A Writer's Journey

February 14, 2017

Be Mine Valentine

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Red and pink dominated the office, with hearts dangling from the ceiling and flowers on nearly every desk. It seemed Dolores went all out this year and Grace sighed as she set her bag down.

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” Dolores chirped, coming up behind her. The office manager was dressed all in red and had pinned white bows with red hearts in her brown curls. Her glasses were perched on her nose as her blue eyes took in Grace. “Any plans?”

Grace shook her head. “Quiet dinner at home, some wine and the least romantic movies I can find.”

“Come on. Where’s your Valentine’s spirit?”

“There’s no such thing,” Grace replied, sitting down. “There’s a Christmas spirit, but no Valentine’s spirit.”

Dolores huffed. “With that attitude, you’ll never have a Valentine.”

“Maybe I’m not looking.”

With the way Dolores reacted, one would’ve thought she had just confessed to murdering puppies. She clutched her chest and her blue eyes went wide as her mouth fell open. “Don’t you want love?”

“I do,” Grace said. “Just not for some stupid commercial holiday.”

“It’s not a stupid commercial holiday.”

She gave the older a woman a look. “Please. Spare me.”

“How is this a stupid commercial holiday and Christmas isn’t?” Dolores challenged.

Grace sighed. “Can we not do this? Can you just accept that some of us aren’t as gung-ho for this holiday as you and leave us be? Please?”

“Or what?”

“Or I’ll report you to management,” one of her colleagues, Dan, said. He peeked over the wall separating their cubicles, eyes focused on Dolores. “This has to be borderline harassment.”

Dolores pulled back, sniffling. “No one appreciates this holiday.”

Before either Grace or Dan could say something, she stalked away. Leaning back in relief, Grace looked up at her savior. “Thanks for that.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. “There are a few of us grumps but you seem to be the only woman who isn’t hiding her disdain for today. I think that’s why Dolores focused on you.”

She sighed. “Great.”

“Don’t worry. I think I scared her off.”

“Good. Maybe I can get some work done,” Grace said, finally logging into her computer.

He wished her luck before sliding out of sight, returning to his own work. She smiled, diving into her tasks for the day.


 

People began to knock off early in order to head to Valentine’s Day reservations. Grace was grateful that Dolores was one of them but she still decided to work a bit longer than usual, perhaps hoping that the only people who would see her leave to head home to her empty apartment were others who would also be returning to equally empty homes. She powered down her computer and stood, stretching with a low moan.

“I recognize that sound,” Dan said, appearing over the partition. “That’s the sound of someone who has been sitting in these uncomfortable chairs all day.”

She chuckled. “You stayed late too?”

“Yeah. It seemed less pathetic to get dinner for one now and then earlier when all the couples were out,” he admitted.

“Same,” she confessed, putting on her coat.

He stood there, watching her as he shifted from foot to foot. “I was wondering…want to grab dinner together? Then maybe we won’t seem so pathetic?”

“Well, when you put it that way…” she teased. “I accept.”

“And would you also like to eat with me?” he asked, voice pitching higher at the end.

Grace stared at him, letting her mind make all the necessary connections. “Are…Are you asking me out?”

“Yes,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. “To be honest, I’ve been trying to do it for a couple months now.”

“You have?” She frowned, trying to think back to all her interactions with Dan. Had she missed a clue? Been completely oblivious?

He cleared his throat. “I kept losing my nerve. Call me chicken.”

“How about I call you my date?” she suggested, smiling. “Where do you have in mind?”

Relief spread across his face and he grinned, holding out his arm. “I know the perfect place. And it won’t be packed with other couples, trust me.”

She smiled up at him. “I do. Lead the way, Valentine.”

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