ceased to send me newspaper clippings or videos of how his artworks was making waves in Lagos and overseas. He would make videos of every art exhibition he did and send to me to see. I found very cute andfelt like I was still part of his life- even though we were miles apart.
Still, the Lekan’s gesture couldn't replace the loneliness I felt, and the echo of my laughter seemed to linger in the corners of his solitary studio. Meanwhile, I found solace in the simple joys of life, pouring my emotions into my bakery creations, each pastry holding a piece of our shared history.
A year had already passed, and Christmas was just around the corner. Lekan had sent me a Christmas package which contained baking utensils. For some odd reason, the package felt out of place. Normally, I would be more excited to receive the package, but this time I felt numb and a bit out of place. I had expected something out of the ordinary maybe. I sighed because I knew it was going to be a long and lonely Christmas. All of a sudden, I spotted a strange figure walking into the doors of my bakery. It was my Lekan!
Apparently, Lekan had felt a yearning for the familiarity of our town. The success he found in Lagos felt incomplete without the laughter that echoed through our little streets. Driven by this realization, he decided to surprise me by returning, understanding that success without love was an empty canvas.
I was taken by surprise and overjoyed when Lekan appeared in my bakery. The familiarity of his presence filled the air with warmth, and I rushed into his arms quickly as happy as I could be. In that embrace, we discovered that love could indeed withstand the trials of time and distance. He whispered in my ears “I figured out the best Christmas gift I could give you is myself. I’m coming back home. Merry Christmas, baby” My face automatically went red, when I heard that. My Lekan was coming back home! What better Christmas present could I ask for?
And so, in the heart of our small town, amid the twinkle of Christmas lights, Lekan and I continued our love story – a tale of joy, sacrifice, and the enduring magic of Christmas.