Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ruffled heart

He stood stiffly in front of the ruffled red cardboard heart.

Last time he’d seen the box of Valentine's Day candy was the night before when he’d delivered it to her house, leaving it on her porch so she'd be sure to see it this morning on her way to work. Well, clearly she had. And now he was in his office, staring like a Boss-clad dork at that very heart on his desk.

It wasn't beating, but then neither was his, which had toppled onto its side in his chest and felt like a lump of clay, heavy and immobile. He had thought their date last Friday had gone well. At least, he'd had a good time. Obviously she hadn't.

But did she have to send back the chocolates? Couldn't she have said thanks and turned him down next time he called?

Or – his mind joined his heart in lumpen despair – maybe she’d told him she was diabetic and he hadn't heard her. Crap. What a bozo.

And now the entire office could see him standing in front of his heart like a loser.

"Hey," his assistant put her head around his door.

He forced himself to say Hey back.

Her gaze landed on the red ruffles.


"Oh good," she said. "You got it. Some woman dropped it off for you just after you left last night."