Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Soledad.Ah. Finally, that famed week had rolled around. The count-down to what has to be one of the most trying days on the high schoolers' calendar. No, not final exams, or the last day of school. Valentine's Day, that scourge of young hearts across the nation. For all of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I am hounded by friends' prodding questions.
'Are you sure she'll like it?'
'What's his sixth period, again?'
'Surely you don't think he'd have the nerve to send me something, after everything he's done?'
It's enough to drive one mad, and it is only made worse by my decision that I will not even take note of old Valentine's day this year. It's just best not to get your hopes up, I've learned, because guys don't care about freshmen girls; we're bottom of the barrel, and not worth the trouble. So whatever, this year I'd take my place with the bitter and disillusioned. Or so I thought.
Walking in Thursday morning, I was immediately assaulted by Maddy and Crysta, both sarcastically wishing me a happy Valentine's Day, closely followed by the expected conversation that can basically be summed up in one sentence: Valentine's Day is totally commercial, bogus, and not worth the trouble. Three old maids, eh?
And so we all got on with the business of attempting to completely ignore the appalling show of love spread throughout the halls while making it to our classes on time. And, as I went through the motions of learning, my mind was preoccupied by the knowledge that, come sixth period, the student council would come around with the Valen-grams students had, in some cases, actually decided to send. I was relatively certain Crysta, Maddy, Savannah, Morgan, and Paola would all be receiving at least one, but what of me? I tried to shrug off this line of thought.
At last, the bell rang and, like every other member of the unthinking herd that is high school kids on the way to that last class of the day, I was drawn with a sort of dread to the door of Mrs. Anderson's sixth period. Of course, the stu-co people couldn't be there on time to end this painful waiting, and it took maybe fifteen minutes for them to make their way to our room.
One by one, they read off the names, on down the list, some of them with only one, some four or even five. And then they were gone, to read out more names in some other class.
Trying to keep from just pouting through what was left of the school day, I laughed at the names and messages on my friends' prized pieces of paper. I brushed off Austin's remarks on my empty handedness, told him it was cool. And it was. Yeah, of course.
On the hour-long bus ride home I stared out the window, headphones in and cranked up as loud as I dared, seeing as how I live in fear of someday waking to realize I am deaf. I muttered to myself again and again this mantra, that it doesn't matter in the least. Let them have their lovey-dovey cards. Beside me I felt a space as we got to whoever was sitting in the seat's stop, and I had just gone back to my brooding when the space was filled again. This being a rather unusual occurrence, I tore my eyes from the accelerating scenery to investigate the strangeness.
It was Bo, a guy from my geometry class, mostly shy unless you started talking directly to him, when he opened up and turned out to be pretty funny. He was chatting with a friend across the way, totally ignoring me, but despite that fact I found it difficult to return to my train of thought. Finally, the bus pulled up to my stop and I stood. Bo slid off the seat, breaking off his conversation long enough to whisper, 'See ya tomorrow, Kenzie,' in my ear as I eased past him.
Smiling, I nodded and rushed down the steps, sure my face must be flushing crimson. What had prompted this sudden notice of me? Could it be...
As I let myself into the house, I figured maybe old Valentine had something after all.
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