The last valentinersquo;.., p.1
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       The Last Valentine’s Day, p.1

           Joy Galloway
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The Last Valentine’s Day

  The Last Valentine’s Day

  Joy Galloway


  Frozen snow piles had turned into slush the week before but by Friday that awfully sloppy wintry mess had been licked away by an unexpected sunshine, so it was going to be a great Valentine’s weekend for most people at Elmtown. The weather forecast for Saturday was so favorable that it was obvious how busy most restaurants, bars and nightclubs would be.

  Valentine’s Day had never been a great day for Jen and Kim. They had never received roses or chocolates throughout their college years. No one ever threw a bow on a teddy bear and gave it to either of them. Not even one card came in the mail from a love interest. It was just a day for Cupid to laugh in their faces and point his arrow the other way.

  Jen shut the door to her 2002 Mazda and walked towards her apartment building. She'd spent some hours at the library working on her Behavioral Economics paper. Usually the library would be packed on Saturdays but there were barely ten students there, most people were busy with their significant others or looking forward to going out with their new dates.

  “Hello Mr. Kaplan,” Jen said.

  She waved to her Landlord who was walking the opposite way. He lived in one of the apartments in the same building which most of the students didn’t like as it made them feel as though someone was always watching over their shoulder, making sure they were following his policies; stupid twentieth century rules Jen always called it, no parties ,no Alcohol, no friends staying over. Not that they all followed it anyway, there were ways to do it without him finding out especially when he was away in Canada to check his other real estate business. The main advantage he had over other student-housing landlords at Elmtown was his low pricing strategy and that was good enough for Jen and Kim.

  “Oh Hello Jen,” he said smiling at her. “Happy Valentine’s Day. Do you have any big plans for tonight?”

  “Nope. Probably just gonna study and call it an early night,” she said then unconsciously sighed.

  “No date?” The elderly man asked, his eyes widening with surprise.

  “No,” she said shaking her head. He never seemed to mind his business but she was accustomed to him now, she knew how to handle him. “But I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day,” she added quickly, cutting the conversation short.

  “Thanks, I will,” he said then started towards his car. “I actually have a date with a woman I met at the doctor’s office.”

  “Oh OK have fun then,” she said hurriedly but thought, well thanks for the information and for adding salt to my wound. Her seventy year old Landlord had a better dating life than she did, and he barely even left his apartment. She wished him well and continued towards the front door.

  “Hey Jen!” Sarah suddenly yelled from the parking lot. “What's up”

  “Hi Sarah, not much,” Jen said then waited as Sara walked towards her. Why was everyone trying to talk to her today. She was tired and just wanted to get into the warmth of her apartment, eat some food, pull her covers over herself and binge-watch Gilmore Girls on that new website her brother Jason just told her about. Jason always came up with money-saving ideas on the internet and since he told her about a bunch of file-sharing sites, she’d stopped paying for netflix.

  “What’s going on?”

  “Oh nothing. Just wanted to say Hi. I’m heading out to pick up Tara. We are meeting the rest of the girls for dinner. We’re all bringing our boyfriends. It’s like one huge double date, triple date if you will. It's so nice that Valentine's on Saturday this year,” Sarah said, her eyelids blinking as fast as the words emanating from her mouth. She talked so fast, most people didn’t understand her sentences, it took getting used to.

  “Cool, that sounds fun,” Jen said. “Tara has a boyfriend now? Since when?” She asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

  “Oh Yeah, Tara met someone a few weeks ago. Such a great guy. He graduated from Malcolm Vale last year but he works as an Electrical Engineer now. We are all going out to eat and then bowling. You are right, it will be fun,” Sarah said.

  “Well you girls have fun.” Jen said as she waved and then quickly opened the front door. “See you around.”

