Natalie made her way through the crowded school hallway, watching as girls held flowers and couples held hands all around her. People decided to wear pink, but she thought dressing in a theme for a holiday was stupid. She was wearing jeans and a tshirt, like every other day. And it wasn't like she had a reason to celebrate- yeah, it was Valentine's Day, but she wasn't exactly in the mood for romance. Any time she talked to Henry these days, the conversation consisted of him grilling her about her drug intake. As if that was any of his business. So instead of deal with it, she just ignored him.
She opened her locker, and started putting her books away. Natalie looked on the top shelf for her calculator, and with it found a note that was crinkled, like it had been pushed through the vents on the locker door. Frowning, she opened the red envelope.
Hey! Thinking of you today. Hope you have a good day. I love you! Henry. P.S. Call?
She shook her head. He totally would do something like that, she thought. After packing up her bag with her books for the first three periods, she went to class.
Class was boring, filled with people wishing each other a Happy Valentine's Day, or some girls whining about being single. She rolled her eyes- didn't they all know it was made up by Hallmark anyway?
Before fourth period, she returned to her locker to pick up her stuff for English and then lunch. Another envelope fell out, this time with a heart-shaped piece of paper inside.
Happy Valentine's Day! Will you do me the honor of being my Valentine? :) I'll see you in Spanish class!
She actually cracked a smile this time- no one else would actually ask someone to be their Valentine!
But this smile didn't change anything. Sixth period, she still sat across the room from Henry. She didn't even say hello.
After school, she walked over to her car. Under the windshield wiper was another note.
You can still be my Valentine for a few more hours if you want, Nat. Call me? Love you!
This made her uncomfortable. When was he going to give up? Why didn't he? Didn't he understand that she was too messed up to have a boyfriend?
Sighing, she just got into the car and drove home.
"Shit," she said as she pulled up to her house. "You have got to be kidding me."
On the doorstep was a box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers- pink carnations.
"Jesus," she said, but picked them up. The note on the flowers read: I don't have to be your boyfriend if you want. Being my Valentine is a lot less of a commitment, you know. Can you just give me this one day? Your time is running out!
She didn't know what to think. He really never gave up. She opened the door and greeted her mother, who didn't notice she was holding flowers. Then she put the carnations in a vase in the kitchen. Before she went up to her room, she clipped the note off the wrapping of the flowers, and retrieved the rest of the notes from her backpack.
Upstairs, Natalie lay on her bed, holding the little slips of paper and mulling them over.
On impulse, she rolled over and picked up her phone off the nightstand.
"Hey," she texted. "I'll be your Valentine if you really want."
Three seconds later, her phone buzzed. "!!!!!!!!!!!YAY!!!!!!!!!"
"What does being your Valentine consist of?" she wrote back.
She didn't know if this was good or bad, but whatever. Dinner wasn't that big of a deal. But Henry would be there soon.
She quickly changed into a red shirt, shamed by her theme-dressing.
The doorbell rang ten minutes later, and she made her way out of her bedroom. Right before she reached the door, however, she turned back. Retrieving Henry's notes from their scattered places on her bed, she stacked them and put them in a drawer in her nightstand. That way she wouldn't lose them.