Before Kai, I’d thought Valentine’s Day was a sweet notion, even though I’d never had a boyfriend. But now I could see this day for the evil it was. Okay, maybe evil was too harsh. Cruel was more accurate.
I’d taken a jog that morning through the frosty grass, and then gone to school to face the saccharine hubbub. I still believed in love. I really did. But everything about this day felt so forced and pressurized. Girls were crying because they didn’t get flowergrams from the boys they liked. Veronica was pouting because Jay got her a giant bouquet of pink carnations and baby’s breath, instead of red roses. Two boys asked me out via flowergram and I had to politely turn them down. And then there were the happy couples. The hand holding and eye gazing. The stolen kisses when teachers weren’t looking.Everywhere I looked was love alongside brokenness.I was so tense when I got home that I decided to go for another jog to shake it off. Februaries in Georgia were always chilly, but it was brutal this year. My fingers, ears, and nose were freezing. Definitely not helping with the stress and tension factor. I turned for home just as flurries started falling.We didn’t get much snow. Hardly any, actually. So when we did, it filled me with an almost childish feeling of whimsy. I stopped jogging and walked home, grinning stupidly at the falling white flakes, holding out my icicle fingers to catch them.I was so lost in the beauty of nature that I thought I’d imagined it when I heard a lovely, low, accented voice call my name. I stopped in front of my apartment building, still grinning, and turned. Then held my breath and let the grin fall from my face.