Thursday, February 14, 2008

How My Valentine's Day Was Forever Ruined

Imagine me telling you this story for effect with a sarcastic French-English accent; ala Inspector Cluso.

First, a claimer. No, I did not mean a disclaimer but a claimer. I have not changed the names to protect the innocent because there are no innocent in this story my friend. Well, except for me. I am the Valentine's Day victim here!

It was year of my fourth grade. I had fallen in love with a whimsical dame; one half of the Twins de Banka. Yes, it was Christy Banka whom I had gone head over heals for. In hindsight, it was her sister Carrie who would have proven to be the more prudent choice but when you are ten years old, passion not prudency drives the heart.

We had a passionate autumn filled with notes of "Do you like me check yes or no" and "You are a fox!" Oh the romance, it remains palatable to this day! The lovesick looks at recess as we held hands on the way to the jungle gym. The way I protected her and valiantly defended her during those dodge-ball games. Oh yes, we were crafting a romance for the ages.

Fall turned cold and let go to reveal an amazing Christmas season. Christmas break was going to be hard for us as we didn't live anywhere close together and a three week Christmas break seemed like it would be an eternity. I contemplated what extraordinary gift I could bestow on my love so that she would not forget me over the holidays.

I settled on a mood ring purchased with hard earned car washing cash. She loved it or so she said. The ring which was aglow with fiery red when I had tested it on my finger remained black as I slipped it on her finger. Looking back I should have taken it as a sign but the beating heart often silences the observant mind.

We made it through Christmas and as January slowly ticked by I began to plot my Valentine's profession of love for her. I began to amass an arsenal of prophetic love tokens that when unleashed upon her would not only make her swoon but would forever secure my place in Osuna Elementary folklore.

Four days before Valentine's Day it happened. Spots! First one. Then two. Then more spots than you can imagine. Chickenpox had come home to roost; compliments of one Amy Chung who had sat next to me in class. I never did like that girl!

The doctor confirmed that I was to be at home for no less than ten days. "Ten days," I remember screaming, "but I will miss Valentine's Day with Christy." To say I was a wreck would be an understatement. In fact I had not been that upset since Kevin Massis my friend had pulled the head off my Steve Austin Six Million Dollar Man action figure (it was not a doll).

Christy and I spoke that evening after receiving the devastating news. She seemed almost giddy which at the time struck me as nothing more than worried relief that my disease was not life threatening. Her giddiness though was not because of my diagnosis but because it was her window of opportunity.

Valentine's Day arrived and my mom graciously offered to take my enormous package of love gifts up to the school for me so that Christy would not be without on such an important and historic day. Mom returned with a tiny Charlie's Angels Valentine card signed only with her name and a one little candy heart that said "You're Neat!" The lack of the gift I was certain at the time was due to her endless nights of worry for my safe return to health.

I was so excited waiting for the hours to tick by on Valentine's Day until school let out and she, my beauty would call to thank me. 3PM arrived and no call. 4PM arrived and no call. 5PM arrived and I decided I had better check on my love for fear that Big Foot or some other equally terrifying fate might have befallen her on the way home from school. Her mother answered and gave me the news......"Oh Christy isn't home she went over to Steve's house to give him a Valentine's Day gift." I hurriedly hung up the phone to run upstairs and fix my hair and put on a clean shirt. My beloved was steaming towards my house to see me and to give me my real Valentines.

I waited at our front window for nearly two hours. No car pulled up in our driveway to drop her off. No cute smiling little Christy walked up from the depths of the neighborhood. Nothing. Just darkness.

Later that night I called back to Christy's house and learned the real truth. Christy had visited Steve's house and she did deliver a Valentine's Day gift....but it was to another Steve. Steve once friend and soccer rival.

I was devastated. My heart was forever scared. The depths of the damage still visible on this day as this act of betrayal relives in my mind every single February 14th. Christy Banka showed me the true evil that lurks in a woman's heart. Damn you Christy Banka!

When I returned to school days later, Christy and Steve's hot Valentine's Day romance had already fizzled. But the damage to this day, for me, was already done. Sometime in late February I ended up at Steve Moreno's house. The thoughts of beating him up or enacting some embarrassing function of revenge was rumbling in my mind when something happened....

Steve brought out this huge heart filled with Red Hots and asked me if I wanted some. It was the very heart that I had filled with Red Hots to profess and demonstrate my passionate love for one Christy Banka. Poor Steve, the clueless bloke didn't even realize he had been scammed too.

I grab a handful and threw them into my mouth. And I let it burn all the way down!

Happy Valentine's Day to all....all but Christy Banka.

(Christy if by some crazy miracle you end up reading this, I am represented by council and if you pursue action against me for defamation of character I will be forced to seek restitution on the Valentine's Day gifts which were given and regifted! How do you like Chrissy!)

Just kidding. This was all in good fun. Though my heart is forever scared.


PRINCE RAHMAN, msole said...

LOL!!!!! :o)
That must have been the mood ring of all mood rings!!!

Anonymous said...

If Christy could only see you now!

Her loss!!!


terri said...

The telling of this tale is extremely reminiscent of one of my favorite movies, "A Christmas Story." Too bad the kid that played Ralphie is all grown up now. This would have made a great sequel to that movie!

Rami said...

I am sorry my friend! she didn't know what she is missing.

Stacy said...

You crack me up. I remember all those people. :) Should have gone for Carrie. Happy V Day my friend.


Anonymous said...

Well, well....If I had known you were going to grow up to be such a sweetheart little darling, I might not have ignored you in the 4th grade!


Anonymous said...

Harper....does Ms. Christy know you are a famous author? I bet if she did she would think twice about dumping you for your friend. And how cruel...dumping you while your down with chicken pox! Ouch!

Anyway your story had me laughing so hard that I had to share this with people in my office. You Mr. Ripple are now our official Valentine's Day Mascot of Cool!

Shelby Lane
Orlando, Florida

Steve Harper said...

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment or emailed me yesterday. I managed to have a successful Valentine's Day without drudging up too many painful memories of years past.

Stacy, great to hear from you! in Veronica Garcia? If's it going!?!

Prince, Amy, Terri, Rami and Shelby thanks for the comments as well.