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Valentine's Writing Contest


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#46 stelladoll

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:15 AM

Tough to Love
Oh, why did my school decide to have the Sadie Hawkin's Dance on Valentine's Day?! Not only do I loathe the so-called-holiday, (Who the heck believes an invisible baby flutters in the sky launching arrows? Isn't it really killing the mood? School funds could be used so much more wisely, but I digress) my overbearing mother forced me to attend. You know, so I don’t “miss out on opportunities that she regretted not taking advantage of”.
What's worse, my friends either opted out of attending or already found a date. I wasn’t about to ask anyone, anyway. So, like a pathetic, pale-pink-tulle-dress-wearing loser, I enter the fully decorated gym teetering on black four-inch heels solo.
I tilt my chin up, glancing at the ceiling. A Night in the Stars. Huh. If that’s not cliché… Anxiety washes over me as I realize I can’t recognize anyone in the dimly lit room. Squinting desperately to someone I know, my heartbeat begins to thump louder in nervousness. I scan the crowd and sigh, resigned. Another one of those dances. I take an empty seat, leaning into the plush back. Just four hours. I wonder how long I can be entertained by Furious Pelicans while unsnapping my black, studded clutch and reaching for my phone.
I fully realize how stupid I must look. So, almost immediately I shove it back in my purse and precariously step, twist, and slide past fast-moving bodies to reach the punch table. Maybe there’d be magic in the punch. Something that would turn the whole night around. That’s what I need- magic punch.
And a smart idea at that. As soon as I fill a red Solo cup, (fitting, isn’t it?) some jerk, dancing backwards, waving his hands in the air, and laughing jolts my arm, soaking the skirt of my dress with deep crimson liquid. Like blood. It’s dark, but the metaphor works. Nothing was more painful than ruining my favorite dress. I hastily grab a fistful of napkins- elbowing the same guy in the back. As I swipe my skirt in vain, he turns around.
“Dude, I’m sorry, but you didn’t have to hit…Woah.” The 6’, dark blond haired, suit-donning jerk gives me a once-over. “Not a dude.”
Unflattered, I turn to display my stained dress. “Nope,” I shoot back coldly.
“Yikes.”
“No kidding.”
He holds back a chuckle unsuccessfully. Please. Please leave. Now. Apparently, he’s deaf to my telepathic cries. “Hey. I’m really sorry. Honest. I’m Tyler.” Tyler sticks his hand out, level to mine. I shake it reluctantly, then flip my hair, recovering from his firm grip.
“Sophia.” My eyes dart side to side frantically, searching for an exit.
“Look, I’ll pay for dry cleaning, or whatever. But a tip, boiling water and lemon juice will take that right out.” His hands retreat to his pockets as he processes my look of dissatisfaction. “Never mind, Sophie—“
“It’s Sophia.”
“—I’ll let you get back to your date.” Ha! My date. Part of me itched to correct his compliment, but I held back. “But if you wanna take me up on the dry cleaning offer…Do you have a pen?” Grabbing a napkin, he waits for me to check. I hand him a pencil. “Close enough. Just call.” The napkin with his number scrawled across the middle sits below my chin, Tyler’s expression expectant.
Against my better judgment, I blurt, “I’m actually not here with…anyone.”
“Oh?”
“Um. Yeah. It’s just that, my mom made me come tonight, and I hate Valentine’s Day…”Surprisingly, he listened with rapt attention to my endless (well, two minute long) blabbering.
When I finished ( because I ran out of breath, I would’ve kept talking otherwise), he laughed. “I came here with Vivian. But I wouldn’t say I’m with anyone, either.” He glances in her direction. I spy a girl in a blue strapless cocktail dress grinning across from another guy. “But, hey.” Tyler faces me once again. “I couldn’t say I’m disappointed at all. In fact, I think Valentine’s Day just might have brought me some luck this time around.” A wide smile breaks out on his face, ever so tilted, as his blue eyes twinkle like stars. And I forget my dress was ruined, that I’d felt alone, that I was angry at my mother for making me go.
“Yeah. Me too.”
Extending his hand, he nods to the dance floor in a question, eyebrows arched. As I place my own hand in his, I answer, smiling.
“Of course.”
The theme of the dance sure came true. A night in the stars. I think, as he twirls me to a slow song, maybe I could learn to love Valentine’s. Maybe.
If the ending doesn’t satisfy the cynical readers, here’s your alternate conclusion to this short story.
Until he lets go, and I feel myself twirling dangerously close to other couples. I collide with a girl, who lets out a shriek, toppling off of her high heels into another. And another. And another. The girls recover after five minutes of their dates pulling them back up, then adjusting their dresses and regaining balance. The three glare at me on the gym floor. I storm out of there, thoroughly flustered. “Jerk!” I yell behind me, to Tyler. I can’t believe Cupid almost had me fooled. As I stalk away, I know, I will always hate Valentine’s Day.
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#47 stelladoll

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:18 AM

Tough to Love
Oh, why did my school decide to have the Sadie Hawkin's Dance on Valentine's Day?! Not only do I loathe the so-called-holiday, (Who the heck believes an invisible baby flutters in the sky launching arrows? Isn't it really killing the mood? School funds could be used so much more wisely, but I digress) my overbearing mother forced me to attend. You know, so I don’t “miss out on opportunities that she regretted not taking advantage of”.
What's worse, my friends either opted out of attending or already found a date. I wasn’t about to ask anyone, anyway. So, like a pathetic, pale-pink-tulle-dress-wearing loser, I enter the fully decorated gym teetering on black four-inch heels solo.
I tilt my chin up, glancing at the ceiling. A Night in the Stars. Huh. If that’s not cliché… Anxiety washes over me as I realize I can’t recognize anyone in the dimly lit room. Squinting desperately to someone I know, my heartbeat begins to thump louder in nervousness. I scan the crowd and sigh, resigned. Another one of those dances. I take an empty seat, leaning into the plush back. Just four hours. I wonder how long I can be entertained by Furious Pelicans while unsnapping my black, studded clutch and reaching for my phone.
I fully realize how stupid I must look. So, almost immediately I shove it back in my purse and precariously step, twist, and slide past fast-moving bodies to reach the punch table. Maybe there’d be magic in the punch. Something that would turn the whole night around. That’s what I need- magic punch.
And a smart idea at that. As soon as I fill a red Solo cup, (fitting, isn’t it?) some jerk, dancing backwards, waving his hands in the air, and laughing jolts my arm, soaking the skirt of my dress with deep crimson liquid. Like blood. It’s dark, but the metaphor works. Nothing was more painful than ruining my favorite dress. I hastily grab a fistful of napkins- elbowing the same guy in the back. As I swipe my skirt in vain, he turns around.
“Dude, I’m sorry, but you didn’t have to hit…Woah.” The 6’, dark blond haired, suit-donning jerk gives me a once-over. “Not a dude.”
Unflattered, I turn to display my stained dress. “Nope,” I shoot back coldly.
“Yikes.”
“No kidding.”
He holds back a chuckle unsuccessfully. Please. Please leave. Now. Apparently, he’s deaf to my telepathic cries. “Hey. I’m really sorry. Honest. I’m Tyler.” Tyler sticks his hand out, level to mine. I shake it reluctantly, then flip my hair, recovering from his firm grip.
“Sophia.” My eyes dart side to side frantically, searching for an exit.
“Look, I’ll pay for dry cleaning, or whatever. But a tip, boiling water and lemon juice will take that right out.” His hands retreat to his pockets as he processes my look of dissatisfaction. “Never mind, Sophie—“
“It’s Sophia.”
“—I’ll let you get back to your date.” Ha! My date. Part of me itched to correct his compliment, but I held back. “But if you wanna take me up on the dry cleaning offer…Do you have a pen?” Grabbing a napkin, he waits for me to check. I hand him a pencil. “Close enough. Just call.” The napkin with his number scrawled across the middle sits below my chin, Tyler’s expression expectant.
Against my better judgment, I blurt, “I’m actually not here with…anyone.”
“Oh?”
“Um. Yeah. It’s just that, my mom made me come tonight, and I hate Valentine’s Day…”Surprisingly, he listened with rapt attention to my endless (well, two minute long) blabbering.
When I finished ( because I ran out of breath, I would’ve kept talking otherwise), he laughed. “I came here with Vivian. But I wouldn’t say I’m with anyone, either.” He glances in her direction. I spy a girl in a blue strapless cocktail dress grinning across from another guy. “But, hey.” Tyler faces me once again. “I couldn’t say I’m disappointed at all. In fact, I think Valentine’s Day just might have brought me some luck this time around.” A wide smile breaks out on his face, ever so tilted, as his blue eyes twinkle like stars. And I forget my dress was ruined, that I’d felt alone, that I was angry at my mother for making me go.
“Yeah. Me too.”
Extending his hand, he nods to the dance floor in a question, eyebrows arched. As I place my own hand in his, I answer, smiling.
“Of course.”
The theme of the dance sure came true. A night in the stars. I think, as he twirls me to a slow song, maybe I could learn to love Valentine’s. Maybe.
If the ending doesn’t satisfy the cynical readers, here’s your alternate conclusion to this short story.
Until he lets go, and I feel myself twirling dangerously close to other couples. I collide with a girl, who lets out a shriek, toppling off of her high heels into another. And another. And another. The girls recover after five minutes of their dates pulling them back up, then adjusting their dresses and regaining balance. The three glare at me on the gym floor. I storm out of there, thoroughly flustered. “Jerk!” I yell behind me, to Tyler. I can’t believe Cupid almost had me fooled. As I stalk away, I know, I will always hate Valentine’s Day.


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#48 stelladoll

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:20 AM

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GAH. Sorry, I've no clue how to format on here. My official entry is idiotic-ly the one in the green reply box.
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#49 BellesYellowRose

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:37 AM

I hate Valentine’s Day.
Every time you walk into a store it’s like a giant neon sign saying SINGLE, SINGLE!!! With all the chocolate, hearts, and huge bears you know no-one is going to be buying for you.
I forced a smile as another customer bought another cheesy card. As soon as she left I turn toward Missy with all the fake happiness exhaling from my body.
“I hate Valentine’s day.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake Lily,” Missy said with a soft laugh, “you’re only twenty three. You should have dates lined up for this holiday. “She shook her head, “Romance is wasted on the young.”
I had to smile at Missy. She was an older woman, her once black hair now white and with her cushiony figure she was the quintessential grandmother.
I had been working at her greeting card store ever since I had started at college three years ago. It was a sweet shop, with the every kind of card for every type occasion you could image. Missy did not have any children of her own and her husband had passed away a few years ago. So Missy had sort of taken me in and had even mentioned letting me run the store once she retired in a few years. I adored her.
“No dates for me this year… Again,” I muttered under my breath.
She gave me a smile and opened her mouth but I stopped her, “and please don’t say something like, ‘your time will come, or ‘you still have plenty of time,” I said pleadingly.
Missy held up her hand, “I wouldn’t dream of it,” She said dismissively. She picked up her purse, “I think I will head over for Mara’s for my daily cup of tea and-“
“And gossip,” I interrupted with a laugh
She sniffed throwing me a mock glare, “Why Lily Porter I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Uh-huh,” I smiled as she headed out, “See you later.”
I sighed as I walked over to the window. Looking at the white blanket which had covered our small town, winter had hit hard this year in New England. Freezing rain and dropping temperatures had made most of the residents hibernate. It looked like another slow day customer wise.
I ran my fingers through my thick curly mane. There was no taming my wild red hair in winter…. Or summer, spring, and fall for that matter.
I walked over to the mirror looking at my reflection. With my red untamed hair which fell past my shoulders, green eyes, and pale skin there was no denying my Irish heritage. I was petite and I thought my figure, while not stunning or anything, was nice. I just couldn’t figure out why I seemed not be noticed by guys.
I had “boy” friends but nobody who seemed to look at me and go “WOW!” I mean I’m not asking for every guy I ever meet to fall at my feet by jeez once would be nice.
Normally I was okay being single. Truly, I had my family, good friends, and job I actually look forward to working at. So most days I was fine waiting for my prince charming to come along, although I would give up French fries for a year if it meant I could meet him say…tomorrow.
No, most of the time it did not bother me. Except for Valentine’s Day, then it just sucks. I mean every year you think… Okay maybe next year and then next year rolls around and you realize once again you will be spending the most romantic day of the year watching every romance comedy made and eating chocolate given to you by your dad in your sweats.
Hearing the jingle of the bell at door I turn and groan inwardly. The dark Valentine cloud that I had been living in all day just morphed to a raging thunderstorm.
Josh Kelley. The first one to introduce me to Valentine’s Day hell.
Josh gave her a slow smirk but didn’t say anything as he pursued the rows of different cards. I stalked to the counter glaring at the back of his stupid blonde head. Josh was one of those lucky guys who were born with not only good looks and charisma but the knowledge that HE was good-looking. Around 6’2, his soft golden hair falling softly around his forehead, his bright eyes that sparkled like diamond’s, and his build of an athlete he reminded me of a modern day Achilles
As he walked into the counter and slapped down a card. I glared up at him hating him for picking out my favorite one. The black and white photo of young couple set in the forties sitting on an old fashion swing. “How’s it going Porter?” Josh asked me with a grin.
I didn’t say anything just rang him out, “four seventy-five,” I snapped.
“Wow, Porter. You know you get sweeter and sweeter every time I see you,” Josh said sarcastically rolling his eyes as he handed me a five. “No wonder you don’t have a date for Valentine’s day.”
“How do you know I don’t have a date?” I asked sharply.
He smirked at me, “Do you ever?”
As he turned to walk out I could feel my anger bubbling up. I always did have a quick temper and my tongue usually has a mind of its own which would explain why I suddenly said coldly, “Shows you what you know Josh, I not only have a date but a boyfriend.”
Josh turned his eyebrow raised questionably, “Yeah, Who?”
Umm… You don’t know him”
He sauntered back towards to the counter leaning up against it, “It’s a small town Porter, try me.”
I couldn’t stand the smug look on his face. Like he knew I was lying.
“His name is David,” I snapped, “He is not from around here.”
Josh chuckled, a low masculine sound rumbled from his chest, “Yeah, right Porter, whatever you say.”
As he turned back towards the door, I couldn’t resist picking up the rag that I had been cleaning with earlier and throwing at the back of his head. My aim was true; he gave me a roll of the eyes but didn’t say anything as he left.
I know it was childish but there was something about Josh Kelley that made me act like a third grader again. That was the start of it all.
Third grade was my first taste of a crush. His name was Ryder Jacobs. I thought he was the cutest guy, shy and sweet. I was so excited to for our annual class valentine exchange. I spent all night picking out his from the stack.
The day that we had our class exchange, I stood by anxiously waiting for him to read it and the question I had asked. The standard would you be my Valentine?
As Ryder opened it, he had blushed and looked over at me but before he could do anything Josh Kelley had ripped the card at his hand and stood up on his chair reading the Valentine to the whole class. I “Pixie girl,” was asking Ryder to be my valentine.
Ryder being the shy boy he was had been humiliated and refused to even talk to me. The other boys in the class had teased me. Not meanly but just because they in third grade.
I had never forgiven Josh Kelley though for ruining it for me and ever since then I had seemed to have this “Valentine’s day” curse on me. So deep in my thoughts I jumped when the phone rang, “Missy’s Greetings Cards.”
“Lily?”
“Hey Missy, having fun?”
“Oh, dear, I was hoping you had locked up and headed home. It might be too late now.” Missy said worry lacing her tone.”
“What?” I asked confused.
“Lily, look outside,” Missy replied.
As I looked I was shocked to see that the snow had turned from a gentle snowfall to a thick blowing wall. I couldn’t even see the parking lot. It was coming down hard and I could hear the wind. It sounded like a raging howl.
“I thought the storm was not supposed to hit until tonight.”
“Well, I guess it changed its mind,” Missy answered, “Now please don’t try to leave. It is much too dangerous to be out driving. I have plenty of supplies and that old couch in the back, just wait it out ok?”
I sighed I hated the idea of spending the night in the shop, I had been looking forward to going home and waiting out the storm in front of my fire with a good book. However, I knew better trying to leave I lived five miles away and a New England snow storm was not something to mess with. “Okay, thanks Missy. Are you all-right?”
“Oh sure, Mara has enough food and whiskey- I mean tea to keep us girls happy for days.”
I laughed softly, “All-right, take care. I will call you tomorrow.”
I locked up and pulled my book from my purse, might as well get comfortable. Before I could move to Missy’s office, I heard a hard knock on the door. I looked up to see Josh standing there. For a moment I tempted to let him freeze for a minute but I couldn’t be that mean. I hurried over and let him in, “Thanks,” He said breathlessly. “This one blew up fast I was barely out the lot before I realized there was no way I could get home. So I turned around.”
I couldn’t believe it. Not only did I have to spend the night in the shop but I was stuck with Josh Kelley. The one guy I could not stand. I stood there staring out him despite thinking he was the toad of the town I noticed the way he was shivering and some moved inside of me.
“I was about to make a pot of coffee. Would you like some?” I asked him quietly.
He looked at me surprised; it was one the first time I had ever talked to him without any malice.
“Yeah, thanks.”
I waked into the back; if I was going to be locked in the store with Josh all night I was going to need some coffee. A lot of coffee.
As I poured in the water I became aware that Josh had followed me into the office. He was standing against the door jam. I figured the best way to avoid a fight was for me to ignore him the best I could. It was a little disconcerting him just standing there staring at me.
I looked over at him, “You look frozen.”
He nodded, “That wind cuts through you; my truck slide off the road so I left it and walked back to the store.
“They said this storm will be a doozy. Although it was not supposed to hit until later, looks like we will be here for the night,” I said.

“This should be fun,” Josh muttered under his breath.
I didn’t respond but gave him a slightly dirt look, “here,” I said handing him a cup. The moment he took it the room went black. “Great,” we muttered in unison.
We walked back into the main room, Josh strolled over to the door, he glanced back at me, and “does this place have a generator?”
I shook my head; fear stepping in a little with no heat this was going to be a long night.

“Missy loves blankets though,” I said, “She has quite a few here in the store, I will go get them.”
As I hurried back with the blankets, he took two from me and pushed them against the bottom of the door to help keep the cold air out.
I grabbed another and wrapping it around me settled down on the floor with my coffee.
He settled in across from me, “Well…?”
“Well what?” I asked
Josh gave me an exasperated look, “this is going to be a long night if we don’t talk.”
“Maybe for you,” I snapped, “But unlike you, I have a brain.” I held up a book, “I will be just fine.”
“With what light?” Josh asked sarcastically gesturing around.
The room was pretty dark; I doubt I would be able to read more than a few words before it were completely dark inside.
Annoyed, “Well if you’re so bored why don’t you look for the candles that Missy keeps?”
He shook his head at me as he stood up, as he shuffled around he looked back at me, “I don’t get it.”
“What?”
“Why everyone in town talks about what a sweet girl you are?”
“What does that mean?”
He gave me “are you kidding look?”
“Hey, I’m not the one who started it.” I said focusing back onto my book.
“Oh, yeah,” Josh asked leaning against the counter, “Started what?”
I slammed my book down, “you remember.”
He threw up his hands acting annoyed, “Say you remind me.”
“Ryder Jacobs,” I hissed.
Josh scrunched up his face in thought, “That kid in elementary school who collected dead bugs, what about him?”
I stood up angrily, “Third grade valentine’s day. You embarrassed him so much he refused to even talk to me.”
Josh stared at me dumbfounded for a moment before his shoulders started shaking, the little jerk was laughing at me, “you can’t be serious,” he said.
I put my hands on my hips, “very.”
“You’re mad over something that happened in the third grade?”
“I liked him!” I told him hurt, “and you ruined it for me.”
He sighed, “Look I’m sorry okay. But if a guy is going to be scared off by a little thing like that then he doesn’t deserve a girl liking him anyway.”
I had never thought of it that way. I stared at him for moment, feeling maybe I did owe him a small apology.
I sighed too, “Well…Fine. I mean since you finally apologized, I guess I could start maybe a little nicer to you.”
“Gee thanks,” Josh muttered sarcastically with a small grin.
I couldn’t help smiling back, “Welcome.”
He looked outside, “man it’s really coming down.”
I nodded with a shiver as I heard the wind howl, picking up my blanket wrapping it around myself, “Missy has a radio in the back, I will go see if they are saying anything.”
As I walked off tried to ignore the weird feeling I had. I was locked in a store all night with Josh Kelley and since some of my rage at him had faded I was suddenly aware of how attractive Josh was.
The radio was old and the only station it would pick up was an old big band station. As we sat on the floor trying to stay as warm as possible we slowly started talking. Josh had finally found the candles so there was some light.

Josh and I were laughing looking back on some of our childhood memories when the station came on with one of my favorite songs. “I love this song.”

