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Fiction: A Sad Valentine’s Day

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He looked again at the envelope.

It had not changed since he last looked at it, which was about one minute before.

It still had that Mickey Mouse stamp, was dated Feb. 15 and contained no return address.

He still could not believe she did it.

I mean, he knew there were guys – cheap bastards – who would break up with someone to avoid buying presents for them on Christmas and/or Valentine’s Day.

But he never thought it would happen to him.

I mean, he was a real keeper. He looked at himself in the mirror – those cheekbones were to die for, he thought. Who would not want him as a boyfriend?

He was good at what he did. Ok, so maybe he smelled bad after a day working at the wastewater plant but was that his fault? Was that really a good reason to give up their relationship?

He pressed play on the voice mail again: “Jack, this is Jill. It’s over. I can’t stand this anymore. This relationship… Well, it stinks. Literally.”

He had called her hourly all day but she would not pick up.

Then he received this envelope. Maybe it was her apology. He had already decided he would forgive her and take her back.

He would still give her the room deodorizer, his Valentine’s Day present, if she took him back. He figured that would solve the problem.

Sure, he could shower before he came home, like she had asked. But he preferred showering in the privacy of his own home.

Could the stink from his job really have caused the breakup?

He took a deep breath and opened the envelope.

His eyebrows went up when he saw that the handwriting on the letters was his.

He looked at another page and that too was a letter he had written her.

Then he saw it – a post-it note.

“Jack, I can’t take it anymore. I thought moving out would end the problem. But everywhere I turn I smell you. These letters you wrote to me while rowing in the boat at the sewage bond… Well, I know your intent was good. But god do they stink. I just can’t have them in my house. So here, you can have them back.”

He read it twice.

He started reading it a third time then stopped and picked up the phone. He dialed a number he knew by heart.

“Hey, boss? You remember that promotion you offered it? The one I turned down because it would mean working in an office? Is it still open? Can we talk about it tomorrow? Ok, thanks.”

He started to hang up then realized his boss was still talking.

“What? Oh, yeah, she is right here. Ok, I’ll give her your love. Bye now.”

God I hope this works, he thought to himself.

He began gathering his work clothes together.

A little bonfire, a little job change, and maybe he could get her back.

Maybe.

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • Scott Butki

    I forgot I even wrote this until I googled myself. Just read it aloud at an open mic nite.