The One Time My Valentine’s Day Was Just Like the Movies

I’ve never been one for celebrating Valentine’s Day. I was never the girl in high school inundated with gifts of teddy bears and balloons from all my admirers, or who could always count on an evening out with a handsome dinner date when February 14 rolled around. But somewhere in my secret heart I always longed for sweeping romance, and I can happily say that one year I got it.

I had my eye on a friend of mine for a couple of months. I struggled with telling him about my feelings (what if I ruined the friendship?), especially because Valentine’s Day was only a week away, and I didn’t want to seem like I was desperate.

Well, Valentine’s Day came closer and closer, and I couldn’t seem to make up my mind. Finally, in a sudden burst of courage, I decided to show up at his house on a random weekday afternoon, uninvited, in the middle of a rainstorm.

Standing on his porch, with the storm blowing icy cold drops in our faces, I threw all caution to the wind (literally) and stuttered out a very ill-planned speech on my true feelings.

I started by saying how much I enjoyed his friendship. But when the moment came to actually say those fateful words about how I felt about him, my heart failed me. At that second I felt completely terrified that I was making the biggest mistake of my life.

As I trailed off with a pathetic sounding “I’m not doing a good job at this…” he put his hand on my arm and stopped me. He told me he felt the same way about me. As it turned out, my unannounced visit and awkward speech really didn’t matter at all because the feeling was mutual.

Valentine’s Day was that weekend and while I didn’t expect anything from him, he asked to take me out for dinner and a surprise. I was beside myself with happiness and couldn’t wait to see what he came up with. He picked me up at my door with some of my favorite flowers in hand: yellow daisies.

After dinner we walked and talked, and then he took me to observe the city lights from a high lookout spot in our neighborhood. He surprised me by giving me a small painting he had made for me of the sunset, inspired by some of the conversations we had previously had together. A police officer eventually drove by and sent us on our way, but it didn’t matter. I had the romantic Valentine’s Day I had always wanted.

The fear I felt that day on his porch was very real. If I had let it get the best of me, who knows, this wonderful memory may have never come about. Being vulnerable comes with it’s own set of rewards: Perhaps it will lead to what you’re hoping for, but even if it doesn’t, your heart will grow in courage.

Even though this man has since moved on from my life, I look back on that Valentine’s Day fondly. It gives me hope for romance, because someone and something I had never expected came into my life so suddenly, yet was so wonderful.

When I’m feeling down or lonely I remind myself of this experience. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or this Valentine’s Day, or next year’s. But there’s always the possibility for something wonderful. You can’t predict the unexpected, but you can live with the hope that it will come.

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