When I was in second grade, I had a crush on a boy in my class named Frank. I liked his dark black hair and blue eyes. To me, they sparkled in the light. For months I wanted to tell him that I liked him and that we were destined to be together, but I always chickened out. So, on Valentine’s Day that year, I mustered up a bit of courage and decided to wait for him outside the main school door and confess my undying love. It took a long time before he came through that door (or maybe he knew I was waiting for him.) Anyhow, when he opened the door, I rushed up to him and blurted, “I love you, Frank.” I didn’t know what I was expecting but I didn’t anticipate the horrified look on his face or that he instantly became an Olympic sprinter, running past me, down the street, and up the hill without once looking back. I can’t remember now if I shrugged it off, but I do remember that he never talked to me again until we were in third grade and even then, it was only because he had to, being assigned to his group for a school project. I also waited for a Valentine from him, but I never got one of course, and my silly heart felt a little sad.
In the late fall of my fourth-grade year, Frank left a dead grasshopper on the seat of my desk and when I sat down, the bug got squished, messing up my plaid skirt. I saw Frank laughing with his friends and I almost started to cry. Instead, I got up and asked the teacher if I could use the restroom. There, I cleaned the bug off my skirt, washed the tears away, and decided I didn’t like Frank anymore.
However, when I told my friend what had happened, she said, “Oh, don’t you know Frank likes you?”
I looked at her as if she had just told me the sky was falling. “What?”
“Yeah, John told a group of us at recess the other day.”
That year I got a generic Valentine from Frank just like the ones he gave to everyone else but instead of just writing his name, he wrote, “I like your smile,” with a hand-drawn heart. It made my day.
Frank moved away that summer and I moved on to different crushes and hopes and dreams.
Over the years, I’ve appreciated all the wonderful Valentine’s cards I’ve received, but especially the ones from my husband. I’ve kept most of them in a small folder and read them from time to time. Some are so beautiful. They are like tiny pieces of art, all summing up the same thing: I love you. I have so many now that I really don’t need any more cards. But the truth is, my heart still sings when I get that special Valentine’s card every year because, in the end, well, you know, it’s like that Beatles song repeating the words about love is all I need, all I need is love, love is all I need…
Happy Valentine’s Day!
How did you find solace this week?
© 2023. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved