After my birthday, Valentine’s day is a close second. Blessed with beauty from birth it comes to no surprise that I easily become the center of attention, receiving 1 dollar roses from 8th graders to 15 dollar bouquets with teddy bears from seniors. You may be thinking Beauty fades away with time. That's exactly why I am not about to spend my prime years worried about how vain people think I am. I’m going to enjoy my moments without reserve. “Yaya Bande” the prefect called out, my heart raced. “ Five single red roses, Two bouquets, Three teddy bears, One chocolate and 10 letters. We usually would read them aloud but they're all similar. I checked” she said looking disappointed.I looked around to see the different facial expressions of my classmates.The number one expression being indifference. Nevertheless I was pleased.Concealing my glee, I got up from my chair to collect my tokens of appeasement signaling my friends Tania and Muno to come help me.
Yaya oddly bobbed her head in my direction motioning me to help her with this year's heap of love, Tania already bundling bouquets in her arms.I smirked then mouthed “Should’ve been ugly”. Simba ,who was beside me, chuckled then went back to finishing his half nap while listening to his morning playlist. He didn’t even notice I sat there still immersed by his brief gaze and light chuckle. If he did I’d die so I’m unsure as to why I’m complaining. Simba, my friend for the past 7 years, had somehow grown to become my high school crush and I blamed this solely on teenage hormones. Simba was nothing special. He was cute if you looked for it I guess. His intelligence was due solely to his dad constantly drilling but besides that he had no outstanding traits. Even if he was special, I’m not. If a sloth could morph into a 15 year old girl it’d be my twin sister. I don’t care though I say all this in good humor. I’m not body conscious, just realistic.’To each their own’, I’m a good enough artist which Simba often points out. Not that it matters. Either way no one likes him anyway. “ Simba Matari” my heart dropped,maybe someone does.
“SIMBA MATARI”. I shot my head up upon suddenly hearing my name being shouted. The source of the shout was a short prefect with a creepy grin on her face. I got up then she halted me. ‘It’s a love letter’ she said. 'A what?' I thought to myself. The class laughed as I tried to regain my balance. I recalled seeing Yaya and Tania carrying some cheap teddies and a bunch of roses when in my dazed state. Still I failed to understand the notion of a love letter. Perhaps it was a prank from the guys on the soccer team who wondered how my closest friends could be 3 girls yet I had no girl friend. Perhaps it was from her.
Without my consent, the prefect read the letter making sure to articulate every word clearly.
Hi it’s me. The person who’s been leaving water bottles in your locker after soccer practice. The one knows each song of your different playlists. The one who recalls your every word your every smile and your every laugh. I remember because you’re special ,you’re too special to just forget. I guess that’s why you’re always in my head. I hope this doesn't sound creepy.However i wish to unburden my unrequited love so allow me to do so. You bring me so much joy and I hope I can keep doing the same for you. I wish to remain anonymous as our group of friends is the most important thing to me.
-from your number one fan”
Despite chants of the boys and the lively shrieks of the girls, I could not get past the words that had just been uttered. ‘Our group of friends’ meaning either Muno, Yaya or Tania had written that letter. Meaning there was a possibility she wrote it. I stood frozen in disbelief.
This moment was more embarrassing than I imagined. As she read the words unnecessarily expressively, I felt my heart relocate itself to the sole of my feet and I wouldn't dare look at Simba. I felt tense and very uneasy. Why did I decide to even write this letter? He’ll obviously know it wasn’t Yaya or Muno. There’s no way either of them would have feelings for him. I'm the clear culprit. Did this mean I subconsciously wanted him to know? No. I was sure I'd rather die. I took a quick glance in his direction where he stood in the middle of cheers and shouts. He looked repulsed. This had definitely been a mistake.
Tania. It had to be her. She looked at him so lovingly as he basked in the attention of his new found love. Good for them. I had no chance anyway, ‘sloth’ bodied and all. I didn't even want a chance. Why did the prefect read so piercingly slow in the first place. The words remained in instant replay in my mind ‘Unrequited love”. Such a fancy way of saying crush. For someone who was happy with a C grade in English I was ever so slightly annoyed by her sudden need for literacy excellence. I couldn't even look at Simba. I was blocked by all his fans. It wasn’t because I was jealous. If that was what you had assumed. I’m all good. Remember he’s nothing special. How can someone else even like him with his ordinary nature. How can someone else like him. Why was it her?
Stunned by this piping cup of tea I looked to my friends. The tension loomed the space around us. Simba stood near his desk, blank. After such an emotional confession it was ironic how emotionless he looked as he stared at the letter that had now been placed on the desk. Tania looked at him intently with concern whilst Muno looked at him with a close to teary expression leaving me confused on who wrote it. Simba’s letter hadn't even been the most interesting of the bunch, the prefect had basically skimmed through it only highlighting a couple of keywords but the rest of the class had already moved on. I wasn't oblivious to what it might mean for our friendship but the three of them seemed trapped in the moment making it last longer than necessary.
‘Okay that’s the last of the 10th grade Valentine’s presents.’ The prefect said as she exited the room oblivious to racing thoughts of the four friends.