Love, in a Box

Chapter One

Anti-Valentine's Day


-

I hate pink hearts. I hate red hearts too. I hate fluffy little teddy bears and drug store chocolates, not to mention overrated red roses. I hate it all. Hate it with the passion.

And today, they all haunted me, on this pouring, miserable sunny day of February the fourteenth.

I hate February.

You're probably thinking that I hate a lot of things. If you are, you're not the only one. Apparently my 'friend' agrees with you.

"Oh come off it, Eaven." Lily groaned in frustration, slamming her head against the wooden foldout table. "Why do you have to be so difficult? Can't you just enjoy today?"

I looked at her strangely, wondering where her mind had gone. She's known me for over five years, and yet, she still believes that I'd give any of this lovey-dovey crap a chance. "What's today?" I asked her dumbly, feigning ignorance - I might as well; it would save me from having pathetic cards shoved in my face.

Lily looked at our surroundings, causing me to subconsciously do the same. Ha ha. Right. I suppose I really would have to be dense not to notice. After all, I was sitting at the 'love' booth. It was a service our Creative Writing class was offering to the school, which was graciously dubbed 'Spontaneous Love Poems.' I of course wanted to call it, 'Service for the illiterate who are too absent minded to make up their own stupid rhyming fluff'… but that didn't go over too well with my teacher.

"I am not having this conversation with you again." Lily grumbled, chewing on her PINK pen. "Last year we argued for over two hours, making me late for my date with Jason."

I snickered. "You mean the stamp collecting guy? I thought I was doing you a favor there, Lily."

"He was nice!" Lily yelled defensively.

"He was rich." I corrected, waving a finger at her and sporting a knowing smile. "He had the money to take you out for an enriched, commercialized Valentine's date."

Lily looked down in defeat, continuing to lamely mutter, "He still was nice."

"Riiiight." I scoffed. "As sweet as any person whose head is so inflated it could classify him as an air balloon."

Lilly huffed –literally. Her cheeks puffed out as if she had consumed several walnuts all at once before she very falsely declared, "You're just jealous that no one's after you. It's like you've created a sport in scaring men off!"

I frowned at her, but to my surprise, actually considered what she said. Lily and I had always been complete opposites. Her blonde, wavy tresses that portrayed an angelic halo contrasted dramatically as my straight, black hair screamed ordinary and plain. Common brown eyes brought no attention my way, as opposed to her shimmering ice blue ones. Even though I stood several inches taller than here, at five foot seven, she continually grasped everyone's admiring eyes. The only looks I ever received were the strange ones, because, despite the normal features God chose to bless me with, I looked 'different' anyway. If you needed to categorize me into one group, you'd probably stereotype me as a Goth… not that I truly am one. But I admit I've developed a little fetish for black clothing, and preferably smother myself in it. Sometimes I add a bit of red, purple or dark blue in too. But rarely. On the left corner of my mouth, I pierced myself with a silver lip ring. While most girls painted their eyes with purple, pink, or any other revolting color, I only layered the rims of my lids with black eyeliner. My skin's pale, although not to the point where I look unhealthy or pasty, just enough to strike people as it competes with my raven hair. I also have my beloved fleece trench coat that I always wear, covering me from my insecurities.

"You know," babbled on, twirling the pink pen in her hand as she ruminated, rather stupidly. "If you just changed your attitude a bit, you'd be able to get someone."

I rolled my eyes at her. Despite Lily's accusations and theories, I did not despise Valentine's Day and love because no one paid attention to me. It's just turned so… commercial, materialistic and vain. This holiday was made for the pleasure of Hallmark. They've brain washed people into being obsessed with the desire of receiving gifts and being selfishly reassured that they were 'loved'. Never mind love itself; it's just another term for shallow, or lust. It is a complete waste of time. All love ever caused anyone was heartache, because they allowed their expectation to grow past the sky.

Why would I want to set myself up for that? …And what was wrong with my attitude? Sure I'm kind of sarcastic and bitter… okay fine very sarcastic and bitter, but there's nothing wrong with that. Just call me a brutally honest girl who enjoys over analyzing things and doesn't pretend to like people, programs or inanimate objects that irritate the hell out of her.

Or cheese. I don't like cheese. Especially blue.

Lily, who didn't notice I was lost in my own thoughts, continued flapping her gums mindlessly, like always. "…And we could go shopping, get makeovers…"

"Shoot ourselves in the head…" I finished for her, in the same far off voice she used.

She looked at me sharply, pouting. "I try, Eaven, I really do try." Dramatically, she heaved a sigh. "I suppose you'll just have to learn on your own."

"Mhmm." I mumbled, not really caring. I tapped my black pen against the table, observing people around us who were eagerly requesting love poems. Stupid idiots. "I'm sure I will learn," I mocked her sweetly. "On the very day that my knight in Shining Armor comes riding along on his white stead, ready to sweep me off my feet."

"This isn't funny," Lily grumbled. "You have serious issues, and I'm trying to help you."