  Even Tara now has a boyfriend. She thought. She remembered what Tara said when they were sophomores (before they stopped being close). Tara had said to her that she knew she was not the greatest catch for most boys because she was not one of the most attractive girls on campus (which was putting it mildly) but she was confident she would find someone to love her one day because she had personality and character, she was beautiful inside. So that's it then? Jen thought. I and Kim have no personality, no inside beauty?

  Be happy for her, be happy for her. She muttered to herself. It was her way of keeping the jealousy brewing within her from coming to the surface. Jealousy and envy are very negative emotions, her mother always said.

  She climbed the stairs sluggishly, the thought of Tara bringing back memories of their first two years on campus. They'd all been fresh out of Malcolm Vale High School, excited and anxiously looking forward to their new independent life. There were six of them in their group of friends and although they all still hung out together once in awhile, by their third year in College, the group had been split into close knits of twos. Jen and Kim on one side, Tara and Sarah on another and then Meghan and Khloe on one.

  Ruminating on it deeply, although she and Kim were now the odd ones out, she was kind of glad that at least Kim was in the same boat as her. Even if it was a lonely boat in the midst of a storm, they had each other to help row to shore and that provided a comfort of sorts. Not that she wouldn't be happy for Kim if she had a boyfriend but she couldn't deny the feeling of being pleased about having someone who understood where she was at.

  Kim never gave Jen the types of speeches everyone and their mothers liked to give whenever she complained about being single. None of that “You are complete by yourself.” talk, which jen was frankly tired of it. Of course she knew completeness was something that came from within and didn't depend on being with a man. But does that take away the desire to be wanted and loved by a guy? Personally, she would love to share her complete self with another wonderful complete human being that complemented her and she didn’t think anything was wrong with that type of desire. At 23, if no one has ever even asked you out, shouldn’t you be worried? Maybe she shouldn’t worry so much but still it was something to notice and think about.

  Despite being in the same predicament, Kim seemed not to worry as much about it like Jen did. Kim wanted a good guy in her life too but the absence of it didn’t bother her as much. She believed things would fall in place at the right time and looked forward earnestly to the day she would meet her prince charming.

  Jen and Kim had been assigned the same dorm room with two other roommates in their first year of College. The other roommates were nice and they got along well, but it was different with Jen and Kim. They clicked and were inseparable. Their friendship continued and after a few years they decided to get an apartment together. They loved this apartment, even if it was small and older, it was close enough to school so they could walk when they had trouble driving (There were times Jen’s car wouldn't start because of the extreme winter of Elmtown. And sometimes driving in the snow storms were literally impossible.)

  They had each other, an apartment, good grades, great siblings and wonderful parents. Everything seemed great, but something was missing, the college guys just didn’t seem to have any interest in them. Unlocking the door and shutting it behind her, Jen came moping into the apartment.

  “Another Valentine’s Day alone,” she said as she sulked around their smal
l apartment living room before sitting down on the couch.

  “It’s not so bad,” Kim said plopping down onto the couch beside her. She put her arm around Jen then kissed her forehead. “Stop being a downer. You get to spend the day with me.”

  “Yeah like that’s something special.”

  “I can’t really blame you for not understanding my awesomeness. You know what they say, familiarity breeds contempt,” Kim said.

  “Oh Shut up. When did you start talking smart. What’s that anyway?” Jen said pointing to a white container on the coffee table.

  “That? mmmh...that my friend is Dr. Zed’s 10 day magic formula,” Kim said then got up to fetch the weight loss solution. “Look I think I’ve lost five pounds already,” She raised her sweater and tugged at her belly.

  “I’ve told you a million times, you are perfectly healthy. Your BMI is fine. You don’t need this garbage. They never work anyway.”

  “Jen I swear on my grandfather’s deathbed, this isn’t like those other ones that didn’t work.”

  “That’s what you said the last time,” Jen reminded her.

  “Trust me it’s been tested by NASA.”


  “Yes, NASA.”

  “NASA as in National Aeronautics Space Administration?”

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