Josh stared at me for a moment before standing up and walking over towards me holding out his hand.
I looked at him for a moment before taking it and letting him lead me out to the center of the room. He placed his arms around me pulling me in close. I closed my eyes as we danced, feeling oddly safe and warm.
“You know Lily, I am sorry about the Ryder thing,” He said quietly, “I just… didn’t want you giving a valentine to anyone else.”
I pulled back to look at him confused, “What?”
He shrugged slightly embarrassed, “I was mad you gave him a valentine. I didn’t want you liking anyone but me…” He trailed off.
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh,” I said not sure what to say.
“Do you really have a boyfriend?” Josh asked.
I shook my head, “No, I just said that because you made me mad.”
He did not say anything but I felt him grin against my cheek.
As the song ended it felt as though Josh released reluctantly. We stood there staring at each other, not speaking but somehow saying a lot.
I gave a shiver, after he released me I could feel how cool the store had become. Josh picked up a blanket wrapping it around me. Pulling me in slightly, he reached into his pocket holding out a card. Confused I opened it, surprised to see it was the Valentine’s Day card he had picked out earlier. I smiled up at him and when I opened it to read inside, I was surprised to see an old wrinkled valentine similar to the ones kids pass out in school. Tearing up I noticed it was written in a young kid’s handwriting, “to lily from josh.”
“Josh…” I said
“I was going to give it to you but when I saw you give yours to Ryder well I got mad.” Josh answered simply.
I stood up on tiptoes leaning in to kiss him. He held me close and when I pulled back he grinned at me, “Come on.” Pulling to me the floor and wrapping his arms around me.
As I laid my head against his chest I couldn’t help saying softly, “Don’t you just love Valentine’s day.”
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#50 BellesYellowRose

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:38 AM

I hate Valentine’s Day.
Every time you walk into a store it’s like a giant neon sign saying SINGLE, SINGLE!!! With all the chocolate, hearts, and huge bears you know no-one is going to be buying for you.
I forced a smile as another customer bought another cheesy card. As soon as she left I turn toward Missy with all the fake happiness exhaling from my body.
“I hate Valentine’s day.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake Lily,” Missy said with a soft laugh, “you’re only twenty three. You should have dates lined up for this holiday. “She shook her head, “Romance is wasted on the young.”
I had to smile at Missy. She was an older woman, her once black hair now white and with her cushiony figure she was the quintessential grandmother.
I had been working at her greeting card store ever since I had started at college three years ago. It was a sweet shop, with the every kind of card for every type occasion you could image. Missy did not have any children of her own and her husband had passed away a few years ago. So Missy had sort of taken me in and had even mentioned letting me run the store once she retired in a few years. I adored her.
“No dates for me this year… Again,” I muttered under my breath.
She gave me a smile and opened her mouth but I stopped her, “and please don’t say something like, ‘your time will come, or ‘you still have plenty of time,” I said pleadingly.
Missy held up her hand, “I wouldn’t dream of it,” She said dismissively. She picked up her purse, “I think I will head over for Mara’s for my daily cup of tea and-“
“And gossip,” I interrupted with a laugh
She sniffed throwing me a mock glare, “Why Lily Porter I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Uh-huh,” I smiled as she headed out, “See you later.”
I sighed as I walked over to the window. Looking at the white blanket which had covered our small town, winter had hit hard this year in New England. Freezing rain and dropping temperatures had made most of the residents hibernate. It looked like another slow day customer wise.
I ran my fingers through my thick curly mane. There was no taming my wild red hair in winter…. Or summer, spring, and fall for that matter.
I walked over to the mirror looking at my reflection. With my red untamed hair which fell past my shoulders, green eyes, and pale skin there was no denying my Irish heritage. I was petite and I thought my figure, while not stunning or anything, was nice. I just couldn’t figure out why I seemed not be noticed by guys.
I had “boy” friends but nobody who seemed to look at me and go “WOW!” I mean I’m not asking for every guy I ever meet to fall at my feet by jeez once would be nice.
Normally I was okay being single. Truly, I had my family, good friends, and job I actually look forward to working at. So most days I was fine waiting for my prince charming to come along, although I would give up French fries for a year if it meant I could meet him say…tomorrow.
No, most of the time it did not bother me. Except for Valentine’s Day, then it just sucks. I mean every year you think… Okay maybe next year and then next year rolls around and you realize once again you will be spending the most romantic day of the year watching every romance comedy made and eating chocolate given to you by your dad in your sweats.
Hearing the jingle of the bell at door I turn and groan inwardly. The dark Valentine cloud that I had been living in all day just morphed to a raging thunderstorm.
Josh Kelley. The first one to introduce me to Valentine’s Day hell.
Josh gave her a slow smirk but didn’t say anything as he pursued the rows of different cards. I stalked to the counter glaring at the back of his stupid blonde head. Josh was one of those lucky guys who were born with not only good looks and charisma but the knowledge that HE was good-looking. Around 6’2, his soft golden hair falling softly around his forehead, his bright eyes that sparkled like diamond’s, and his build of an athlete he reminded me of a modern day Achilles
As he walked into the counter and slapped down a card. I glared up at him hating him for picking out my favorite one. The black and white photo of young couple set in the forties sitting on an old fashion swing. “How’s it going Porter?” Josh asked me with a grin.
I didn’t say anything just rang him out, “four seventy-five,” I snapped.
“Wow, Porter. You know you get sweeter and sweeter every time I see you,” Josh said sarcastically rolling his eyes as he handed me a five. “No wonder you don’t have a date for Valentine’s day.”
“How do you know I don’t have a date?” I asked sharply.
He smirked at me, “Do you ever?”
As he turned to walk out I could feel my anger bubbling up. I always did have a quick temper and my tongue usually has a mind of its own which would explain why I suddenly said coldly, “Shows you what you know Josh, I not only have a date but a boyfriend.”
Josh turned his eyebrow raised questionably, “Yeah, Who?”
Umm… You don’t know him”
He sauntered back towards to the counter leaning up against it, “It’s a small town Porter, try me.”
I couldn’t stand the smug look on his face. Like he knew I was lying.
“His name is David,” I snapped, “He is not from around here.”
Josh chuckled, a low masculine sound rumbled from his chest, “Yeah, right Porter, whatever you say.”
As he turned back towards the door, I couldn’t resist picking up the rag that I had been cleaning with earlier and throwing at the back of his head. My aim was true; he gave me a roll of the eyes but didn’t say anything as he left.
I know it was childish but there was something about Josh Kelley that made me act like a third grader again. That was the start of it all.
Third grade was my first taste of a crush. His name was Ryder Jacobs. I thought he was the cutest guy, shy and sweet. I was so excited to for our annual class valentine exchange. I spent all night picking out his from the stack.
The day that we had our class exchange, I stood by anxiously waiting for him to read it and the question I had asked. The standard would you be my Valentine?
As Ryder opened it, he had blushed and looked over at me but before he could do anything Josh Kelley had ripped the card at his hand and stood up on his chair reading the Valentine to the whole class. I “Pixie girl,” was asking Ryder to be my valentine.
Ryder being the shy boy he was had been humiliated and refused to even talk to me. The other boys in the class had teased me. Not meanly but just because they in third grade.
I had never forgiven Josh Kelley though for ruining it for me and ever since then I had seemed to have this “Valentine’s day” curse on me. So deep in my thoughts I jumped when the phone rang, “Missy’s Greetings Cards.”
“Lily?”
“Hey Missy, having fun?”
“Oh, dear, I was hoping you had locked up and headed home. It might be too late now.” Missy said worry lacing her tone.”
“What?” I asked confused.
“Lily, look outside,” Missy replied.
As I looked I was shocked to see that the snow had turned from a gentle snowfall to a thick blowing wall. I couldn’t even see the parking lot. It was coming down hard and I could hear the wind. It sounded like a raging howl.
“I thought the storm was not supposed to hit until tonight.”
“Well, I guess it changed its mind,” Missy answered, “Now please don’t try to leave. It is much too dangerous to be out driving. I have plenty of supplies and that old couch in the back, just wait it out ok?”
I sighed I hated the idea of spending the night in the shop, I had been looking forward to going home and waiting out the storm in front of my fire with a good book. However, I knew better trying to leave I lived five miles away and a New England snow storm was not something to mess with. “Okay, thanks Missy. Are you all-right?”
“Oh sure, Mara has enough food and whiskey- I mean tea to keep us girls happy for days.”
I laughed softly, “All-right, take care. I will call you tomorrow.”
I locked up and pulled my book from my purse, might as well get comfortable. Before I could move to Missy’s office, I heard a hard knock on the door. I looked up to see Josh standing there. For a moment I tempted to let him freeze for a minute but I couldn’t be that mean. I hurried over and let him in, “Thanks,” He said breathlessly. “This one blew up fast I was barely out the lot before I realized there was no way I could get home. So I turned around.”
I couldn’t believe it. Not only did I have to spend the night in the shop but I was stuck with Josh Kelley. The one guy I could not stand. I stood there staring out him despite thinking he was the toad of the town I noticed the way he was shivering and some moved inside of me.
“I was about to make a pot of coffee. Would you like some?” I asked him quietly.
He looked at me surprised; it was one the first time I had ever talked to him without any malice.
“Yeah, thanks.”
I waked into the back; if I was going to be locked in the store with Josh all night I was going to need some coffee. A lot of coffee.
As I poured in the water I became aware that Josh had followed me into the office. He was standing against the door jam. I figured the best way to avoid a fight was for me to ignore him the best I could. It was a little disconcerting him just standing there staring at me.
I looked over at him, “You look frozen.”
He nodded, “That wind cuts through you; my truck slide off the road so I left it and walked back to the store.
“They said this storm will be a doozy. Although it was not supposed to hit until later, looks like we will be here for the night,” I said.

“This should be fun,” Josh muttered under his breath.
I didn’t respond but gave him a slightly dirt look, “here,” I said handing him a cup. The moment he took it the room went black. “Great,” we muttered in unison.
We walked back into the main room, Josh strolled over to the door, he glanced back at me, and “does this place have a generator?”
I shook my head; fear stepping in a little with no heat this was going to be a long night.

“Missy loves blankets though,” I said, “She has quite a few here in the store, I will go get them.”
As I hurried back with the blankets, he took two from me and pushed them against the bottom of the door to help keep the cold air out.
I grabbed another and wrapping it around me settled down on the floor with my coffee.
He settled in across from me, “Well…?”
“Well what?” I asked
Josh gave me an exasperated look, “this is going to be a long night if we don’t talk.”
“Maybe for you,” I snapped, “But unlike you, I have a brain.” I held up a book, “I will be just fine.”
“With what light?” Josh asked sarcastically gesturing around.
The room was pretty dark; I doubt I would be able to read more than a few words before it were completely dark inside.
Annoyed, “Well if you’re so bored why don’t you look for the candles that Missy keeps?”
He shook his head at me as he stood up, as he shuffled around he looked back at me, “I don’t get it.”
“What?”
“Why everyone in town talks about what a sweet girl you are?”
“What does that mean?”
He gave me “are you kidding look?”
“Hey, I’m not the one who started it.” I said focusing back onto my book.
“Oh, yeah,” Josh asked leaning against the counter, “Started what?”
I slammed my book down, “you remember.”
He threw up his hands acting annoyed, “Say you remind me.”
“Ryder Jacobs,” I hissed.
Josh scrunched up his face in thought, “That kid in elementary school who collected dead bugs, what about him?”
I stood up angrily, “Third grade valentine’s day. You embarrassed him so much he refused to even talk to me.”
Josh stared at me dumbfounded for a moment before his shoulders started shaking, the little jerk was laughing at me, “you can’t be serious,” he said.
I put my hands on my hips, “very.”
“You’re mad over something that happened in the third grade?”
“I liked him!” I told him hurt, “and you ruined it for me.”
He sighed, “Look I’m sorry okay. But if a guy is going to be scared off by a little thing like that then he doesn’t deserve a girl liking him anyway.”
I had never thought of it that way. I stared at him for moment, feeling maybe I did owe him a small apology.
I sighed too, “Well…Fine. I mean since you finally apologized, I guess I could start maybe a little nicer to you.”
“Gee thanks,” Josh muttered sarcastically with a small grin.
I couldn’t help smiling back, “Welcome.”
He looked outside, “man it’s really coming down.”
I nodded with a shiver as I heard the wind howl, picking up my blanket wrapping it around myself, “Missy has a radio in the back, I will go see if they are saying anything.”
As I walked off tried to ignore the weird feeling I had. I was locked in a store all night with Josh Kelley and since some of my rage at him had faded I was suddenly aware of how attractive Josh was.
The radio was old and the only station it would pick up was an old big band station. As we sat on the floor trying to stay as warm as possible we slowly started talking. Josh had finally found the candles so there was some light.

Josh and I were laughing looking back on some of our childhood memories when the station came on with one of my favorite songs. “I love this song.”

Josh stared at me for a moment before standing up and walking over towards me holding out his hand.
I looked at him for a moment before taking it and letting him lead me out to the center of the room. He placed his arms around me pulling me in close. I closed my eyes as we danced, feeling oddly safe and warm.
“You know Lily, I am sorry about the Ryder thing,” He said quietly, “I just… didn’t want you giving a valentine to anyone else.”
I pulled back to look at him confused, “What?”
He shrugged slightly embarrassed, “I was mad you gave him a valentine. I didn’t want you liking anyone but me…” He trailed off.
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh,” I said not sure what to say.
“Do you really have a boyfriend?” Josh asked.
I shook my head, “No, I just said that because you made me mad.”
He did not say anything but I felt him grin against my cheek.
As the song ended it felt as though Josh released reluctantly. We stood there staring at each other, not speaking but somehow saying a lot.
I gave a shiver, after he released me I could feel how cool the store had become. Josh picked up a blanket wrapping it around me. Pulling me in slightly, he reached into his pocket holding out a card. Confused I opened it, surprised to see it was the Valentine’s Day card he had picked out earlier. I smiled up at him and when I opened it to read inside, I was surprised to see an old wrinkled valentine similar to the ones kids pass out in school. Tearing up I noticed it was written in a young kid’s handwriting, “to lily from josh.”
“Josh…” I said
“I was going to give it to you but when I saw you give yours to Ryder well I got mad.” Josh answered simply.
I stood up on tiptoes leaning in to kiss him. He held me close and when I pulled back he grinned at me, “Come on.” Pulling to me the floor and wrapping his arms around me.
As I laid my head against his chest I couldn’t help saying softly, “Don’t you just love Valentine’s day.”
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#51 BellesYellowRose

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:52 AM

I hate Valentine’s Day.
Every time you walk into a store it’s like a giant neon sign saying SINGLE, SINGLE!!! With all the chocolate, hearts, and huge bears you know no-one is going to be buying for you.
I forced a smile as another customer bought another cheesy card. As soon as she left I turn toward Missy with all the fake happiness exhaling from my body.
“I hate Valentine’s day.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake Lily,” Missy said with a soft laugh, “you’re only twenty three. You should have dates lined up for this holiday. “She shook her head, “Romance is wasted on the young.”
I had to smile at Missy. She was an older woman, her once black hair now white and with her cushiony figure she was the quintessential grandmother.
I had been working at her greeting card store ever since I had started at college three years ago. It was a sweet shop, with the every kind of card for every type occasion you could image. Missy did not have any children of her own and her husband had passed away a few years ago. So Missy had sort of taken me in and had even mentioned letting me run the store once she retired in a few years. I adored her.
“No dates for me this year… Again,” I muttered under my breath.
She gave me a smile and opened her mouth but I stopped her, “and please don’t say something like, ‘your time will come, or ‘you still have plenty of time,” I said pleadingly.
Missy held up her hand, “I wouldn’t dream of it,” She said dismissively. She picked up her purse, “I think I will head over for Mara’s for my daily cup of tea and-“
“And gossip,” I interrupted with a laugh
She sniffed throwing me a mock glare, “Why Lily Porter I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Uh-huh,” I smiled as she headed out, “See you later.”
I sighed as I walked over to the window. Looking at the white blanket which had covered our small town, winter had hit hard this year in New England. Freezing rain and dropping temperatures had made most of the residents hibernate. It looked like another slow day customer wise.
I ran my fingers through my thick curly mane. There was no taming my wild red hair in winter…. Or summer, spring, and fall for that matter.
I walked over to the mirror looking at my reflection. With my red untamed hair which fell past my shoulders, green eyes, and pale skin there was no denying my Irish heritage. I was petite and I thought my figure, while not stunning or anything, was nice. I just couldn’t figure out why I seemed not be noticed by guys.
I had “boy” friends but nobody who seemed to look at me and go “WOW!” I mean I’m not asking for every guy I ever meet to fall at my feet by jeez once would be nice.
Normally I was okay being single. Truly, I had my family, good friends, and job I actually look forward to working at. So most days I was fine waiting for my prince charming to come along, although I would give up French fries for a year if it meant I could meet him say…tomorrow.
No, most of the time it did not bother me. Except for Valentine’s Day, then it just sucks. I mean every year you think… Okay maybe next year and then next year rolls around and you realize once again you will be spending the most romantic day of the year watching every romance comedy made and eating chocolate given to you by your dad in your sweats.
Hearing the jingle of the bell at door I turn and groan inwardly. The dark Valentine cloud that I had been living in all day just morphed to a raging thunderstorm.
Josh Kelley. The first one to introduce me to Valentine’s Day hell.
Josh gave her a slow smirk but didn’t say anything as he pursued the rows of different cards. I stalked to the counter glaring at the back of his stupid blonde head. Josh was one of those lucky guys who were born with not only good looks and charisma but the knowledge that HE was good-looking. Around 6’2, his soft golden hair falling softly around his forehead, his bright eyes that sparkled like diamond’s, and his build of an athlete he reminded me of a modern day Achilles
As he walked into the counter and slapped down a card. I glared up at him hating him for picking out my favorite one. The black and white photo of young couple set in the forties sitting on an old fashion swing. “How’s it going Porter?” Josh asked me with a grin.
I didn’t say anything just rang him out, “four seventy-five,” I snapped.
“Wow, Porter. You know you get sweeter and sweeter every time I see you,” Josh said sarcastically rolling his eyes as he handed me a five. “No wonder you don’t have a date for Valentine’s day.”
“How do you know I don’t have a date?” I asked sharply.
He smirked at me, “Do you ever?”
As he turned to walk out I could feel my anger bubbling up. I always did have a quick temper and my tongue usually has a mind of its own which would explain why I suddenly said coldly, “Shows you what you know Josh, I not only have a date but a boyfriend.”
Josh turned his eyebrow raised questionably, “Yeah, Who?”
Umm… You don’t know him”
He sauntered back towards to the counter leaning up against it, “It’s a small town Porter, try me.”
I couldn’t stand the smug look on his face. Like he knew I was lying.
“His name is David,” I snapped, “He is not from around here.”
Josh chuckled, a low masculine sound rumbled from his chest, “Yeah, right Porter, whatever you say.”
As he turned back towards the door, I couldn’t resist picking up the rag that I had been cleaning with earlier and throwing at the back of his head. My aim was true; he gave me a roll of the eyes but didn’t say anything as he left.
I know it was childish but there was something about Josh Kelley that made me act like a third grader again. That was the start of it all.
Third grade was my first taste of a crush. His name was Ryder Jacobs. I thought he was the cutest guy, shy and sweet. I was so excited to for our annual class valentine exchange. I spent all night picking out his from the stack.
The day that we had our class exchange, I stood by anxiously waiting for him to read it and the question I had asked. The standard would you be my Valentine?
As Ryder opened it, he had blushed and looked over at me but before he could do anything Josh Kelley had ripped the card at his hand and stood up on his chair reading the Valentine to the whole class. I “Pixie girl,” was asking Ryder to be my valentine.
Ryder being the shy boy he was had been humiliated and refused to even talk to me. The other boys in the class had teased me. Not meanly but just because they in third grade.
I had never forgiven Josh Kelley though for ruining it for me and ever since then I had seemed to have this “Valentine’s day” curse on me. So deep in my thoughts I jumped when the phone rang, “Missy’s Greetings Cards.”
“Lily?”
“Hey Missy, having fun?”
“Oh, dear, I was hoping you had locked up and headed home. It might be too late now.” Missy said worry lacing her tone.”
“What?” I asked confused.
“Lily, look outside,” Missy replied.
As I looked I was shocked to see that the snow had turned from a gentle snowfall to a thick blowing wall. I couldn’t even see the parking lot. It was coming down hard and I could hear the wind. It sounded like a raging howl.
“I thought the storm was not supposed to hit until tonight.”
“Well, I guess it changed its mind,” Missy answered, “Now please don’t try to leave. It is much too dangerous to be out driving. I have plenty of supplies and that old couch in the back, just wait it out ok?”
I sighed I hated the idea of spending the night in the shop, I had been looking forward to going home and waiting out the storm in front of my fire with a good book. However, I knew better trying to leave I lived five miles away and a New England snow storm was not something to mess with. “Okay, thanks Missy. Are you all-right?”
“Oh sure, Mara has enough food and whiskey- I mean tea to keep us girls happy for days.”
I laughed softly, “All-right, take care. I will call you tomorrow.”
I locked up and pulled my book from my purse, might as well get comfortable. Before I could move to Missy’s office, I heard a hard knock on the door. I looked up to see Josh standing there. For a moment I tempted to let him freeze for a minute but I couldn’t be that mean. I hurried over and let him in, “Thanks,” He said breathlessly. “This one blew up fast I was barely out the lot before I realized there was no way I could get home. So I turned around.”
I couldn’t believe it. Not only did I have to spend the night in the shop but I was stuck with Josh Kelley. The one guy I could not stand. I stood there staring out him despite thinking he was the toad of the town I noticed the way he was shivering and some moved inside of me.
“I was about to make a pot of coffee. Would you like some?” I asked him quietly.
He looked at me surprised; it was one the first time I had ever talked to him without any malice.
“Yeah, thanks.”
I waked into the back; if I was going to be locked in the store with Josh all night I was going to need some coffee. A lot of coffee.
As I poured in the water I became aware that Josh had followed me into the office. He was standing against the door jam. I figured the best way to avoid a fight was for me to ignore him the best I could. It was a little disconcerting him just standing there staring at me.
I looked over at him, “You look frozen.”
He nodded, “That wind cuts through you; my truck slide off the road so I left it and walked back to the store.
“They said this storm will be a doozy. Although it was not supposed to hit until later, looks like we will be here for the night,” I said.

“This should be fun,” Josh muttered under his breath.
I didn’t respond but gave him a slightly dirt look, “here,” I said handing him a cup. The moment he took it the room went black. “Great,” we muttered in unison.
We walked back into the main room, Josh strolled over to the door, he glanced back at me, and “does this place have a generator?”
I shook my head; fear stepping in a little with no heat this was going to be a long night.

“Missy loves blankets though,” I said, “She has quite a few here in the store, I will go get them.”
As I hurried back with the blankets, he took two from me and pushed them against the bottom of the door to help keep the cold air out.
I grabbed another and wrapping it around me settled down on the floor with my coffee.
He settled in across from me, “Well…?”
“Well what?” I asked
Josh gave me an exasperated look, “this is going to be a long night if we don’t talk.”
“Maybe for you,” I snapped, “But unlike you, I have a brain.” I held up a book, “I will be just fine.”
“With what light?” Josh asked sarcastically gesturing around.
The room was pretty dark; I doubt I would be able to read more than a few words before it were completely dark inside.
Annoyed, “Well if you’re so bored why don’t you look for the candles that Missy keeps?”
He shook his head at me as he stood up, as he shuffled around he looked back at me, “I don’t get it.”
“What?”
“Why everyone in town talks about what a sweet girl you are?”
“What does that mean?”
He gave me “are you kidding look?”
“Hey, I’m not the one who started it.” I said focusing back onto my book.
“Oh, yeah,” Josh asked leaning against the counter, “Started what?”
I slammed my book down, “you remember.”
He threw up his hands acting annoyed, “Say you remind me.”
“Ryder Jacobs,” I hissed.
Josh scrunched up his face in thought, “That kid in elementary school who collected dead bugs, what about him?”
I stood up angrily, “Third grade valentine’s day. You embarrassed him so much he refused to even talk to me.”
Josh stared at me dumbfounded for a moment before his shoulders started shaking, the little jerk was laughing at me, “you can’t be serious,” he said.
I put my hands on my hips, “very.”
“You’re mad over something that happened in the third grade?”
“I liked him!” I told him hurt, “and you ruined it for me.”
He sighed, “Look I’m sorry okay. But if a guy is going to be scared off by a little thing like that then he doesn’t deserve a girl liking him anyway.”
I had never thought of it that way. I stared at him for moment, feeling maybe I did owe him a small apology.
I sighed too, “Well…Fine. I mean since you finally apologized, I guess I could start maybe a little nicer to you.”
“Gee thanks,” Josh muttered sarcastically with a small grin.
I couldn’t help smiling back, “Welcome.”
He looked outside, “man it’s really coming down.”
I nodded with a shiver as I heard the wind howl, picking up my blanket wrapping it around myself, “Missy has a radio in the back, I will go see if they are saying anything.”
As I walked off tried to ignore the weird feeling I had. I was locked in a store all night with Josh Kelley and since some of my rage at him had faded I was suddenly aware of how attractive Josh was.
The radio was old and the only station it would pick up was an old big band station. As we sat on the floor trying to stay as warm as possible we slowly started talking. Josh had finally found the candles so there was some light.

Josh and I were laughing looking back on some of our childhood memories when the station came on with one of my favorite songs. “I love this song.”

Josh stared at me for a moment before standing up and walking over towards me holding out his hand.
I looked at him for a moment before taking it and letting him lead me out to the center of the room. He placed his arms around me pulling me in close. I closed my eyes as we danced, feeling oddly safe and warm.
“You know Lily, I am sorry about the Ryder thing,” He said quietly, “I just… didn’t want you giving a valentine to anyone else.”
I pulled back to look at him confused, “What?”
He shrugged slightly embarrassed, “I was mad you gave him a valentine. I didn’t want you liking anyone but me…” He trailed off.
“Really?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh,” I said not sure what to say.
“Do you really have a boyfriend?” Josh asked.
I shook my head, “No, I just said that because you made me mad.”
He did not say anything but I felt him grin against my cheek.
As the song ended it felt as though Josh released reluctantly. We stood there staring at each other, not speaking but somehow saying a lot.
I gave a shiver, after he released me I could feel how cool the store had become. Josh picked up a blanket wrapping it around me. Pulling me in slightly, he reached into his pocket holding out a card. Confused I opened it, surprised to see it was the Valentine’s Day card he had picked out earlier. I smiled up at him and when I opened it to read inside, I was surprised to see an old wrinkled valentine similar to the ones kids pass out in school. Tearing up I noticed it was written in a young kid’s handwriting, “to lily from josh.”
“Josh…” I said
“I was going to give it to you but when I saw you give yours to Ryder well I got mad.” Josh answered simply.
I stood up on tiptoes leaning in to kiss him. He held me close and when I pulled back he grinned at me, “Come on.” Pulling to me the floor and wrapping his arms around me.
As I laid my head against his chest I couldn’t help saying softly, “Don’t you just love Valentine’s day.”


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#52 Phoenixtears023

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:21 AM

Stupid Little Heart Cut Outs

Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. I mean look around the town; there are so many stupid heart cutouts hanging around and all of the shops are full of heart shaped items. There are stuffed animals, lights and candles all shaped like a fake heart. I just don’t understand why everyone seems to be making such a big deal out of one little day. Alright, I may be a little bitter because I have spent every Valentine’s Day completely alone and have never had a chance to enjoy one.
I muttered my annoyances as I walked onto campus and saw that the community college is hosting a Valentine’s Day festival today. Seriously, why did they plan this stupid thing? I’m already alone and miserable and they decide to do this. I shake my head and walk to my British Literature class. As I arrive in class I smile as I see that my teacher wrote on the board ‘Count the head that will roll in this class.’ I turn and see my friend Alice franticly waving me over to her. Once I reach the desk in front of Alice I sit down and turn to face her.

“He finally asked you didn’t he?” I asked.

“Yes! First we are going to the festival after classes today and then Pete wants to take me out to this really romantic restaurant and he said he has a surprise for me,” Alice said with bubbly enthusiasm.

“That’s great Alice, I’m glad he finally asked you out,” I said with a smile and turned around to listen to our professor talk about how the story we had to read for discussion today was a romantic tale of a knight. Great more romance today I thought bitterly.
“With the closing of class we now are at a head roll count of twenty two! Reread Sir Gawain the Green Knight and be prepared for the exam next week,” Professor Carson said as she dismissed class.

Alice and I got our stuff and walked out of class quickly. I knew what the routine was since we have been doing it since the beginning of the semester. When we would walk to class she would always look for Pete and I would always look for Avery. Avery, he is the guy who captured my heart the first day of class this semester. Only problem was I had a thing for him and I am almost positive he didn’t have a thing for me. As we walked I noticed that Pete wasn’t where he normally is and that he probably was already waiting for us in class which was really weird for him.

“Kat are you listening?” Alice asked as she moved and stopped in front of me.

I stopped walking and looked at Alice, “Sorry Alice, I was just thinking of someone,” I said with a small frown.

Alice smiled and ran off to class ahead of me and I followed behind her slowly. As I made my way to my normal spot I hear Pete say enthusiastically “Hey Kat, some guy asked me to give this to you.”

I looked at Pete and stared at the stupid heart cut out he held out for me to take. “Who on earth would do that?” I shocked.

“Read and find out silly,” Alice said as she took the little heart cut out and handed it to me before she sat down.

I sat down behind them and took out my notebook to take notes on the only class I could sleep through and pass. I looked at the heart cut out as the professor said he was going to show us a movie today. I glanced over at the heart one more time and my curiosity got the better of me. I opened the little heart and read:

“To the one person who has enough with to throw me off my game
I want to show you something that will ignite a flame…
Okay, I know that attempt at poetry was pretty lame but I really want you to meet me at the Garden of Roses after this class. I know we have a spark. See you soon my sweet… yours xoxo.”


I stared at the note as we were leaving class and I was debating on going to the meeting place.

“Kat you should go; it will be fun trust us,” Alice and Pete said in unison.

“I’m so glad that both of you know who this human is… he is human right?” I asked trying to lighten my nerves. I didn’t want to tell them that I had already made up my mind to go see who this person was. Not waiting for their response I walked off in the direction of the roses. I could hear Alice squeal as I walked away and I could feel the anxiety grow as I got closer. When I got there I saw Avery and I almost turned around because I was afraid it was some joke.

“Hey you,” Avery said as I walked over to him.

“Hi,” I said standing next to him. I looked at Avery and he looked back at me and smiled brightly.

“The note was stupid wasn’t it?” Avery asked as he ran his hand through his hair nervously.

“Nope, I loved it,” I said as I reached out and took his hand in mine.

Avery smiled hearing my comment and pulled me into a tight embrace. I returned his embrace and looked up at him. Avery took the moment to lean down and kiss me lightly on the lips. I smiled brightly as he moved back.

“Thank you Avery,” I said as we stopped hugging and I took his hand and started to lead him to another portion of the festival.

“For what?” Avery asked as we walked.

“For making today the best Valentine’s Day and for making me like the stupid little heart cut outs that are everywhere,” I said as Avery laughed while we walked hand in hand through the festival.
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#53 Laura Cabot

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:42 AM

DREAM?





In two days, my world will end. I woke up screaming. Why do I always have these terrible dreams? I pick up my cell phone to see the hours but the first thing that I saw is the date, February 14, Valentine’s Day. I totally hate this day. Then I look at the hours and I was already late.
- You gotta be kidding me – I say to myself, I was exhausted I felt like I hadn’t even closed my eyes, these nightmares always made me felt like I had been bunched. Actually I had, in the dream but not really.
I took a bath and dressed up as quick as I could, picked up my materials, run to downstairs picked up a toast and run to the school, that was just to blocks away my home, eating it. When I got in the school I see my best friend, Angela, standing close to my locker waiting for me.
- Hi! You are almost late, again. – she said smiling
- Dreams - I said looking at her with a sleepy face
She looked at me sadly, showing me that she understod what I was talking about. We entered in the class and sit in our desks. I didn’t pay any attention on the class, Valentine’s Day and I was once more by my own, I started thinking what I did wrong to be alone. Suddenly I remembered my entire dream.
I was running into the woods and some thing was after me, I was pretty hurt and scared. I fall down and the thing that was after me was reaching me and I couldn’t get up, it was too painful. When I was starting to get up a tall man get out of the dark and started to bunch me. I didn’t recognize him, because he was all dressed in black and he was wearing a black hood and a mask covering his face. Then a beautiful guy appeared with some sword of weapon in his hand frightening the man that was bunching me. I looked at him and smiled he smiled back coming to help me to get up. He was a gorgeous boy he seemed to have about my age, he was tall and strong, had black eyes and the hair of the same color. I stared at his pretty face and suddenly forget what was happening, I wanted to kiss him but we didn’t have much time I had to hide. We went to my actual school, when he were in front of it he told me what was going to happen, I was going to forget about everything and I would start thinking that I was just a regular girl going to school. He put his hands in my head whispered something and everything went black. Then I heard myself saying “In two days, my world will end.” And then I woke up, is the same dream every night, the difference is that every day I have one day less till my world ends. I have no idea what this dream means; I just think that I’m going crazy.
I heard the signal and got up going out of the class as fast as I could. I needed to go to bathroom and wash my face I wasn’t felling exactly well. While I was in a hurry I bumped someone.
- Sorry – I said looking up
I looked at him and I couldn’t believe what I saw the same eyes, the same hair, the same face, I was facing the guy that saved me in my dream. Suddenly I felt dizzy that couldn’t be happening, he was just I guy from a dream, someone I imagined, didn’t I? He smiled to me, the same smile that I saw every night when I sleep. Ok, I thought, I’m going crazy.
- No problem, are you ok? You don’t look well – he said smiling and making my heart almost dance into my chest beating so fast that I couldn’t believe. What was wrong with me? He looked like a normal guy, that I don’t know how was appearing in my dreams, I shouldn’t be this way.
- An… I know this will sound a little bit weird, but do I know you?
- Oh my… do you remember me?
- Yes… ok, so if I’m crazy I’m not the only one. – he started laughing, ok, maybe I was crazy.
- I missed you – he said hugging me
- Ok, so we know each other, may I ask from where? – said almost freaking out
- I explain later you are in danger; we have to go, now! – he said pulling me
- Wait, what? – I said trying to stop him – could you please explain me what’s happening? – ignored my question and kept walking
- Oh I almost forget – he said turning to me suddenly – happy valentine’s day – he said kissing me
Then, everything came to my mind, why I was a student who I was and what I was doing there. I was an ordinary girl that fell in love with a different guy, and I discovered that he was a wizard. This guy was the guy right in front of me, the guy that just kissed me, his name was Kevin. We were dating when everything went wrong his sister, Kayla, was angry because she didn’t get as much attention as Kevin and she started using everything she knew and all the powers she had to bring him down. Then she decided to end with everything that he likes, and this was me and everything that surrounded us, the biggest problem is that Kevin was such a good person that everyone that get to know him liked and so did he. Kayla decided to destroy the world, but she had to do it in her birthday, because this was the day that she has more powers. And, unfortunately, her birthday was in 16th of February, in two days. Kevin decided to put me in a safe place, a place where she and her friends didn’t come after me till he made a plan. And now, he was here, that means that he had a plan to defeat his sister. I hold his hand smiled and said:
- Let’s go, we have a fight to win.
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#54 Laura Cabot

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:44 AM

Hope you all enjoy my story :)
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#55 OwlEyes

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:42 PM

Hey, I'm Lulu, and this is my Valentine's Day story.
Hope you like it ^_^



If only he knew. But he doesn’t. I stare at him every day. I try not too - on my bad days it makes me feel pathetic. But I can’t help it. I can sense it when he’s near. My eyes are drawn to him. He’s beautiful. I know that’s not a classic way to describe a man, but he is. I have no other word for it. And it’s not just his looks – although those are stunning. It’s the way he moves. The way he talks. It’s the way that, when he sometimes catches me staring, he smiles at me.

My heart flutters when he does that. Like it’s a gymnast doing a somersault, eager to please the judges. It flutters.

I’ve known him for two years. We work together. Or rather, we work in the same place. And every time I try to talk to him, I choke up. Because what would I say to a man like him? A man so successful, so beautiful and graceful, that I’m an idiot just for thinking that I have a chance. No, that’s not right. I’m an idiot just for thinking of him.

I try not to. I try to not light up when he enters the room. I try to avert my eyes. I try not to let anyone see. But they do. He’s the only one who doesn’t see, the only one who doesn’t know. I don’t know how that’s possible; even trying, I don’t succeed.

It should make me glad that he doesn’t know, glad that I’ve managed to avoid that mortification. But I’m not. My mind torments me, keeping me awake at night. What if? it asks me. What if? Unlikely, I tell myself. Unlikely is not impossible.

And I listen to my mind. Because really, what if? What if he likes me too? What if he has trouble concentrating when I’m around too? What if he tries to avert his eyes too?

And so I’ve decided that today’s the day. February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Today I will be confident. Today, I will take matters in my own hands and I will make my fate happen, instead of waiting around for it. Today, I’ll make him know.

I’m nervous as I ride the elevator to the floor where the Valentine’s Day party is being held. I smooth down my deep red dress, my hands trembling. I can do this. I can.

***

The party is in full swing when I arrive. I hear laughter and I see smiles. But I don’t see him. I try to hide the fact that I’m looking for him while I greet my friends. And I succeed, because my eyes are so used to pinpointing where he is, I do it in a few seconds.

Something catches in my throat as my eyes seek him. Oh, he’s beautiful. Amazing. Exquisite. Mine, I think as I see a woman place a hand on his upper arm.

No, not mine. Not yet. But that’s going to be remedied tonight. I smile and chat with my friends, giving him my back. Not yet, but soon.

Soon comes faster than I thought, and as the night progresses I know that I will have to make my move now or lose my chance. He’s not here with a date, which is unusual but very fortunate for me. I locate him within a few seconds, and with a determined stride, I head over to him.

I want to be confident, sophisticated. But my step falters as his eyes catch mine, and he notices. He notices. Still, I shake it off and continue towards him. He has a small smile on his face, as if he’s been waiting for this moment all night. I know I have.

I stop right in front of him, inches between us. “Hi,” I murmur.

“Hi yourself,” he says, the smile widening.

My heart beats faster. This is it, now or never. “I’ve been watching you,” I say. Not coyly. I just… say it.

An amused glint touches his eyes. “I know,” he replies with a mischievous smile. “I’d noticed.”

I pause. “You had?”

He gives me a slow nod. “Yes.”

I’m shocked. I thought that he didn’t know. I’d counted on it. “How?” I ask, disbelief lacing my voice.

He shrugs, the smile small again. “Because I’ve been watching you too.”

My heart stops. And then it restarts, beating frantically. “Well then,” I say, managing to stop the excited tremor from entering my voice, “I guess it’s time I introduced myself…”



XOXO

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#56 BonkersBookworm78

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

Love or Darkness?
“I hate Valentine’s Day." Exclaimed Vicky, “It’s just so sickening ". "I hate every day, “groaned William " That follows as our purpose on this Earth is to spread misery." Said Alice. "Oh look out, here comes our next victim," Says Ben as he laughs evilly.

They all looked up to see a young women walking through their graveyard. She had bloodshot eyes, a small face and a feeble body, she was also in tears. Then they pounced on her, grabbed her by the neck and tied her to a grave stone. But then they realized unlike any of their other victims, she could see them or at least she could see William. Because that day unlike any other they realized they realized they could feel just one positive emotion, they could feel love.

It was an instant connection between mortal women and immortal man, it was more powerful, than anything they had ever known. Yet William was confused, how could a being born of pure evil feel the most powerful emotion of them all. It was against all that was known, all history but the fact remained he knew he must protect this maiden in order for him to feel whole. Yet how this could be accomplished, he did not know.

That night he saved the beautiful maiden fait and ran away from his destiny. He knew he would try to protect her for all eternity. He had deceived his friends yet he felt no grief let alone regret. He had done what was right, what love told him to do, he had followed his heart. That was something up until now he believed he was incapable of doing. He did not know it at the time, but he had turned away from evil.

Up until now, he had never questioned his destiny let alone try to defy it, he had just accepted it as he had not known anything different. He realized he could change. He was oblivious to the fact that his actions were only the start of something that would split up his friends. All he could think about was her.

Meanwhile Vicky was furious, Alice was confused, Ben was upset and they all felt a great sense of betrayal. “How could he fall for a mortal?” Puzzled Alice. “How she fall for a being of pure evil?” Questioned Vicky. “How could he choose her over us?” Cried Ben. All these questions left unanswered yet they were fairly simple to us mortals.
“We must seek our revenge,” stated Vicky. Alice and Ben nodded simultaneously in silent agreement. “But first, let’s get back to work. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day which means many mortals will be filled with joy and we are the only ones who can prevent their happiness.” Chirped Alice.

That evening they created all manors of havoc including six car crashes, two unnatural disasters and twenty unexplained casualties. All in a nights work for them though at least it numbed their feeling of betrayal. But on their way back to the graveyard, Vicky spotted something that caused her to abruptly stop levitating and turn her head.
“What was that?!”She gasped leaving her mouth wide open as her raven black danced around her pixie like face. Her eyes had turned pure black many years ago as had the rest of her fellow representatives of darkness. She quietly whether as Williams path had changed from evil to good had his eyes turned back to the beautiful emerald colour they used to be. She hated him with passion. She hated anything good. She didn’t realize, she was actually the different one. She turned back to the others and told them what she had just seen.

“I didn’t see anything.” Said a bewildered looking Alice. “Neither did I, are you sure it was him?” Asked a concerned looking Ben. “Firstly you almost don’t look evil, secondly of course it was him you idiot.” Snarled Vicky. The rest of the journey was silent yet not awkward; they knew each other so well they could usually tell what the others were thinking. Although they it had merely been a few hours since William left the group yet he seemed like a distant nightmare, a shadow of the past.

It was sunrise when they returned to the graveyard, they climbed through the undergrowth, into the secret window they had discovered many years ago. They leaped into their little cottage. Calling it a “little cottage”, makes it sound like something out of a fairy story yet it was the exact opposite. It was rat infested, the walls were damp and covered in mold, the floor that was once white but was now spluttered with blood. To them it was paradise. It was perfect lodgings for beings of evil because of its grotesque appearance, aroma of animal droppings and company of rats.

They were even evil to the rats. They each had their own room; all the rooms were identical, as you may have guessed they were not particularly decorative. As for clothing they merely had what they were wearing, a black full-length gown or a black shirt and trousers for the boys or men. That’s another thing they are ageless beings they can will themselves to appear old or young, attractive or unattractive.

As they entered their cottage, they almost looked as if they felt joyful and at least two of them did. The moment didn’t last; they all stormed into their rooms and began to torture their pet rats. This is pretty much all they do during the day time, with an exception for the occasional conversation regarding their evil plots. And although it was Valentine’s Day, at first nothing was different.

Then there was a knock on Alice’s door. She mumbled to go away. But he still came to her room. Then the both knew everything. It was an instant feeling, a mutual feeling, better than anything else and it felt almost, almost human .Then their lips met and the world fell silent.

They might have stayed there forever in each other’s arms, if Vicky hadn’t come in and stabbed them both through the heart. After a minute or two she realized what she had done. She felt no guilt, let alone regret. She actually enjoyed it.

Then she noticed him. She let out a gasp before looking down at Ben and Alice’s dead corpses and the pool of blood surrounding them. Then she looked straight into his onyx black eyes. “Victoria Elizabeth Hate, you have done me so proud.” He boomed. “Why thank you my lord,” Vicky said sweetly. “So unlike the others, your heart consists of pure evil,” he continued, “So I am requesting that you reign beside me as queen of darkness.”
“Why it would be an honor.” Vicky smiled.

Hand in hand they began to dematerialize. Then the cottage began to slowly burn as Alice and Bens souls drifted from their bodies. Meanwhile Vicky and Darkness had turned to dust. Alice and Bens souls flew away, hand in hand.

Their new job was not to spread misery through the world of the living but to repay their sins by spreading happiness through the world of the dead.

Have a brilliant Valentine’s day.
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#57 JennyKate D

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Now He Will


<3

If only he knew.

But he doesn’t.

He never will.

<3

I wake, screaming, to find bright rays of sunlight streaming through my window, but this does nothing to warm me. I can still hear the dark cries and feel the chilly air from my nightmare. I choke back a sob and turn desperately to his side of the bed. I need to tell him how I feel, before it is too late, before I don’t get a chance. He can’t be gone yet; it was all just a dream.

But when I wipe the sleep from my eyes, I see the truth. The other half of the bed is made.

I roll over again, as far from his side of the bed as possible. I tuck my knees up to my chin, my frail bones rattling from the terrors of this world and the one beyond. The pillow is damp from my tears, but I find comfort in this. I still have the ability to feel pain. This, at least, is something.

<3

It doesn’t matter how often I roll over, because time continues to pass. Nothing I do can stop the blanket of darkness shrouding over the Earth. And even though the sun sunk below the horizon long ago, my heart continues to plummet. There can’t be a centre to this Earth. My heart would have reached it by now.

Shadows dance across the wall, not from moonlight, but streetlight, and I hear the catastrophic wails of ghosts speed past my window on the street below, rising and falling as distance spreads between us. Shouts and screams echo through dark alleyways, though they throb in my brain as if they were coming from inside of me.

On the bedside table there is a bottle. The streak of artificial light dashing between my curtains allows me to count the number of pills. I roll them over in my hands, tossing them back and forth, inspecting each one. The weight in my hands is the weight of life and death itself.

Each night I have put them back, one by one. I tell myself; I do not need them yet. Not tonight. But when will I know the time is right? Each moment spent without him is another moment where he is stretching further and further away. How long will it be until I have lost him forever? How long until I lose his smell? How long until I forget the warmth that would emanate from him every night? How long until his voice leaves my memory? How long until I forget his height, and how I’d have to stand on my tiptoes to kiss him? How long until I am old and grey and alone, with no company, and no heart left in my withered chest?

The thoughts scare me. Life without him scares me. It’s the life I’m living now. I am scared.

My head is alive with screams and shouts, cries and bellows, sobs and swears. I block them out the only way I know how. I briefly recall the date: the 14th of February. Happy Valentine’s Day, I think to myself. I bring my hand to my mouth and swallow.

<3

If only he knew.

But he doesn’t.

Now he will.

<3
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#58 AnnieMay

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:15 PM

A True Valentine

In two days, my world will end. I dreaded Valentine’s Day. I used to enjoy it until Dylan Johnson broke my heart two years ago. We had been lab partners in ICS – short for Integrated Coordinated Sciences - the science class all freshmen take. The semester had started off wonderfully. We got to know each other in class and we worked well together. Nine weeks into the semester he asked me if I’d like to hang out with him after school that day and I agreed. Things went well and soon we were together as boyfriend and girlfriend. I fell hard in love with him and he told me he loved me too, but by the start of summer break he dumped me with no explanation at all. He changed his cell phone number, his mom said he wasn’t home whenever I called, the emails I sent him were bounced back to me and by the time fall semester started I found out he’d transferred schools. I was left alone, miserable, and heartbroken. I had friends, but things weren’t the same since I had kind of blown them off to hang out with Dylan instead. I threw myself into my school work which made my parents quite happy. I wasn’t a horrible student, per se, but I went from a C/B average to straight A’s.
At my locker after school I found a note waiting for me inside that read simply, “Will you be my Valentine?” I looked around certain that one of my friends was hiding nearby playing a joke on me. Not seeing anyone I crumpled the note up, grabbed my Math book, and left school heading for home.
The next morning I found another note waiting for me. This one read, “Please be my Valentine?” with a drawing of a heart next to it. I was determined to get to the bottom of who was putting the notes in my locker. In homeroom I asked my friend Liz if she had done it. “No, why would I put anonymous notes in your locker?” she asked. I shrugged and went back to studying for a test I had that day in Chemistry. Over the course of the day I had asked all of my friends if they’d done it and they all said no. I also found several more notes waiting for me when I went to my locker between classes, at lunch, and again after school. The one I found between second and third period read, “Be mine.” The one I found at lunch read, “Nobody wants a Valentine more than I want you to be mine.” And the one I found after school read, “Give me a chance to show you that there ARE good ones out there; just a chance.” Two of them had smiley faces on them and the other one had a heart on it. I smiled, knowing this would hopefully end after tomorrow, meaning I only had to endure one more day of this anonymous-notes-in-my-locker stuff.
I went to school the next day dressed in my just barely acceptable red skirt, red strapped sandals with my Valentine’s Day shirt that read, “Heart Breaker” with two halves of a broken heart on it. I’d curled my hair that morning so my dirty blonde hair fell in waves down to the small of my back. At only 5’2” I was a lot shorter than most of my peers, but that never bothered me before and it wasn’t going to start to today.
I walked through the halls which were alive with the sound of everyone talking about that nights Valentine’s Day dance. I couldn’t wait for this day to end. Unsurprisingly I found another note waiting for me that morning. This one asking me to be the persons date to tonight’s dance. Hah! As if. I told my friends about the continuous letters and they told me I should go to the dance to find out who my mystery man was. Just so they would stop bugging me about it I told them I would go with absolutely no intention of going anywhere near the school gym tonight, which is where we had all school dances. I went through the day ignoring everyone except my teachers and friends. I only ignored them when they talked about the dance. You’d think they’d have more to talk about then that.
After school there was another note. I let myself smile knowing it was the last note I’d ever get. This one said, “Meet me tonight at the dance next to the picture pavilion when Prom King and Queen are being announced.” This note had a heart and a smiley face.
I was doing homework not thinking about the dance when my Mom came in and found the note in my sock drawer.
“What’s this?” she asked me.
“Nothing” I replied.
“Are you going?” she wanted to know.
I sighed and turned around to look at her saying, “No”
“Why?”
She just wouldn’t give up. “I don’t have anything to wear or a ticket” I told her.
“I’m sure I can find something, and I’m sure one of your friends has an extra ticket” she said as she walked to my closet to inspect my dresses.
“Mom, no.” I said but she ignored me. I watched her rifle through my dresses and finally select a shiny red one with a modest bodice just barely long enough with slits up the sides. I sighed and put it on. She helped me fix my hair and as I put on my makeup she called my friend Amy’s mom to ask if she knew anyone with an extra ticket. It turned out Amy’s cousin had been dumped that day and wasn’t going so I could have her ticket.
My mom drove me to the dance and said she’d be back at 11:30 to pick me up. I waved goodbye and headed into the gym handing my ticket to the student council president who was in charge of running prom with the faculty. I found my friends who were happy I came convinced they had been the ones to get me to go instead of my pushy mother. I had an all right time, growing more and more anxious as it got closer to the time when Prom King and Queen were to be announced.
Finally when they called the nominees to the stage so they could announce the winners and the runner-ups I walked over to the picture pavilion surprised to find only one person standing there, presumably my “secret admirer.” I couldn’t tell who it was not recognizing him until he turned to look at me as if he could sense my presence. Schuyler Jones.
I had English and Chemistry with him and he sat behind me in both classes. Suddenly it made sense. He always smiled secretively when he heard me ask my friends about the notes. It had been him all along.
“You? Why?” I asked him.
“I’ve liked you for a while. I didn’t get up the courage to ask you out until two days ago using Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse.” He answered smiling at me in a shy modest way. “Do you want to get out of here?” he asked grabbing my hand and pulling me toward the exit and I let him, willing to go anywhere with him in the hopes to find out more about this cute boy who claimed to like me.
We spent hours in the local all night café talking and getting to know one another more. Maybe Valentine’s Days from now on wouldn’t be so bad. I’d just have to wait and see.
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#59 Aaeris17

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

Knock Out
Aaeris17

Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist…
A fist that can punch you in the gut or punch someone else in the face. I’m not saying that I’m anti-Valentine’s Day. Sure it’s a made up holiday and I buy the story of Saint Valentine as much as I believe that Saint Patrick played a flute and led all the rats out of Ireland—or was it snakes? Whatever.
Apparently your heart is also supposed to be the same size as your stomach. So, my heart, my stomach and my fist are all roughly the same size. I wonder if that’s where they get the saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?
My stomach grumbled in response. I sighed and looked out the window of our third story Chemistry classroom at bleak miserable rainy day. One day, when I grew up and became insanely famous I would move to Tahiti or some place equally wonderful where February wasn’t just a month to get through but a month I enjoyed.
The drip, drip of the rain just reminded that I was thirsty. As I raised my hand, my chemistry teacher restrained a roll of her eyes and nodded towards the door.
As I got up, I heard my stomach grumble again and saw some idiots snicker. I really hated high school. One day they would say that they knew me and I would say that I had no idea who they ever were.
The door slammed obnoxiously behind me and I cringed. Really? Just anything to call attention to me today.
I took my time walking to the water fountain—not the nearest one but the one that was between the bathrooms. Hopefully my stomach would calm down before I had to go back to Chem. Gazing out the large windows that bordered the hall I thought about my Mom and my dad. They never did anything for Valentine’s Day. No cards, no flowers. My mom always bought candy and flowers for the entire family. Papa would just be gruff and say it was not a real holiday and he loved his wife every day. Not just loved, he would explain, but honored and respected. For two people who had an arranged marriage, it seemed to work out pretty well. He made her tea in the morning before he went to work and she made sure to make him tea in the evening when he got home. He did the laundry and she always folded it. Not once in their, um eighteen years of marriage, have I heard them raise their voice to each other. It was always, honey, darling, never did they call each other by their first names.
I wondered, if there’s more to falling in love than just falling in love? I thought as I reached my water fountain and bent over to get some water. My mind wandered to Ben. Because it wouldn’t be high school without the boy who you wanted to go for school for in the morning-- Ben with his longish sandy blonde hair and piercing green eyes. Ben who had lived across the street from me for as long as I could remember and Ben who really didn’t know I existed. And no matter what Hollywood says, your best guy friend never falls in love with you, like ever.
I felt like my relationship with him was a Taylor Swift song except that Ben wasn’t exactly the Teardrops On My Guitar as much as the vicious writing and longing in my diary. Oh, and I totally won’t evolve into some beautiful girl he would one day stare at and say, you’re the one.
The water turned too cold and I hurriedly stepped back. My teeth were oversensitive to the cold and heat—and no Sensodyne didn’t help.
CRASH. I barely heard the door open before the stars erupted in brilliance in front of my eyes even though there was no light. I had enough sense left to hear someone ask desperately if I was okay—oh no—that voice was too familiar-- before I heard myself mutter, “How rude,”.
The stinging smell of antiseptic woke me up. I knew I was in the Nurse’s office without bothering to open my eyes. The crinkling of the paper, the odor that seemed to permeate every surface in the overly white, incredible sterile refuge from gym classes and math tests.
“Oh good!” Hands began to flutter at my forehead and my wrist. Nurse Agnes—what a terrible name for a nurse, “You’re awake, dear?” I grimaced. Did she really not know my name? “Do you need some ibuprofen?” she asked solicitously as I opened my eyes to look into her kindly old face. You couldn’t blame Agnes, I scolded myself. That’s all she ever offered besides a salt-water rinse for a sore throat. Would it really have killed her to have some Halls on hand? I’m not even asking for Sudafed—or the devil meth maker as she called it.
“What happened?” I asked as I sat up, the paper rustling underneath me like dry leaves.
Nurse Agnes’ broad backside was facing me as she got a Dixie cup of water ready, “Well it appears you had a minor run in with the boys bathroom door,”
“Uh,” I held out my had to receive the cup of Advil, “I didn’t walk into a door—the door walked into me,”
“Hm,” was Nurse Agnes’ noncommittal noise as she held out the water.
I swallowed both pills and water noting how luke warm and tap waterish the water tasted. We couldn’t at least get a filter on the faucet?
She took both cups from me and went to dispose of them, “Regardless of how it happened, you took quite a knock to the head and the poor boy actually carried you here himself! I thought he was going to pass out too when he handed you in here,”
My face burned with anger and embarrassment—was she saying that I was too HEAVY? Who carried me in? Some FRESHMAN? I felt my whole body getting warm as my mind began to run through the possibilities of WHO it could have been.
“Any who, Ben wanted to stay but I told him I couldn’t write him a note for being tardy to his next class but the boy sure thought of a lovely way to say sorry!” She turned her wide white butt to me and as I thought I would slowly die of embarrassment I smelled something that was too distinct to be in the nurse’s office.
“Roses,” I whispered as Nurse Agnes announced triumphantly.
The dozen roses dripped with rain—fresh from having been brought in.
“I’m sure Ms. Miako didn’t mind him cutting these from the gardens,” she assured as I hesitantly took the bundle of flowers.
Did the boy of my dreams just leave me roses?
“There’s a note!” Agnes gushed as she waited expectantly for me to open it.
Hey, I’m sorry I knocked you out. But I guess giving a concussion is as good a time to say you’re the one.

“Oh yes, you might have a slight concussion, dear, I’ll phone your parents and tell them to watch out for you,”
I nodded, clearly dazed and non comprehending.
The heart is shaped like a fist—and I’ve just been thoroughly pummeled.
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#60 nbgirl

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

Hi,please read my story :) And excuse any errors,I saw this and just had to post.


Happy Valentine's


If only he knew. But He doesn’t. Sarah doesn’t know if she should tell him. She’s still clutching the scarlet red envelope in her hand, the handwriting so stark it is instantly recognisable. She drops it on the kitchen counter and realises she’s been holding her breath all this time. She doesn’t know if she should open it. Her ears are ringing and her palms are sweaty. She takes a seat on the kitchen table, but is soon up again. She needs to think but the thoughts of what could be inside are getting to her. She is frozen to the spot now. She can see it in the corner of her eye, glaring at her, the envelope so bright against the dark counter. How can it control her so much?

She paces around the kitchen trying to regain her senses. But she can’t handle it any longer and steps forward to grab it. She tears the envelope open to reveal a deep red and pink coloured card with the Words ‘Happy Valentine's’ edged in silver. It looks so pretty and innocent that for a moment she feels a false sense of security, but as she touches the edge to open the card, reality returns. The message inside is the same as the others, the same threatening words that terrify her. Her eyes do not even need to read the whole passage to know. She doesn’t think she can do this anymore. She has to ring him.

He is there about an hour later. By now she has managed to calm herself down a little, even make herself look presentable. Although she says to herself that this is because she does not want him to know how much this has affected her; to show she has been able to cope. It has been awhile since they last spoke and she’s not sure if she’s ready to face him again. Though seeing him walk through the door, she wishes she called him earlier. He scans her over briefly as he enters. His cool and confident air still present. But she’s noticed his hair is ruffled, he’s been worrying as he’s been making his way over. Otherwise he doesn’t let it show. They walk into the kitchen and stand on opposite sides of the kitchen counter. The card is now resting in the centre; she slides it over to him.

He muses to himself ‘Well, they definitely picked one you would like, I’ll give them that’.

‘Open it’! Her hands are now gripping the edge of the counter.

He obeys and opens the card. She watches him read the text. His jaw clenches and she sees the fire in his eyes, but he quickly recovers and drops the card back down.
He places his hands on the counter and looks over at her. He then runs a hand over his hair.

‘Okay, but from this we don’t know..’

She cuts him off, ‘There’s more’. Her voice is barely a whisper but it seems to echo in her ears.

He glances at her with a confused expression. She leaves the room and strides into her bedroom. As she returns, she is grasping a handful of different coloured envelopes, all torn and battered. She places them in front of him. His face is still in shock as he quickly looks each one over. After a few moments, he responds. And of course, it is as she expected.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ His voice is deep and serious.

‘I thought I could handle it…I thought they would stop!’ She exclaims.

‘Oh and that worked really well, didn’t it? ’, the sarcasm is rich in his voice.

She turns away from him; tears are now brimming from her eyes. Oh, don’t cry, she scolds herself. She furiously wipes the tears away in vain as they continue to run down her face. As she does, she feels him behind her. She tries to move away but he grabs her hand and pulls her back to face him. He traces his thumb over her face, wiping away the tears. She closes her eyes leaning into him while he embraces her. She can hear his rhythmic heartbeat and is absorbed in his scent; for a moment she loses herself in his strong hold.

‘This is probably not the Valentine’s day you were hoping for’, He chuckles.

‘Oh I’ve had worse’, she looks up at him teasingly. He smiles back at her. The dispute between them is gone for now.

But the problem is still there. She forces herself to look away and stare back to the counter.

‘What do we do now?...’
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#61 nbgirl

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:25 PM

Hi,please read my story :) And excuse any errors,I saw this and just had to post.


Happy Valentine's


If only he knew. But He doesn’t. Sarah doesn’t know if she should tell him. She’s still clutching the scarlet red envelope in her hand, the handwriting so stark it is instantly recognisable. She drops it on the kitchen counter and realises she’s been holding her breath all this time. She doesn’t know if she should open it. Her ears are ringing and her palms are sweaty. She takes a seat on the kitchen table, but is soon up again. She needs to think but the thoughts of what could be inside are getting to her. She is frozen to the spot now. She can see it in the corner of her eye, glaring at her, the envelope so bright against the dark counter. How can it control her so much?

She paces around the kitchen trying to regain her senses. But she can’t handle it any longer and steps forward to grab it. She tears the envelope open to reveal a deep red and pink coloured card with the Words ‘Happy Valentine's’ edged in silver. It looks so pretty and innocent that for a moment she feels a false sense of security, but as she touches the edge to open the card, reality returns. The message inside is the same as the others, the same threatening words that terrify her. Her eyes do not even need to read the whole passage to know. She doesn’t think she can do this anymore. She has to ring him.

He is there about an hour later. By now she has managed to calm herself down a little, even make herself look presentable. Although she says to herself that this is because she does not want him to know how much this has affected her; to show she has been able to cope. It has been awhile since they last spoke and she’s not sure if she’s ready to face him again. Though seeing him walk through the door, she wishes she called him earlier. He scans her over briefly as he enters. His cool and confident air still present. But she’s noticed his hair is ruffled, he’s been worrying as he’s been making his way over. Otherwise he doesn’t let it show. They walk into the kitchen and stand on opposite sides of the kitchen counter. The card is now resting in the centre; she slides it over to him.

He muses to himself ‘Well, they definitely picked one you would like, I’ll give them that’.

‘Open it’! Her hands are now gripping the edge of the counter.

He obeys and opens the card. She watches him read the text. His jaw clenches and she sees the fire in his eyes, but he quickly recovers and drops the card back down.
He places his hands on the counter and looks over at her. He then runs a hand over his hair.

‘Okay, but from this we don’t know..’

She cuts him off, ‘There’s more’. Her voice is barely a whisper but it seems to echo in her ears.

He glances at her with a confused expression. She leaves the room and strides into her bedroom. As she returns, she is grasping a handful of different coloured envelopes, all torn and battered. She places them in front of him. His face is still in shock as he quickly looks each one over. After a few moments, he responds. And of course, it is as she expected.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ His voice is deep and serious.

‘I thought I could handle it…I thought they would stop!’ She exclaims.

‘Oh and that worked really well, didn’t it? ’, the sarcasm is rich in his voice.

She turns away from him; tears are now brimming from her eyes. Oh, don’t cry, she scolds herself. She furiously wipes the tears away in vain as they continue to run down her face. As she does, she feels him behind her. She tries to move away but he grabs her hand and pulls her back to face him. He traces his thumb over her face, wiping away the tears. She closes her eyes leaning into him while he embraces her. She can hear his rhythmic heartbeat and is absorbed in his scent; for a moment she loses herself in his strong hold.

‘This is probably not the Valentine’s day you were hoping for’, He chuckles.

‘Oh I’ve had worse’, she looks up at him teasingly. He smiles back at her. The dispute between them is gone for now.

But the problem is still there. She forces herself to look away and stare back to the counter.

‘What do we do now?...’
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#62 ABlis116

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:58 PM

What To Expect


I hate Valentine’s Day. The red is sickening. Then again, maybe it isn’t the color itself, maybe it’s how smug the red always seemed to be this time of year. Like red has something to prove. Like it’s better than me. Christmas red was much nicer, meeker even. But Valentine’s Day red? Valentine’s Day red has an attitude problem.
I looked away from all the red balloons, steamers, and nauseating fat cherubs festooning the local library’s dismal little hole-in-the wall reading area, and stared instead at the magazine I’d just plucked from the coffee table—Psychology Today. It had been an unconscious choice, something to pass the time while I waited, but as soon as I noticed the cover I chucked it back onto the table with a huff. A woman, about my age, in a wedding gown with the words “Are you with the right mate?” splashed across the front in bold red letters. It was inescapable.
I sat back and crossed my arms, checking the time again. Still 2:20. I was early yet. Ten more minutes to go. I looked around again, but this time my eyes fell on something worse than the splotches of self-satisfied red. Much, much worse. And even worse yet—he seemed to notice that I’d seen him.
In the time it took me to count down from ten twice, he’s sauntered from the check-out desk over to my miserable little hidey-hole. He was decked out in his dark-washed jeans and I-liked-them-before-it-was-cool Animal Collective T-shirt, complete with an ironically professional blazer. Much too cool for me. With a smirk, he plopped the stack of books he’d checked out directly on top of the Psychology Today, leaving the cover of The Fountainhead to stare at me along with him.
“Hey.” He said, stuffing his hands in his too-tight pockets. “How’s it going?”
“Fine.” I said. “Just, you know,” I fumbled a little too quickly for the only other book on the reading area coffee table and waved it in the air for him to see, “Reading. Since this is a library. And all.”
He raised his eyebrow then, tilted his head and stared at me so long that I felt naked. I sat the book on my lap and moved to adjust my sweater when I finally noticed the cover of the book I’d shown him. Heat rushed to my face.
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” He swallowed hard. “I thought I would’ve gotten a phone call before you went and started researching. How, uh, far in are you? I mean, is it…?” He rolled on his heels, but then sat down beside me on the library couch.
“No. I’m not—“ I was spluttering a little and I could feel my face getting hotter by the second.
“Jen, you don’t have to lie. It has to be. Two months. That’s when you know, right? Unless you were cheating.” He furrowed his eyebrows, but shook his head and went on. “But you wouldn’t have. It’s gotta be.”
Then I tried to speak louder, pushing the book off my lap to look him full in the face. “Nick, listen to me. I’m—“
He hushed me and took my hand. “You don’t have to say anything. I know. I know you’re scared. We can do this.”
I pulled my hand back and my heart began to race. “We are not doing anything. I’m—” I stood up and grabbed my purse to escape.
“Jen. You can’t be so selfish. I’m part of this too.” He grabbed my hand again and looked up at me with huge, earnest eyes. “I didn’t like how we ended things, anyway. Maybe this could be a new start for us.” Then he took his other had and patted my stomach over my cashmere sweater. “For all of us.”
“For the love of god” I mumbled. I slapped his hand away and sighed. “I’m not pregnant. Jesus.” I huffed my bangs out of my face. “I grabbed the wrong book.”
“Oh.” He knocked his converse together for a couple of seconds and took a few deep breaths, then gathered up his books in his lap. “So.” He reorganized his books, opening the covers and shutting them again.
I glanced at the clock. Five more minutes. Then I could go.
“Then. Um. What are you actually reading?” He asked.
“I’m not.” I sat down again, defeated.
“Just, uh, looking for a book, huh?”
“No.”
“CD?”
“Nope.”
“DVD.”
“Uh-uh.”
“Then what the hell are you doing in the library? The only other possible option is an ESL class, Jen, and you are exceptionally white.”
“Frankly, that strikes me as a little racist.” I said.
“Yeah, not an answer to the question.”
“Well, not only Spanish speakers need to learn English as a second language. I could be a native French speaker-person. I have the blonde hair and light eyes. But just because I look American, you’re assuming I can speak English. It’s insensitive.” I pursed my lips and knitted my hands together.
“Jen, come on.” He was glaring now.
“Nick, it’s none of your business.” He looked so angry I was worried his blazer would wrinkle, but I didn’t care. I crossed my legs and started tapping my hands together and apart, praying to the goddesses that he would leave.
“Wouldn’t you think it was weird if I would tell you something?”
“I’m not your fiancée anymore. What do I care what you do?” I said, glancing at the clock. Two minutes.
“Whose choice was that?” He said it quietly, so softly that at first I didn’t hear it all. But when I did, the wave of fury was so fierce that counting down from ten only strengthen my wrath.
My teeth gritted, I flipped my hair back and said, “Come again?”
“Never mind.” He stood up, but I grabbed the sleeve of his jacket and yanked him back down to my level. His books hit the ground with a thump and the elderly woman at the cook check out looked over disapprovingly.
“I think it was made by a third party. Don’t you? But really, how many parties were involved, Nick?” The whisper sounded more like a hiss, but I knew he’d heard me. He leaned over to collect his books, but I jerked him back again.
“Jen, you know it was only once. I shouldn’t have—“
“You shouldn’t have done a lot of things. You shouldn’t have come over here. You should’ve left with your books and left me in peace.” I cursed myself as the tears started to collect around the corners of my eyes and wiped them hastily from my face. “Just get the *#&$%% out.” I whispered, burying my face in my palms.
“No. Jen, I came over here because…” He sighed. “I came over here because I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to apologize. I said I didn’t like how it ended and… and can I help you?” The last part was said louder, and his voice wasn’t directed toward me any longer.
I looked up and saw another man standing across from us, on the other side of the coffee table. He was looking at me with his eyebrows furrowed, glancing occasionally toward Nick. I looked at the clock. Right on time. Dammit.
“Uh, Jen, is he bothering you?” Peter asked.
“Jen, who the hell is this?” Nick asked
“Peter is my, um, date.”
Silence hung over all of us. Peter rocked back and forth on his heels. I bit my bottom lip so hard I could practically taste the blood. Nick just sat still and silent.
“Some friends from work introduced us. It’s sort of a blind date. First one.” I sniffled, wiping the remaining tears from my eyes. “Peter, this is my…friend. Nick.”
“First date. That’s exciting.” Nick said. “So, you don’t know much about her, huh?”
Peter looked stern, but only shook his head, “Nope, guess not. That’s what we have lunch for. How ‘bout it?” He extended his hand to me and I took it as he pulled me to standing.
“Jen, don’t you think you should tell him?”
Now it was my turn to be confused. I winkled my nose and with a sigh I said, “What are you talking about?”
“About the baby?” Nick looked at Peter, whose hand suddenly felt looser in my grasp.
“No, no. No, see.” I looked from Nick to Peter and back again. “I’m not pregnant. Really. He’s a lunatic. Peter, I’m not pregnant.” Peter’s eyes were vacant, but his stance still seemed unsure.
Nick gestured to the book on the coffee table and shrugged. “She doesn’t think I’ll be a good father. She says it’s because I gave her herpes, but I don’t think that’s fair, do you?” He shook his head and gave Peter an innocent look.
Peter’s hand had slipped away suddenly, and he was fishing for something in his pocket. “Sorry, my phone is on vibrate, I just have to—“ He motioned toward the door and mumbled something about being right back, already half-way across the library.
“Man, what a jerk.” Nick said after him, his eyes following Peter out the door. “He wouldn’t stand by an innocent pregnant woman? You wouldn’t want to be with someone like that anyway.”
I counted down from ten. Once. Twice. Three times. But it wasn’t enough. I stomped over the fallen books at his feet and kicked him squarely in the crotch. “I—I—Ah!”
I clutched my purse and sprinted toward the door, but I couldn’t resist looking behind me before I opened the door to leave. I left him sprawled on the floor, hands grasping at his pants, gasping for air. He was sobbing, his face blotchy and red, among his copies of Ayn Rand and Chuck Palahniuk. And a part of me felt like going back. A part of me wanted to pick his books up and make everything alright. And I think that’s what he had been expecting.
So I slammed the door behind me when I left.
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#63 Adrinit

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:36 PM

Hello Everyone,

Do you love Valentine's day? Do you hate Valentine's day? Either way, a story is inside you, waiting to be written.

Here's what to do:

Write a story of around 1,000 words on the theme of Valentine's day. Your story must also start with one of the following lines.

1) Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist.

2) I hate Valentine’s Day.

3) If only he knew. But he doesn’t.

4) Oh why did my school decide to have the Sadie Hawkin’s Dance on Valentine’s Day?!

5) In two days, my world will end.

During Valentine's week, everyone will vote for their favorite (you can't vote for yourself!) and the winner will get a free book, signed by Meg!

Good luck!


Dark monday

I stayed inmy baywindow looking to down while I let escape a sigh. I shaked my head whileI looked to the other side of the street. If it was possible I stayed at home.I stand up, and caught my bag making my way to the first floor. When I put myfeet in the ground my mother called out me: "Ane, you ´ll be late. Get amove!"

I nod andlet the door knock behind me. At the same time I looked to my sides he closedthe door in front my house. He was with his messy black hair moving with thewind. I sighed again.

"Let´sgo, Ane!" Talked to myself starting my walk.

The timepassed by me, and when I noticed I´m passing the gate, almost running when Isaw he laughing making his head moving back and forth.

"Ane!"I heard my best friend calling me and I fake a smile.

"Hey,Mia. What´s up?"

"Fine,and..." I interrupted her."Fine."

I open mylocker and a beautiful teddybear fall in my arms.

"Oh myGod!" I whispered. "It´s amazing!"

"Realyis." She noded to me.

I just lookto my right and saw him backed in his locker. I prayed to be his gift, I shakedmy head. Well, always could happen if only he knew, but he doesn´t. Evenfeeling bad I read the mensage and I smile appeared in my face. "HappyValentine´s day, Ane. Jay." I smiled and took my things going to classknowing that this day will not be just a dark monday.

The End

I hope to still be on time.


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#64 Airhead1998

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

In two days, my world will end. Why on earth did I send that note? How dumb of me! Of course Ryan was dating Ciarra! Didn’t I see them together in the hallways all the time? I could just picture them strolling over to his locker Valentine’s morning, holding hands, ready to exchange their gifts, when they notice a dark red rose taped to the metal door with a note reading Love Erica in calligraphy on the bottom. Ciarra would kill me the first chance she got, and Ryan would go from barely noticing me to avoiding me altogether. I toss and turn under my comforter, unable to even close my eyes. Finally, though, my exhaustion gets the better of me, and I am asleep.
The next morning, I rub my eyes as I struggle through the bright hallways, nodding absently to Sarah as she tries to convince me that Josh McCormick’s new haircut is way too short, and that his long hair was so much better for his wide face. Yes, I think, I care so much.
“Hey Erica!” she exclaims suddenly, “did you hear about Ryan and Ciarra?” My ears perk up.
“Ryan and Ciarra?” I ask, “What about them?”
She gasps excitedly. “You didn’t hear about it?” She leans in and whispers, “I heard that Ryan was at Starbucks yesterday, and he saw Ciarra there with some other guy. She tried to tell him it was her cousin.”
“Did he believe it?”
“Of course not! Would you? Anyways, I guess we know who won’t be getting a rose tomorrow.”
My heart skips a beat. This is too good to be true. How could anything be more perfect than this? Ryan strides past me. Gosh, his hair is so gorgeous, bleach blond streaked with tinges of brown. I duck my head into my book bag, pretending to search for my lip gloss. I barely remember getting dressed this morning, and I’m pretty sure I just picked up the first shirt I found on the ground. Though I bump into a few people on the way, I make it to algebra unrecognized. I sit through another one of Mr. Mongello’s useless lessons, doodling a rose in my notebook. The bell rings, and as I walk out the door, I see Ryan out of the corner of my eye. He nods at me. I look around to see if he might be greeting one of his friends. Seeing no one, I turn back at him, and he winks. I desperately want to go talk to him, but it’s too late. He’s already turned in the opposite direction. I have to get to chemistry, anyway. I’m in a dream as I struggle to find my way to my classroom. I can’t even focus in class. I spill the entire beaker of hydrofluoric acid on my legs during the lab, and I don’t even care. All I can think of is Ryan Anderson and his chocolate-brown eyes and straight, perfect, glowing teeth smiling right at me. Oh, my gosh. He’s so hot, I feel like I’m melting.
“Oh my gosh!” my lab partner gasps, “Erica, go to the nurse!”
I don’t feel a thing. “Relax,” I tell him, still grinning stupidly, “I’m fine.” The acid eats away at my jeans, and I feel a numbed stinging sensation in my thighs.
“Mr. Burns!” my lab partner calls in a panic, “Call 9-1-1! Now!”
“Whaa-? Why?” I wonder, trying to get up from my chair. My screaming legs cannot take the weight, and I slip, hitting the table as I fall.
I wake up in room that’s completely white. White sheets, white bed, white gown, everything. I can’t feel my legs, and I look down to see that they’re both encased in two white casts. “Erica?” I hear from the front of the room. Turning my head, I see a worried Ryan Anderson standing in doorway. “Are you okay?” I want to say tell him I’m, but for some reason, I’m so tired. My eyes close half-way, and a man in a white jacket appears next to Ryan.
“Are you related to the patient?” he asked him.
“Oh, no,” Ryan responded, “I’m just a friend.” The doctor sighed, tapping his clipboard nervously.
“I’m terribly sorry to inform you that…” he glanced at his clipboard, “Erica is not going to make it.” I watch Ryan’s face distort as he continues, “the liquid she spilled was hydrofluoric acid. It can seep into the skin and poison the bloodstream.” A look of anger twists Ryan’s face. He covers it with his hands. He falls on his knees at the foot of the bed, convulsing with sobs.
“Erica!” he cries, burying his head in my hair. I want to comfort him, tell him I’ll be fine, but I can’t get a sound through my lips, and I’m too exhausted to try. My eyes keep drifting closed, and I think about everything I was so worried about two days ago. So stupid. I was thinking my world would end, but everything worked out so perfectly until now. No, wait. I think, wrapped in the warmth of Ryan’s arms gripping my tightly, unwilling to let go, especially now. My world will end today. But in so much better a way than I thought it would.
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#65 Airhead1998

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:50 PM

Happy Valentine's Day!

