Oh, Valentine's Day. Day of love, day of happy bunnies and green meadows within which to frolic. Chalk-flavoured hearts and adorable, plush bears grasping beribboned hearts. Cupid's gold-tipped arrows drifting through the rose-coloured high school world on February the fourteenth.
Thank all the gods for drivers licenses and the ability to fly under administrative radar.
So excuse me for ruining your day of fluff with my cynicism. That's why I'm sitting in he library, in science fiction, in between Robert Jordan and Stephen King, doing the Calc homework that is technically supposed to be turned in today. Due to the fact that I am currently occupied with skipping school, I will be turning it in tomorrow. For full credit, because nobody is going to check to see if straight-A, college-bound Robert Barnes is skipping school. Things like that don't happen to perfectly coifed, white suburban boys. So I can sit in the sci-fi section of the local library and review my integrals and derivatives without worry.
There I sit, until I notice the presence of two tan, lace-up boots through my dark brown bangs. They're not the sort of boots that farmers wear to go and muck the barn or the sort of boots that punks wear to threaten people with their steel-toed presence. They are not even the sort of boots that one uses to look classy at livestock shows. These are the sort of almost European, classy boots that you never see on anybody in high school because they're too busy with those Ugg things.
Into these boots are tucked pale blue jeans, and into the jeans is not tucked a tie-dye "Fight For Your Rights" t-shirt. There is only one person in the vicinity of this very small town that this sort of ensemble could be attributed to, and before you ask, no, I don't know her name. I do know that she sits approximately three seats in front of me in AP Bio and has the highest grade in the class, despite that she's refused to do any lab that involves torturing animals. In other words, she would be better off in the AP Environmental Science class down the hall. That sort of treehugger.
"So, you'll be my anti-Valentine." she states, arms akimbo and a bright smile on her face. Not a question, just a statement. It might also be a bad thing that I understand what she means by anti-Valentine. I've never heard her talk before, I realize. She's quiet in class and spends about half the time boycotting our labs. Huh.
Obviously there's no other response to this except to stand up after sticking my Calc book and pencil next to a worn copy of The Further Chronicles of Conan. We're about the same height; I maybe have half an inch on her. Since I'm only about 5'6", though, it's not an especially great feat. Her long, dark blonde hair had hidden dangling silver earrings, which I suddenly notice as they catch the fluorescent library light.
"As my anti-Valentine," she continues, "you have both the right and responsibility to boycott the capitalist, expansionist holiday of pink with my. You also have the right and responsibility to give me a ride back to school before the last bell so I can take the bus home."
I've decided that I really like this kid. She thinks my style.
"In that case," I retort, crossing my arms over my chest, obscuring the words on my shirt ("Don't drink and derive—alcohol and Calculus don't mix"), "you will become my anti-Valentine, thereby acquiring the right and responsibility to aid and abet me in all Scrooge-esque Valentines Day activities."
"Done," she says, sticking her hand out. I take it, and we shake. Deal.
After such myriad mischief as taping festive decorations to the bathroom signs and debating the relative merits of Greek mythology and its impact on modern society (and discovering that we actually share a Modern Lit class as well as AP Bio), we take a break. We walk downtown and get organic coffee. We clandestinely mock couples that find it a good idea to start full make-out sessions in public. We visit a teeny café and get a cheap, vegan lunch, which isn't bad at all. I drive her back to school, where she effortlessly talks her way past the security guards just in time to leave again for the busses.
The next day is Friday and I go to first block, AP Bio. And on my desk? A note, addressed to the 'anti-Valentine'. I shoot her a grin as Dr. Aiardes starts the lecture.
And no, I still don't know her name.