Love In 2014

Entry by: Maxlovejoy

14th February 2014
I don't tend to get much mail. When I do, I usually assume it's a bill or an offer for an exciting new current account from my bank. I say 'my' bank but I suppose it's more accurate to call it the multinational company, which creams profit from holding my money hostage. Maybe I should just stuff my cash in my mattress...

This morning was different though. I rolled out of bed and ambled downstairs to stop the incessant meowing emanating from my cat. As I tried to grab some final precious moments of sleep, she'd taken up her usual position on my chest and stared shouting in my face (In cat-speak of course). Her fishy breath was ten times as potent as I imagine smelling salts to be - do smelling salts actually exist outside of films? So began another day in paradise. I was due in the office at 9 and for once, I'd got up in time. Unusually, I also had some post. Real post too, seemingly from a real person.

My knees clicked with each step as I descended the stairs (I'm 29 going on 60) and after satiating my feline companion with the contents of a 'luxury' pouch of meat, I made for the porch. I needed tea very quickly to make the world seem hospitable and for that, I needed milk. I found myself back at the kettle with a pint of semi-skimmed and three (three!) envelopes. Two of the envelopes were white with those little plastic windows in them that make them difficult to recycle. They could wait. The other envelope though, was red.

I examined the front, which had one handwritten word on it - 'Ian'. After a second or two, my addled brain computed that this was, firstly, a name and secondly, it was my name. Weird. My priorities remained unaltered though and the kettle went on. God I needed a brew. When will I learn my lesson about mid-week drinking? As I waited for the water to boil, I tried to get my brain to warm up too. Was it my birthday? No, that was in November. Why on earth have I got an actual letter?

Steam rose from the kettle and the button on the side clicked just as I cracked the riddle.
'It's February 14th!' I said out loud for no reason. My cat paused her gorging and looked up at me confused. 'Valentine's day' I said, explaining my statement. This seemed to satisfy her as she moved to her water bowl and began to lap the liquid up enthusiastically. Surely, this couldn't be a valentine's card. For me. Surely not.

Having been awake for ten minutes, my brain started to get up to speed. Stimulated by with caffeine, sugar and fat, my brain had a brilliant idea - toast. In went the bread. After a couple of seconds, I realised that the fridge wasn't the toaster. Out came the bread. The real toaster was identified. In went the bread and minutes later I was sat on the sofa, eating burnt bread like a recently released hostage. As I munched, I stared at the red envelope on the table in front of me.

I tried to remember if I'd ever had a Valentine's day card before. I'd certainly sent them before when I was a child in school but had I got any back? Ah, yes, now it came back to me, I'd received a lovely Sonic the Hedgehog card in junior school from a girl called Claire. The only slight draw back was that I'd given her that card an hour before. She'd scrawled over my neatly written request for reciprocal love with a thick black marker pen, 'leave me alone' it read. I did.

This event rather set the pattern for the next couple of decades of my love life. Whenever I found a female that interested me, I would attempt to engage with them and be instantly rejected. I'm not an entirely unattractive person but I was clearly doing something wrong. After the third time that one of my Valentine's Day cards was returned to me, I decided to shut up shop. The pain incurred just wasn't worth the expense. Greetings cards are overpriced anyway.

So I'd decided to settle for the single life. I've got plenty of friends and a cat. What did I need love for? It's all a con anyway. Just a hormonal reaction that's probably developed as an evolutionary aide. Probably - I'm no scientist. Love was for suckers and Valentine's day? Well, that was just a way for greeting card companies to make some money in the middle of February.

Having entrenched myself in the camp of the embittered singleton, I looked at the mysterious card like it was some kind of trap. I felt scared to open it. It had to be a Valentine's card though - it had clearly been delivered by hand as there was no address, just my name. My name. Someone had written my name on a card. The least I could do would be to open it. I don't often get post.

With time running out before my train, I guzzled a second cup of tea and took a deep breath. I carefully opened the envelope as if it may contain some kind of explosive and took out the card inside. It was a fairly standard looking greeting card. The front of it had a big red heart on a white background. I was stunned 'It's a Valentine's card' I said dumbly to myself out loud. I tried not to get to excited as I opened the card up to see who it was from.

The neatly written message inside read as follows: 'To Ian, We all loathe you. Kind regards, All of the women in the world'. I read the message, closed the card and put it on the table. I turned to my cat sitting on the floor at my feet, 'hey puss! You'll never guess, I just got a real Valentine's Day Card!' and with a skip in my step, I left for work,
(Author did not complete their own marking)