Edited by Airhead1998, 13 February 2013 - 10:50 PM.

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#66 Mommyof2

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:02 PM

Story of a Plain Jane

If only he knew. But he doesn't. It would be simply impossible for him to notice me anyway. My name is Jane Connors, or Plain Jane as the cheerleaders love to call me. I'm quite comfortable with my looks. I'm 5'5” with cocoa colored hair and blue eyes. Apparently though at my school unless you're blonde, you're not worth too much with the popular kids at Ryder High.
Unfortunately for me, the guy I am hopelessly crushing on is not only popular, he's the most popular guy in the school. Geoff Lane had everything. He's a 6'4” blond haired blue eyed god. Captain of the football team, class president and number one in the senior class.
It was simply not fair. Of all the guys that I could like, why does it have to be the one that will never see me. Valentine's Day is coming up. I'm sure it will be unbearable. The student council holds their annual flower sale the week before. For just $1 you can send a flower to the girl of your choice. They deliver the flowers during sixth period and last year it was so depressing. I was the only girl in the class that did not receive a flower. It was mortifying.
I've considered staying home this year, but of course I can't do it. I've got a gigantic history test that counts for 20% of my final grade. History is not my best subject, so I can't miss it. I walked into the school and was hard pressed to find girls wearing anything besides red or pink. I thought I saw a couple, but like me I'm sure they were trying to keep their heads down and go unnoticed. I have no idea why Valentine's Day is so important to the pep squad crowd, but it seemed to be second only to prom to them. They liked to torture us “un-dateables.”
It still surprises me sometimes how vicious teenage girls can be, especially if they think they have power. On the way to my locker, I happened upon a group of girls. I paid no attention at first, but then started hearing what was going on as I passed. They had poor Molly Jenkins trapped against her locker. Molly is one of the sweetest girls in the junior class. She also has the fate of being even more plain than me. I couldn't just walk by as I heard them berating her. They were picking on her hairstyle, her wardrobe, even the way she walked. It was awful. I knew if that was me I'd be looking for an escape. Before I realized what I was doing, I pushed into the middle of the group.
“Molly, there you are! I've been looking everywhere for you.” I said. The poor thing looked like a frightened little rabbit. She couldn't say a word.
Courtney Harris, the head cheerleader took this opportunity to decide to add me as a victim of her latest attack. “Oh look, Plain Jane to the rescue! Plain Jane I can't believe someone hasn't snapped you two up yet. Your mousy brown hair and discount store clothes are exactly what the guys go crazy for!”
I had finally had enough. “Gee Courtney, I wouldn't bother looking for a guy in this school. I figured you've been through them all already and I don't need to catch anything you gave them if you know what I mean.” I grabbed Molly's hand and tried to pull her down the hall before the wrath of Courtney caught me. I didn't make it.
Molly deserted me. I couldn't blame her. You don't really say the head cheerleader is of ill repute and come out unscathed. She had me cornered. I put my hand up to defend myself. She was about to dole out her punishment when someone called her off.
“Hey Court, Mr. Jefferson is coming, you'd better just let it go.” someone I couldn't see said. I pulled my hands down to find my savior was none other than my crush.
“This isn't over!” Courtney threatened as she sauntered away.
I drew an unsteady breath and wiped my sweaty palms on my pants before I realized that Geoff was still standing there. “Are you ok Jane?” he asked.
“Yeah, I'll be fine. I don't know what I was thinking tangling with her. She could give lessons to the wicked witch.” I replied. He chuckled.
“Yeah, Courtney is kind of, um, intense I guess. I'm glad you stopped to help. Molly is my cousin, she came to get me after she saw you were in trouble. I keep telling her to let me know if anyone is bothering her, but she feels like it would just make it worse. I better head to class. See you around Jane.”
I wasn't able to get out a response before he walked away. I was flummoxed. I couldn't believe that he came to my rescue. It didn't even hit me till almost lunch that he actually knew my name.
The time finally came. The dreaded sixth period flower ritual of torture. The door was at the back of the classroom. I immersed myself in the book I was currently reading and waited for it to end. Girls”oohed” and “aahed” over the flowers, the colors of them and most importantly who they were from. I almost jumped in surprise as a pink flower was laid on my book. I picked it up and turned to tell the delivery person that there must be a mistake when I saw that the tag had my name on it, and the messenger was Geoff. He was smiling down at me.
“You know, I'm glad that I had the chance to talk to you this morning. I've been wanting to ask you out, but I've can never seem to find the right time.” he said. I couldn't say anything for a moment. I figured it had to be a joke.
I tried to think of an eloquent response, but could only utter,“I, uh, I, um,” I failed.
He just smiled and said, “I know that you probably think this is completely out of line. I mean, I know you probably have never thought about me in that way, or maybe even at all.”
I couldn't take it anymore, I burst out laughing. At his crushed look, I slapped my hand over my mouth. Before I could say any more, he left the room. With Mr. Warner calling after me to come back, I ran from the room to catch him.
“Wait, Geoff, wait up.” I called as he loped down the hallway.
I caught up to him and grabbed his arm. “I'm sorry, I wasn't laughing at you.” I said.
“Odd cause it sounded like laughter.” he responded.
“It's just that what you said sounds exactly what I was telling myself this morning. I was thinking how wonderful it would be if you knew I existed.” I said.
He smiled and took my hand. “Oh, I guess just because I'm popular you think I'd only want to date a cheerleader. What you didn't know is that I also like a girl who can think for herself and wants to talk about more than clothes and shoes and dances.”
I ducked my head and said, “But, I'm Plain Jane, I didn't think you'd ever noticed me.”
“Jane,” he said, “you're not plain, you're amazing. How could I not notice you? In fact, most days, you're the only girl I see.”
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#67 Never.Lose.Hope.

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:26 PM

All The Ways To Love

Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. It wasn't second grade anymore, so we all - well, most of us - knew by now that the over-commercialized shape that plagues us without a lover on Valentines Day wasn't the actually shape of the vital organ that keeps us alive. And yet, the propaganda was everywhere.

"If you take two human hearts, they make a heart."
"What?"
"I'm serious. If you take two hearts, like you know, human hearts, and put them side by side they make a heart shape."
I didn't bother turning around to contest this theory.

It wasn't as if I hated the occasion. I mean, for one thing, I got chocolate out of it, from all the half-friends who decide to spend their parents money on chocolate roses for people they don't really know. And hey, I was as big a sucker for a good romance novel or a cheesy love song as the next person. I even made Valentines once in a while, handed them off to my closest friends with a message depicting sweet nothings about how great they are and why I love them which, while sometimes true, no one would ever say out loud except in a badly written movie where a guy tries to get into the poor unsuspecting girl's pants.

But I digress. The real issue I had with Valentines Day was not the day itself, but the days leading up to it. It was like a constant reminder that I was single (news flash) and somehow that was a bad thing? I didn't get it. I had never wanted a boyfriend - or a girlfriend, for that matter - so why should I want one now? And yet, caught up in the rush to buy as many forgettable flowers and chocolates as possible for the "most romantic day of the year" even I started feeling a little lonely sometimes.

Last year was especially bad. Try sitting there, surrounded by people gushing about their crushes and their relationships and how "adorable" it was when Sam asked Megan to the prom. No, it wasn't adorable. It was revolting.

So maybe I was a bit of a cynic. Point is, last year sucked. Feeling a little below the weather as it was (thank you mother nature, for your impeccable timing) all I really wanted to do was stab cupid in the eye and tell him to go find a job that didn't bring me so much misery. That is how, on the supposedly most romantic day of the year, I ended up watching a foreign film in some language I didn't even know and now I hardly remember, with my sight blocked by some ridiculously tall man with a hat so I could only read half the damn subtitles, alone.

I'd told but one person where I was going to be. In an offhanded conversation, through the dinosaur that was e-mail of all things, my plans for Valentine's Day slipped off my tongue and Ale was inviting me to join her and her and her boyfriend. I told her I didn't want to intrude, and that was it. I was left feeling no better off than before.

Sitting in the theater, I thought about that phone call. I thought about all my friends and their relationships and eventually I thought maybe it was me that there was something wrong with. After all, I was the one alone on Valentines Day.

"Mind if I sit?" The voice snapped me out of whatever daze I was in and I looked up to see a familiar face, doing a double take to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

On Ale's arm was her boyfriend, David, and they both smiled down at me. I nodded, not knowing what to say, what to ask first. "But I thought you had plans?" Was what I managed to spit out, and they exchanged a glance.

"We thought you might want some company." It was David who spoke this time, David whom I'd never spoken to before, who looked at me not in pity but as if he was genuinely happy to be here.

It warmed my icicle of a heart.

Now it's a new year and I can feel the burden of The Big Day bearing down on me, but this time I will remind myself that I am not alone. I never was. Romance is too, well, romanticized. There's no day for friendship, I realize, and so this year I'm going to celebrate other kinds of love - the kind a mother feels for her son, a child feels for their pet dog, the love I feel for my friends.

Because that kind of love is just as important, if not more.
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#68 Never.Lose.Hope.

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:26 PM

All The Ways To Love

Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. It wasn't second grade anymore, so we all - well, most of us - knew by now that the over-commercialized shape that plagues us without a lover on Valentines Day wasn't the actually shape of the vital organ that keeps us alive. And yet, the propaganda was everywhere.

"If you take two human hearts, they make a heart."
"What?"
"I'm serious. If you take two hearts, like you know, human hearts, and put them side by side they make a heart shape."
I didn't bother turning around to contest this theory.

It wasn't as if I hated the occasion. I mean, for one thing, I got chocolate out of it, from all the half-friends who decide to spend their parents money on chocolate roses for people they don't really know. And hey, I was as big a sucker for a good romance novel or a cheesy love song as the next person. I even made Valentines once in a while, handed them off to my closest friends with a message depicting sweet nothings about how great they are and why I love them which, while sometimes true, no one would ever say out loud except in a badly written movie where a guy tries to get into the poor unsuspecting girl's pants.

But I digress. The real issue I had with Valentines Day was not the day itself, but the days leading up to it. It was like a constant reminder that I was single (news flash) and somehow that was a bad thing? I didn't get it. I had never wanted a boyfriend - or a girlfriend, for that matter - so why should I want one now? And yet, caught up in the rush to buy as many forgettable flowers and chocolates as possible for the "most romantic day of the year" even I started feeling a little lonely sometimes.

Last year was especially bad. Try sitting there, surrounded by people gushing about their crushes and their relationships and how "adorable" it was when Sam asked Megan to the prom. No, it wasn't adorable. It was revolting.

So maybe I was a bit of a cynic. Point is, last year sucked. Feeling a little below the weather as it was (thank you mother nature, for your impeccable timing) all I really wanted to do was stab cupid in the eye and tell him to go find a job that didn't bring me so much misery. That is how, on the supposedly most romantic day of the year, I ended up watching a foreign film in some language I didn't even know and now I hardly remember, with my sight blocked by some ridiculously tall man with a hat so I could only read half the damn subtitles, alone.

I'd told but one person where I was going to be. In an offhanded conversation, through the dinosaur that was e-mail of all things, my plans for Valentine's Day slipped off my tongue and Ale was inviting me to join her and her and her boyfriend. I told her I didn't want to intrude, and that was it. I was left feeling no better off than before.

Sitting in the theater, I thought about that phone call. I thought about all my friends and their relationships and eventually I thought maybe it was me that there was something wrong with. After all, I was the one alone on Valentines Day.

"Mind if I sit?" The voice snapped me out of whatever daze I was in and I looked up to see a familiar face, doing a double take to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

On Ale's arm was her boyfriend, David, and they both smiled down at me. I nodded, not knowing what to say, what to ask first. "But I thought you had plans?" Was what I managed to spit out, and they exchanged a glance.

"We thought you might want some company." It was David who spoke this time, David whom I'd never spoken to before, who looked at me not in pity but as if he was genuinely happy to be here.

It warmed my icicle of a heart.

Now it's a new year and I can feel the burden of The Big Day bearing down on me, but this time I will remind myself that I am not alone. I never was. Romance is too, well, romanticized. There's no day for friendship, I realize, and so this year I'm going to celebrate other kinds of love - the kind a mother feels for her son, a child feels for their pet dog, the love I feel for my friends.

Because that kind of love is just as important, if not more.
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#69 wimberleygw

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

Deer


Around Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. I’m actually surprised I remembered what today was. A day of love; a day of acceptance; a day of forgiveness. Even though we fight with our fists, our hearts hold us together like nothing else. It’s the strongest part of me. It was the strongest part of him.
I propped Jarrod’s body up against the mattress. The hair damp and plastered across its forehead. It had some liquid caked onto the chin, dribbled out of its mouth and dried there. I looked into the eyes. Dismal grey. Ugly. I almost reached up to close them, but decided against it.
I peeked out the window through the dirty, tacked up blanket. The land was untouched, wildly grown. I knew the noise of the gunshot would lead him to me.
` I pulled a loose sheet over the body, and the gap inside its chest, sticky with blood, left a light imprint on the fabric. The heart was still. No fight.
I walked outside with the gun wedged in the back of my jeans, my crow bar dangling in my right hand.
It didn’t take long to find him, limping his way towards the house. His torn shirt must have once been plaid, but all the dirt and human blood smeared the pattern together. He groaned short, deep gasps. He held the moonlight as he came closer.
He was like an evitable storm. The air tightening around me. The clouds looming over me. I could smell the burnt land, singed by lightning’s good strike.
I said to him, yards apart, “Is this what you wanted?”
One eye roamed behind a swollen lid. He garbled, yellow pus leaking from his puckered mouth.
“I saved you.” I said to him. “From being shot. Being cut off, completely.”
He reached out his hands, meaty clawed limbs, and I took one, I held onto it tightly, as he continued to walk forward, and I continued to step back.
“If Jarrod had shot you in the head,” I said. “You wouldn’t have gotten to see anything else. Just blackness.”
He groaned louder, his arms stretching out to meet my shoulders. I took another step back, stumbling over a tree stump.
“Watch out,” I warned him. His foot caught onto it, and he tripped a little, and I hauled him up by his hands. We kept on, his slow dance forward, my easy glide back. And I told him, “There is no heaven.”
He looked into me, and I knew he didn’t see what I wanted him to see, how empty I was. But I saw the green in his eye, glazed over by a film of white. He could see this world, filtered as it was by his hunger. But he could still see it. The shapes. The colors.
“I don’t necessary think it will better.” I told him. “Once I’ve become like you.”
His head cocked. Something cracked inside his body. A tree was behind me, and I didn’t veer out of its path, but let myself back up against it. I dropped my crowbar.
“But I think it could be alright.”
His face, a black hole, sucked the air between us. His whole body craved human flesh. His hands, caged by my hands, clenched as he inched towards me. Predator.
I remembered when Jarrod and I had first discovered this thing. We had been hunting when we caught him through the pines, lonely, his face lopsided, jaw unhinged and bleeding.
Jarrod had cocked his gun, widened his feet. Touching his shoulder, I said, “Wait.”
Jarrod’s finger had been so close to pulling the trigger.
“He’s like a deer, almost.” I whispered. “Harmless. Look, he notices us, and he doesn’t even come near.”
It was true. It was the first time I had ever seen one of them do anything like it. Stay still. Not be dragged by their sick impulse to eat.
Jarrod called me crazy, but I pleaded, and the thing didn’t move, and Jarrod shrugged off my hand, “If he kills me, Jen, remember this moment. For God’s sake, remember this moment.”
Now, inches from my face, I could smell the blood and the urine on his clothes. He wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t falling in love. But I told him a line from Jarrod’s favorite movie. I don’t know why I did it. Maybe this sentimental day was getting to me. All rose petals and love. Maybe it was because I was wrong, and he was right. We were the deer. Jarrod was the deer. The soft spot. The fist that is the heart.
“Here’s looking at you, kid.” I said, reaching for the gun in my waistband. He was fast, his finger nails digging into my flesh. But it didn’t matter whose blood was whose.
All that mattered was that I could still see red as rich as roses. As the fire my body. The flannel of Jarrod’s shirt.
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#70 Sassenach

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:53 PM

Apparently this is what happens when you don't write romance for years and then start in the middle of the night.




Once upon a bookshop.

I hate Valentine’s Day.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; What single girl doesn’t hate Valentine’s day? Wherever you go you are bombarded with reminders of the fact that you don’t have a sweetheart to give you pink cards or blooming carnations. The thought alone was enough to make me gag.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t always been single, but I have always been single on Valentine’s Day. It’s almost as if the men in my life have joined together in a pact to treat me like a ghost as soon as February comes. Meaning they run away screaming.

This Valentine’s I was determined not to sit at home drowning in tears to Nora Ephron movies. While I usually do not like to gorge in self-pity, Valentine’s Day manages to be an exception. So, instead of crawling into the sofa, I headed out on the streets. The first store I passed almost made me turn around and walk straight back home, but I resisted. Instead I headed to the only place in this whole lovestruck city I knew would be safe. The bookshop.

By just entering though the door I feel my spirits lifting. The hearts strung above my head did not bother me at all, nor did the heartshaped balloons that were tied to the railings. Okay, maybe they bothered me a little, I thought as I pushed one of them away from me.



I slowly made my way into the back, pulling off my gloves in the meantime. Jazz music was playing in the speakers, which was just another reason the owner was considered odd. I liked it, it sure did set the mood while browsing. I absentmindedly read the titles on the spines, humming along with the love songs as I calculated how many books I could purchase without going over my budget. I told myself that it didn’t matter, which was nothing but a blatant lie, and was caught up with congratulating myself on an excellent choice when I tripped over something.

This something turned out to be a someone, a rather large someone actually. Or so I assumed as I was sprawled over his legs which reached across the entire aisle.

‘We have to stop meeting like this.’ I cleared my throat as he spoke, still staring at the floor. Still on the floor, as a matter of fact.

“I’m sorry.”

“I figured you’d see me and stop walking.” He paused. “Do you need help getting up?”

“No,” I answered, slowly turning my head. “You’re on the floor.”

“Actually we’re both on the floor.” His smile faltered when he noticed my lack of amusement. “I’m sorry.”

I rolled off him. It turned out to be slightly more difficult than I had thought as his legs did indeed, as I had previously assumed, stretch from wall to wall, and I ended up simply rolling along him, rather than off. Thankfully he let me embarrass myself in silence. When I was finally sitting up across from him, I was greeted by a smiling god.

Like I said before, it was not like I hadn’t dated before. I’ve met my fair share of the opposite sex, and had never been tongue-tied around anyone. In fact, I pride myself a little bit on being someone who can talk myself in and out of pretty much every situation. Despite that took me a few seconds before I remembered how to speak after the shock of tripping over a living greek statue in The bookshop.

“Again, I’m sorry. I figured you’d notice me,” he cleared his throat, “at some point.”



“Why are you on the floor in the bookshop?” I couldn’t help but ask, rubbing the wrist which I had, rather unsuccessfully, caught my fall with.

He lifted a book from his lap with a shrug and a half-smile.

“Why are you reading on the floor of a bookshop?” I asked this time, this time rubbing my rib which had also caught my fall, only it'd hit a bony knee.

“Are you okay?”

I waved him off. “Yeah, I’m fine. I would be better if someone hadn’t been reading on the floor.”

“Again, sorry.”

I didn’t bother to ask again, figuring he would avoid the question again. Which was intriguing enough for me to stay on the floor. A cough had us both look up. The owner of the shop was standing above us, her eyebrows raised.

“I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but I am sure there is a policy about trysts on the floor.”

He help up his book while I only shrugged.

“Oh, of course, a book makes it all right.” She shook her head. “I’ll get you some tea.”

I waited until she had turned the corner and looked back at my new friend, finding that he had started reading his book again. I leaned back against a shelf and wondered how it was that I found myself on the floor with a quiet greek god. I also chastised myself for being so enamored with a stranger I resorted to cliches about greek gods.

I sat there in silence until a cup of tea was put down next to me. I stared at it in surprise, as did my stranger, while Ms. Amber walked away without a word.

“She’s always been somewhat odd,” I said, as way to explain why were sitting drinking tea on the floor.

“I grew up with her,” he said with a chuckle. “Imagine 20 years of odd.”

“Is that why you sit on floors in bookshops?”

“Are you going to let it go?”

I thought about it. “No.”

He sipped his tea, letting me stare in silence. When more than a minute passed, he smiled again and gave in.

“I was sitting in the park, but I kept being interrupted by giggling girls.” That makes sense, I thought with a sigh, trying to find way to describe him without resorting to previous cliches. “Then I went to a coffee shop, the only coffee shop I think, but the girls found me.”

“So you are hiding because you’re being chased by girls?”

He thought about it for a second before wincing. “Yeah, I guess. Doesn't sound as bad when you say it.”

“It’s Valentine’s Day, you could probably have picked either one of them and they’d have been grateful.”

He sent me an annoyed glare before picking up his book again. I let him, instead staring up at the ceiling listening to the music. It had been changed to an old love song, which was quite a difference from the earlier instrumental jazz. God bless Ms. Amber.

“Why are you sitting on the floor of a book shop?” He didn’t look up from his book as he spoke, slowly turning a page. “On Valentine’s day?” he added as an afterthought.

“Maybe I was also chased by blonde girls.” I won a glare. “Or maybe I didn’t want to sit in the sofa doing nothing. Also books.”

He nodded.

“What are you reading?”

He squirmed, putting the book down to cross his arms over his chest. I heard Ms. Amber sighing from behind the shelf I was leaning on, murmuring something along the lines of ‘the boy never learns’.

I’m Tess,” I offered to break the silence. “Since you did trip me I think I deserve to know why you are reading in the first place. It’s not as if it’s poetry or anything, just tell me.”

He sighed.

“Is it poetry?” I stared at him. “You’re sitting in a bookshop on Valentine’s Day reading poetry? How are you real?”

He picked it up again, ignoring me as I crawled over to his side of the aisle. “Poetry, huh? Read some.”

“I am.”


“Out loud.”

“No.”

He turned a page. “Please.”

“No.”

“Pretty please?”

“No.”

“I won’t tell anyone.”

A muttered ‘I will’ came from behind the shelf before a cough when she realised she had spoken out loud.

“I’m Logan, and I will not be reading poetry to a strange girl who does not see where she is walking and trips over people.”

“To my defense you were reading on the floor.”

“Who trips over people obviously reading on the floor.” He looked down at me for a second, before sighing and opening the book. “I am not reading out loud.”