"To you, Lily, a serious issue is a speck of tomato sauce on your white sweater. Now stop trying to act like Doctor Phil. You scare me when you do celebrity impersonations." I shuddered for a moment as scarring events passed through my mind. "I still remember that time you imitated Oprah."

Lily opened her mouth to possibly contradict me, but someone rudely cleared his throat first, trying to attract our attention. My head snapped quickly from Lily to the front of our table where it seemed Satan himself had appeared.

Tyler Harrison. He was Mr. Popular, the god of sexiness, and every other label that came with being a rich, pretty boy.

With a sly look plastered on his Calvin Klein face, aqua eyes danced at me in amusement behind tousled black hair. He leaned against the table, hands causally resting against the splintering wood.

"Hello Dixie," Tyler drawled out slowly, addressing me by last name.

I gritted my teeth, trying to resist the strong urge to jab my pen in his eye. It was enough that I had such a grand last name, but it was another for this Jackass to rub it in constantly.

"Hello Jackass," I growled, my pen almost breaking. Beside me, Lily hummed and raised her juice box to her glossed lips, sipping as she watched our show.

Ignoring my inner struggle, Tyler picked up one of the pink heart shaped papers sprawled out in front of me, without asking, and studied it intently. After a thorough inspection, he tuned back to me with a teasing smirk. "I never thought I'd live to see the day you would willingly offer to write love poems on something like this." He gestured to the paper in hand. "Not that I'm complaining, of course."

I rebelled against my teacher, Mrs. Trappa's request that I be nice today and smile at everyone who came to the table. Instead I ground out, "What the hell do you want?"

"A poem." He told me gruffly, as if he was a king and I was his servant. He put the pink heart in front of me. "And I want it in blue ink, not black."

And I want it blue ink, not black? The nerve!

"I'm sorry," I smiled twistedly. "But I refuse to help you try to seduce some innocent cheerleader and transform her into your puppet, as I've witness many times before."

His jaw twitched, but he covered it smoothly by standing up to his full six foot one stature and smugly informing me, "For you're information, it isn't for a girl."

Lily promptly spat grape juice all over the table, destroying half the paper hearts. I laughed my ass off, my lungs almost exploding in my chest in a twisted pleasure. "Is there something you're trying to tell us, Harrison?"

His face contorted in horror. "No." He hissed.

"Are you sure?" I checked. "Because there's no shame in being-,"

"That's not what I meant!" He barked, flustered. "Stop twisting my words."

"You twisted them yourself, buddy."

His lips pursed into a thin line for a moment and his fists clenched, showing calloused, white knuckles. This time, it took him a little longer to transform back into his smooth self, but he just managed. "What I meant was that I want you to write one for me."

I raised an eyebrow at him. Okay, I knew he was egotistical, but this was just absurd. I was not writing a love poem for him, so that he could give it to himself. "No," I said firmly, crossing my arms.

"Yes," he said, just as firm. "You are. Mrs. Trappa said that I could request a poem from any creative writing student I wanted, and even have it written for my self."

"Mrs. Trappa also has a fetish for beavers, proven strongly by the thirty stuffed toys she has displayed in her classroom," I argued truthfully. It was indeed factual, too. One time she even came to school dressed as a beaver. The woman's clearly nuts.

"Crazy or not, rules are rules," Tyler insisted in an annoyingly, impossibly chirpy voice.

Lily, the traitor, decided that she no longer wanted to be my best friend. "He's right," she agreed, as I stared at her in utter shock. "You have to write the poem if he asks you to. It's only fair."

"It is not!" I yelled incredulously, causing several students to look in our direction.

"Fine then, don't agree." Tyler said, becoming childish. "I'll just go tell Mrs. Trappa that you refused, and you can receive zero on this assignment."

I bit my lip, cursing him. He knew I was obsessed with my grades, growing hysterical any time I received less than eighty six percent on even the smallest thing. Even eighty-six was low.

"All right," I caved, hating myself even more when I caught a pout forming on MY lips. That's not right. I, Eaven Daisy Dixie do not pout. EVER.

Purposely grabbing a pink heart that had Lily's juice on it, I scribbled something down and shoved it into his waiting hand. A grin tugged my lips as I watched the cat like grin on his face that was about to fall.

3, 2, 1… and the frown formed.

"What the hell is this?" he demanded.

"What's what?" I asked, blinking innocently and twirling a few strands of hair around my finger.

Angrily, he read the poem out loud.

"May your eyes of aqua drown inside you

Black hair swallow you whole

And with a final touch I shall bring

The ashes of your remains."

Silence imploded as the poem concluded… except for my snickering, of course.

"What? You don't like it?"

Tyler just glared at me, the paper unnoticeably scrunching in his hand.

"Again with the issues," I heard Lily mutter. I didn't take offence; I knew she didn't really mean it. I was just so proud of myself at the moment, practically having to restrain myself from bouncing in my seat.

"You're friend's right," Tyler said ignorantly. "You do have serious issues."

"No more than you," I retorted, leaning back in my chair.

Tyler then brought back old memories. "At least I don't go around shooting people with pepper spray!"

