Free Fiction: Cheesy Valentine’s Day (Part I)

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[Note: This may look familiar, I wrote it for my old blog. But ’tis the season of Valentine’s Day and it’s the best I’ve got. Unlike the old blog, I’ll give it to you in two parts instead of four.]

“I hate Valentine’s Day,” Senora whined. “So tell me again why I’m wrapped into planning this stupid party with you?”

Senora picked up her glass of wine and looked at her best friend, who remained focused on writing a to-do list.

“I’m waiting.”

Kristin looked up and smiled. “Because you love me. That’s why. And Valentine’s Day is all about love, romantic or not.”

Senora rolled her eyes and picked up a red construction paper heart that her friend had made as an invitation. It was beyond cheesy—but that was her entire theme: Cheesy Valentine’s Day stuff.

“Come on, throwing Valentine’s Day parties is my favorite tradition. If I could, I’d totally major in party planning.”

Senora polished off her wine and set the glass down on top of Kristin’s to-do list.

Kristin looked up at her with sadness rimming her hazel eyes. “It’s going to be awesome. You have to help, it comes in the best friend job description. If you don’t like it, go back in time about nine months and unmeet me.”

“Wow, has it only been nine months, I feel like I’ve known you forever.”

“Yeah, well, we merely passed in the night for years, apparently. I’m just grateful you were there to help me pick up the pieces after that jerk stood me up at the movies that night.”

Senora chuckled. What she never told Kristin was that she had been stood up that night too. But she didn’t want to seem that uncool. Instead she just picked her up off the ground and offered to buy her a big box of Goobers to ease the pain of rejection while they drooled over Benedict Cumberbatch. Something deep down in Senora’s heart told her that she and Kristin were stood up by the same guy—they both met their non-existent date on the same dating site—but she wasn’t going to complain because she got a new best friend out of the deal.

Kristin slid the list over to Senora and got up to pour them both fresh glasses of Merlot. “Did I forget anything?”

“Just who I’m going to bring as my date.”

Kristin winked. “Relax. It’s a cheesy party, you don’t need a date. You can be part of the wallflowers—every party has them.”

Senora rolled her eyes. “Your faith in my ability to score a date depresses me,” she said and she polished off her new glass of wine in a single gulp.

“Look at you, drinking red wine. You’re getting into the theme already.” Kristin paused and finished off her own glass just as quickly and set it down on the table with pride. “You have five days. If you don’t have a date, I’ll take care of it.”

“I guess I better figure this out—because I’m not letting the queen of cheesy Valentine’s Day parties pick my date too.”

***

Five days had come and gone and Senora was sort of desperate for a date rather than try her hand at Kristin’s matchmaking skills. Finally, she texted the only ex she was on speaking terms with.

Senora: Hey Charlie, what are you doing tonight?

His reply was instant.

Charlie: Nothing. Enjoying being alone, I guess.

Senora: Want to go to a cheesy Valentine’s party to save me from being hooked up with a stranger?

This time, she got silence. Well, shoot.

Her mind swirled with the hideous chemistry and physics nerds Kristin might set her up with—hello pocket protectors and black-rimmed glasses. Kristin may love planning parties, and she may be gorgeous, but she was also the smartest person Senora knew—so she wasn’t surprised at all to find out she was a double major in chemistry and physics. In fact, she’d expect nothing less of her. Senora looked down at her communications textbooks and felt extremely unintelligent, despite the fact she made Dean’s List every semester since she started school.

The hands on the clock said she had just enough time to down a shot of whiskey before she got ready for this party. From the way her night was shaping up, she was going to need all the liquid courage she could get. In fact, she desperately wished she had a flask so she could take some to the party. Alas, she did not, nor did she have the time to go appropriate one. Foiled once again.

God, I really loathe Valentine’s Day.

Senora tilted her head back and let the whiskey burn its way down her throat. When she was done she slammed the glass on her counter and shook her head, and then she marched to the bedroom at the back of her apartment and prowled around for something to wear.

She eyed her favorite little black dress and really wanted to wear that, just despite the holiday. However, she knew one, Kristin would kill her and two, it would make her stand out like a sore thumb and she wanted to draw the least bit of attention to herself as possible. Red it is, then.

She rifled through her closet. Not a single thing in it was red. Or pink. Or even maroon. She turned to the little black dress and smiled. “Well, it’s just you and me tonight.”

Her phone buzzed to let her know she got a text message. She scrambled to get to the phone, hoping it was Charlie offering to save her from her almost-definite Valentine humiliation. Her heart sank when she saw it was from Kristin.

Kristin: Let me guess, you’re eyeing that little black dress with a smile. It ain’t gonna happen.

Senora dropped her phone. “How the hell did she know that?” she asked her phone, as if it was going to spill the secrets of the universe. Hell, she didn’t even have Siri.

She thought for a moment before she sent a text back to Kristin.

Senora: I’ve got no red, it’s the best candidate so far.

Kristin: I know you don’t—but you’re not wearing black to my party. Just like your date, I’ve got your dress covered. You can change when you get here.

Senora shuddered. Kristin knew. Despite the fact Senora hadn’t said a word to her about coming up short with a date, she knew. Sometimes she hated that best friend ESP thing.

Senora: You know, I’m thinking of skipping town instead of going to this party.

Kristin: Oh, shut up, do your hair, and come on over. I need some help hanging this heart banner anyway.

Senora sighed, sent Kristin a happy face, and then she changed into a button-down flannel shirt she saved for when she cleaned. She put her blonde hair up into a twist, and curled little tendrils around the side of her face. She pulled out her makeup kit and applied a thin layer of foundation, and then applied the most neutral eye shadow she had. While she was applying eye liner, her phone buzzed again, and she jerked. Eye liner went all over the place.

She carefully removed the offending eye liner and finished applying her makeup, topping it off with a layer of shiny lip gloss. Like hell was she going to wear red or pink lipstick—not tonight. Not ever.

She checked her phone.

Charlie: I’ll meet you at Kristin’s in an hour.

She quickly texted Kristin.

Senora: Ha, I have a date. Nah, nah, boo, boo.

Kristin: Charlie doesn’t count.

 

To be continued…

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