Creative Nonfiction Romance Contemporary

It was a drizzly February day. Joe was startled awake by the sound of raindrops on the window. Raindrops have always been soothing to her. She laid in her bed for a few moments, listening to the steady sound and trying to remember what she had been dreaming about. She couldn't remember anything, so she sprang out of bed and flung open the window. A burst of fresh, earthy perfume blended with the scent of damp eucalyptus trees hit her senses right away. She took a big breath, as if trying to fit all of this beauty into herself. She stood there for a few more moments before closing the window and going to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. 

On her way she decided to skip the breakfast. She will take it after she return home. Joe has decided today to settle an administrative issue that has been dragging on for months. But, for some reason, she was determined to end the problem once and for all.

She began singing a passage of a song she had recently heard on the radio while getting dressed. "You were the other half of my heart... half of my heart," she hummed. There are some songs that you don't remember completely, but one phrase in particular that you keep repeating for days. 

She looked out the window at the weather to see if it was still raining. Indeed, it was.

When it's raining, she usually drives, but today she decided to walk. She then took her umbrella and walked out of the house. 

She was amazed by the stores she had never seen before or had no idea were in the area as she made her way. Graffitis and street art were painted on a large wall along the sidewalk. It had lovely paintings on it, but a giant blue and green dragonfly had caught her eyes. She smiled and thought to herself, "This artist must be a huge animals lover."

Then she noticed a small black and white sentence inscribed right under the dragonfly's wing. She read, "Choose a good heart, not a pretty face." Well, in the midst of all these artwork, it was unexpected. She continued on her way, thinking about this phrase till she arrived at her destination. She then completed her errands and returned home. The rain had stopped and a shy sun was peeking through the clouds on the way back. She passed by the same art wall again, but this time she noticed a group of people who appeared to be artists working on a new artwork. While Joe was passing by, she noticed that they were painting on the same spot where the phrase she had read earlier was written. But most surprisingly, they were listening to the same song she was humming early this morning. 

That was strange. 

She stopped by the bakery on her way home to pick up her favorite pastry, which they make every Wednesday, so she could have breakfast at the local coffee shop. Unfortunately, they didn't make it today, so the girl in the store offers Joe a heart-shaped brioche instead. "Today is Valentine's Day," the girl said while beaming at Joe who smiled back and took it as she walked away. She thought to herself, "Who still celebrates Valentine's Day anyway?"

She then went over to the coffee and sat down on a table outside. Her habitual cappuccino was delivered by the waiter. When she went to take a drink, she noticed a heart drawn on the foam and smiled. This is getting very weird. 

"What is it about hearts today?"

A lovely old lady sat at the table next to Joe’s table, reading a book and sipping her morning coffee. Joe glanced at the title of the book the old lady was reading. "Madly in love with me,"she read. It reminded her the time when she discovered that same book years ago, as well as the exercises she accomplished while following the book's instructions. She smiled as she remembered the many lists of dreams and goals she had scribbled down at the time. "I'm not sure if all of my wishes were answered," she reflected. "It'd be nice to go over everything I wrote once again." 

Joe walked to her house after finishing her breakfast. She tried to remember where she put her old notebook as soon as she walked in. It's possible that it's in the archives. There's just too much old stuff to move around to find it. Perhaps later. As she sat at her desk to work, she tuned to a vintage music channel on iTunes, attempting to forget about the events of the morning. A female voice began to sing as a guitar began to play,"I wish you bluebirds in the Spring, to sing a song to your heart; and then a kiss, but more than this, I wish you love."

"Oh come on! It's hearts all over again! " Joe giggled at the strangeness of this day.

By noon she made her lunch and ate it on the balcony. Then went back to finish her work. She needed to double-check a word in the dictionary. However, as she reached for it on the bookshelf, she spotted an old stuffed toy souvenir in the shape of a heart that he had received from an old friend over a decade ago. It had the inscription "Ich lieb dish," which means "I love you" in German.

This is beginning to get on my nerves. Joe held the toy in her palm and raised her eyes to the roof. "Are you trying to tell me something, Universe? Okay, I'm paying attention... " Joe jumped when the doorbell rings. When she opened the door it was the mailman 

-Good afternoon miss Joe. How are you doing today ?

-Hi Mike. Good, thanks.

The mailman gave her an odd grin while handing her a large delivery. 

-Well, miss Joe, this package arrived three months ago. However, the person who sent it used your previous adress. Then the current tenant was on vacation and had just returned. He seemed to know you, but he couldn't find your new address. For weeks, he questioned all of the mailmen if anyone knew where you live now. Finally, it was I who was tasked with delivering it to you. He apologizes for having to open the box to see whether anything was damaged. He also requested that I give you his phone number in case you need to call him.

The mailman then gave her a business card where she read the name of the current tenant. Tiago Mereinda. The name was familiar but she couldn’t put a face on it.

-Thanks Mike. I appreciate your discretion.

-You’re welcome miss Joe.

The mailman was still grinning while he was leaving.