I only grinned at that. Oh yeah, that had been fun. Tyler was pissing the hell out of me, finally making me snap when he joked about something and smacked my ass. Let's just say he learned his lesson about respecting personal space that day.

"Only to save me from perverted creeps like you," I told him lightly.

"Ew! I would never dream of touching you. I'd burn to a crisp!" What a hypocrite. He JUST mentioned the pepper spray incident. I swear some people are so idiotic. You sometimes wonder if it's possible to be born without a brain.

I chose not to become a hypocrite by confessing, "and how I pray every night that where true." And then I ask God why lightning hasn't already shot him down.

"To who? The devil?"

"Pft." I scoffed. "Like hell I'd ever worship you."

"Excuse me?"

"Hello all." Mrs. Trappa's voice chimed. The argument stopped immediately as she glided up to us. "How is this table doing?"

"Just swell," Lily grinned, obviously enjoying herself.

"Wonderful." She smiled, her eyes flickering to Tyler's crinkled paper. "Did you write this, Eaven?" She asked me, taking the paper out of his hand.

I sat up fast, stuttering out, "No- I- it wasn't"

"Oh my God!" she screeched, turning to me. "What is this?"

Oh crap, my grades. I swallowed hard. "A sign of affection?"

"More like a sign of disturbed hatred." She shook her head, muttering something incoherent under her breath. "Go to the principal's office now," she ordered.

"Fine." Without looking at anyone I went down the hall, hating that my grades and good marks enslaved me. By the cafeteria, I noticed as I walked that two of Tyler's cronies where pushing around a boy who was dressed as a giant heart.

"Fellow students –now- fellow students!" The boy tried to yell sternly, his voice crackling in a high-pitched manner. "This is not the way you treat the spokesperson of Love in a Box."

Love in a what?

The bullies ignored him, continuing to shove him around. Soon, he tripped and fell flat on his back… or um… box.

"I'm just trying to spread the word about Love in a Box! Can't you leave me alone?" The poor boy groaned, trying to get up. He found difficulty in the fact that he had a heart shaped box around him.

I came closer, feeling a bit of pity for the pimple-faced geek. Deciding to take a detour, I walked by one of the boys who was now giggling and kicking the box. I took the opportunity as he leaned over, konking him ever so lightly in the butt, sending him in the ground.

"What the-," the jerk's shocked voice cried. He looked up at me and froze as I smiled down eagerly and waved in a bubbly manner. I suppose he knew me well, because in the next second he and his friend ran away. Hmm… I guess my sarcastic threats were spreading… or they'd seen me try the same approach with Tyler. Satisfied, I began to walk away when I heard a desperate request, "Could someone… h-help me up please?"

Damn my conscience, I sighed. It has never been my strong point, especially when someone as pathetic as Heart Boy was asking for something so simple. Reluctantly, I turned to help him up.

"Thank you, strange looking girl." He beamed at me, straightening out his box.

I felt my face scrunch at his remark and looked at him weirdly. "Um… yeah. No problem," I replied hesitantly, sneaking away.

"Wait!" he called, and strangely, as though I had no choice, I stopped. "I would like to give you free order of Love in a Box for your kindness."

I raised an eyebrow at him. "No thanks. I don't accept that stuff."

"OH! But this is different!" He insisted with a bouncing nod of his head. "Everyone wants Love in a Box!"

"Mhmm." I mumbled in disbelief.

"Everyone Needs love in a box." He continued earnestly, using over dramatic expressions with his arms to emphasize his point.

"Right."

"It's got everything. Passion, patience, strength, kindness, hope, tenderness, happiness; anything about love."

"Even lust?" I asked suspiciously.

"Yes- no!" He corrected himself quickly. "Lust doesn't come with love."

"Sure," I smirked.

"It doesn't! You'll see when you get your shipment of Love in a Box. Everyone needs a little love in their life, even you, Sweets." He winked at me.

"Look." I snapped. "I don't know what kind of sick joke this is, but if you don't leave me alone, I'm taking out my pepper spray."

He chose not to take my threat seriously. "Now all I need is your name and address."

"5… 4…" I counted, searching through my pockets to find my beloved pepper spray.

"And you will get your free shipment."

"3… 2…"

"Of Love in a B-,"

"ONE!" I yelled, spraying the greatest creation ever invented into his eyes.

"BOX!" he cried as I ran for it. "Your shipment of love in a box should come in the next few weeks! Don't forget, you can't go wrong with Love in a Box!"

XXXXXXXX

A special thanks to Ellen for proof reading.

Author's note: I had a lot of fun writing this. Ironically the idea came to me on Valentines Day. Is it interesting yet? Haha… just wait until the guy from the box comes in and things will really pick up.

Her name is supposed to be spelt Eaven if you're wondering; it's not Evan or whatever. I was looking up names on the Internet like I've been doing lately to find character names (it creates more verity and sometimes makes them interesting) and when I found Eaven I just fell in love with it. It's an old Irish name… or Celtic.

Next update should be less than a week because chapter two is already a third way done.

PLEASE REVIEW if you've read. I love this story and it would mean a lot to me, although Seeing through tears is still my pride and joy, this one is awesome too.