Valentine's Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 12, 2012
They were beautiful flowers. I couldn’t argue that. There were twelve red roses with baby breath as their companions. But their smell was mundane, store-bought and predictable.

The sky was one big gray cloud, limitless and unending. I set the deep red carnations I had given him on the dashboard of his car. I couldn’t help but notice the red of the carnations riding toward the gray of the sky.

My stomach turned.

“Here, I bought you some chocolates.” He reached behind him and pulled out a red heart shaped box.

“Thanks,” nervously I accepted it. Was I supposed to kiss him now? I didn’t. The chocolates and the flowers were romantic but …

The high grass brushed my summer legs as he carried me on his back. The breeze reached its fingers toward my hair. I ran my hand through my hair as if imitating this unseen force. The sky looked as if I was staring into the depths of the ocean, instead of the expanse of the heavens. His cheek felt soft against mine, almost baby-like.

“Wait,” letting me slide gently down his back; he got on his knees. Straining to see over his shoulder, I saw him digging softly through a patch of weeds.

“What are you doing?” I playfully inquired. Facing me he held up a delicate little flower. The colors in this little piece of art dazzled me. It was almost blue and not quite purple. Holding the tiny gift in his massive hands, he reached for the blue clay jar that hung from a cord around my neck. He held the bottom of the jar with the tips of his fingers, and placed the gift into the empty hole.

He looked at me with his intense ocean eyes, and gave me that boyish grin that never turned into a smile unless I approved.

“Now, your jar won’t be empty anymore.”

I lost that flower a while ago, and I lost those eyes, and now the little blue jar hangs around my neck … empty.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Mrs. Hudson said...
Feb. 13, 2015 at 9:48 am
I love Teen Ink and the things they publish. What a great way for teens to get their work out there. I like this story and the symbolism that it shares. We have all had that experience of feeling empty, and I like the idea of the empty jar. I also wonder what it would take for the character to feel as if the jar were full. I also like how it is somewhat of a cliffhanger at the end and the story leaves room for the reader to process about the ending. Hope to see more from this author.
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