I remained where I was, pulling me legs up to lean my chin on a knee. The music switched from one ballad to another, streaming through the speakers until I almost forgot I was sitting on the floor with a stranger, reading poetry over his shoulder. The music changed five times before he cleared his throat. Slowly, and with a voice made to read out loud, he started reading. It was a poem about eternal love, with lots of gushing adjectives and exaggerated declarations.

When he finished I smiled up at him. “That was very nice.”

“It was terrible.” He was staring at the book as if it would somehow change that fact.

“Yes,” I agreed. “But it was still nice.”

He chuckled. I smiled.

“Happy Valentine’s Day I guess.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day Logan.”

We spent the rest of the day in that bookshop. And every Valentine’s Day since.

I guess Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be so bad after all.


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#71 CollegeGirl18

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:07 AM

Hey Girls! Do I still have time to enter?
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#72 Brittany_Woods

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:14 AM

First-Shaped Heart



Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. I'm having no trouble remembering at the moment, though, because it totally feels like there is an actual fist in my chest trying desperately to pound it's way through my rib cage and out into the open air. Seriously. I'm having trouble breathing. My hair (which miraculously looked almost decent today) is matted to my forehead with sweat. And I'm very, very surprised that you can't see my heart beating outside of my body like one of those cartoon characters who fall in love. You can definitely hear it. Well, I can at least. Everyone around me is being incredibly polite. They're graciously pretending that the sweating, heaving, panting mess of a person in their vicinity is not currently causing a massive scene. Were an ambulance to drive by, I'm sure they'd stop and attempt to perform CPR.

I can't really be blamed, though. I am a mere mortal standing in the presence of a God. A God who used to be my best friend a million lifetimes ago. His beauty (and beauty, however arguably feminine, is the only appropriate adjective available to describe such a visage) has always struck me dumb and I am flabbergasted that the entire population of our high school doesn't stop and stare in complete and utter awe. Boys like Clayton Reginald Parsons command such respect simply by existing and we humans have no choice but to stop and notice.

“Clay!” one of his teammates yells, hopping down off of the bus. I am crouched near a wall attempting to calm myself and hide in an essentially empty parking lot. The guy catches up to Clayton and regards him quizzically. “What's up with you today? You're being a freak. Did you know that?”

Clayton is standing casually in the middle of the sidewalk, his stormy gaze fixed on the name of our high school carved intricately in the stone archway. He shrugs, and turns to his friend with a blindingly gorgeous smile.

“I used to go here. You know that,” he drawls, his tone unaffected. “A lot of memories, I guess.”

“Well, get it together, captain,” his friend says. “We've got some butt to kick today and we can't have you slacking!”

I breathe a sigh of relief as Clayton and his teammates shuffle through the door of the school, thrilled that I wasn't caught. A throat clears behind me some innumerable amount of time later and I glance back, my traitorous heart clenching in my chest. (Hasn't it given me enough trouble today?) Thankfully it's only my best friend Shay standing behind me with her arms crossed over her chest and one eyebrow raised.

“What are you doing?” she asks, her expression removed.

Thinking quickly, I shut one eye and start blindly feeling at the ground. “I lost a contact.”

“Sure you did,” Shay says, laughing at me. Great friend, this one. “Clayton's here, huh?”

“They play two games here every year and not once in the past five times have I been even remotely prepared,” I reply, sighing and pulling myself to a standing position. “Why did I think number six would be any different?”

“Naivety?” Shay suggests. I glare at her and walk down toward the soccer field. She keeps pace with me easily because her legs are inhumanly long. “Are you going to actually talk to him this time, Mags? Or are you planning on hiding to stare at him undisturbed again?”

“I can't,” I say, my brow furrowed. “He's not going to want to talk to me anyway. Things changed when he moved.”

“Only because you refused to take any of his calls. It's not like two hours is that long of a drive. You could have stayed friends,” Shay says, rolling her eyes. “You have no right to be angry with him.”

“I'm not!” I snap, annoyed at the implication. “I'm mad at myself. He was one of my closest friends, Shay, you know that. And it's not like it's his fault that he looks the way he does. We were only fourteen when he moved and it felt like we'd never be old enough to drive. I just wanted to be over him and, when I finally was, we could come back together and everything would be as it always should have been.”

“Only you never got over him,” Shay says comfortingly.

“People are born to do things, Shay,” I explain, coming to a stop in the middle of the stadium ramp and turning to face her. “You were born to paint, Clayton was born to play soccer -”

“And break hearts,” she interjects, chuckling at her own with.

“I was born to write and love Clayton Parsons,” I say, ignoring her jab. “It's apparently ingrained in me. Distance couldn't shake it, I can't forget, and there is literally nothing else to be done. I'm just going to avoid him for the rest of my life.”

“Should of knocked on wood,” Shay murmurs, her eyes wide and fixed on a spot further down on the ramp. The fist is pummeling it's way through my chest again and I know what's happening before I even fully turn and see it.

“Maggie?” Clayton says, his eyes wide. His friend, who previously looked incredibly confused, does a double take and stares at me as well.

“This is Maggie?” he asks, glancing back at Clayton and jabbing a thumb in my direction.

Shay elbows me sharply in the side in retaliation for my stunned silence.

“Hey, Clayton,” she says when I still don't speak. “Long time no see. Who's your friend? Why don't I give him a tour?”

She runs over and grabs the guy's wrist, yanking him away with impressive strength for such a small person. He stares back at us for a minute, a grin on his face.

“Um, hi,” I say, my voice sounding foreign to my ears.

“Um, hi?” Clayton says, the shock wearing off and replacing itself with anger. “Is that all that you have to say after three years?”

“What do you want me to say?” I ask.

“How about, 'I'm sorry for being a horrible person and never speaking to you again or answering your calls, Clay?'” he snaps. “Or you could explain why you've been mysteriously absent every time our schools played each other. Better yet, maybe keep avoiding and ignoring me because being angry at what a jerk you are is a lot easier than missing you so much.”

“I don't know what to say, Clayton,” I murmur, my cheeks reddening.

“Forget it,” he mumbles, turning his back on me. I'm considering calling out to him and admitting everything because we're seniors now and, when he laughs at my pathetic, juvenile crush at least I really will never have to see him again. Before I can make that choice, though, Clayton makes it for me. He spins back around and marches up to me. “Actually, don't forget it. Tell me what happened right now, Maggie.”

I glance over his shoulder to escape his cold gaze and see Shay and his friend watching us with apt attention. Shay smacks his arm and they both pretend to be incredibly fascinated by the old, empty bulletin board. Apparently the entire world is waiting for me to grow a pair and come clean. I clear my throat and meet his gaze.

“I wanted to get over you,” I mumble, the words jumbling together awkwardly.

Clayton's tensed jaw drops open in surprise and he stumbles backwards.

What?” he exclaims.

“You see, I've kind of loved you. Forever, it feels like. When you moved I thought that I could get over you and be the kind of best friend you deserve. The kind who doesn't stumble all over herself and turn purple every time you look at her. I figured it would take a couple of months. A year at most, maybe. It just never seemed to work,” I pause for a breath, but the word vomit continues and Clayton is standing there with nothing to do but listen to years and years of bottled up emotion. “I was here every time that you played, Clay, because I've always loved watching you play. I just couldn't see you because I was afraid I'd say all of this. It was apparently a very justified fear.”

“Oh,” Clayton says, his expression still flabbergasted.

“The good news is,” I say when he says nothing for a good five minutes, my voice cracking. This – his silence - is why I never told him. Why it wasn't even an option. “At least you know I'm really good at avoiding you. So you, um, never have to see me again. Good luck with your game.”

I walk past him, my posture slumped, in the direction of Shay who looks absolutely shattered for me. I'm praying that the sidewalk will swallow me whole when a hand clasps around my wrist and Clayton jerks himself around to stand in front of me.

“Do you have plans?” he asks.

“Right now? No,” I reply, confused. “But you have a game.”

He rolls his eyes. “Obviously not right now, Maggie. I was thinking next Saturday.”

I stop and think, my mind spinning. “No, but it's Valentine's Day?”

“I know,” he says, smiling his blindingly beautiful smile. “Let's go out.”

"Why?" I demand.

Clayton chuckles. "I guess I've always wondered what it would be like. You and me. Even four years ago when I barely knew what 'you and me' meant. I've never met a person who makes me feel happier than you do and I'm thinking that might me something."

“Um,” I say, my face heating again. “Okay.”

“Clay, man, we've got to go!” his friend exclaims. Clay waves his hand behind his head, his gaze still fixed on me.

“Great. I'll call you,” he says, bending over and pressing a quick kiss to my cheek. “We've got a lot of catching up to do.”

He runs off to his friend, leaving me frozen to my spot on the pavement. Shay is silently cheering out of his view and my face breaks out into a tentative smile. I give her a thumbs up behind his back. He turns suddenly and we both freeze, embarrassed to be caught. He's still moving, but backwards to keep facing us.

“And you do have plans right now, Maggie. You're coming to my game, but sit in the stands this time. I want to see your face,” he says, winking at me.

I have a date on Valentine's Day with Clayton Reginald Parsons. I have a date. With Clayton. And, with that startling, unexpected thought, my fist-shaped heart officially beats hard enough to break free of me and soar far, far away.

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#73 jowritestheblog

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:44 AM

The Bridge

Around Valentine's Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like fist. Nicole stood alone on the old wooden bridge over Bear Creek. Jack told her to meet him there at nine. She looked at her watch and frowned. It was 9:20. It wasn’t like Jack to be late. She wondered what was keeping him. She guessed his mom had asked him to do some quick chore before he left the house. She listened for the growling of his pickup, but all she heard was the sound of the crickets and the rushing water below her. She hated that pickup. The seats were worn out and the springs were poking through the cloth. The exterior paint was chipped and the metal was rusted. The wheels were uneven, so it always felt like the truck was about to tip over.
She glanced down at the creek. She had promised Jack she’d learn to swim this summer. She’d always had a problem with water. Her cousin had pushed her into the deep end of a pool once when she was little and she had nearly drowned. After that she opted to stay where it was dry and just watch the other kids play in the water. But Jack really wanted to take her swimming in the creek. She had to admit, swinging from the rope into the water had always looked like fun. Besides, she trusted Jack to be there to save her if she started drowning. She looked toward the road, still no sign of Jack. Where was he?

Jack sat fidgeting in his truck. He hadn’t left his house until 9:10. Now the road was blocked off and he was stuck between a dozen other cars. A cop had tapped on his window a few minutes earlier to fill him in on what all the commotion was about. Apparently, the winds had knocked a telephone pole into the middle of the road, and the police were holding people back so the technicians could repair it. He was already running late because his little sister had lost her favorite doll. He’d had to help her find it or she wouldn’t have stopped crying. He loved his little sister, but it was days like these that he wished he were an only child. That’s why he spent most of his time at Nicole’s house. It was much more peaceful there.
He turned the radio on and scanned through the channels. His ancient pickup only received a few stations, so it wasn’t a shock to him when he couldn’t find anything worth listening to. He looked at the clock, 9:20. He really hoped Nicole would wait for him. He figured he could get to the bridge within fifteen minutes if he could just find a way to get around the mess. The car in front of him moved up a little. It wasn’t much, but enough to give him a chance to drive a little ways on the shoulder then turn onto a service road he hoped would lead to the next street over.
He hated being late. In all of his nineteen years, he had only twice been late to something. The first time he couldn’t find his shoes because his sister had hid them in her toy box. The second time, his car broke down on his way to work.
He hoped Nicole wasn’t worrying. He shouldn’t have told her to meet him there. He should have picked her up. He imagined her sitting on the rickety bridge, spending Valentine’s Day all by herself, shivering at the wind. He had to get to her.

Nicole paced back and forth. A gust of wind made the bridge wobble a little and she grabbed the rail to steady herself. She wondered how many people had waited at the bridge for someone before her. She guessed a lot. The bridge was, in fact, older than the town itself. It was rumored to have been built during the Civil War. The story says that two lovers, one from the North and one from the South, were separated by their merciless families. They each traveled treacherous journeys through the woods to meet but were discouraged when they reached Bear Creek and could not cross to the other side. For weeks they slaved over building a bridge until finally they were reunited in the middle.
It was starting to get a little chilly out, and Nicole wished she had grabbed a sweater before she left home. She looked at her watch again, 9:40. She sighed. It was okay, though, she figured Jack would be there any minute. She wondered why it was so important for them to meet here. He said he had something he wanted to ask her. She decided not to dwell on it.
She walked over to the handrail and peeked over the edge. She picked up a rock and threw it into the creek. As she watched the ripples form in the water where the rock hit, she recalled the first time she ever visited this bridge with Jack. She was eleven and she had just moved to Bear Creek. Jack was the son of her dad’s new boss, and his dad had asked him to show her around. Jack had been twelve at the time, and though the age difference was only by a year, to them the gap had seemed huge. Jack had seen Nicole as a little girl, and she’d been intimidated by him. He’d given her a minor tour of the town (only taking her to the places where he knew his friends wouldn’t be), and he brought her to the creek. It was that day that she heard the story of the bridge for the first time.
After that day, the two saw each other around town every once in a while and at the company picnics, but they rarely spoke. It wasn’t until a few years later when they were both in high school that they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. After that, they were inseparable.
Nicole smiled to herself, reminiscing. It was funny to think of that little boy he’d been and know now that he was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. But where was he, now? It was starting to get really late and the wind was blowing pretty hard. She decided she’d start walking home and hopefully see him on the way. As she headed back towards the road, another gust of wind blew and the bridge shook. The board underneath her loosened and she lost her footing. The wood, which was already weak from age, split and she fell through.

Jack reached the end of the service road and was now getting close to the creek. He glanced down at the radio clock. It was 9:40. He increased the pressure of his foot on the gas pedal. Luckily for him, it was a quiet night and no other cars were out. He looked over at the passenger seat and picked up the little box that had been sitting there. He flipped open the top of the box and smiled at the diamond ring that sparkled back at him.
About five minutes later he reached the bridge. Parking his truck, he looked towards the bridge but he didn’t see Nicole anywhere. He got out of the car and put the ring in his coat pocket. As he walked onto the bridge he called out for Nicole but received no response. That’s when he saw the broken boards. He ran over to the rail and peered over the edge. He was horrified to see her floating in the water. Panicking, he rushed down to the creek, tore his jacket off, and dove in to swim out to her. But he was too late, she was dead. He pulled her body back to shore and, with tears streaming down his face he cradled her in his arms. He kissed her forehead and whispered, “I love you” into the empty night.
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#74 rsprague

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:37 AM

Crushing Hearts

Around Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. Shops are plastered with our imagined versions of hearts in a rainbow of colors – pinks, reds, even blues and greens. Who came up with this inaccurate version of a heart anyway?
It’s all stupid away. It doesn’t matter how much chocolate or how many flowers someone buys you. No one cares. Those things don’t prove love anyway. Not even a handmade gift from the heart proves anything.
Maybe I’m bitter. On second though, you know what? Hell yeah, I’m bitter.
You would be too if your boyfriend of three years dumped you the day before Valentine’s Day.
Apparently February 13th is known as “National Breakup Day,” but I assumed that I wouldn’t fall victim to this godforsaken holiday, considering that Frederick and I had been dating since junior year of college. I mean, we had talked about MARRIAGE.
Thanks a lot, jerk.
So yeah, I think Valentine’s Day is stupid. That includes those ridiculously erroneous hearts I’m forced to see everywhere.

It happened yesterday, in the park.
I just figured we were going on a romantic pre-Valentine’s Day stroll in the unseasonably warm Ohio weather. I even entertained the idea that Frederick might be working up to popping the question. It didn’t seem so outrageous for my mind to be going there, especially since earlier this week we had been talking about moving in together within the next few months.
So I was completely blindsided when Freddie pulled a Legally Blonde-style breakup on me, and told me “this wasn’t working anymore” just as I was starting to think our lives were falling into place. Who does that? It made me upset enough that I might end up applying to Harvard Law School just to prove to him I’m not some bimbo.
But apparently I am, because I could not have seen this coming.
He looked so dashing yesterday, with his unkempt blond hair falling over his black-framed glasses as we walked, hand-in-hand. He literally gave me no signs of my impending doom, just continued to lead me on, up until the moment he broke the news.
When we came to the oversized, man-made pond on the center of the park (which was actually quite pretty – the ice defrosting and reflecting the bright sunlight), Frederick pulled me over to one of the decaying wood benches.
My heart started racing, but it ended up being for the entirely wrong reason.
Freddie motioned for me to sit. I eased myself down onto the rough wood, but I was a tiny bit surprised when he plopped down next to me. Head in his hands, he rubbed his eyes with his palms and blew out a deep breath.
“What’s wrong, babe?” I asked as I started rubbing his back.
“No, don’t,” he protested. “Give me a minute to think.”
I raised my hands in surrender. “Okay, okay,” I conceded.
I slouched back onto the bench and closed my eyes. What was happening here?
After a minute or so I felt Frederick shaking my knee, and I looked up at him expectantly.
“Cat,” he began, his hand still on my knee. As if he read my mind, he looked down at his hand and then removed it. He awkwardly let it linger in the air for a few moments before placing both hands in his lap.
“I don’t know how to say this…” He drifted off. I could feel the blood drain from my face, and I my stomach immediately went sour. The little fist-sized organ in my chest seized up in anticipation for what was coming next.
“We – this,” he motioned half-heartedly between us with one hand. “Isn’t working anymore. I guess what I mean is, it’s not working for me anymore.”
Inside I felt a slow scream building up from the core of my soul, but on the outside I just stared wide-eyed at Frederick in disbelief. A few seconds passed without any reaction on my part, and Freddie started to get twitchy and anxious.
“Cat? Don’t you have anything to say? I know it’s not the best time to bring this up – I know tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and everything, but I really just need to get my life started. And I need to make the appropriate changes immediately. I’m sorry, really sorry, but I’ve seen my future, and it doesn’t include you. It can’t include you. I don’t mean to be harsh. It’s just the way things are.”
“The way things are?” I finally found my voice, but thank the gods I suppressed my urge to start screaming. “Is this a joke? Fred, we’ve spent over three years together. Am I wrong in being completely thrown off by this news? And what the hell do you mean your future doesn’t include me? That’s all we’ve been talking about recently. How can you just do a complete 180 like this?”
I shook my head, shocked and angry, barely comprehending the situation.
“That’s just it though, Cat. I’ve been thinking about my future, and I want to live my dream. You’re here, you’ve got a new, yet stable job, and I know you would never leave Columbus. You’ve probably told me that six thousand times over the past few years. But I’ve made my decision. I’m moving to New York. Tomorrow.”
I felt like my brain was about to explode from my inability to process what Frederick was saying. I knew he liked New York, sure, but I never thought it was a serious dream of his to actually move there. We were happy here in the Midwest. I know he was struggling to find paid work as a writer here, but I didn’t think the job front would be any kinder in New York. Or maybe it would. I didn’t really care about that at the moment.
“So you’re just leaving. That’s it. No discussion.”
Freddie shrugged. I was furious, but at the same time, heartbroken. How could he do this to me?
“Do you realize how unfair this is? You’re really just going?”
He nodded. “Most of my stuff is packed. I’m driving out in the morning.”
At a loss for words, I got up. I couldn’t do this anymore. I started to walk away, but Frederick grabbed my hand.
“Cat, don’t. I’m really sorry.”
“Obviously you’re not.” I shook my hand free and headed back down the winding path we had taken to the pond.
As I got to the parking lot, I crumpled up the handmade heart-shaped card I had in my pocket, ready to give Freddie as a pre-holiday surprise. I was the one who ended up with the biggest surprise of all. I tossed the mess of pink and red paper in the trash.
Stupid hearts. Whatever their shape, they all end up breaking in time.
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#75 mcroce

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:09 AM

Some Hearts

Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. The actual human heart, mind you, not the large red, bedazzled, cardboard heart that my (ex) boyfriend was currently trying to use as a shield.

“Mal, Mal—Malorie,” he cried, as I attempted to physically break his gift to me with my fists. “Aren’t you going a little too far with this?”

“Funny,” I snarled, giving the heart another whack, leaving a solid splinter down the middle. “I was thinking I wasn’t going far enough. Although, that’s not what you were thinking when you were hooking up with Larissa James last night at Madison’s party, were you? You were thinking that you weren’t. Going. Far. Enough!” Each word was punctuated with another punch, and the elaborate heart, glittery and dazzling, with the words “Happy V-Day, Mal” had now cracked in two.

Andrew paled, gulping. “I—I was drunk, and you know that I –” Elaborate, grotesque valentine now sufficiently destroyed, I held up my hand out to him—he cowered just a little bit, to my satisfaction—to signal silence.

“If I wanted bullshit, I’d go walk my dog,” I told him with narrowed eyes. “Let’s not waste any more of each other’s time. We’re done here.” With that, I turned my back on him, dismissing my former boyfriend.

“Fine,” I heard him spit out behind me, his voice colored with anger, “I get the better end of the deal, anyway. Larissa is a much better –”

My pride wouldn’t allow him to finish that sentence—I whirled around, swung my arm back, and punched him straight in the nose. It was my best punch yet.

0 0 0

An hour later found me sitting next to the fireplace at the Student Union Building. My foray into violence gave me a nasty looking purple bruise on my knuckles; however, it left Andrew crumpled in the middle of the Quad, blood spilling out onto the bricks. “You should see the other guy,” I proudly told people who walked by, looking at me curiously.

“Oh. I did,” came a voice from above me. “He and his bloodstains were ruining an otherwise picturesque view of the Quad.” He sighed. “And to think, the cherry blossoms just started to bloom.”

“Ugh, if you’re here to make snarky remarks, you can leave, Derek,” I told him, without looking up. “Otherwise you’ll get punched, too.”

I could feel him raising his right eyebrow at me. “I highly doubt your knuckles can withstand another punch,” he said.

“I’m ambidextrous,” I told him flatly.

Instead of going away, like I’d hoped he would, he plopped his lean body next to me. His grey eyes were sparkling with mirth. “Finally dumped the jackass, did you, Mally?”

“In the most clichéd way, for the most clichéd reason, on the most ‘romantically’ cliché day of the year, in the most public, clichéd place on campus? Why, yes, I did,” I sighed, my anger melting away. I dropped my head to the side, resting it on his shoulder. “Why are boys so stupid?”

Derek chortled a little into my hair. “We just don’t realize how good we have it,” he said a bit wistfully.

I twisted around to look at him, incredulous. “Really?” I asked him skeptically. “What about you, God’s Gift to Co-Eds? Talking about someone in particular?”

Derek shrugged, looking embarrassed. He was a huge flirt, a self-proclaimed ladies’ man, a status that even I grudgingly admitted fit him, though, to be fair, he never led girls on or engaged in (too) many risqué activities. That I knew of. He had, since freshman year when he tried to hit on me at Phi Delta Theta’s annual Halloween Bash, somehow become one of my best friends, despite our occasionally antagonistic relationship. My friend Bianca told me that he was the “Gilbert to my Anne” which sounded great, except for the fact that I had no idea who she was talking about.

“All I know is,” he said finally, “if I had a girl as special as you, I wouldn’t look at anyone else.”

I narrowed my eyes at him, but before I could open say anything, he jumped off the couch, offering me a hand. “Let’s get out of here,” he said, trying to infuse some lightness in his voice. He wouldn’t look at me. “I’m starving.”

I let him lead me out of there only because I felt a curious flutter when his fingers absentmindedly wound themselves through mine. We’d held hands before, to be sure, like when we were drunk and needed stability, or at concerts, winding our way through large crowds, but never like this, so casually, for no rhyme or reason. Never just because.

We were passing through the Quad when Derek stopped, pointing down with a proud grin, “Here it is,” he announced loudly. “Your handiwork, my lady.”

Dark brown was splattered on the dusty red bricks, though its former vessel was nowhere to be found. Probably seeking comfort in Larissa’s large chest.

“God, what was I thinking,” I moaned, thinking about the two together. “When I look back on it, I feel like I never really knew him, let alone loved him.”

Derek perked up at this information. “You never loved him?” He asked.

I shrugged. “Maybe it’s just the bitterness talking,” I said. “But after the way he acted today? How could I love someone like that?” I admitted lowly, with shame, “I feel like I’ve known for a while that I didn’t love him.”

Derek’s brow furrowed. “Then why did you stay?”

I walked over to a tree and picked a cherry blossom, twirling the bud between my fingertips. “Maybe I thought it was better than being alone,” I murmured.

Derek plucked the little flower from my hand, tucking it affectionately behind my ear, letting his fingers linger on my cheek. “Someday,” he said, his eyes warm, his tone sure, “you’ll be with someone who absolutely adores you, who won’t need anyone else. And you’ll know for sure how much he loves you, and how much you love him.”

I looked away, a flush rising on my cheeks, a shy smile spreading across my face. “Is that a prediction?” I asked him, to my surprise, a bit flirtatiously.

He pretended to think for a second before grinning down on me, pleased. “Come on, Mally, I can do better than that.” He leaned down to whisper in my ear, lips touching my lobe, “It’s a promise.”

Never let it be said that I let Derek have the upper hand for long. I looped my arms around his neck, pulled him down to me, and kissed him. As the kiss deepened, I balled my hands into fists, bunching the material of his t-shirt. I might have found myself in the most clichéd position, kissing my best friend on the most ‘romantically’ clichéd day of the year, in the most public, clichéd place on campus, but let me tell you, it was totally worth it.

Word Count: 1175 (sorry for going a teensy bit over!)
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#76 jowritestheblog

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:34 AM

I didn't see any rules about whether we could post multiple entries, but if only one entry counts, let this be it. Thanks.

[b]The Chump[/b]

In two days, my world will end. Okay, maybe not quite my world – that is a bit melodramatic, don’t you think? – but something’s going to end. And that something is going to be my “In a Relationship” status on Facebook. I mean, it’s bad enough that I stupidly agreed when my boyfriend, Jason, gave us a dating expiration date. “I’m young and virile,” he’d said, “I can’t be tied down to any one person, yet. I’ve got to test the waters.” And like the chump that I am, I’d gone along with it. Not only that, but I thought it was a particularly sage and mature philosophy. I realize now that it was just his way of keeping one foot out the door. And, I mean, I knew this was coming. I’ve been preparing myself since day one for the inevitable heartbreak, which, in some ways has actually been a little easier with the cognizance of an impending deadline. But the thing that turns the knife is the date itself. The expiration date, I mean. Because it happens to fall on February the 13th. The day before Valentine’s Day.

There’s no way this is a coincidence. He had to have planned it so that he could avoid the holiday altogether, because it all makes perfect sense, especially when I recall the argument we had about what was considered to be our first date. Was it the night we hung out in my dorm room and watched a movie? (He says yes.) Or was it the first time we actually went out and he paid? (He says no. And damn him for that, because if we’d gone with the latter, we’d have another week past V-day!)

So, yeah, it pretty much sucks. And not just because I’m gipped out of a fancy dinner and a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. And, likewise, not just because of the shame and embarrassment I’m anticipating once my Facebook status is updated to Megan Parks is now single – Can we talk about that for a moment? Who decided it was a good idea to put relationship statuses (statii?) on the Internet as if they’re everybody’s business? Because I’d seriously like to punch that guy in the jugular. Was it Mark what’s-his-berg? Mark, honey, if you’re listening, hide your neck; you’ve been warned – no, what really sucks is that aside from the whole “30 days is my limit” bull-crap, I’ve been really happy in this relationship. And now, just like that, it’s over, and everyone is going to know about it, including my mother, which opens up another whole set of problems that I won’t even begin to get into.

“Why don’t you just celebrate Valentine’s a day early?” My roommate, Amy, had suggested when I was on one of my many rants about my unfortunate situation. Poor Amy has had to listen to the same diatribe just about every other day for the past few weeks, and let me tell you, she’s been quite the trooper. If roles were reversed, I can’t promise that I wouldn’t have put in a request for a room reassignment. But Amy’s just like that – always the one to listen and advise. It’s a beautiful thing for the world that she’s going into social work. If I had chosen social work as my desired career path, my mother would have disowned me. Or, at the very least, she’d have stopped paying for my college. Which was why, at her beckoning, I was going into the highly glamorous field of dental hygiene. Yay teeth! Blech. I’m so sure someone’s going to bite me. But at least I’ll get worker’s comp.

So, in the spirit of optimism, and in trusting Amy’s advice, I planned a special date night complete with flowers, candles, Barry White, and oysters (because, well, you know). I have to admit, I had to order the oysters from some hotsy-totsy restaurant downtown because even if I had been blessed with culinary competence, I don’t have so much as a hot plate in my tiny dorm room and our communal kitchen is all kinds of unsanitary. Suffice it to say, I pulled out all the stops. I was going to charm the pants (possibly literally) off this guy and, if not get him to change his mind completely, at least make him second-guess his stance on long-term relationships in college.

And, in case you’re wondering, here’s how it all went down:

6:45 PM – I’m frantically trying to clean up the room, shoving all bras and female-ish items out of sight, with the exception of one ridiculously cute bra that I conveniently “forget” to remove from the inside door of the bathroom.
6:55 PM – Amy is still here. I beg for her to hurry and contemplate groveling, but I don’t want to crease my dress.
6:59 PM – Amy leaves. No sign of Jason.
7:07 PM – Jason knocks. It’s just like him to be late, but not so late that I’d be justified in being angry.
7:08 PM – He looks at my dress and says, “I like what you’ve done with the place.” I write an invisible one point on the scoreboard in my head.
7:10 PM – I pour us some wine and ask if he’s hungry. He is.
7:13 PM – I set a salad and the plate of oysters on the table (actually it’s just my desk that’s been covered with a tablecloth. Classy, I know.)
7:14 PM – I hold up my glass and propose a toast. “To thirty awesome days,” I say.
“To thirty days,” he agrees. Then we each take a sip.
I lift my fork to my plate, and he holds out his hand to stop me.
“Wait,” he says, “before we eat, I have something I want to give you.”
7:15 PM – He pulls a small box out of his pocket and hands it to me.

I’m not going to lie. There was an instant there where I thought, nay, hoped, that it was a ring. But that’s silly, right? We’d been going out a month, and while I was pretty sure I loved him, I wasn’t in any hurry to walk down the aisle (much to my mother’s chagrin). But anyway, back to my riveting story:

7:15 PM – I stare at the box in my hand. It feels light. I open it and find a rolled up piece of paper. “What the heck?” I say, and Jason chuckles. I unroll it and read the short sentence printed neatly in the center: Deadline has been postponed until: Indefinite.
7:16 PM – “I win, chump!” I yell, then jump up and into his arms.
7:17 PM – We forget about the oysters.
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#77 jowritestheblog

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:09 AM

Favorite = Singled Out by brav0_zulu
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#78 Spring

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:29 AM

Title: A Valentine for the Unlucky

I hate Valentine’s day. Seriously. And it’s not just because I’m one of the everlasting singles. No, it’s actually because I always seem to end up breaking something, besides my heart of course. When I was a 9 years old and hopelessly in love with a guy, who was the best soccer player on the primary school team, I was way too shy to give him the Valentine’s card I spend my pocket money on, so I ran after him, when school was over and ended up getting drove over and broke 3 ribs. When I was 10, I wanted to ask a “cool” skater boy, whether he wanted to be my Valentine. I was skating a lot at that time myself, so when I finally put myself together to ask him, it was on the skate ramp and I had just come from the other side, and in the moment I was gonna ask, my skateboard slipped and I fell down and broke my arm. It’s not like Valentine’s day is the only day I break things. I’m just in general a very clumsy and unlucky person. When I was younger, it came as a course, because I weren’t the most cautious person and did some things, that was bound to go wrong, so as I have grown up the things that happens to me, have become fewer and smaller, but they are kind of still there.

“What do you think of this?” Suzanne, my best friend and roommate, asked. “Valentine’s! Are you depressing me or something?!” I sighed. She laughed heartily. “This is why I love you Jo,” she told me. “You’re flying in the pink skies of love, which are like a Zeppelin. A fantastic flight, but when something goes wrong, it’s like burning to hell,” I said. “You’re not even 20 yet, and already an insane cat lady!” she exclaimed. “Hey… I have 5 cats and couldn’t live without them and you know that. That’s why you suggested me to move into your cat allowed apartment,” I smiled. “But I have to hurry or I’m going to be late for orchestra practice.”

5 minutes later I rushed down the streets of New York, where the shop’s where advertising different offers for Valentine’s day. After almost 2 years in the city, I haven’t got used to live here yet. I guess I’m too much of a small town girl, but unfortunately there’s 1655 miles from Rugby, North Dakota, to Julliard and there was no doubt that I was going to Julliard. I play the flute and I’ve done it since I wanted to play guitar, but the only free instrument for borrowing was a flute, in elementary.

Pretty much everything were the same in the Julliard Orchestra, except that most of the orchestra were struck by an “Amazing Amor’s Arrow”. I pretty much had practice most of the day and I ended up at the library to find a flute score, which could impress my teacher in originality and talent, as he said by his own words. And that was a pretty hard job. I knew where I could find them, so I pretty much just gave myself the time and sat down in the empty study hall.

But of course I bumped into someone. “Sorry,” the guy hurried to say and sat down across from the seat, we had both chosen. “Doesn’t matter,” I muttered and looked at him. I was pretty much wondering, what he did here at this day, because he looked really cute. These big brown eyes, hiding behind some big glasses, that clearly only were for reading and thick, black, messy hair, a beautiful face and a hot body. I forced myself to go through the scores, pretending he wasn’t there.

“What is such a beautiful girl doing at a library at Valentine’s day?” he suddenly asked. “This day isn’t mine. I usually break a leg or something and end up alone on a hospital, because my valentine isn’t good enough for me in that way,” I smiled. “Oh… Yours sound worse than my reason,” he admitted. “Your girlfriend broke up or something?” I asked. “No, not exactly. My parents told me, they were getting a divorce this day, when I was 14,” he answered. “Um… Cool day choosing to declare it. I was 2, when my parents did that,” I told him. “Now my mom is at a romantically cruise with her new boyfriend.” He laughed by my tone. “You don’t like him, right?” he asked. “Actually yes, I have just been so used to that it was only me and my mom. But he found me an original LP of Help! And sent it to me even though he would like to keep himself,” I admitted. “You mean, you have Help!? Like from Beatles?!” he asked passionately. I couldn’t stop laughing. “Yeah, I have. And a lot more. Maybe I’m a classic musician, but I’m a huge collector of old, non classical, LP’s,” I said. “Wow! Will you be my valentine?” he asked, with a big smile on his face. “Well, why not? But prepare that I break something,” I sighed.

We borrowed our things and for the rest of the evening we were just talking and talking and talking and nothing went wrong. Well, at least not until we were going home. I was going to stand up, but in some way I managed to stumble over the white tablecloth, hit the table with my head and land completely wrong on my arm. The world was turning around and I couldn’t get up.

The next I recognized was that I lay in a hospital bed with George, as he is named, starring at me. “You told me,” he smiled, when I opened my eyes. “I told you. What are you doing here?” I asked confused. “In those romantic books the girls always ask, why they are there. You ask, why I am here,” he laughed. “Well, normally it’s my mom or Sue sitting there,” I told him. “And the guy is long gone.” “What kind of guy does that thing?” he asked. “The ones I usually date,” I said, grabbing after the glass of water. “I am sorry it all ended up here.” “It doesn’t matter,” he said seriously. “But I still don’t understand the guys. How can they leave a girl like you, just like that?” “From everything I have told you tonight, doesn’t it sound pretty easy? I mean, my life is my collection of old LP’s, my 5 cats, my mom, even though I’m almost 20, and my career in classic music,” I said. “Those things are pretty crazy, but everyone has their things. Most just hide them,” he said. “Or they are boring people.” He leant towards me and softly kissed me on the lips. “You’re amazing.”
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#79 asteRiesling

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:27 AM

Hello~ I registered in this forum when I saw Meg's tweet about this contest this morning, so this is my very first post. Nice to meet you all!

English is not my primary language, so pardon me if there are mistakes here and there :)

His Kind of Girl

I wish he knew, but he doesn’t.

Wait. I don’t really want him to know, do I?

Seriously. It’s bad enough that Nate put me in the ‘boy zone’—yes, boy zone, that’s even worse than friend zone. If he knew I had had a crush on him for, like, forever, it would be the end of everything for me.

I know him well enough. He’s the kind who put distance between himself and the girls—real girls, so it does not include me. He practically treats them like noble creatures from another dimension that should be treated with respect, yet think on an entirely different wavelength. In other words, girls are alien to him. And if he found out that I ever considered giving him homemade chocolate on Valentine’s Day and invited him to the school dance, I’d totally creep him out.

Kate from biology confessed to him once. Now he always makes sure that girl never get even just a glimpse of him.
It was sweet of him, actually. I heard him tell his friend that he wanted to make it easier for her to forget him. But if I were on Kate’s shoes, I wouldn’t stand not seeing him at all.

The truth is, even now, we’re not even that close. I’m chief editor in school magazine; he used to be a top contributor for the fiction page. He used a pseudonym, of course, but I figured it out and managed to get him to join us as one of the editors. We share many things in common; comic books, action movies, and stuff, and it often leads us to hour-long conversations. But that’s where everything ends.

And I remember him being one of the magazine crew who made the joke that the chief editor is actually a guy.
No, he wasn’t being mean. It was all my own doing. I never get along much with the girls, found no purpose in dressing up to school, having sleepovers, and making list of potential boyfriends while doing each other’s nails. The guys—especially those on the magazine team—are much easier to hang out with.

“Hey, Sam.”

“Whoa!”

Shoot. Nate suddenly shows up, right when I’m thinking about him.

“W-what’s up?” I couldn’t help stuttering.

I was spacing out. He suddenly called. I was startled. It’s completely normal. He wouldn’t suspect me having a crush on him or anything.

Yeah, right. He wouldn’t suspect a thing even if I flirt with him or bat my eyelashes on him. He thinks of me as no more than another guy friend. And if I really did all that, he’d just make another joke out of it.

“They said you’re not going to the dance.”

“Huh?!”

I almost hyperventilate. Did he just say dance? I mean, the school’s Valentine Dance?

“Yeah. The Valentine Dance. You’re not going? For the event page.”

Oh. Right. The magazine, of course. We need to write a report on the dance for the next issue. What did I expect? Him asking me out? It’s not happening. Even if the world ends today, it’s not going to happen.

“Nope. The guys with dates will go,” I replied.

“Totally saw that coming,” he grinned. I melted.

Stop it, Sam. He’s not gonna ask you why you haven’t got a date for the dance. He’s definitely not gonna ask you to go with him.

“I’m not going too. Gotta go watch Die Hard.”

Die Hard? Right. The newest sequel is released on the Valentine’s Day, “I thought everyone’s going this weekend.”

“Why wait? I’ve got nothing else to do anyway,” he said casually, “You coming?”

“I—wait. What?”

Am I imagining this or did he just ask me out? I mean, to the movie?

“I was asking if you want to join me. Thought you’d want to watch it too.”

“Yeah! I mean, okay. Sure.”

It took everything I’ve got to keep myself from jumping around like crazy.

It’s not a date, dammit!

***


We didn’t talk at all throughout the movie. Nate was so absorbed into the silver screen while I was so absorbed in him, spending the first quarter questioning if it was really not a dream. The next moment was wasted on telling myself to get real and stop wishing he’d thought of me as a potential girlfriend. The rest, I stopped thinking at all and just be with him.

Nate is a total hunk if you are into hipster, I guess. He is not the sociable kind, he isn’t into sports either. Perhaps nobody notices how enticing his cockish grin could be other than me and poor Kate. Moreover, he’s got personality. He doesn’t talk much, but you could read his thought from his writings. What he knows about the world, how he sees everything happening around him, all his views are written there. Before he even says a single word, I have seen an amazing, no-nonsense person with real knowledge and a real heart.

Now that I think about it, I have known it all even before I met him in person, thinking about him and only him since then. And when I do, the real Nate appears as more than I had hoped for.

We stopped by Dairy Queen for some ice cream. I had a hard time maintaining conversation without looking like a klutz. Being so close with Nate like this, the first time being alone with the man who have always haunted my dreams… I feel like such an airhead. I had always been proud of being a brainiac, but now I can’t even decide between spooning my ice cream quickly so I wouldn’t have the chance to blurt out some stupid response or eating as slow as possible to avoid the awkward moment when he hadn’t finished while I had cleared everything out.

I just can’t focus on anything other than his presence. I can’t even think properly! How am I supposed to keep up with him like this? He’ll find me turned into a dull, empty-headed idiot and leave me for sure.

“Sam? You okay?”

“Huh? Me? I’m fine.”

See?

“The 2007 movie was better.”

“Yeah.”

“You wanted to go to the dance.”

What?

“No! There’s no way I would—you know I’m not into that kind of thing.”

“Who knows,” he shrugged, “People change. Or you’ve always wanted to, but you don’t want to be made fun of—”

“No! That’s not it…”

Now my fear has really come true. He knows it. No, he doesn’t know I love him. He doesn’t know what I wish he knew. But he knows that I’m turning into one of those airheads who fuss over what to wear every morning and get depressed on how to ask their crush out to a freaking school valentine dance. And he didn’t even pretend everything was okay with me, one of the many things that only make this stupid crush get worse.

It’s over. Now he won’t talk to me anymore. It’s really over this time around.

Before I knew it, my eyes felt wet. What’s wrong with me, going all dramatic like this, just because I get to have him for myself for two hours when he really doesn’t see me that way?

I dropped my spoon intentionally so I could stoop down and pick it up, concealing my teary eyes.

“—or you finally have someone you want to go with.”

I froze.

“I might be wrong, of course—“

“No. You’re right. It’s you.”

There’s no use in hiding it anymore. I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t pretend to be normal around him forever and he knows I can’t be the same Sam he could hang out with at ease. It’s really over for me, for us. I might as well tell him everything.

…Right?

“Me?”

“I-I wanted to ask you to the dance, but I thought you wouldn’t be interested,” I said it all in one breath, choking every single thing I’ve been holding up all this time, “And I’m scared you’d go away. I’m scared you wouldn’t talk to me anymore if you knew I liked you that way. I—“

The lump in my throat had grown so large that I had to stop talking.

It’s over—

“Actually I wanted to ask you to the dance too.”

—What?

“I wanted to ask you to the dance, but I thought you’re not that kind of girl and you’d like the movie better. And I bet you’d stay away from me if you knew… You know.”

Am I still dreaming or what?

“Hey… Sam.”

“I—uh… Do you—“

“Do I like you? Yes,” it’s just like him, giving the answer to everything when I can’t even finish a single sentence.

“Is this a date? Yes… At least, I hope so.”

I’m still too surprised and overjoyed to respond.

“What about you?”

“Yes… and yes.”

Until the end, Nate still lives up to my expectation of the perfect guy of my dreams. He was right about me liking the movie better than the Valentine dance. And I’m not trading this moment for any kind of dance, ever.

Now he knows. And he also knows that I know.
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#80 asteRiesling

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:41 AM

by the way, my favorite so far is 'All the Ways to Love' =w=
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#81 Adrinit

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

Dark monday

by Adrinit




I stayed in my baywindow looking to down whileI let escape a sigh. I shaked my head while I looked to the other side of thestreet. If it was possible I stayed at home. I stand up, and caught my bagmaking my way to the first floor. When I put my feet in the ground my mothercalled out me: "Ane, you ´ll be late. Get a move!"



I nod and let the door knock behind me. At thesame time I looked to my sides he closed the door in front my house. He waswith his messy black hair moving with the wind. I sighed again.



"Let´s go, Ane!" Talked to myselfstarting my walk.



The time passed by me, and when I noticed I´mpassing the gate, almost running, when I saw he laughing making his head movingback and forth. He was incredible and makes everybody wants to stay closer him.He is incredible and makes everybody wants to stay closer him. Unhappily, yoursfriends and mine have a different world. They´re populars, and mine are justcommons.



"Ane!" I heard my best friend callingme and I fake a smile.



"Hey, Mia. What´s up?"



"Fine, and..." I interrupted her.



"Fine."



I open my locker and a beautiful teddybear fallin my arms.



"Oh my God!" I whispered. "It´samazing!"



"Realy is." She nodded to me.



I just look to my right and saw him backed inhis locker. I prayed to be his gift, I shaked my head. Well, always couldhappen if only he knew, but he doesn´t. Even feeling bad, I read the mensageand I smile appeared in my face.



"Happy Valentine´s day, Ane.

Jay."



I smiledand took my things going to class knowing that this day will not be just a darkmonday.



The End



I hope to still be on time.


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#82 admin_ann

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

Happy Valentine's Day! The voting is on here.
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#83 chapuung

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

When East Meets West, Can You Expect For A Better Life?

In two days, my world will end. Why? Because we’re going to Bali! I mean my papa, my soon-to-be stepmother, and me. Why did I say—basically write—that the world will end? Nobody said that it’s no fun to be in Bali again. The island is just amazing with its summer breeze along the year. But I’m going to meet my Marcus with. There you go. I mentioned him. He’s 3 years older than me. He’s a Dutch and he’s so white. Just like his name.

We met about 2 years ago in Bali when I had a New Year trip to Bali. Well, we’ve been skyping for such a long time that it felt like forever. Well, he asked me to have a committed relationship together. Come on! Who could resist when two crystal blue eyes stared at you and asked to be in a relationship? As I mentioned, the committed one! Boys usually hate having commitments, don’t they?

Never mind. I’m not in the mood to talk about him right now. All I want to think is about the trip! My papa, who is SUPER protective since my mother’s death, knows nothing about Marcus. All he knows was that I made friends with a Balinese girl around my age named Widi. Gosh. What am I going to do?! If I told my papa that I’m in love with Marcus, papa would just chop Marcus’ head off of his body! Well, sooner or later, I will have to tell my papa. Anyway, I’m dying now. Bye. See you in Bali!



So, it’s official. I got busted! No. I got skunked. I guess those sentences explain my condition now. When I was at the airport this afternoon, I found Marcus grinning at me in his red face and waving wildly before he came and hugged me tightly. There was this uncomfortable shock in silence with my papa and Clara. Wait. Have I mentioned my papa’s girlfriend yet? Well, Clara is.

Papa was just staring at me in a shock while Clara held his hands, trying to comfort him. I didn’t know how my face looked like at that time. When Marcus hugged me, my face was turned to my papa’s, looking straight in his eyes and making sure I was in good hands. And, I told to myself that there’s going to be a lot to explain.
“Cinta, what’s wrong? It is okay if I hug you, isn’t it?” asked Marcus, still hugging me. I was so afraid before. Just because he called me ‘Cinta’ once, it would make my whole day. Cinta means love in Indonesian. Yes, it took weeks for Marcus to say that correctly.

Earth to Anna! Marcus was waiting for an answer! “Oh. Actually…,” I was lost. No words came from my mouth. I was just signing that there was my papa behind and yes, Marcus knew that papa stared at him like he wanted to shoot a bullet through Marcus’ chest.

“Gosh. I’m so sorry, Anna. I don’t mean to make your father upset. I thought he knew about us,” said Marcus after he finally released his hug.

“No, Schat. Seriously, it’s fine. Sooner or later I have to drop the bomb, right?”

What could be a better answer? Man. I was screwed. If I could have a chance to turn back the time, I would have chosen to go to Bali alone. Whatever, life goes on. Wish me luck! Papa’s calling to have a dinner. By the way, he invited Marcus to TALK during dinner.



“Okay. Let’s say that I’ve ever been in your country and since it’s in West, I know how teenagers around your age act. It all starts with kisses and ends up pregnant. Because it is in MY country which is in East, I know I have to make some rules if you want to date my daughter. I know I’m a little too strict about her since (put an awkward pause here) her mother’s death. But as I say, it’s for her best. For now, I am going to let myself trust you to take care of my daughter. The most important thing is no sex before marriage. You are only allowed to hug and (put a more awkward pause and a blush on my face here) kiss. NOT more than that. You got it?”

There you go! That’s what my father said to Marcus. I was just staring at them unbelievably. And I’m sure that my jaw was dropping! Marcus was just staring at my papa. He was so afraid that my papa would separate us. Marcus was still staring at my papa after a few seconds till my papa said, “Will you stop staring at me, kid? You’re not gay, are you?”
Marcus was finally back into our world and started thanking my papa like crazy. Then he started looking at me with those crystal blue eyes and put his hands cupping my face. He kissed all over my face IN FRONT OF MY PAPA! Papa was about to shout at him but he finally tried to control his anger since he knew that I’m 17 now. Papa finally left after Marcus said to me, “You know what, Cinta? I love you more than you will ever know!”



