The Search for Gina
Please help me find my Gina.
I do not know what to do without Gina because each day without her seems like a walk towards a grave. I can not locate Gina; I am not sure if she willingly left or if someone took her away against her wish. But I must find her; please help join the search for Gina, my Gina.
This article may sound like one of those love stories you watch in the movies, but it is a real story that confirmed that love is innocent. Yes, love should be pure and innocent because that is the only thing that makes it love. It was in my grade four that I first met Gina. She was my classmate, and our seats were not far apart. It was a new session, and we just happened to be in the same class. We usually joke in class or at time quarrel like teenagers. I was about ten years old then, but I knew that I felt something for her which I could not explain. I love her company, and that made other girls in class to envy her, but it seemed she was not all that interested in me although we chat. Maybe that was why I gladly granted her request the day she asked me for some money for snacks because she forgot her lunch box. She is from a wealthy family, and her father always came to pick her and her brothers/sisters after school.
One day in class our teacher requested for a mathematics textbook which we used for our math lectures. I gave our teacher my textbook then after the class when she wanted to return it she looked at the name written in the book and got confused. O! And behold I forgot that I wrote my name and Gina’s name in my book. The teacher called both names and asked: “who owns this book?” The class looked at Gina and me while Gina looked at me before she lifted her copy and showed the teacher. “It is mine book” I answered. The teacher felt disappointed, and she thought I was a bad boy so she said, “How could you write a girl’s name in your book?” “I was only joking,” I replied but she did not believe me. Honestly, I was trying to learn the spelling of Gina and not to forget it, so I had to write it in my book. I did not know if it was love that made me do it, but I knew it changed a lot of things then because Gina kept off from me as if I was a devil. She stopped talking and joking with me and even when I joked with her she would get annoyed and call her elder brother, and that would make me escape from the class to avoid confrontation, so her brother never caught me. We were in different classes in our grade five and six so we did not see much of each other till we graduated.
After about three years later after our graduation and we were already in different high schools. I went to boy’s high school while she went to a girl’s high school. I still thought of her, but I thought I might never see her again until one day I strolled with a friend who was our classmate in grade four. He showed me a duplex apartment and said that it is Gina’s father’s house and that she lived there. The way our relationship ended and how she kept off from me engulfed me once again, so I started making moves to get back to her and luckily my school was less than seven minutes walk from her house. By then I was in class three, and I had a senior friend at home, so I presented my dilemma to him. He advised that I write her a letter, if I can not go to her house or if she would not listen to me.
It was not easy to visit her at their home because her father was strict and liked to question their visitors to know the purpose of every visit. I investigated and got the name of her school, and luckily, again, I had a neighbour that was in her school. I had to wait for Val’s day which was almost close. So on that day, I got her a card, and I wrote a letter which was attached to the card, and a flower. At first, I did not know what to write in the letter, but after my conservation with my senior friend, I then realised that love was what I felt for her from the beginning, though I did not know it, then. Yes, Gina is an intelligent, quiet, gentle, beautiful and religious girl so it would be easy for anyone that likes such qualities to fall in love with her and I am one of such person. I love, love songs then and now so I can recall some of the things I wrote in the letter, “The brightness and coldness of today has given me the impetus to seek for your love. Although, we have to chase each other with love in our eyes. I remember the first time we ever met. The sun was shining, and love was roaming in the air. You saw my eyes and the next thing you did to me was to make me fall in love. I was in love, I mean I was so much in love with you that I wanted to have you for a friend, but things changed, and we went apart, and that is where my heartbreak began. But don’t you know, am the one ever to love you girl? Please don’t care what they say; you know you are my world. Come back home to the one who loves you more and more, so you will see that it was me you have been searching for all your life. It will be unjust for justice to justify what is unjustifiable. Heaven just sent you to be by my side…” I sent the letter, card, and flowers to her.
She got my letter and, unexpectedly, stormed in her reply. I have the reply somewhere, and some of the things she wrote were, “I got your letter, and I was flabbergasted…I will report you to your brother if you don’t stop this. Don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4) repent, or you will never get to heaven if you break my heart. I have ever since forgotten if anyone like you exists…”
I did not remember that my uncle was their Sunday school teacher at the church and she had seen my uncle and me together when we drove to the church. I recall that I tried to get her attention that day but I could not, and she pretended not to have seen me. Her reply was no good news to me, but I had to say something or forget about her. I replied her letter “I do not know why I would miss heaven just because I am in love with you. But I cannot help myself, so if I must repent of this before I go to heaven then be sure that I am already in hell. God, himself, is love and we are commanded to love yet it is love that I gave to you, and you sent love to hell by your words. All I asked for is friendship, and I do not seek to get anything from you…the truth is that I can’t stop loving you even if you deny my hand of friendship…” she got my letter, though reluctantly from my friend and that annoyed my friend that she stopped being a third party.
