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A Valentine's Day to Remember (a website exclusive Woods Lake short story)

A Valentine’s Day to Remember

(a website exclusive short story)

“Marco, this place is beautiful. I can’t believe that you planned a weekend trip to the cutest bed and breakfast. You know I hate this day and didn’t want to celebrate, but after seeing this place, I’m so glad you’re stubborn and didn’t listen to me.” I plopped onto the bed and leaned against the pillows, stretching my legs out in front of me.

Marco threw our bag in the closet and hung the garment bag before crawling onto the bed next to me. “Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m glad you approve. There are hiking trails throughout the property if we decide we want to explore, or we can hang here by our fireplace. We have fire pit reservations with fancy smores both nights we are here. We also have dinner reservations both nights. Steakhouse tonight and seafood restaurant tomorrow.”

I leaned forward and gently kissed him. “You spoil me.”

“That’s nothing. It’s just the start. You get twenty-three gifts to make up for twenty-three bad Valentine’s days. Those flowers, the box, and the card on the table in the corner are your first three gifts. You get one more tonight at dinner with Shauna and Micah. You and Shauna are getting the same final gift. The rest are in that gift bag,” he said as he pointed to the red bag filled with white and red tissue paper.

“The trip would have been enough to make up for the bad years. What should I open first?”

He scrunched his lips together while he thought about it, gently resting his hand on my baby bump. “Gift bag because it’s just little things that remind me of you.”

I got up and grabbed the gift bag. I brought it back to the bed and sat next to him while I opened the gift. “Gummy bears, salt and vinegar chips, Valentine color M&Ms, Kit Kat bar, original flavor Trident gum, three bath bombs, six-pack nail polish variety set, watercolor pencil set, drawing pencil set, sketchbook, travel size lotion, and Fruit Stripe gum.” I started laughing as soon as I saw the Fruit Stripe gum. “I didn’t even know they made this stuff anymore. It’s disgusting.”

“It is, but it is also one of my favorite memories of us,” he said as he leaned forward and kissed me.

“Thank you for the drawing stuff. I’m enjoying the class, and it’s a good outlet for me.”

“I’m glad Lexie asked you to take it, so they didn’t’ cancel it. You had no idea you had that talent until you started the class.” He stood and walked to the table to get the card and box.

“Open the card first,” he said when he handed them to me.

As soon as he was back on the bed, he wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close. I opened the red envelope, pulled out the wildflower card, and opened it. It was blank, but there was a letter folded inside it. I unfolded the letter and began to read,

Dear Jenna,

Thank you for the best seven months of my life. I didn’t realize it was possible to love someone the way that I love you. I’ve imagined a life with you since the day I saw you at the top of your driveway. You were already my best friend and the only person I trusted completely when I convinced you to be my fake girlfriend in hopes of convincing you that we were meant to be more than best friends.

Our lives have changed in so many ways over the past seven months, and I know it was fast and scary, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I wake up every day thankful that I get to love you for the rest of my life. You make my life complete.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m so thankful that I get to celebrate Valentine’s Day for the first time with you.

Love You More,

~ M

I blinked away the tears that filled my eyes before I turned to him. “No, I love you more.”

“Not possible,” he said as he kissed the side of my neck.

“This letter is all I would have needed to make up for all the bad years. I’m keeping it forever.”

“Open the box.”

I unwrapped the silver paper and recognized the emblem on the black box immediately. I lifted the lid, and I couldn’t believe it. “You found a necklace just like my mom’s?”

He shook his head. “No, babe. That is your mom’s. Joey and I found it when we cleaned out the house to start the demo.” He took the necklace, unclasped it, and placed it around my neck before clasping it.

I traced my finger across the ruby and diamond stones. “I thought he destroyed everything or sold it all. I looked everywhere for this after my mom left. I figured if he didn’t destroy it, that she had taken it with her.”

“Technically, it was hers, but it really wasn’t since it was your Grandma’s. As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was. I took it to the jeweler and had it cleaned and had the settings checked. I know it’s the only thing your family has left from your Grandma. I’m glad it’s back where it belongs.”

“Thank you for finding it and knowing what it was.”

“I know you said you didn’t want anything from the house, but I figured this was the exception.”

“Definitely. I love you, Marco. Thank you for loving me through all the hard parts and waiting for me to be ready. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, babe.”

He leaned forward and sweetly kissed me.

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