I Heart Valentine’s Day

#1. At my desk in Public Relations on my last 800# call of the day, an inquiry about the Motel 9 in Brownsville, I hear someone call, “Rachel, Rachel!” behind me. Turning I see Curtis, in his khakis, white shirt, and red behearted tie, looking for all the world like a Hallmark movie secretly-disguised prince! Jogging to my desk he takes both my tiny, soft hands in his large ones and I gaze wonderingly into moist, hazel eyes. “Come away with me, My Darling!” “Where?” is all I can choke out in my shock. “To Paris, my love! I can’t hide it anymore and I don’t have to. I’ve been made vice president and I can afford to whisk you away from all this. Forever.” He boldly sweeps everything off my desk with his strong, masculine forearm and pulls a small, red velvet Godiva box from his pocket with the other hand. Somewhere violins, urgent and rushing, soar with a chromatic melody. Curtis pops a mocha truffle in my mouth and then places a one-and-a-half carat, square-cut diamond solitaire on my left hand. I swoon in his embrace.

#2. Picture a somewhat plain but shyly sweet young woman sipping absently at her lukewarm Taster’s Choice in the barren formica lunchroom of a corporate office. It’s late in the day and she is fatigued and entirely alone. Suddenly Curtis, urgent and rushing, bursts into the room and slides boyishly like a kid in socks across the linoleum ending before the sweet young thing in a low bow, one arm upswept in a high arc. “My Dearest Rachel! We’re off to Waco for dinner at the Bar-b-que Barn!” Magically we are transported to a red vinyl booth at the back of the Barn, bibbed and glowing at each other, whispering violins soothing the very air around us. Amid the hush puppies and fries on a side plate a sparkle catches my eye! I pick up the dazzling one carat pear-shaped solitaire and look in amazement at Curtis, who places the ring on my left hand while I simply nod a “Yes.” No words are needed between us. He kisses barbecue sauce from my cheek!

#3. I am walking to my car after work in the February dusk. The parking lot is nearly empty. But what do I see on the hood of my Kia? Curtis, waiting for me, wearing his sexy parka with the faux fur hood, and he leaps off and runs to meet me. “My Precious Rachel! I’ve brought us a winter’s picnic to share in the car by the river. Don’t be shy!” I let him drive and I can’t take my eyes off of him in my driver’s seat! Parked where we can see the urgent, rushing dance of the river as violins lightly exhale a faintly humorous but passionate melody all around us, he hands me a red jello cup and plastic spoon. The latter I drop when I see stuck in the jello like the first and brightest star trapped in a scarlet sunset, a half-carat round diamond solitaire. It’s perfect and on my finger in a heartbeat. “We’ll marry in June, My Sweetest! Why wait?”

#4. At my desk in Public Relations on my last 800# call of the day, an inquiry about the Motel 9 in Marfa, I hear a male voice, urgent and rushing towards me, call “Rachel! Rachel!” It’s Curtis, who appears in his khakis and red polo shirt. It’s casual Friday and he has brought me a dry-edged Velveeta cube on a toothpick, apparently leftover from the birthday party for Trudy in accounting. “The cake is all gone, Rachel, but I thought you might like this.” I take it from his fingers and as I start to pop it, I stop in time to see the silvery band protruding from it with what looks to be a diamond chip set up high to make it appear larger. “Of course, we’ll be poor for a year or so while I finish my A.A. in diesel repair, but then we’ll be set! Why should we wait? You’re working!” I slip the ring on and hold it at arm’s length to catch the tiny glint of it, and Curtis, sweeps me into his arms. Violins somewhere over by Mr. Glerkin’s office sigh softly.  

#5. I am standing in line at the Food Faire after work, reading the headlines about aliens in Congress, Meryl Steep’s secret pancreatic condition, and Meghan Markle’s royal skin care regimen, when I am rammed in the back of the ankles by a cart. The end of a perfect day. Turning to see who the rocket scientist is, I find a tall, blond, young heart-throbbing guy with hazel eyes. “Oh, I’m sorry! I’m a bad driver, I guess.” He laughs. I smile vacantly hearing a lone violin melody hesitatingly at first and then searingly urgent and rushing! He reaches out a hand for me to shake. “My name is Curtis.”

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