Gina apologised in her reply. She had to send the response through her younger brother, and that was how I got to know that her little brother was my junior in high school. I did not know how Gina found out about my school maybe she investigated or whatever, but she wrote, “I am sorry for the words I used. It is just that I don’t want to get into any relationship that is bad…” In my reply I wrote, “I accept your apology, and I understand your position, but you did not realise that all I need is just you, as a friend…” well she did not reply, this time, so she did not say yes or no and promised me nothing. However, since I knew her younger brother, he became my junior friend. Secondly, I found out that their family friend was in my class and that opened a new page of the story.
The news of my first letter to her got to the guy (their family friend) in my class. I did not know if Gina did that on purpose to link us, but he told me that she said the letter was hot and good. I remember that the guy asked that I teach him how to write one like that. Therefore, it means she enjoyed the letter but stormed at me, well I never bothered to ask her, but I am glad I did not step back. The guy and I went to their house after school so from there his brothers and sisters got fond of me. She did not show any interest in the friendship, at first. Her sisters and brothers knew she was my reason for coming around because whenever I came, they would call her. I always made sure I went with the guy to avoid questions from her father. Surprisingly, I discovered that they came from my hometown though, then, she did not know how to speak our native language so well. As my presence grew in their family, I got the confidence to go alone. Her elder sister was such wiled and liked men, then, that she was always close to me each time I visited. I later understood that Gina did not feel comfortable each time her sister was with me because she knew her sister was seductive. One day, Gina unwittingly, by her comment, made me know that she did not want her sister so close to me, though I already knew it I wondered why she felt concern if she did not want me. That made me realise that she felt something for me though she did not show it.
As years passed by our relationship grew like a white tender lily by the riverside. I can not recall any day that I missed to visit her after school, but during holidays I still managed to find time to see her or call her on the phone. I never really knew she enjoyed my company and Gina was so fond of me, until one day I did not go to see her for some days. I was surprised to see their driver drove her to my house and she said she just wanted to see me. I went back with her to her house because my uncle is stricter and mean compared to her father. I told her that (That was the second time Gina came to my house. I was not at home the first time she visited so I did not know how she found out where I lived because it was still in the early stages when we were still exchanging letters). It was when we got to their house that her sister told me she had been sick for some days because I did not come around to see her. I felt so excited, within myself, to know and be sure at least she has some love for me though she never said it. Things changed somehow after her visit that day despite that her action always made me wonder how much she loved me. Right from the beginning, she rarely collected any gift from me without persuasion. She did not take transport fare from me when she visited. She would reject it and instead we would stroll to their house. Our houses were not that far apart from each other because I always walk to school. I remember most times after I visited her, she would stroll with me to see me out, and from that, we would chat until we unknowingly got to my house then I would walk with her back to her house because we did not want to let each other go. Finally, we would decide to stop halfway between our houses and say bye-bye. I let my senior friend know the growth of our relationship, and I asked him why she rarely accepted my gifts. That was when he told me that she loved and so she did not want me to spend money on her moreover she was responsible enough and intelligent to understand that I was a student like her. Yes, I recalled, she would always say, “You don’t have to get that for me, just keep the money. I don’t need it.” But my problem was that she never said to me, “I love you” despite many times I said to her, “I love you.” That one day I begged her “ please, just tell me that you love me so that I won’t feel so much a fool for always telling you I love.” She did not say it, and that did not stop me from loving her and letting her know it because I realised that I loved her not because she loves me or not but because I love her.
Our relationship grew stronger than before, we called each other on the phone, or most time we would visit each other. Then one day, she came to my house, and I was recopying lyrics to my songbook when she came. She took the book to help write the songs while I went to get her something to drink. We had a long chat that day, and I saw her out, and we strolled as usual. I came back and picked my book to continue where she stopped because she did not let me have it till she left. As I opened the book, I read what she wrote which was not part of the song she was supposed to recopy. She wrote, “I just called to say I love you.” That day I felt the joy of a complete world where love was shared and appreciated by lovers. I made the book a treasure till date, and I thought someday I would make her my wife. Yes, she is the type of girl I need.
