Penguins: A Love Story

Did you know that when penguins mate, they mate for life? They are the only animals to do this. And when a male penguin has chosen a mate, he searches the entire beach just to find the right pebble to give to her. Exactly like a proposal. Penguins are soul mates, loving one another until they die.

"Penguins" follows the romance of Theo and Claire; two people who never thought they could be loved, but then found each other. Theo was the quiet, shy guy who was universally liked, but no one really knew him. Claire was a bright, sunny soul who always had a smile on her face that hid her inner pain. Could they be penguins? Or will these lovebirds be wrenched apart by the very things that bind them together?


3. Chapter 3

"Teddy! Are you ready to go to the bazaar?"
Theo sighed. His mom was dragging him to the school's Christmas bazaar, held in the gymnasium. He hadn't wanted to go; there was about four inches of snow on the ground and it was 20 degrees. Theo was a home body, he wasn't into braving the "Great Outdoors," especially not in these conditions. 

Theo wrapped a scarf around his neck and clopped down the stairs, hastily shoving on boots. His mom took one look at him and sighed, saying,
"Teddy, it's North America, not Antarctica."
"As a former Boy Scout, I will just remind you of our motto; Be prepared."
His mother smiled to herself and they walked outside to the car.

At the school, Theo wandered around aimlessly, bored out of his skull. His mother seemed to be on some sort of shopping spree, picking up random items and saying how perfect they would be for stocking stuffers. Only one stand seemed interesting. It was a tiny  booth right in the corner, chock a block with knick knacks. A little old lady sat behind it, smiling genially at everyone passing. And they all ignored her. Theo felt his heart lurch. Who knew how hard this lady had worked to actually get this stall set up? Not even one person was giving her a second glance. 

So Theo walked forward, examining the items arranged across the table. There was thousands of little things; ornaments, wreaths, even a mini Christmas tree. One thing caught his eye, a small snow globe that was right on the edge of the stand. He picked it up and looked it over.

It was a tiny, rinky-dink thing,  with a  penguin standing in the centre amidst the swirling snow. It said "Happy Holidays!" on the front, in red cursive script.  Theo cleared his throat nervously and asked,
"Um- How much is this?"
"That? It's $3.00, dearie."
Theo reached into his pocket and withdrew the amount in change, blushing as she giggled,
"How kind of you, sugar!" she taking, taking the snow globe from him and neatly gift-wrapping it. 
"Do you have a sweetheart that you're going to give that to?" she asked as he handed her the money.
"What-erm- no!"
"Sure you don't." the lady said with a wink, handing him the bag. 
"Honestly, I don't!"
"Uh-huh."  she called after him as he left hastily,
"Say hello to her for me!"

Back at home, Theo's mom took inventory of all the stuff she'd bought.  As she was doing this, Theo grabbed his bag from the millions of others and hurried up to his room. Setting the snow globe on the desk, he scratched his head, wondered what the heck he was going to do with it now.

Claire strode in her desk at school and fell into it, put her head on her arms in exhaustion. Joey had a bad dream last night and she'd stayed up with him for hours, trying to get him to calm down. She didn't mind of course, but she was sure that she'd fall asleep in the middle of homeroom. Claire jumped as she felt her hand bump against something sitting on her desk.Her eyes snapped open and she scrambled for whatever it was, grabbing it just before it hit the floor. 

It was a snow globe, with a penguin smiling up at her from the inside. Claire smiled faintly  and gave it a small shake, watching the snow swirl around. She wondered who could have left the gift. She looked at the base of the snow globe and saw a tag there.  It read,
"Merry Christmas! Saw this and thought of you!- Theo."
Claire beamed and looked around. She saw Theo standing nonchalantly outside of her homeroom, occasionally glancing through the window in the door to see if she had seen his present. They made eye contact and Theo blushing, ducking his head and hurrying away. Claire smiled softly to herself and sat back down, cradling the snow globe in the palm of her head. 

Back at home, claire set the snow globe on her night stand. Joey was curled up in her bed; he was sleeping there because he didn't want to have any more nightmares. 
"What's that, Claire?" he asked, curiously, noticing the new addition to the decor of her room.
"It's a present." she said, sliding into bed beside him. He snuggled into her side and she hugged him close, breathing in deeply. 
"From who?" 
"A friend."
"A good friend?"
"Yes, Joey," she whispered, turning her head to look at the snow globe,
"A very good friend."

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