Pieces of My Heart

By , C, CA
Seventeen years have passed since I last saw Jason Monson. Like so many others, I had met him through my friend Lissa— he just happened to be her older brother. Unlike most stories though, I actually summoned up the courage to ask him out one day— well, in a matter of speaking.

Every year, our school hosted a Sadie Hawkin's dance in the large auditorium the week before Halloween. Traditionally, the dance was labeled girl-ask-guy. For most ordinary girls like me, this meant we would actually have the chance to arrive at a dance with a guy at our side. Due to complications during my sophomore year, the school moved the date of the dance to Valentine's Day. In spite of this, I decided this was the year I would cast away my fears and insecurities, and approach Jason with the intention of walking away with a date. This thought had been on my mind since last year's Sadie's, and finally February made its appearance.

Having had plenty of time to shift through a myriad of ideas, I finally decided on asking him via origami. What did I mean by this? Well, I wrote a note to Jason on a sheet of paper, folded into the shape of a crane. His sister was friends with my brother, and I was sure she wouldn't mind helping me out by planting the surprise in his locker. Appreciating my creative efforts, he would walk up to me with a smile and say yes— at least, that was what I was hoping for.

Days before the week of the dance, my brother came home with news: Jason's sister had secured a date to the dance— having written him a note on an origami butterfly. As happy as I was for her, I couldn't suppress my anxiety. My plan was ruined! If I went ahead with my original plan, he would think I had copied his sister's idea, and surely reject me. Of course, a crane isn't the same as a butterfly, but it was the same in theory. Understanding my distress, my brother thought of another idea. How about a scavenger hunt?

Reluctant to deviate from what I first had in mind, I agonized over this the next few days. Matters became worse when another girl invited him to the dance. I was able to relax again after hearing he turned her down the next day. (I did feel bad, but then, it was through no fault of my own, and these things happened all the time). Finally, I ventured to draw out a set of puzzle pieces inscribed with hints about my identity, as well as numbers indicating where to find the next clue. When all the pieces were assembled, the words "Will you go to Sadie's with me?" would appear like magic on the heart-shaped ornament.

The following day, I felt like a hyperactive puppy— a puppy that just couldn't sit still. I had arrived at school early to distribute the pieces of my heart around campus, and could not wait till he found the last clue, and me thereof, at the last bell. At lunch, I chattered with my friends about the scavenger; they all wished me luck. At last, the school day drew to a close. Not wanting to seem eager, I worked to take on a leisurely pace as I headed towards the waiting place: the school's theatre. Students strolled by, piling into cars, and the minutes seemed strained as they passed me by. Where was Jason? Thinking internally, I assured myself he would come. He was probably just collecting his books from his locker or talking with his friends. Twenty minutes into my waiting, someone approached me. It was Tatiana, a loud-mouth junior, who although friendly, could never help but unleash the latest gossip upon anyone who stayed around long enough to listen. "You would not believe what happened in chem class today," she tittered, smacking her gum loudly as usual. I was curious enough to respond. "What happened?"

"Well, you know your brother's friend, the cute redhead—Jason, right?" I felt my stomach curl under me. "Apparently, some girl decided to play a mean joke on him." I wanted to speak, but my mouth wouldn't let me. "He found a note during first period, asking him to the dance. It was supposed to lead him on a scavenger hunt, for him to find all the pieces so he could read the message. This first note told him to wait until third period for his second clue, and he was pretty excited about it. Anyway, he waited the entire day, but nothing happened. Everyone who heard is really angry, but he just seems kind of sad about it. Monica was saying..."


Just then, Jason walked by, and I could see what she meant. Usually he was a person of high spirits— almost happy-go-lucky, one could say— but with a serious side to him that I had seen only once. At this time, his face betrayed the sense of hurt that he must have been feeling. Seeing him like this, the knot in my stomach twisted tighter. "I have to go," I yelled out, abruptly dashing away from Tatiana, as I struggled to hold back my tears.

Later on, I found out that Jason's third period teacher, who was supposed to hand him the second piece of the jigsaw, had lost the paper I gave her. With that missing link, it was impossible for Jason to find the remainder of the heart. The next day, I had my brother leave an anonymous message on his phone, apologizing for the miscommunication. Jason never discovered I was his secret Valentine. He probably has a wife and kids now, and forgotten all about it. Looking back on it though, I can't help but wish I had just told him the truth. All I can do now is hold him as a dear memory in my heart.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

silverstars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 26, 2010 at 12:26 am
kinda cliche, and a bit stiff... nice storyline tho... very cute
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback