Valentine’s day was the sweetest holiday, literally. Only really rivaled by Easter, but high school student don’t really celebrate that much anymore.
Valentine’s day called for chocolate, and lots of it. Which of course called for a trip to Harriette’s favorite store to stock up on all things chocolate.
So after school, a few days before the special day, Harriette stopped by the mall to get all of the chocolate she would need to give people. The sign in the window spoke excitedly about the special chocolates for this holiday; Rose truffles, Triple Chocolate hearts, and of course the favorite Red Velvet truffles. Harriette was greeted warmly by the cashier and asked if she needed any help.
“I’m good, thank you,” Harriette said, grabbing a few of the heart shaped boxes for the select your own variety box. She filled them up with the special flavors, and one up with all the one’s she knew Collin loved. Then she got some for herself, of course, and payed for it all. She felt very accomplished as she left the store with two bags full of chocolate for all her friends and family.
Her plan was to give everyone in her house some chocolates and give some out at school to whoever she felt like it at the time. The chocolate for Collin was a tradition of course, she wondered what Collin was gonna get her, if anything. But thinking about the fact that Collin could get her nothing because he had a real valentine that year made her feel sick so she pushed that out of her mind.
Collin felt terrible that he was leaving Harriete alone on Valentine’s day, that they couldn’t celebrate like they used to. Instead he had a “Big Date” with Amado and he was determined to do something nice for Harriette to apologise.
And after mulling it over for a while he thought of what seemed like a nice plan that Harriette would love. So one afternoon he told Amado he couldn’t hang out after school and went home to work on her gift.
One of his newest artistic endeavors was water color, he had been playing around with it for some time. He used to hate it, and couldn’t ever make anything nice out of it but he thinks he might be getting good.
So he pulled up a picture of Harriette on his computer and got to work painting a portrait of her with water colors. Harriette loved his art and he knew she loved it when he drew her so he had a good feeling she would love this gift.
Thankfully Harriette was out that day, shopping with her friends or something, so he had most of the evening to work on this painting for her. By the time she got home, her voice calling up the stairs to announce her presence, he was done and it was drying by the window.
He felt pretty good about it, and figured it was probably one of his best works to date.
Harriette woke up on Valentine’s day already tired of it, but the smell of strawberry pancakes pulled her out of bed and down the stairs to the kitchen where the smell was wafting from.
“Good morning,” her mom greeted her as she put two plates of the pancakes in front of the twins who were already reaching out greedily.
“Don’t eat too fast or you’ll get sick,” her mom said to the twins, patting them both on their heads. They wrinkled their noses at her and wolfed down the pancakes. Her mom just sighed and shook her head.
“Morning, mom,” Harriette said, taking a seat.
“You’re not even ready for the day yet, are you okay?” her mom asked, concern creasing her forehead.
For a second Harriette just stared at her mom, a little confused, before realising she was right. She had just came downstairs without getting ready, that was unlike her.
“Oh, I guess you’re right,” Harriette said, laughing a bit, “I’m fine, just tired. And I guess hungry.”
Her mom laughed, “why don’t you get yourself ready and come back down for pancakes?”
“Yeah, okay,” Harriette said, getting up from the table.
Up in her room the outfit she had picked out for this day hang from her closet, a cute lacey pink dress and a pair of polka dot tights with mary jane flats. It was cute and so sweet for Valentine’s day. The prospect of getting dress and ready brightened her mood a little bit, and by the time she had done her hair, applied her makeup, and gotten dressed into her cute outfit she was feeling a lot better about today. Who cared if the only valentine she ever had had a different valentine? At least she looked cute.
Upon arriving in the kitchen she saw she wasn’t the only one looking especially cute that day, Collin was looking pretty good too. He was sitting at the table, his hair done perfectly as always and wearing a light pink button up with light brown jeans. He looked pretty sweet too.
“Happy Valentine’s day,” Collin said as Harriette took the seat next to him.
“Right back at you,” Harriette said, nudging him a little.
“Are you busy after school?” Collin asked.
“The question is, are you?” Harriette asked, “of course I am.”
Collin laughed a little, “yeah, I am. I don’t know what amado has up his sleeve but he promised me an hour of free time after school, so I was wondering if you wanted to grabs some sweets from the bakery and exchange Valentines?”
Harriette couldn’t stop herself from grinning as she nodded yes, “of course.”
“Good,” Collin said.
Just then their mom set down their plates of pancakes, that were to die for especially with a little chocolate syrup and whipped cream, and few seconds later Tamarai came down and handed each of them a little wrapped truffle and a paper heart.
“Happy Valentine’s day!” She said before taking a seat and accepting some pancakes from their mom.
“Thanks,” Harriette said, “this is really cute.”
“Yeah,” Collin agreed.
“You’re welcome! And thanks, I guess,” Tamarai said brightly.
