The last valentinersquo;.., p.2
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       The Last Valentine’s Day, p.2

           Joy Galloway
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“Yes. They’ve started doing weight loss programs as a result of boredom. Apparently, there are no more planets to discover.”

  “You should learn how to lie intelligently. That was lame.”

  They both laughed. Then suddenly Jen wrapped her long arms around herself and reclined into the chair looking forlorn.

  “What’s wrong?” You can always talk to the love of your life. Come on let’s hear it,” Kim said.

  “I’m just hungry,” Jen replied looking at a corner of their floor she’d missed when vacuuming. She hated doing that so much, missing a spot. She knew it would bother her until she had it vacuumed again so she contemplated getting up immediately to fetch the vacuum cleaner.

  “Not true. I know you. What is it? This isn’t just hunger my love.”

  “Ok ok. I was just thinking about how I broke up with John after high-school and decided not to be seriously involved with anyone in my first two years in College. Do you think that was a mistake? It’s like I intentionally made myself unavailable and now that I’m ready there’s not even a hint of romance. We are seniors now and this is our last Valentine’s Day here at college. It would have been nice to have someone special to spend it with. Is this how it’s going to be forever? Doesn’t it ever bother you at all? Maybe I’m just over-analysing as usual.”

  “Look I know how you feel. I think about it a lot too but you can’t let it affect you this much. My dad said love usually comes when you least expect it. Most times when you’re not even worrying about it so I have decided to enjoy my life and when it happens, it happens, ” Kim said. She stood up, swayed her hips across the room like a model on a runway.

  “I mean we are decent looking girls. We are smart, ambitious and funny. There’s someone out there who can handle all of this,” she continued, gesturing at her voluptuous figure.

  Jen laughed then said “You always look so silly when you try to do that phony serious face of yours. Anyways, so last week I was thinking, maybe I should stop being a prude and get into this whole hooking-up business. Maybe that’s the new way of dating?”

  “Naaaw. Been there. Done that. I’m not as emotional as you but even I wouldn’t go back to that. I want something real now. I know you and it’s definitely not for you at all. Besides, Katherine does hookups but she’s still as single as you and I. Forget it babe.”

  “Ummm...OK we are screwed then I guess.”

  Kim laughed then told Jen more hilarious dating stories.

  Twenty minutes later they’d changed to talking about Kim’s visit to the mall. She asked Jen to come into her room to see the new pairs of jeans she’d stumbled upon at a store.

  “Guess how much I got these two,” Kim said as she pointed to two pairs of blue jeans on her bed.

  “I don’t know. sixty bucks?”

  “Twenty bucks for both.”

  “No way.”

  “Way. I told you. You should have come with me. They are closing down so everything was dirt cheap. I saw a couple of girls there too. Lauren, Eve, Tessa.”

  “My parents don’t send me pocket money like yours remember?”

  “Oh shoosh. You do more hours than I do at work so there’s really no difference. You probably even have more money than I do right now,” Kim said shaking her head, then she pushed her long dark hair over her shoulder. Jen laughed and stood next to her in front of the mirror. They were around the same height and size. Jen had shoulder length blonde hair and bright blue eyes, a contrast from Kim’s dark hair and hazel eyes, but they were alike in many other ways.

  “Maybe we should go out tonight and have dinner somewhere, or go to the movies?” Kim said changing the topic.

  “Maybe.” Jen sighed knowing what was on her best friends mind. “But that will just put us in a worse mood. There will be couples everywhere. Everyone is out celebrating Valentine’s Day and I don’t feel like looking at cute couples and hearing lips smacking all night. I’d rather stay home and do something fun.”

  “You are right.” Kim agreed. “I remember last Valentine’s Day, when we went out to dinner with Karisa and the tables were all set up for couples with candles and flower centerpieces.”

  “Oh yeah, and that Italian waiter even felt sorry for us.” Jen remembered. “He gave us a free dessert to help sweeten our sorrow. That was hilarious.”

  “You know Kim I think you are a great catch and I’m not sure why no one has caught you yet.”

  “Thank you Jen, I think that you amazing and it’s a tragedy that no man has swept you up yet either.”

