The day sucked. There were roses everywhere I turned. The office was full of red objects, red teddy bears, red roses, even the gift bags were red. People were in red and for the very first time in my career I wished that we wore a uniform to prevent such occurrences. I looked at people with this look as though we belonged to different groups. I was like them the previous years. I didn’t wear red, neither did I receive flowers in the office because we had a rule for Valentine’s; cheap and intimate. But that was when our relationship worked, now it hang in the balance.
As the people walked around bringing the colour of love to life with their excitement, I buried myself in work. It was all I could do because otherwise I would be staring at my phone with sadness in my chest. Vic, my boyfriend, hadn’t texted all day. We were hardly in talking terms but it was Valentine’s. I would have thought the spirit in the air would have turned the tide but nothing yet.
I was not going to be the girl who talked to him first because it was Valentine’s Day. So I held my ground and tried to hide my feelings. I was stronger than the urge and desire to celebrate Valentine’s Day as we had in the past. If he had forgotten about it, then we could just add that to the mistakes that had brought us to this situation in the first place.
Meanwhile, Vic’s day was going totally different. Usually, he would be laughing at other guys who needed to do grand things for their women. He would be laid back since coming up with intimate ideas for an evening isn’t exactly the hardest thing. Most years we’d cook dinner together, give each other gifts then play games and watch romantic movies all night. This year Vic was anxious and it showed all over his face. He had been getting it all wrong lately and was scared to add something else to the list.
“Do I text her and ask her out or do I stick to our tradition?” Vic asked himself. Then another thought crossed his mind, “What if she is done with me already?”
Vic still hadn’t talked to anybody about our relationship troubles. He was one of those people who had trouble expressing themselves. This was one of the issues we were struggling with. So he spent a whole week trying to come up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift that would at least be a way back into my good books.
Back at the office, burying myself in work was not working. I was getting more and more irritable as the day progressed. Still no text, no call, nothing. I hadn’t heard from him all day. I was still not going to talk to him first. So I sat there alternating thoughts between wanting to tell him what I was feeling and ways to punish him if he forgot Valentine’s too.
I started Googling memes that would pass on my message without being too obvious. I also thought of ‘accidentally’ texting him my plans with someone else. None of these ideas was going to work in my favour. I did not want to add oil to the fire or tell the whole world that I was having relationship drama. After all, if he was not going to do anything about it, then I was going to find other ways to spend the day.
It was 3 o’clock already and Vic was yet to find the perfect gift. Then it suddenly occurred to him that succulent plants had been a conversation starter for us each time I bought more plants. So Vic thought, why not get something like that. His search for the gift was complete. The next step was to get to me. He was not sure of how angry I was at him so he figured that coming to the office would be the best option. The chances of me being dramatic in the office were minimal.
It was 5 o’clock in the evening. The day was finally over. All I wanted was to get home, change into sweat pants then have pizza and hot chocolate. I was done seeing people happily in love when I was stuck in a limbo of not knowing my relationship status. Valentine’s was just making my situation worse. I went to the washroom to freshen up and when I got back I found something on my desk.
It looked like a plant in a pot and covered with a coloured bag that made it difficult to guess what was in it. I automatically knew it was from Vic because there was nobody else who could have gotten me something for Valentine’s. When I saw the package my first thought was, “he remembered!” A smile was forming on my face when the thought crossed my mind, “he had better not have gotten me a plant for Valentine’s.”
I was anxious. This gift was about to make things terribly worse if it turned out to be something I didn’t like. I was being a typical woman with assumptions. My smile faded away and now I was tense. I even started second-guessing whether the gift was from Vic. Maybe he had actually forgotten.
“Martha, did you see who left this at my desk?” I asked the receptionist.
“He said you would know,” she responded smiling shyly.
It was time to just open the package and see what was in it. As I took out the cover, all the confusion turned into intense feelings and tears running down my face. “A hundred chocolates for the hundred years that I want to spend Valentine’s with you.” He remembered. I then felt hands around me and the scent of cologne that I knew all too well. It was Vic. He had been watching my reaction from a colleague’s desk.
I felt giddy with happiness. In that moment, I knew our relationship would survive. 100 chocolates saved Valentine’s Day and our relationship. Vic and I left the office ready to make it a memorable night.