Koala Love Tango: My Valentine's Day

February 3, 2009
By
Morning came in a shade of indigo. She had been waiting for this day to pass for the past few weeks
ever since she saw the decorations and mementos up in the stores. Around this time of year, the
shops would have one aisle dedicated to this one holiday. Everything came in red, white, or pink:
the hearts, the cards, the streamers, the candy, the jewelry, and the ridiculously overstuffed
animals. It was disgusting, the use of this holiday, really. Multi million dollar companies were
banking on people buying these things. In her opinion, it was an excuse to show off how much you
love someone based on how much you could afford, or on how much you were willing to spend. Or a
scheme to charm the pants off of someone to receive some sort of recognition, as if it were a bribe.
As much as the holiday and the stereotypical attachments it held sickened her, it was a ridiculously
overstuffed teddy bear that got to her, distracting the negativity that seemed to synegrate as she
walked through the aisle. Its name was Heartford. She found it behind a giant gorilla that sang
Barry White love ballads. It was tiny, furry, and soft to the touch. The company that had produced
from decided to make it white, the color of both purity and innocence, and adorned it with a red
silky bow to match the two red overlapping hearts stitched into the left foot. By the look on its
face, she guessed that Heartford and its counterparts, all of them most likely having the same
glossy beady little eyes asymmetrical to questionably large muzzles as the bear she held, would all
be screaming 'Love Me!' in a timid voice, if it was possible for them to speak. The expression
of innocence and fear, the color of its faux fur, and its cuteness won her over. She bought
Heartford, going against her morals. 'Somebody needs to love you.' As she applied her make up,
she recalled what was making her so anxious today. Days beforehand, her best friend was over. She
did not know what to get her boyfriend, and they were exchanging ideas while sprawled out on her
bed. Concepts were thrown around as they stared at the ceiling, and Nick Thomas sang softly through
a set of speakers in order to drown out the noises downstairs. Heartford was in the arms of the
friend. After much arguing, both had decided that Hartford would be proclaimed male. 'What are you
going to do with him?' 'With whom?' 'Heartford.' She tossed the cuddly object to the
owner. Keep him? I bought him. But he is so cute! Which was why I bought him. She stopped hugging
the bear tightly and cooing at it like a mother or grandmother would to a baby. 'You should give
it to someone on Valentine's Day.' 'That would ruin the purpose of buying him though.' Why
give him away? 'Look at him. He deserves to be given to someone. Someone to love him.' She had a
point. Again, with the look in his eyes and his little squishy but huggable body, anybody would be
happy to receive him as a present. Plus, the point of him being created was to be given away as a
present for Valentine's Day. 'So, I am not good enough to love him because?' You know what I
mean, Stupid. Fine. Whom should I give it to then? Not only did she have a strong dislike for
pointless holidays that had to do with love, but love in general, at this age, at least. Love,
realistically, is when you are willing give someone your heart while you are confident that you can
hold on to it and keep it in a safe place. Relationships at fifteen were pointless, in her opinion.
You are young. You have a life to live. Sustaining a relationship while dealing with life can tie
you down. You have to deal with emotions and feelings. Trivial emotions and feelings. 'What
about?' 'No.' Before she had met her best friend, she had met him. Four years ago, in a
crowded classroom full of 6th graders learning about the wonders of ancient civilizations, they had
sat at the same table. They would argue about television characters, computer games, and musical
taste. If he would make fun of her, however, she would call him by his last name, a below the belt
punch at his ego, or shut him up with a swift kick to the shin. Like most teenyboppers, little acts
of violence or teasing at that age stereotypically meant that the instigator, being she, had
feelings for the victim, being he. That was true. There were various things that made her like him.
How he was different. How he was adorably stupid. His hair. His willingness to argue with her. His
black Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Tops covered with white peace signs and scribbles after he
let her write on them. The "bad boy" attitude he showed around her that automatically shut off when
he was on the ground after she kicked him in the shin. The way he looked while he was on the ground
looking up at her in pain. Oh yes, she was in love. The crush she had, however, ended abruptly after
he refused to sign her yearbook, deciding that he would rather play tetherball than write something
that she could cherish for who knows how long. Her parents had decided to have her transfer schools,
so she may not see him again. They met again three years later in high school. They both had
changed. She no longer had masochistic tendencies towards him, and he had grown out of his peace
sign Converse, and had grown out his hair as well. He was still adorably stupid though. They became
friends again, talking about stupid things and making fun of each other in a more civilized non-
violent manner. By the end of freshman year, however, she slightly had feelings for him. Throughout
the two years, the best friend had thought that she had seen signs of attraction and told her. She
did not believe her, and was still convinced that love was pointless at this age. And as much as her
friend attempted to push her to instigate or start a relationship, with him or with others, she
refused. The thoughts and remembrances leading up to what her friend had said and had given her
convinced her to go through with it. It was also to shut her up. It also gave her a massive amount
of paranoia for days to come. There was the curiosity. How does he feel about me? What if she is
right? What if we both have feelings towards each other? Will he say yes? There were questions she
needed to ask herself. What if I am lying to myself? What if I do like him more than I think I do?
Do I even want to do this? I do not even want to have or instigate a relationship. Then there was
the possibility of rejection. I can deal with rejection. I know it. She felt a twitch in her
stomach. She did not want to do this. She was scared. Would she honestly be prepared to face
rejection and recriminations that could follow? Her stomach twitched again. Thoughts of metaphorical
butterflies fluttering around and repopulating inside her stomach went through her head as she
zipped up her backpack, Heartford safely inside. Later on, there they were. The feeling of
presenting someone you have known for years, on a lovey-dovey holiday nonetheless, a stupid present
while unsure of the purpose was strange. She could do this. She shook as she held the object of
affection up to him and had fear in her eyes as she asked him. It could be the start of that, or, if
he declined, the end of the questioning and curiosity. Was he nervous? The curiosity, fear, the
questions, the thought of having someone's heart, how to respond, did thoughts such as those go
through his head? 'I already have a Valentine.' Apparently not. Relationships are useless at
this age, anyways.





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