Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Valentine for an Old Love

Flash Fiction
by CJ Heck

Katie blew the dust off the old size six shoebox that was tied with an ivory ribbon. She had carefully tucked the shoebox in a camel-back steamer trunk in the attic and there it had been resting for years -- until today, the same as every Valentine's Day, for the last fifty years. Inside the box was one of her most cherished possessions, a valentine that was never sent.

The love it represented flourished a long time ago, nearly a lifetime now, Katie thought, but it was still as fresh in her mind today as the scent of the roses he brought her every Wednesday, just because Wednesday was the day that they first met.

A deep sigh escaped her as she allowed herself this special time to remember. They had been so very much in love -- so many miles and years now were between them. The youthful he and she had long since moved on, each taking a different path through life, but so many times Katie felt regret for what might have been, had she only been free. It was like the words of a song she had once heard, it was sad to belong to someone else when the right one came along.

The pain of loss was still fresh in her heart and she knew it always would be. I’ll always love you, she thought. I’ll always care. A love like that is almost never found at all. You're forever here in my heart and one more time I wonder ... what might have been, had I put a stamp on this Valentine and dropped it into the box.

Katie brushed away a tear. Then she kissed the valentine and sent out the familiar wish from her heart to his: “For what we had, I wish you love.” Then, replacing the valentine in its size six cardboard home, she retied the ivory ribbon and tucked it carefully back into the steamer trunk to rest for another year.

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