  “Well, I can be your Valentine,” Jen smiled and winked at her friend.

  “I’d love if you were my Valentine.” Kim puckered her lips at Jen and made silly kiss sounds. “You will be the best Valentine that I have ever had.”

  “We should make a good dinner, drink some wine and have a few laughs. Just you and me, like always,” Jen suggested. “We do not need any guy to make our night complete.”

  “That sounds good. Screw cupid and his arrow!” Kim stuck out her tongue playfully. “We will have a better time with each other.”

  The girls reached out and hugged each other, embracing the friendship that they cherished with all of their hearts. Jen knew they would have a good time with just the two of them. It was what they’d always done. The most important thing was to be happy and just get on with life.

  “Okay, so since you are the better cook, you can make dinner and I will go buy us a good bottle of wine.”

  “Great plan. I’ll just go ahead and start cooking then.”

  Jen grabbed her purse and keys. “This will be the best Valentine’s Day ever.”

  “Yeah it will!” Kim headed to the kitchen, happier than she had been a few minutes before.

  Although, Kim had always been the chef in their friendship, Jen could barely make a frozen dinner successfully. She would burn eggs, put too much water in Pasta, overcook meat and had been known to set the fire alarms off many times in the kitchen. Kim on the other hand had a knack for cooking. She would prepare a three course meal like it was nothing, create a menu plan for their week and sometimes even cater for small parties. Not only was she good at it but she also enjoyed it which was why she’d decided to go to cooking school after graduation.

  As Jen left the apartment and got in her car, she remembered how her Mom had reminded her about calling at least once a week so she checked for her phone in her bag. She placed the call but had to leave a voicemail message as it went unanswered on two attempts. Then she called her sister, Melanie.

  “Hey why are you crying,” she said as soon as she noticed the sobs.

  “I don’t know what to do sis,” Melanie said. “Gareth wants us to get back together.”

  “So? What does that matter? I thought you were with Chris.”

  “I am,” Melanie said. “But it’s so hard. I have so much history with Gareth but on the other hand, I don’t want to jeopardise what I have with Chris. Why is my life like this. Why can’t things just be straight forward for once in my life”

  “I see,” Jen said. She rolled her eyes thinking about how spoilt her sister could be sometimes. OK, it was understandable what she was saying but did she realize some people didn’t even have a boyfriend, talkless of two people wanting to be with them. “Have you spoken to Mom about this?”

  “No, what’s the point. I know what she’s going to say.”

  “OK, look just relax. Everything will be fine. Let me call you back tonight, I’m about to start driving.”

  Traffic was slightly heavy, with cars heading downtown, buses doing their last trips. The bus system at Elmtown was efficient and well run but usually closed after seven pm, which was sufficient for a small university town its size. Restaurants were crowded with love birds waiting for tables and stores were rushing with customers hurrying to buy that special gift for their special someone. Just when Jen had decided to have
a good time and not worry about being single, all she saw were more reminders of how much she was missing out. Great. She shook herself and forced herself to snap out of her of it quickly.

  “Enough already,” she said to herself out loud as she turned near Paula’s bakery.

  She checked out of her pity party and pulled herself together, glanced at herself through the rearview mirror and said “Stop behaving like a baby, Valentine’s Day is just another day.” Whether she had a boy to spend it with or not was irrelevant. She was a smart, driven girl with a bright future ahead of her. She had tackled a lot in her life and she did it all while being single and that was something to be proud about. Why would she need anyone now to validate her?

  Graduation was only months away and she would be entering a whole new world with her career. College would be behind her, she would make more friends, meet more interesting people, including mature guys that were ready to settle down and none of these things she worried about now would even matter. What was Valentine’s Day in the grand scheme of things.

  With the blink of her turn signal, she made a left into the liquor store parking lot. She normally went to other stores, but this one was usually not overcrowded with people and she hated to fight the lines with tons of other customers. Plus today she just wanted to get in and out and be on her way to a glass of wine.

  The liquor store was not very big and it was easy to find the wine section. Jen was not a wine connoisseur
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