"_______? Is ________ here today?"
"Yes Miss." You mumbled, making every effort to look as disinterested as you felt, planting both arms on your desk and resting your chin on your hands.
You hated this cursed occasion, every year round. On Valentine's day every couple in school seemed to be completely induced in love-stricken admiration of each other. It almost seemed like they wanted to rub their affections in the faces of the rest of the world. They would gaze into each other's eyes; give gifts of cards and flowers and chocolate.
What was so romantic about that anyway? Flowers would die in a few days, and an overdose of sweet treats was sure to bring either the dentist or the doctor calling.
"Is Matthew Williams here today?"
Of course Matthew was there. The teacher just ignored him like most other people. It wasn't as if people ( boys in particular) ignored you, you'd had many love confessions over the years
. Just not the one you were searching for.
A flickering motion caught your attention and you looked round to see your best friend, Alfred, waving manically at you, luckily just subtle enough not to attract the teacher's attention as she called out the rest of the class register.
You raised an eyebrow questioningly as he pointed a finger to a couple at the back who, oblivious to everyone else it seemed, were engrossed in a tight lip-lock. Alfred proceeded to roll his eyes and made a mock-vomiting gesture so comical you had to stifle a giggle. That boy always knew how to cheer you up.
As the teacher commenced lessons he adjusted his glasses, winked at you to and turned to the front. He looked so perfect this morning.
Maybe that was why you hated Valentine's day
. You'd never received a card from him. The two of you had been inseparable best friends for years now; your friends had even told you how much you suited each other and yet
. Nothing. It was like he was completely oblivious to any deeper feelings you had for him.
The bell sounded for next lesson and you realised with horror that you had made absolutely no notes this lesson. Ooops. Well that could be worried about some other time.
You hastily made your way into the bustling corridor outside and pushed through to your locker. You slotted in the key and swung the rusty metal door open. A small pile of red, pink and violet cards dropped to your feet. You sighed and picked them up, but none were addressed in the lazy scrawl of your crush.
"Yo! ______! That's a tonne of cards bro, who're they from!?" Alfred's loud voice rattled in your ear.
You spun around, trying not to conceal the embarrassed blush that was gradually creeping onto your cheeks. When you spoke you just about concealed that yearly disappointment of not finding a letter addressed from the hero himself.
"Hey Al! Well, to be honest I don't know yet, I haven't opened any."
"Awwr dude, you're no fun! I tore into mine the second I saw em'!" He laughed.
"Haha, now why doesn't that surprise me?" You grinned, giving him a playful dig in the ribs.
"So, who's the lucky guy gonna' be?" He joked.
"Pfft I won't be answering them! Forever alone as always!" You half-joked.
"Well when you're done lookin' at them come to the roof, there's a sweet buddy of mine who wants to meet you!"
"Okay but wait! Who is it!?" You called as Alfred backed away and raced off down the corridor, out of sight. You sighed and clunked your locker shut, stuffing the crumpled cards into your schoolbag.
You decided that now was the best time if any to meet this 'buddy' since after your little conversation the place had practically emptied of students, all now sat obediently in their lessons. You knew you should really go join them, but curiosity had the edge.
You crept softly down the corridor and kept to the shadows, hoping you wouldn't be spotted skipping class. As you reached the fire exit door you hadn't been seen, and relaxed a little as you climbed the winding, metal stairs. Apprehension knotted in your stomach as you wondered just what this friend of unpredictable Alfred's would be like.
You reached the top uncertainly and scrambled onto the roof where students came during break and lunch, or just to get away from the bustle of school life. A high chain link fence prevented any danger, something you were glad of. However other than the fence's constant, looming presence the roof was empty.
"Damn Alfred!" You cursed, instantly regretting leaving lessons behind. You weren't in any mood for his practical jokes today.
You were just about to turn back, disappointed, when a flutter of paper grabbed your attention. Again curiosity and hope took over as you crossed the roof tentatively to discover a red envelope pinned to the fencing.
You couldn't help but squeak excitedly when you recognised the handwriting immediately. You gently eased the letter open, as a shadow from behind blocked out the Sun's fierce glare.
A warm hand pressed over your eyes, forcing them closed, as a second gently took hold of your arm and began to twist you around.
You turned slowly, already knowing full well who it was. Opening your eyes confirmed suspicion and your best friend embraced you tightly. A faint smell of fast food wafted from his warm jacket and you squeezed him back appreciatively, loving the familiar smell.
"So, who's your friend?" You teased.
"Oh, that guy I wanted you to meet? Well now he's just some dumbass guy who fell for the most amazing girl in the world."
You gazed up into the bright-ice eyes of Alfred F Jones, your best friend and now
"I love you, _____."
And with a final, broad smile, Alfred leant forward and kissed you.