My Usual Please

My entry for the Valentine's Day competition.


2. Prior Valentines

Everywhere I look on this dreaded day there are couples. Old, grey, wrinkly couples and brand new, beautiful couples, I even saw a couple of fucking swans dancing around each other as I passed the lake last year. Yes, that time of year is soon to return, the horrific capitalist holiday also known as Valentine’s Day is almost upon us all. This holiday always makes me want to hit something. Pink and red, and cute little fluffy toys that fill the stores, the giant hearts in shop windows, the singing cards; all of it is arrogantly over the top. I wandered around for a while until I found the most depressing looking coffee shop in town and got my next hit of caffeine. Scowling at the world over the top of a coffee mug, I shook out the daily paper, for the hope that there was at least one gloomy story to fix my otherwise bitter disposition. My phone buzzed on the table; at first I was reluctant to pick it up. I knew who it would be. It’s always the same. I flipped the phone, popped in my unlock code and read the message; “Pub tonight?”. My mind decided at this point to go into overdrive. An argument started in my head, answer, do not answer, leave him hanging, but he will wonder why I did not reply, no he wouldn’t, he doesn’t like you. My fingers hovered over the pad. I knew that we should not be in contact this frequently. We should not be texting twenty four seven, we should not spend all the time we could together at college.  The whole situation was destined to end badly. Ending badly usually includes me feeling like a fool and being rejected. I didn’t want that to happen again. Somehow I’d almost managed to convince myself that I had no feelings for him, that I was imagining things and we were just friends. Although, that doesn’t stop me from smiling every time I check my texts to find one from him, it doesn’t stop the insane blushing or the frantic butterflies in my stomach. And most of all, it doesn’t halt the yearning to kiss him. Just like she was able to. I’m a fantasist, a closeted romantic and an over obsessive idiot, characteristics that don’t mix well. So he’ll say something offhandedly and two hours later I’ll still be pondering it, analysing the meaning behind it, before drifting into a daydream where he realises that I’m all he wants and needs and we fall romantically into each other’s arms. Then rationality kicks in. I realise that life isn’t a film and that everything doesn’t work out if I wish hard enough. I have no fairy godmother or a lamp to rub for a genie to offer my three wishes. I completely blame Hollywood for my misconception about romance as a kid. I mostly blame Dirty Dancing. Patrick Swayze is the reason for my bitter disappointment in the male race. And as for Baby’s speech about how she’s “afraid of everything”; well, let us just say that I wouldn’t have the balls to do that. But I digress. The text, I realised, I had yet to reply to his text. Should I go out tonight? I questioned. Pints, pool and football, was it worth it to feel like shit once I got home? For a few blissful hours within his company, was it worth a night of tossing and turning, that’s if I finally fall asleep after conserving the night’s memories for future thought. Before my thoughts could do any more laps, my fingers sped across the pad. “Ever known me turn down a pint?! Of course.”

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