My Secret Admirer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I have never really liked Valentine's Day. When I was in elementary school, it always seemed to be covered with chocolates and kisses, with red and pink hearts on white doilies decorating the windows. By the time I reached middle school, I realized that Valentine's Day is no fun unless you have a Valentine, and I never had one. I thought this year would be like all the rest: I would get a card or two from my parents, shun the Valentine's Day Dance, and watch my classmates receive pre-ordered carnations in homeroom from friends or lovers. I was correct on all counts but one.

That Monday began like any average day: I stumbled into homeroom, barely beating the late bell, and made my way to my desk. However, instead of the usual notices, reminders, or overdue library slips, there was a bright red carnation on my desk.

I stared at it for a second in astonishment, wondering if it was indeed meant for me. A few other girls were cooing over their carnations and cards. Some who hadn't received any were staring enviously at those who had, but no one claimed mine. Gingerly, I checked the card attached to the carnation:

"To Shana," it read on the front, "from your secret admirer." I gasped, surprised, and felt myself turning beet red.

"Shana, who did you get that from?" a classmate called from across the room.

"I don't know," I said slowly. "A secret admirer."

Suddenly, it seemed that everyone was looking at me as another pint of blood rushed to my face. I cringed

"A secret admirer!" someone giggled. "Oh, that's so romantic! What does it say on the inside?" my classmate asked, her eyes wide with curiosity. Apprehensively, I opened the card and read it.

"I've liked you for so long, I just wished you notice me!" I read with disbelief, feeling my face flush redder.

Luckily, the bell saved me from any more hassling, but I was still in a daze. Who could possibly be the mysterious sender of the card and carnation? The handwriting looked unfamiliar, but the incorrect grammar gave some clue. Could it be the gorgeous exchange student who sat next to me in study hall? Or that flirt in Drama Club who never left me alone? Or that cute freshman kid? I realized the possibilities were endless, if I really got my imagination going ...

By lunch time, I still had no idea who my secret admirer could be. I managed to find a friend in the hall who was involved with the group selling carnations. Hoping she might know something about the mysterious sender of my carnation, I asked her if she knew who it was.

"Oh, I know who it is." She grinned mischievously.

"Who? Tell me, please," I begged.

"No way," she laughed.

"Would you tell me if I guessed? Was it that exchange student?"

"No, it's not him. And you'll never, ever guess." She sauntered off. I was about to run after her, but I knew I would be late for my next class, so I hurried back to my locker. Waiting there was my friend Dave.

"Dave!" I shouted, "I'm so glad to see you. Help me out with something, would ya? Who wrote this, do you know?" I asked, flinging the card at him.

"Happy Valentine's Day to you too," he grumbled sarcastically, and glanced at the card. "Who's this from?" He read the card, then looked up at me with an expression of genuine surprise written across his face.

"A secret admirer!" he exclaimed, "Shana, that's wonderful"

"Yes, but who is the admirer? That's the question," I said.

"I don't know," he said, with a shrug. "A secret admirer, obviously."

"Are you sure?" I asked slowly, looking at him carefully. He had probably heard, my paranoid and now frantic mind thought, and was just keeping it a secret from me. Dave, however, saw this as an implication that it was he who had sent the carnation.

"I swear it. I have no idea! What? You think I sent it?"

I laughed - incredulously, and then surprised. "You did?"

"No."

"I think you did, Dave."

"I wouldn't do anything like that! I swear, if I liked you, I'd tell you! This is stupid!"

"Sure, Dave, sure."

He stormed off in a huff. I was almost certain it was Dave who sent the carnation, but I still wasn't convinced. When my sister came home that afternoon, I handed her the card. She didn't even open it.

"Oh, you have a secret admirer," she grinned, barely glancing at the card.

"Read the inside," I suggested.

"I don't need to,"' she started, as an indescribable smirk spreading across her face. "I know what it says."

"What do you mean you know what it says? You didn't even look at it!"

"Oh, I know very well what it says," she giggled, the infuriating smirk turning into a perfect Cheshire cat grin.

"You know who sent it?" I couldn't believe it. My own sister knew who my secret admirer was before I did. It was too much. "How do you know? How do you know what it says? Tell me!" I demanded.

Finally, she couldn't hold it back anymore. The annoying grin dissolved into uncontrollable giggles.

"Because I sent it!" she blurted. "I had a friend write it for me so you wouldn't recognize the handwriting!"

I was speechless. "You sent it?" I stammered. "But - but I thought - "

"I knew you'd be wondering the whole day," she howled. "You probably went and asked a zillion people -"

"I did!"

"And you probably thought some really gorgeous kid sent it to you"

"Well ..."

"And all your friends are dying to know who it was, and they all think it's so romantic, and it was me all along!" She collapsed, laughing, on the floor.

"But ... but why did you do it?" I whimpered.

"I know how much you hate Valentine's Day, and I thought you might like a carnation to cheer you up," she beamed, hugging me. "So Happy Valentine's Day. And Happy April Fool's Day, too."

That was one Valentine's Day I'll never forget.


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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This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

shuga.cookii.luv said...
Dec. 1, 2008 at 10:52 pm
OMG!!! srry it wuznt a cute guy!!! i hav a secret admirer 2, but my friend wont tell me who it is. its prblee just a prank tho. good luck getting a valintine this year!!!!!!!
 
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