“Okay kids, eat up, we gotta go,” their mom said, “I’ll be back in five minutes.”
And with that they all finished eating their pancakes, got their bags and headed out to the car. Ready for school.
“Are you not excited for our ‘Big Date’ tonight?” Amado sang as Collin approached his locker where Amado had been waiting for him.
“Uhm, I’m supposed to say yes?” Collin asked.
Amado nodded before giving Collin a quick kiss.
“Well then, yes,” Collin said, “And a little scared.
Amado frowned and punched him playfully, “no need to be scared, I don’t bite.”
Collin just raised his eyebrows at him before shutting his locker and heading off to homeroom, with Amado by his side.
“It’s going to be really really romantic,” Amado said, “but I have to go, do not want to be late. I will see you then.”
“See ya,” Collin said as Amado turned and started down the hall in the opposite direction.
The rest of the day was uneventful, Collin found a ton of valentines from “secret admirers” in his lockers and on his desk in various classes. At lunch the more brave people went right up to him and gave him things like cute paper heart and chocolates.
“Wow, you got more than me,” Harriette said, eyeing the rapidly growing pile next to Collin.
Collin just shrugged.
Ella was looking spectacularly bitter that day at lunch, she didn’t say much and eyed everyone who came by their table to give Harriette or Collin valentines with such disdain. Collin wondered what was wrong, and after lunch while Harriette went off with Mariah on their way to math class Collin followed Ella out of the cafeteria.
“Hey, you okay?” he asked.
Ella stopped walking and eyed him, biting her lip.
”It’s Valentine's day, I’m single,” Ella said as if that explained everything.
Collin nodded, “sorry. But you know, it’s not all about having a date.”
Ella just laughed and continued walking.
“Hey, don’t let it bother you,” Collin said, walking beside her, “it’s not worth it.”
Ella stopped again and stared at Collin, “maybe, I guess. But it sucks. It’s worse that I haven’t gotten a single stupid valentine from anyone. Well other than my mom who got me an ridiculously expensive perfume and a store bought card.”
Collin frowned, “that sucks.”
Ella smiled a bit, “exactly.”
Just then the last bell rang and Collin winced, realising he’d be late to his next class.
“I gotta go,” Collin said, “and you do to, so I’ll see you later.”
“Alright, see ya,” Ella said.
Collin liked to think she looked a little bit more upbeat as she walked away, just a little.
Finally school was over, Harriette had been counting down the seconds all day. Lunch was miserable, with Ella acting extra bitter and Mariah overcompensating for ella’s bitterness with her sugary sweetness. All of Collin’s valentines....
But school was over and that was the past and now she had a “date” with Collin and she was overjoyed that Collin still wanted to do something with her. And that he got her a valentines gift.
Things weren’t so bad.
They walked together to the bakery/deli/cafe as Collin told her about his day.
“And I swear Amado was stalking me, he kept appearing everywhere,” Collin laughed, “just to remind me to be excited for tonight.”
“I would be scared if I had to be reminded to be excited for a date,” Harriette teased.
“Oh, trust me, I am,” Collin joked.
Harriette laughed loving the warm feeling of just being with Collin.
Once at the cafe they got their sweets, cream puffs for both of them and a milkshake for Harriette and a iced coffee for Collin, and took a seat.
“Mmmm,” Harriette said after taking a sip of her delicious milkshake. The milkshakes there were to die for, and the the special red velvet flavor for Valentine’s day was her favorite.
After talking a bit and eating the delectable cream puffs Harriette noticed it was almost already time for Collin’s date.
“Oh, I guess I better give you my gift,” she said, getting the box of chocolates and the paper heart she made for him from her bag.
“I hope you like them,” she said as she passed the gifts to Collin.
Collin read the note on the heart and peeked inside the box, smiling, “I love it. I can’t wait to devour all of these.”
“Don’t eat it too fast, or you’ll get sick,” Harriette mimicked her mom.
“I’ll try,” Collin said, “but I don’t know if I can help it.”
“Okay, my turn,” Collin said. He reached into his bag and handed Harriette the gifts, a lollipop bouquet from her favorite candy store, a tradition, and a beautiful watercolor portrait of her in a pretty blue frame.
“Wow, it’s beautiful,” Harriette grinned, she really loved it when he drew her. It made her feel special.
“You like it?” Collin asked.
“More than like it, I love it,” Harriette said, grinning ear to ear.
“I’m so glad,” Collin said.
Harriette was too. So glad.
“Oh, I gotta go,” Collin said, frowning as he checked his phone, “but thanks for the valentines, I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, see ya,” Harriette said.
They both got up and after throwing away their trash and a hug they split up, Collin to Amado’s house where Amado had told him to meet him and Harriette back home where she was planning to spend the rest of her Valentine’s day skyping with Fedora, her equally lonely best friend.
And she didn’t feel a bit pathetic about it at all, just happy.