It is a day the entire country should mourn. It is a day when human stupidity is displayed in its brightest, most vibrant colors. You know what I'm talking about, the kind of stupidity that bumps songs like "My Hump" and "Candy Shop" to the top of music charts, the kind of stupidity that has caused brilliant works of art like Marrion Zimmer Bradley and Ray Bradbury to become coasters while the sounds of gunfire and violent slang blast out of Televisions across the nation. Men buy women candy and flowers like trained monkeys and women giggle and bubble over with warm fuzziness until you feel like your being smothered in rose scented teddy bears and chalky, year old chocolate. It makes me sick.
Everyone believes Valentines Day was created by greeting card companies but I know better, that is simply a front for a huge conspiracy, operated and organized by the race of men. You ask any man, any man at all, what he wants for Valentines Day and you know what he says? He says all he wants is "to spend it with you!" Gag me with a spoon. Not only is it so sweet your teeth hurt, you know it's a lie! What Valentines Day really is, is insurance. A bunch of old, fat, horny men sitting around with cigars and a glass of brandy, decided they would invent a day where they could buy their women some cheap, corny gift and then use it later when the women are either mad at them or "not in the mood." Is it crude? Yes. Is it cynical? Maybe. Is it crazy? Absolutely not.
February 14th had just never been a good day for me. It's the day my grandmother died, the day my mom ran out on my dad and I with her woman therapist, hell, it's also the day my dog Kismet got lost in the woods. And you want to know the truly sick irony of it all? The worst part of the oh so wonderful Valentines Day? It's my birthday, congratulations to me.
So while my friends, wore red sweaters covered in hearts and skirts so short they are illegal in nine states (or should be anyway.) While they giggled over the cute but totally cliche gifts their boyfriends had got them and gossiped about where they and their boy toys were going to spend the evening, each trying to outdo the other, I was wearing black and mourning the loss of value and mass amounts of brain cells, alone. Sometimes I think my friends are only my friends out of habit. I mean how else do you explain a group of perfect cheerleaders being friends with the freak of the school? They hadn't even remembered it was my birthday, of course, it's not like I went out of my way to remind them, I wouldn't want to ruin their perfect, romantic night now would I?
So that's how I ended up in a coffee shop in the run down side of downtown, with a book full of gruesome fairytales all ending with horrible betrayal and gruesome heartbreak and a coffee that guaranteed me enough caffeine to get through the next two days.
I was just getting to the part where Rowena was about to plunge a stone dagger into the lying, deceitful heart of her lover, Camlin, when Dee, a waitress at the Ebony Elephant and a kind-of friend, came waltzing up to my table with a cupcake, complete with lighted candle.
"Happy Birthday Amora!" Did I mention my mother had found it delightfully clever to give me a name that means "love?" It just gets better and better right?
"Dee, what the hell do you think your doing? How did you even know today is my birthday?" Dee blushed and looked down at the cupcake as if expecting to see the answer written out in the pink frosting.
"Well uhh, see, you remember that day when you left your planner here? I was looking through it trying to find out if your number was in there so I could call you and tell you, you forgot it and I stumbled across your birthday." Her eyes glazed over and she got a dreamy look on her face. "That is so romantic, you were born on Valentines Day, I'm so jealous." I scowled at her and snapped my fingers in front of her face.
"It is not romantic. Now are you going to give me my cupcake or not?" She grinned and set it down in front of me. I took a deep breath that came out in a groan as Dee yelled, stop! I flinched as every pair of eyes in the coffee shop turned to us, I glared at Dee and found she was frowning.
"You didn't make a wish!" I sighed and closed my eyes, pretending to make a wish, then I took a deep breath and blew out the candle. Dee cheered, I simply sighed. "Oh what did you wish for? Was it something romantic like wanting to finally meet your Prince Charming or learning that the Captain of the football team has secretly been lusting after you for the past three years?" I raised an eyebrow and licked the frosting off the candle.
"Ya, that's exactly what I wished for Dee. Only instead of Prince Charming I wished for Eros himself to fly in here and sweep me off my feet!" I said enthusiastically.
"Really?" Asked Dee
"No." I said flatly and watched as her face twisted into a scowl.
"How old are you anyways?" She asked.
"Sixteen." She snorted and began to stroll away.
"You have got to be the most bitter sweet sixteen I have ever met," She called over her shoulder. I smiled a little and called her name. She swung around, hands fisted on her hips and glared at me.
"What?" I smiled at her, one of my rare, sincere, totally unsarcastic smiles and said,
"Thanks." Her eyes softened and she gave me a little smile in return.
"No prob, good luck with your Cupid." It was my turn to snort as I turned back to my book. Cupid, ya, right.
The bell above the door chimed but I didn't bother to look up. At least, not until the chair across from me scraped against the wooden floor and the table shook as someone sat down. I looked up and finally thought I'd lost it. Sitting across from me was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. He had the face of a sinner, a beautiful incredibly sexy sinner. With shaggy black hair and vibrant purple eyes he looked like a fallen angel, the huge white-feather wings on his bare back, did nothing to dispel the image.
"Do you mind if I sit here? All the other seats are taken." I couldn't speak, my mouth was frozen shut and I swore I could vaguely hear the swish and bounce as my lost marbles rolled across the coffee shop floor. He glanced over his shoulder and gave me decidedly naughty grin. "I just came from a Valentines Day party. The theme was romantic figures throughout history and literature. Can you guess who I am?" I swallowed and managed to force a word past my lips.
"Cupid?" He laughed and I felt my face redden.
"I guess you could say that, though I've always thought of "Cupid" as a more commercialized, cherub created solely for Valentines Day. I prefer to think of myself as the god Eros, a god is just so much more...appealing,don't you think Amora?" I'd been so busy watching his lips move it took me a moment to realize he had said my name.
"How do you know my name?" He smiled at me, a small secretive smile before gesturing to the table.
"It's on your cupcake. I sure hope you made a wish." I nodded and tried to get a hold of myself. He was just a man, I had not, repeat, had not, even for a moment believed the real actual Cupid, I mean, Eros was sitting across from me. Haha, get a hold of yourself girl! I looked up at him meeting his eyes and working up that cool, distant confidence I was so famous for, I replied in a calm, steady voice,
"As a matter of fact, I did make a wish. Although my Cupid, oh excuse me, Eros, is not doing so good of a job at sweeping me off my feet." He looked a little startled and then after a moment began to laugh. He stood up and offered me a sweeping bow.
"Well in that case milady would you allow me the honor of taking you out to dinner? After all who wants to spend their birthday or Valentines Day alone?" Shoving my book in my bag and a five dollar bill on the table for Dee, I held out my hand and my Eros gallantly helped me to my feet.
As we walked out of the shop, if I hadn't believed my imagination was working overtime, I might have swore that in the reflection of the window I saw my winged stranger wink at Dee as he pulled back the string of a gigantic golden bow, with an arrow pointing it's heart shaped tip right at me. But when I turned around all I saw was Dee waving a happy good-bye and the naughty grin of my Eros. Maybe Valentines Day wasn't so bad after all.
A/N: Hi Beautiful people! Okay so I wrote this story for a Valentines Day Short Story Contest and then when I went to submit it I couldn't actually figure out HOW do it, this is either because I'm computer challenged or the website is just screwy. So because I worked sooo hard on it and it's soooo cute I decided to post it here and see what all of you thought! Plus hopefully this will tide you all over until I've posted for my other two stories. So whether your a romantic or a notsoromantic (haha that covers just about everyone right?) I hope you enjoy this story, review and let me know!