Okay. Guess where I am right now. I’m in Netherlands! Can you believe it? I’m in Netherlands! It’s been 2 years since the Bali incident and now I’m here to attend his graduation. Oh my! My Marcus is going to be a Doctor with! I’ve been saving for months and here I am with a little help of papa. Uh. Oh. Papa poked me just now. He said that Marcus is almost done. Yes! He’s the speaker and he graduated with the highest score. I feel bad that I write this during his speech. Whatever.

Wait. What did I just hear? Oh it’s Marcus’ voice. What did he say?

“…but not least, for a special someone. Words can’t describe my love for you, Cinta! And by the way, Mr. Subrata, I’m gonna marry your daughter!”

Can I expect for a better life? No way.




There you go!
Sorry for any grammatical errors. English is not my first language.
Reviews are needed though. Thanks!

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#84 Helena.Alexandra

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

Hey! When are the results coming out??
Dying to know here.
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#85 lefthandedmiddlechild

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

Around Valentine’s Day, it's easy to forget that the heart is actually shaped like a fist. However, when you boyfriend dumps you on February 10th it is very easy to remember the heart is very much shaped like a fist. A fist that punched you in the stomach knocking the air out of you for a brief second. But it was more than a brief second it felt like a minute at least before I could suck in a deep breath of air and comprehend exactly what Alex was saying. My head was swimming in his words as the swirled around me. The phase that stuck out the most was “I’m not ready for a relationship.” And “I have to get to practice”. With that, ending sentiment Alex slung his duffle bag over his shoulder and head down the hallway. I sucked in my breath and opened my locker. I grabbed my coat and my messenger bag and randomly shoved books and notebooks into it before slamming my locker door. The metal clang echoed through the almost empty hall causing those left in the hall to stop and stare at me. Normally being the center of attention would embarrassment me, but at this moment I didn't really care.
I shrugged into my coat and zipped it up, the cold air was turning my tears to little icicle drops on my eye lashes. I walked home in the frigid February air, thinking about the last six months. Alex and I started hanging out as friends over the summer. It was hard not to bond while working at Sun and Fun, the local water amusement park that had just been built. We sat in the life guard stands with binoculars looking for those in danger of drowning, but more often than not, people watching. I shucked out of my jeans and took a hot shower. Partly to wash the away the ickiness of the school day, but mainly so my mom couldn’t hear me cry. I wrapped up my hair in a towel, turban style and headed downstairs. Andi my mother yelled just as I rounded the corner to the kitchen. Mom took appraisal of me and said “What happened?” Um nothing I muttered. Mom raised an eye brow in a I-don’t-believe-a-word-you-are-saying-don’t-lie-to-me-young-lady way. “Alex and I broke up”, I told her, my voice cracking and raising to a shrill falsetto. Mom put down the spoon she was stirring spaghetti sauce with and wrapped her arms around me. I’m sorry she said as she kissed my head and scratched my back in soothing circles. “What do you want to do”, she asked? I dunno I mumbled into her shoulder. “Take my dress back?” “Is that really what you want to do?” She pulled back and looked at me. Yes. I said a new determination taking over the sadness I felt. Before I knew it I was dressed and strapped into the front seat of mom’s Buick. I watched the wind shield wipers flip away mammoth snow flakes as Mom carefully navigated the car through the parking lot at Oak Tree Mall. We zipped up our coats and dashed inside to Dillard’s, my burgundy evening dress in its original bag, along with the strappy gold shoes I had gotten to go with it. After the sales lady checked it for defects and into ensure the tags where still attached, she begrudgingly handed me $312.52. I turned to give it to mom, but she waved it away. “You keep it.” She said firmly with a smile. I looked at her, knowing that this was not just pocket change for her. “I need to check on a new suit for work,” she said “meet at the food court in say thirty minutes?” “Okay,” I wandered past the kiosk with the lotions, candles and stupid stuffed animals. I made my way into the book store. I purchased an Earl Grey tea from the café and meandered through the stacks of books, intent on finding the perfect one to loose myself in on Valentine’s Day. I recalled how much Alex hated going into book stores with me, instead choosing to hang out at Lids looking for a new hat to wear slightly off center. “He really is an idiot. I thought before wondering what stage of the grief cycle I was in. No wonder we broke up. We have nothing in common.

I picked up a book off of the New Arrival table and thumbed through it. Ah vampires, completely over done. But this one looked way better then the Oh-I-love-you-but-can’t-bear-to-be-with-you-without-sucking-out-your-blood-and-making-your-depressed-and-anemic-kind-of-way. After flipping to the middle and reading part of the third chapter, I picked it up and headed to check out. “Hey Andi,” I looked up. “Hey Brain, I mean Bryan,” I said with an embarrassed smile. He smiled good naturedly, that being called Brain didn't bother him, and really it shouldn't because he is the Captain of the Science Olympiad team. “Vampires eh?” Bryan said as he scanned the book and then my preferred customer card. “Yeah, I needed a new book that didn't make me vomit,” I said trying to be humorous. Are you going to the dance Friday he asked as he handed me my bag and receipt. “Um, no.” I said trying to be light hearted about it, and by light hearted I mean trying really hard not to cry. “You,” I asked changing the subject. “Nah. Not my thing.” He replied. My phone chimed in my pocket. “I have to go”, I said knowing the text was a “Where are you?” from Mom. “Okay. See you later”, Brain said as I turned. “Thanks,” I said looking over my shoulder with a half smile and a wave. I managed to make it through the rest of the week and did a fantastic job of pretending I didn't care about Alex, or the dance, or the other couples strolling hand and hand through the halls at school. Saturday night, Valentine’s Day, I was all curled up with my book, and several DVDs just in case.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with us” Mom said her keys and purse in hand, um no I’m good I said. Because the only thing worse than being alone on Valentine’s Day is being a third wheel, with your mother, and her date, even if it was more of a friendly kind of date with a friend of a client from her job.

TO BE CONTINUED!
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#86 bookworm1295

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

Love
By Jordan Meyerl

I hate Valentine's Day. I hate the idea that love is supposed to be in the air. I hate that i have to bat the simpletons at my school away with a stick, because they think that just because I am single, automatically means I want a date to spend Valentine's Day with. I hate having to watch the sickeningly happy couples walk around my school, acting like they will be together forever, when in reality they probably won't last past next week. In reality, it's not just the holiday I hate. I hate love.

I didn't always hate love. I used to be naive and innocent, believing that, in the words of Snow White, one day my prince would come. Well, he came alright. He came, he loved me, and now he's gone. I should have known better than to fall in love with an upperclassman, especially one who was planning to go to school across the country. It only lead to heartbreak.

As I looked around, I saw the Shelby and Alex, the golden couple. She was the head cheerleader and he was he quarterback. Talk about fitting the mold created for you. I watched them together, the sweet smile on her face and how truly blissful they looked. To a casual observer, it would seem that they were in it for the long haul. However, upon close examination, I noticed the distance they kept between themselves, how his eyes drifted to watch the passing girls when he thought she wasn't looking, and how she noticed but decided to say nothing. It was obvious they were together for the sake of being together. They would rather be what everyone wanted of them than to separate and be free.

I was broken from my thoughts by my best friend, Andy. "Hey Shae," he said, putting his tray in the table and putting his bag on he bench before sitting down. "How's your day been?"

I raised my eyebrow, looking at him in disbelief. If there was anyone who knew of my hatred of Valentine's Day, it was Andy. We had been friends since we were little kids. Our friendship had a very rocky start, when I punched him in the stomach, declaring I would rather be in time out than hang out with a boy. I did get that timeout, and I also got to spend more time with Andy. Despite my insistence that I did not want to play with him, and the animosity he held towards me since I punched him, we morphed into friends who managed to withstand time, pettiness, and the stupidity found in high school.

"I don't know how much longer I can watch people make kissy faces at each other and whisper words of love that they swear they mean, only to go back on them a week later," I said bitterly, feeling my anger grow the more I looked around at the couples. I look to my left and see Ron approach, a jock who just couldn't take a hint. "Also, I am sick of people who think that just because I am single means I want a date," I said, loud enough to ensure that Ron hears. I watch as his face crumbles and his entire disposition deflates before he walks away, defeated. If it was any other day, I may have cared and apologized, but it was Valentine's Day, and all bets were off.

"Don't you think that was a bit harsh, Shae?" Andy asked, looking at me inquiring look in his eyes.

"Don't start on the interrogation, Andy. I'm fine," I replied forcefully, not wanting Andy to think he could mess with me. Just because he wanted to be a psychologist, he assumed he could "fix me." Too bad there was nothing to be fixed. I was broken, and no amount of mind shrinking will change that.

"You're not fine, but I'll let it go today. Only for today, though," he said, letting me know he will pick up with it again tomorrow. We ate the rest of lunch in relative silence, only talking to comment on how hard a test was and how we couldn't wait for the weekend.

The bell rang, signaling the end of lunch, and Andy grabbed his tray and began to get up. Before he walked away, he looked at me with his piercing gray eyes and said, "You're not broken, Shae. You're just fragmented, waiting for someone to come and out the pieces back together." With that parting sentiment, he turned around and threw his trash away before heading to class.

I sat there contemplating what Andy had said. It was something I could not comprehend. I had been broken for so long, so bitter and dejected ever since he left me. Up to this point, there was no one else, he had been the one and now he was gone. Perhaps, just maybe, there was some stock in what Andy had said. Maybe I wasn't broken. Maybe there was someone out there for me, someone would would treat me right and make me whole again. Someone who would love me more than he ever had. Someone who would always be there for me to come to, no matter how busy they were. Someone who I would hate to be separated from, because it caused my heart to ache. Someone I would one day marry. Someone who I could, possibly, someday, have the happily ever after I always wanted. I sat there thinking about how I didn't want to be this person, this hateful and pessimistic person. I wanted to get back my innocence, my naïveté, my optimism. I wanted the chance to be happy again. So maybe Andy was right. Maybe I'm not broken, maybe I just need to find the right person to put all of the pieces back together. I realized it would not happen over night, it would take years for me to get to palace where I could find a person and trust them enough to get where I wanted to be. But by grasping all of this, I was taking the first step towards one day realizing what every human being wants: love.
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#87 TiffanyJo

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

Heartbroken if I Do, Heartbroken if I Don’t


I wish he knew. But he doesn’t. And, honestly, I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to tell him. I mean, how cliché can my life get? I’m practically in love with my best friend, and he’s completely blind to that fact.
To make matters worse, I just want to distance myself from him, but we have every class together. I see him every minute of our eight hour school day. I can’t escape. In a few months, we’ll graduate and start our lives at separate colleges. That will surely make everything easier. I won’t be forced to look at him flirting with Shawna in the halls every day. Most importantly, I won’t have to help him with every assignment for every class while I fight the urge to cry because somehow that’s all I’ve become to him—a personal tutor. And until then, I’ll keep biting my tongue and save myself the humiliation of his likely rejection.
Somewhere along the way—probably tenth grade—I realized my feelings for him transcended friendship. He’s the only guy I trust 100 percent, the only person I can never stay mad at, and the only person who believes in me as much as I believe in him. Honestly, he’s the only guy I’ve ever been interested in. He’s had his eye on plenty of girls, none of whom have lasted very long. He always finds some reason or other to end it. Thankfully, the recent object of his fascination, Shawna, doesn’t share any of our classes, so I only have to see her on passing in the halls.
As I sat at the computer station in the school’s library, I reminded myself how grateful I was for that fact. It wasn’t just that Lucas showed interest in her that bothered me. Something about the way she treated people got under my skin. Who wanted the Shawna Seal of Approval anyway? Certainly not me! Even if I did, she’d definitely never allow me the “honor.” Her excuse would be I wasn’t social enough or pretty enough, but I’d know the real reason would be her jealousy at my close friendship with Lucas. For some reason, I know she thinks I’m competition. Someone should really tell her she’s got nothing to worry about. Truth be told though, I like that she thinks I could pose a threat to their flirtations.
“Hey, Nat! Early, as always. You’re such an over-achiever, always making everyone else look bad,” Lucas greeted me as he took a seat at the computer to my left, breaking me away from the silent mini-rant going on in my restless mind.
“Actually, I was here right on schedule. You are ten minutes late,” I replied with a smile. I hate when people call me by any shortened version of Natalie, but I never mind Lucas calling me Nat. “The earlier we start, the earlier we finish. We’ve got a lot to set up before the play tonight,” I said as I pulled my books from my backpack.
“Romeo and Juliet on Valentine’s Day? Anyone who has read that play knows it’s a tragedy. I don’t get it,” Lucas said.
“If you ask me, all love is tragic,” I stated matter-of-factly.
“You, Natalie Elaine Jones, dreamer of dreams and believer in possibilities, think love is tragic?” Lucas said as he imitated shock.
“Of course it is. Life isn’t like a Jane Austen novel. As nice as that would be, Mr. Darcy’s don’t really exist,” I paused a moment, contemplating how to change the subject. “In other news, if you hope to pass English, we better get started. This paper on Ethan Frome isn’t going to write itself.”
“Well, with your help, I will definitely pass,” Lucas said and then popped a handful of potato chips in his mouth nonchalantly. “I think we can pull off a B,” he mumbled through his mouthful.
I was about to reply as Daniel walked into the library and Lucas motioned him over.
“I’m going to get my paper from the printer. You talk to him then we’ll get started on yours,” I told him as I rose from my chair and began walking to the printer. I smiled at Daniel as I passed him, and he nodded in acknowledgment.
The printer was at the opposite end of the library, and I was halfway there when I heard Daniel say it. “Every time I see you, you’re always with Natalie. You can’t deny that she has a thing for you. I’m starting to think it’s not just her, though.”
I slowed my pace so I could hear Lucas’ reply. “No, man. You know we’ve been friends since elementary.” I think he said more, but I was trying to block every word out of my mind, instantly regretting my eavesdropping. I don’t know if I was more shocked that my emotions are apparently obvious or upset that Lucas just confirmed he only sees me as a friend. Regardless, I shoved my emotions to the back of my mind and continued the day as if on autopilot, my sole focus being to make it through this study period and the play tonight without having a breakdown.
“Natalie, you do know it’s time to leave school, right?” Lucas said as I sat frozen and lost in thought after the last bell rang. “I know you love learning and all, but be happy we get to leave this prison.” He gave my arm a shake and I snapped out of my reverie.
“Oh, right. I’ve got to go. I’ll see you tonight at the play,” I said as I quickly gathered my things and almost from him.
The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur. Following the closing curtain of Romeo and Juliet, the cast and crew shared a cake to celebrate the success. I couldn’t stand being around Lucas any longer and casually made my exit, congratulating everyone as I left.
When I reached my car, I heard Lucas call my name. I turned around as he closed the distance between us. Exasperated, I said, “What do you want now, Lucas?”
“I came to check on you. You haven’t been acting like yourself since this afternoon. You worked so hard on this play, and you’re just leaving. Are you okay?”
Tears began to form in my eyes and I struggled to fight them back. “I’m fine. Don’t waste your time worrying about me,” I said as the tears began to fall.
I tried to open my car door to escape this situation, to go anywhere other than here, but Lucas blocked my way, slamming my door and pushing me against the car. “You obviously aren’t fine.”
I let out a sigh and decided I’d just tell him. “Lucas, I can’t be around you. I can’t look at you every minute of every day and keep hiding the fact that I have feelings for you. Feelings that threaten to rip me apart every day because I know you don’t…”
Lucas had placed his hand over my mouth. He spoke slowly and deliberately as he said, “Calm down. Take a breath. Natalie, I’ve never acted on my feelings for you because I know I could never deserve a person like you. You are the most intelligent, beautiful, kind person I’ve ever known.”
He slowly removed his hand from my mouth and replaced it with his lips. And I couldn’t keep myself from kissing him back.
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#88 brav0_zulu

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

Favorite = Singled Out by brav0_zulu

Hey thanks! :)
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#89 sophiasticated6

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:35 PM

If only he knew. But he doesn’t. He probably never will, if I’m being honest with myself. I mean, my chance came and went. I know it’s silly to even still be thinking of him after all of this time and I doubt he ever thinks of me. I mean, I’m in college now. I should be moving on. I always imagined that college would be a place where suddenly guys would be interested in me. At 6’3’’, freakishly tall for a girl (no, I do not play basketball—or volleyball), I’d always been told that boys were intimidated by me. That’s pretty stupid, if you ask me. In all reality, height doesn’t even matter. Why does our society think that the man has to be taller than the woman? I’ve always resented my height, but I somehow thought that in college it wouldn’t matter as much. Yet, it still does. The truth is, most of the college boys I know are just high school boys a couple of months later. The college boys I know, by the way, are barely any. Which makes it that much easier for my thoughts to wander back to him.

Chris. I had the hugest crush on him for the entire second half of senior year, basically since I first became friends with him, but I never said anything. I thought he might like my friend and I thought that since I was taller than him, he wouldn’t want to date me. I was pretty sure that after I graduated that I could move on, but ever since winter break, when I saw him again, I keep on thinking about him. Just seeing him again brought all of these feelings back. The way we understand each other, the way our senses of humor match. The way hugging him feels.

Now that it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I can’t help but think about where I was this time last year. I had contemplated telling Chris my true feelings. But of course, as always, I wimped out in the end. I just wish that I didn’t have so many regrets about my high school years.

My plans this Valentine’s Day include eating lunch with my sister and her two cats, Padme and Leia. My sister, at age 22, is still single too, so maybe it runs in the family. Maybe I should just go ahead and declare my major: cat lady. It would be so much easier to move on if there were some sort of guy who was interested in me. But there isn’t. And there’s not even anyone who I particularly want to be interested in me, which is pretty weird for boy-crazy me. There aren’t many times in my life that I remember not having a crush on anyone. I just worry that I spend too much time living in the past, trying to relive the past. Either that or creating impossibly perfect scenarios of the future. Going home for spring break and seeing Chris at his senior spring band concert. Maybe telling him my feelings. Maybe kissing him. Coming back for summer break in a couple months. Having months of beautiful summer weather to be spent with him, with Chris. But these stupid fantasies just set me up for disappointment. Maybe it’s best to be a pessimist, because you can never be disappointed. Everything always ends up better than what you imagine if you’re a pessimist.

Suddenly, I am lurched out of my internal rant by my roommate entering the room and squealing, “Oh my God, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day! Aren’t you so excited?”

There is nothing that my roommate is unenthusiastic about. She seems to be in a perpetually good mood, which I envy.

“Uh, yeah, I guess,” I reply, pausing my music so I can better hear her talk.

“Oh come on, Sophia. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean nothing exciting will happen!”

Easy for her to say. She has a hot date planned with Clark, a boy from the floor above us. He had been in a long distance relationship with his girlfriend from home when he broke up with her because of his blossoming feelings for my roommate, Danielle.

I smile half-heartedly.

“Yeah, you’re right,” I mumble, far from convinced. “You have fun with Clark though! I’m so happy for you!”

“Thanks,” she giggles, blushing at the mere mention of his name.

With that, I turn back to my music and seemingly endless chemistry homework.

Suddenly, my phone vibrates. Secretly hoping to see a random text from Chris, I unlock it only to find a message from my best friend from home, Abby. She’s trying to comfort me about being single on Valentine’s Day, but it’s not really working. She’s basically just saying the things that everyone says to single people. That they need to love themselves before another person can love them, that they don’t need another person to complete them, blah blah blah. I’ve heard it all a million times. I’m tired of hearing these things over and over again from the same people in happy relationships. Annoyed, I toss my phone on my bedside table and get ready for bed. After tossing and turning for many sleepless hours, I finally drift off.

I’m woken up mid dream by my alarm. Groaning I quickly press snooze and roll back over, trying to return to my beautiful dream. What had been happening again? Something about Chris, and flowers and chocolates. Oh right, today was Valentine’s Day. With that and the second ringing of my alarm, I give up sleep and the retrieval of my dream. I sit up in bed and check the notifications on my phone. I scroll through the emails and texts from Abby when suddenly I see something that wakes me out of my sleepy stupor. I don’t believe it. A text from Chris?

“Hey. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sophia. Any hot dates planned for the day? ;)

It’s simple, but I don’t care. He texted me. I must be on his mind, at least somewhat, because he texted me. A slow smile lights up my face. Maybe life isn’t so bad.
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#90 teboz89

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Stupid Cupid
I hate Valentine’s Day. The very thought of it gives me hives and a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach; it’s so overhyped and artificial. The fact is it’s really a couple’s holiday, just like Christmas is really a holiday for families, Easter also is made for families those with kids if you’re single or alone it’s kind of lame and depressing to celebrate Valentine’s without a boyfriend or girlfriend to do stuff with or get a valentine’s card from cause let’s face it writing a valentine’s card to yourself is just so majorly pathetic, really the only holidays a single person can truly enjoyed are Halloween and New Year’s and April Fool’s , one is to get scared and eat candy, New Year’s is a time to party and celebrate the end of the year and bring in the new and the last to pull pranks and have laughs.

I’m just not a fan of an holiday that makes it seem like being single is a freakish thing or forcing someone to get together with someone they may not really like just so as not to be alone on Valentine’s day.

It also doesn’t help both my parents are Christopher and Phoebe Hart who own and run Love Connections a matchmaking company that promises to find your right match or your money back, and they did just that my parents had a 100% success rate and never yet had to give money back to their clients. Valentines is a pretty big deal as my parents get a lot of business around that time almost as much as Christmas. Maybe one of the reasons I was not a fan of Valentine’s Day was how much my parents worked on it and how they celebrated it was like Christmas, my mother would say “Valentine’s Day is a very special day, Chloe, love fills the air and matches are at their strongest. Those who find love on Valentine’s Day will be together forever” she would say this whenever I complained what a load of bull the holiday was, but it just left me feeling sick from how sappy it was.

I’m not anti-love I’m ok with being single, I think it was being the plain Jane in a family of perfect, beautiful people My mom was tall, lithe with eyes the colour of a bright ocean blue and her hair was a luxurious waves of strawberry blonde, my dad was the real life definition tall dark and handsome, his hair was coal black with some grey at his sideburns to give him a distinguished look and he had eyes that were a striking shade of Jade green. My little sister Sophie was a picture book angel child her hair the lightest blonde and tight curls and she had eyes that was a greenish blue. So I felt like a square peg in a round hole I just didn’t fit with the rest of the picture, my hair was a mousey shade of blonde, and was a lank and lifeless most of the time but got major frizzy when it was even the tiniest bit humid, my eyes were a murky blue-grey, I was tall like both my parents who were both graceful and confident but on me it was clumsy and awkward. Also add the fact I was chubby meant I was just not like my model perfect parents and little sister. I just felt that it be hard to get a boyfriend with my looks! If I wanted one that is, I resigned myself to a day watching couples mooned over each other, cards and gives being given out and the cafeteria offering a lame Valentine’s day menu. My mother as she dropped me off at school said “sweetie me and your dad need to talk to you this afternoon, I picked you up and take you right home, also be careful today” I was going to complained as me and my friends Riley and Josh were planning to go and have a small anti Valentine’s Day party a Riley’s house. But she drove off in a hurry. I trudged my way through up to the school not looking where I was going, and bumped head first into the hard body of another student, looking up and meeting the piercing brown eyes glaring at me “oh hey, sorry wasn’t looking” I said quickly wanting to get this over as fast as I could, “yeah well that is obvious look up once in a while and you might not be so clumsy now I got coffee on my shirt” he said exasperated while wiping at his t-shirt which was stained with a light brown stain, I kept a blush from coming up “look I said I was sorry, and I sorry about your t-shirt, bye dude” I then side stepped him, but he grabbed my arm when he grabbed my arm a strange thing happened. It was like a volt of lightening went through me; the look on his face said the same thing happened to him, but he shook his head and said “where do you think you’re going, you owe me a new t-shirt”, I was stunned by this. “Dude, it was an accident let it go, look here is $10 to make up help get you a new t-shirt” I hated to give him money but I wanted to be gone as he was making my heart beat real fast, before he could say anything else I ran off, I met up with Riley. “Hey there is new guy that’s moved here, his name is Damon Talbot, and already stirring up trouble at St Jude’s, he’s already got into one fight with the captain of the football team, real heartbreaker” she said, “yeah I think I met him” I say stunned thinking about the intense dude, who’s touch had left me rattle like I was crushing majorly on him. I hate Valentine’s Day so much!

have a learning disability so may not be very good, also wanted to add more but this is a good start for a story.
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