A Valentine to remember
I remember the first time I ever really gave someone a Valentine. You know, really spent time picking out just the right one. I spent hours looking through the choices and reading the inscription inside to make certain that it said just what was rumbling around inside. I was sure that love was the fire that burned inside of me and caused my skin to chill every other minute when I was around her. The sound of her voice was a siren's call to me. The lilt of the Emerald Isle shaded the tones of each syllable like subdued harmonies almost unheard interwoven within the major themes of a orchestral piece. I found myself constantly trying to copy the joyous pronunciation of each vowel and consonant so that I could be like her.
Her skin was the special peaches and cream that compliments the natural fire of a redheaded Irish lass sprinkled freely with copper colored freckles and a glow that seemed angelic to me. That flaming hair was a windswept tangle that constantly eluded the restrictions of any style, but seemed alive with a vibrant vitality that was intoxicating to me. When deep in the thought of study or some mental problem, her attempts to corral a lock induced a euphoria within me that stunned me to inactivity and open-mouthed stares.
The color of her eyes was of the same translucent glow of the gem after which her homeland was named. They seemed alive with the electric currents of her fantastic mind, changing as do green shoals respond to the storms of the oceans in the North Atlantic, from dark green fire to flashing translucency as the mood swept across her face.
For months, I lived in this storm of emotions, longing to give some expression to the turmoil that raged within. I wandered the halls of my school, alone in the crowd of students, looking for the chance to see her and tell her of my feelings. Each time, my reluctance to speak resulted in her slipping away and into the hoards of unfeeling humanity that seemed to trampled by goals by their very apathy.
Finally, I stumbled upon the way that I knew would be the trick that would make her notice me and give me the chance to speak my fascination at her very presence. Valentine's Day was but a short two weeks away. I would get her the perfect Valentine. I would be victorious in my quest for this Irish Lassy who enchanted me with her smile.
After looking for hours, reading verse after verse, comparing outside pictures, I found the one that would work. Hearts and lace graced the outside of the card and a poem by one of the famous romantics spoke volumes. This would be the very talisman to make her notice and think as highly of me as I did of her.
Valentine's Day arrived on the slothful feet of the long expected. I spent extra time preparing for the day, making sure the shoes were shined, the hair perfect and the clothing just right. The morning past like mourners at a funeral solemn slow forbidding. At lunch, I planned my assault on the fortress of her indifference. Chance kept her from me and as the afternoon crept by, my anxiety grew. Soon, the routine of the day would take her from me and I would lose the perfect chance.
Finally, trembling with fear and emotions too troubled to identify, I approached just as the day was ending. With all the love I could muster, I silently held out my gift for her to take.
She looked me right in the eye for the first time and held me prisoner with her gaze. With no word I can remember, she took that symbol of my devotion and slipped it from the envelope. I watched, transported, as she silently read and then re-read the message within.
With a smile that has ever since been the stack pole for all other smiles, she leaned toward me and kissed me right on the bridge of the nose. Taking my hand, she led me, unprotesting toward the door and sent me on my way. I had won! Or at least I had learned.
It didn't matter to me that she turned me away. I would see her again soon. She would be there for me, day after day, teaching me all the things a third grade teacher is supposed to teach you, plus one more thing some dreams are better dreamed than realized.