Today is the day! Grab the flowers, chocolates, and pens! Pens? Yeah, that’s right! Time to write a story (214 words or less) for Susanna Hill’s Annual Valentiny Contest! This years theme is Guilt. Did you forget to give someone a valentine? Did you eat all of your mom’s chocolate? Love is not the only emotion people feel on Valentine’s Day…
In past years I have merely been an observer and reader of the wonderful Valentine’s stories, but this year I’m going to give it a try!
Drum roll please…
Free Valentine’s Hugs
By Deborah Foster
“Mom, the big Valentine’s Party is tomorrow,” Harold mumbled. “Can we go shopping for candy and cards?”
Every year, Harold looked forward to the class Valentine’s Party! He ALWAYS exchanged the biggest cards and mountains of candy.
But this year, Harold knew things would be different.
He tried to ignore the empty chair where his father once sat.
“I’m sorry, my dear, maybe next year,” his mother sniffled.
Feeling defeated, Harold stirred the beans around his plate and ignored his buttered toast. His insides twisted knowing he had nothing to give on this special day.
“You could make your own valentines,” his mom suggested.
Harold sprang from the table – his stomach growling in protest.
In the construction paper drawer, he found…
Only one sheet left.
He grabbed a crayon and scribbled a few words before shuffling off to bed.
The next morning, when the school bell rang, his classmates stampeded in carrying armfuls of brightly colored valentines.
Harold hung up his plain, simple sign…
If only I could share like every year.
He slumped in his chair and traced the woodgrain of his desk.
Harold didn’t notice the room grow silent.
He looked up to see his entire class, standing in line, with arms out wide for… “Free Valentine’s Hugs.”