She placed the package on the kitchen table and spotted a note from the sender on top of it. She instantly recognized the name of the man who had lately bought her late mother's house."When we started the renovation in the house, we discovered some ancient items in the basement. We thought you might want to have them." Joe isn't one for storing outdated and useless items. She prefers to get rid of junk and remnants of her previous life. She figured she'd take a brief glance later and then hand them over.

She decided to take a break and resume work later. She needed to find the notebook she had thought about earlier in the coffee shop. She uncovered the old archives she had stored away in the closet, then went in search of the leather notebook. She snatched it up and grinned, looking forward to reading what she had written five years ago. She went on the sofa and get confortable.

She opened the notebook in the first page and she read « A love letter to myself. 

I love who I am. I love being a woman. I love being with myself. I love the person I see in the mirror. I love how smart I am. I love my big heart. I am courageous, I am fierce, I am sensitive, and I love it. I love making mistakes, aknowledge them and learn from them. I love the life style i choose for myself to suit my personnality and my needs. I love everything about me. I'm aware of every insecurity, worry, and flaw I possess, and I still love myself anyway. I love and cherich my body. I love hearing my heart beats. I love every white hair, every scar, every stain, every stretch mark, and every winkle on my body. I love and cherish each and every cell in my body. Those who are alive, those who are dying, and those who are in the process of becoming. I am the only person responsible for my happiness. And I am accountable toward myself for bringing to life my dreams, protecting them and honor them. I love every version of my old self as much as i love my now self. I love being alive. I am a living wonder. I am a miracle. I love me. »

Joe had tears in her eyes by the time she finished reading. She recalled the day she wrote the letter as if it was yesterday. She had broken up with someone at that time and was angry, heartbroken, and disgusted all at the same time. She went through a long period of self-hatred and self-pity. She even considered suicide at that time. But she got over all of that and started a new life. Joe smiled at the memory and resumed reading. She flipped through the pages till she came across one with a heart drawing. It was titled "My ideal mate." The page was full of eratures and remarks written on the margins." Well well, this is interesting now. Let’s see how picky i am,"Thought Joe. 

"List of my wishes.

Taller than me, I dont’ care. Blue or green eyes, doesn’t matter. Plays an instrument, doesn’t matter. Speaks at least three languages, speaks the same language as me. Loves animals and nature. Knows how to cook, knows how to feed himself. Financially independant. Makes me laugh, I can do that for myself, instead have a sense of humour. A very good dancer, not necessary. A fantastic lover, too vague. What do I want exactly? Pending… " The list was two pages long. She added in large characters at the bottom of the second page, "How will i recognize him? He'll present me with a chocolate box in the shape of a heart." When she read that, Joe burst out laughing."Silly me," she thought.

She was getting hungry so she put down the notebook to go to the kitchen to prepare dinner. In her way to the kitchen, she noticed the package from early. She decided to open it to see what was in there. She took a knife and cut the cardborad paper.

Inside she found an ancient copper clock that belongs to her grandfather. It was possibly still running. She also found two antiquarian books. "Great expectations and the Hatter's Castle. Oh my! It's been a long time since I read this books," Joe reflected. She also discovered a perfumed candle, a wrapped bottle of wine, a set of keys, her box of childhood souvenirs, and a... heart-shaped chocolat box! 

What the heck ? 

The box was quite old, yet it had never been opened. Joe was perplexed as to how this chocolate box had ended up in the basement of her mother’s home. Then she remembered. It was a gift Joe had received the day she left her parents's house, after a fight with her mother, twenty-two years ago. She didn't even bother to open it to see who had sent it on that particular day. Her mother had to have kept it. She chuckled as she took the chocolate box and wiped the dust off of it.

When she opened the chocolate box, she saw a short note inside. "Would you like to go out on a date with me someday? " Signed Tiago.

You've got to be kidding me ! 

Joe was taken aback. Now she realized who Tiago was. He is the same Tiago she met in the music club at university. He was always willing to assist her on weekends at the animal shelter where she worked part-time. When she didn't have time to go out or had simply forgotten to eat, he would sometimes bring her lunch. The same Tiago, who is living now in her former house and received her package by accident. The same Tiago who ensured that she received this package. It couldn't all be coincidences, could it?

She rushed to her notebook and opened it to the page where she had written her wish list."How will i recognize him? He'll present me with a chocolate box in the shape of a heart." This is too much coincidences! She looked at the chocolate box still in her hand, then she looked up the business card with the phone number she'd been given by the mailman.


-Tiago Mereinda? 

-You're still the only person that pronounces my name like that. Hello, Joe. I've finally found you! 

He was grinning, she could tell. 

-Joe? Still there ? 

-And my answer is yes.

- What ? 

-You asked whether I wanted to go on a date with you, and I say yes.

 -Dios mio, Joe... after all this time. 

- You should probably get me a new chocolate box. After twenty-two years, it's more likely that the old chocolate box is no longer safe to eat.

Then they busted out laughing.

February 17, 2022 18:51

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Jules Davis
06:04 Feb 20, 2022

This is such a cute and heartwarming story. Made me smile :)


Taj Isly
10:28 Feb 20, 2022

Thank you for taking time to read the story. I'm glad it made you smile:)


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