Things moved on well, and we finished high school and had to go to university. She had always warned me that she wants an educated man because of her love for knowledge and she is intelligent. That means an educated man is her choice for a life partner. Maybe that was why we had a problem. The biggest issue was that her ship sailed smoothly while my ship had a lot of storms to overcome she consequently proceed to a university while I was battling the storm of life. So that placed us in two different classes and maybe in two different worlds apart, and we lost contact though I always thought of her, and I asked her through her brothers. I did not make much effort to reach her because I had to fight to stay on the sea else my ship would sink. Moreover, I knew what she wanted, and it seemed I failed to keep to it as we agreed that education is the key. I was still battling when she graduated from university and got her 1st degree. I was still nowhere in the arena because the ebb and flow of life were greatly against me.
The next news I heard about her from the guy that introduced me to her family was that she would get married on a December of that year. I thought and prayed that it be a dream. I was still trying to put my life in order, so I sent her a note, but I did not know if she got it because I got no reply. I would not ask her to stop, no! I was not that selfish to deny her happiness when I was not ready, and the battle was still hard that many people thought I could not make it. I had to travel out of my state to fix some things, and I thought I could be back early enough to attend her wedding, at least to show my love and respect, if it was true. My trip delayed because of unforeseen circumstances, so I came back late, and I rushed to our hometown, the venue of the event, and my family had left without me to our hometown for Christmas celebration. I arrived a day after her wedding, and I heard she was married. In fact, I saw the wedding card and confirmed it was true. I felt sad and sorry for myself because she is the girl I desired for a wife and I do not have to blame her for moving on without me, a fallen man.
She had to move on, and I am, now, glad that she did because if she had waited, she might be kept waiting longer than normal because life was still not kind to me that soon. Even when I thought my storm was over another storm would set in my ocean. My wind calmed just a few years ago, and my ship seems to be smooth sailing through life is not accessible for anyone, so there may be more storms in this dreadful ocean of life I have learnt the secrets of the winds, and I survived the storms when men counted me out. I shall continue to sail to the end despite that storms may arise again for it is always for a reason and to everything, there is a season.
On 31st December of that year, which should be two days after her wedding, I went to a petrol station and as I stood by the car waiting to refill the vehicle, behold Gina walked out of a mini supermarket in the petrol station. She held a little girl who I suspect was her little bride. She was heading to her husband’s car when my eyes caught her eyes, and she stopped and stood about five steps away from me. We looked at each other without saying a word. I was utterly speechless because there were many things I could have said or asked but I did not know where to start. That should be the first time I saw her eyes again after more than eight years. We were still speechless and looked at each other's eyes. We would have shown signs of tears if we stayed longer, but luckily her husband came out from the mini supermarket and held her hand, so they walked together to their car. I trust her husband may not know me or heard my story.
I wept in my lonely heart because I knew she would have been mine if I was ready. I would have started a family with her, but life denied me what I desired. I know from the look in her eyes that her heart wept. Truly life is cruel but I now know that everything is for a reason, though I am not sure the reason life denied me the love of my Gina, so I have moved on. And in my heart, I wish her a happy married life with the hope that her husband would give her the love life I desire for her. I do not know where she is now or how she met her husband. Was it against her will? But I trust that someday we can still meet again, and maybe our families would be friends for I know that someday I shall find a kind, gentle, quiet, beautiful, and intelligent lady that would be my Gina because I can not settle for anything less than my Gina. It must either be my Gina or someone better than my Gina because I cannot go for less.
I knew right from the beginning that I would someday write a love story of Gina and me, but I never imagined a story or a life without Gina. I never thought that I would write our love story and not live with her forever. I never imagined a story without Gina that is why I wrote this in tears. But I am glad that I did not take anything from her like I promised not even a kiss or a hug from the girl I love but at least I love her.
It was a love that started from the innocent souls of kids, and it proved that love could be pure and innocent, though it hurts to lose her I cherish the love we had for each other and the sweet moment we shared together. Gina has gone, and I did not even ask her if she left willingly or if she left against her wish but I only pray that she be happy wherever she may be. But I know that someday I shall find my Gina that is why I write so that the world or someone can join the search to help me find my Gina, My Georgina.