A Valentine Tale

Every few months my favorite author Meg Cabot has a short story contest on her fan forums. Every time she announces a new contest I check it out and think, that sounds like fun, I should participate. And then I never do because I talk myself out of it using excuses like, I won’t be able to come up with a good idea or this is supposed to be for teens, I’m too old, dumb, busy etc.

This time I put my excuses on hold and decided to accept Meg Cabot’s challenge to write a short short story (1000 words or less) on the theme of Valentine’s Day. I told myself I was working on a “special project” assigned by Meg Cabot that I HAD to finish. It’s screwed-up weird-ass fan-girl logic but at least it worked.

It’s the story of a girl named Marissa told through online chats she has with her best friend, Brandon and two other boys from her school. It may be dumb, it may fall flat and it is virtually buried by tons of fabulous short shorts written by talented teenagers on the Meg Cabot fan forums, but writing it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time:

 

hi_its_issa

I hate Valentine’s Day.

bran_man

Hi Marissa. Lemme guess. This has something to do with the rose you found in your locker.

hi_its_issa

You know me so well Brandon.

bran_man

Being friends since kindergarten has that affect on me. What’s wrong with the rose anyway? I thought girls went for that stuff.

hi_its_issa

Roses are fine I guess. But it’s one of those roses the cheerleaders were selling for their monthly fundraiser. I hate the idea of supporting those rah-rahs.

bran_man

Aw come on, can’t the rah-rahs have a little fun?

hi_its_issa

OK you’re right, it’s not really that. My problem is the card has some message on it and isn’t signed. I’ve been going crazy all day trying to figure out who sent it.

bran_man

A secret admirer!

hi_its_issa

I was thinking maybe it was Brian. He’d want to buy a rose right? You know, to support the cheerleaders?

bran_man

That jock? Getting a Valentine’s rose for you?

hi_its_issa

Gee thanks.

bran_man

Nothing against you of course. It’s just that…I didn’t think he’d be your type is all.

hi_its_issa

Brandon, he’s HOT! Have you SEEN his butt in those tight football pants?

bran_man

I gotta go.

Red heart

hi_its_issa

Hi Brian, you there?

bribo

Hey Marissa! What’s up?

hi_its_issa

Oh nothing. Just wondering if you saw anyone near my locker this afternoon. You know…with a rose?

bribo

Nope. Hey did you see that running play today at practice where I took the snap and fake trap to the fullback?

hi_it_issa

Um, no can’t say I did.

bribo

Oh. Well I’ve been chatting with Dave about it all afternoon. He was pretty impressed. I can’t wait for our game tomorrow night. You coming?

hi_its_issa

Not sure yet. Probably. Oh hey I hear my mom calling. Gotta go! Talk to you later!

Red heart

hi_its_isssa

Brandon, you there? You’re right. Brian is so not my type.

bran_man

hahahahaha!

hi_its_issa

Maybe it was Dave who left the rose?

bran_man

That guy who hangs out with Brian?

hi_its_issa

Yeah, he’s pretty cute!

bran_man

Again, nothing against you, but I never saw him with you. Or any girl for that matter.

hi_its_issa

Why not? He’s really nice and thoughtful and all the girls love to hang out with him. I feel totally comfortable asking him.

Red heart

hi_its_issa

Hey Dave!

daver

Hi Marissa! OMG, I loved that sweater you wore to school today. Totally cute! Where did you get it?

hi_its_issa

I got it on sale at Forever 21. I don’t think they sell guys clothes there though.

daver

Oh too bad.

hi_its_issa

So how’s your Valentines Day going so far?

daver

Great! You know those roses the cheerleaders were selling?

hi_its-issa

You bet I do!

daver

Well, I bought one for someone and left it in their locker.

hi_its-issa

REALLY??? And who’s locker might that be???

daver

Well….I’m kinda shy about this….but I guess you’ll find out about it eventually.

hi_its_issa

Oh Dave. I already know. You’re SO SWEET!

daver

Aw! Who told you? What did he think?

hi_its_issa

He? Wait…what are you talking about? Didn’t you leave a rose in my locker?

daver

YOUR locker? Um no. Sorry Marissa I think you’re really nice and all but you’re not really my type. I left a rose for Brian. Didn’t you know that we’re both….well…not really into girls?

hi_its_issa

Oh…yes…of course I knew. I think it’s great! I’m sure you and Brian will make a cute couple.

daver

There he is now! Gotta go!

Red heart

hi_its_issa

OK, I totally know it wasn’t Dave now. OR Brian. That’s confirmed.

bran_man

hahahaha! I tried to tell you.

hi_its_issa

I just wish I knew who gave this to me. Did I mention the note attached? It’s red but looks like kind of a blob, not heart shaped at all.

bran_man

Well, around Valentine’s Day it’s easy to remember that the heart is actually shaped like a fist.

hi_its_issa

Hey, that’s what it says on the card! Wait a minute…Brandon was it you???

bran_man

Happy Valentine’s Day Marissa! I know we’ve been friends for a long time but lately I’ve notice that my hands form a fist when you start talking about other guys.

hi_its_issa

Brandon I had no idea! And I’m so glad! The only reason why I talk about other guys is because I thought you didn’t have romantic feelings for me either. Maybe we should get off IM and see what happens between us in person?

bran_man

Sounds like a great idea! See you in a few minutes.

hi_its_issa

[Account signed off. Auto reply from hi_its_issa: Sorry I can’t chat right now. I’m busy celebrating Valentine’s Day!]

bran_man

[Account signed off. Auto reply from bran_man: Do not disturb. MAKE OUT TIME!]

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