A Valentine For Susan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's Valentine's Day and the fourth graders are making valentines and handing them out to classmates. Susan makes a special one for Kurt, then watches him hand out valentines to other girls.

Submitted: November 10, 2006

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Submitted: November 10, 2006

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By Donald Sullivan

Tears were welling up in Susan’s eyes as she stepped down from the school bus.  It had been the very worst day in her life, she thought.  As she walked the remaining three blocks to her house, she reflected on what an awful school day it been.

This Valentine’s Day had started out like any other ho-hum school day for her fourth grade class.  But the humdrum routine changed when art class arrived.

Mrs. Armstrong was beaming.  “Class, we’re going to have a fun time in art class today.  We’re going to make valentines.  Get out your scissors, glue, and crayons.You’ll find construction paper of several different colors at the back of the room.”  She looked up at the clock on the wall.  “We have forty-five minutes before lunchtime.  Use your imagination and make your own designs.  Make as many as you want.  You can take them home if you wish.”  She smiled.  “Or you can give them to your classmates.”

She walked to the blackboard.  “If you have trouble thinking up a design, I’ll draw a few here on the blackboard to give you ideas.  If you need help, just raise your hand.  Oh, and if any of you want to team up, it‘s alright with me.”

There was a shuffling of chairs as the students went to select their paper.  The smell of mucilage filled the room as the class started, and moments later their was a low hum of voices from those who had agreed to team up.

No one asked Susan to team up, so she worked alone.  Like most of the others, she was busy making several valentines.  She made one for Mom, one for Dad, and even one for Roger, her big brother.  She made several more for classmates who were seated near her, and took pains to make a special one for Kurt.  

Not more than a dozen words had passed between her and Kurt, and he barely noticed her.  But she liked him best of all her classmates.  She would sometimes catch herself staring at him, and when he glanced at her she would blush.

Just before lunch, Mrs. Armstrong announced that the class could  give out their valentines immediately after lunch.

During the lunch hour, there was much giggling as the girls were speculating about who would give what to whom.  When the bell rang for class, no one was late, and the students were going from desk to desk, handing out their valentines.Some of them were flirty as they gave their valentines, and some were shy and awkward.  But all had fun.

All, that is, except Susan.  She didn’t get one valentine.  Kurt, she noticed, gave his valentines to six girls--Susan counted.  As he gave to each girl, Susan waited breathlessly, hoping she would be next.  He didn’t even speak to her when she gave him the special one she had made.

Susan knew she wasn’t pretty.  Skinny,  dull red hair, and face covered with freckles.Her dad had told her many times of how Mom had been a homely red-haired freckle-faced girl when she was young.  A “beanpole,” he called her.  But he told how Mom had won lots of beauty pageants in her late teens, and came within a whisker of  making the finals for Miss Virginia.  But what counted with Susan was now--not what the future held.

She was almost in tears as she approached her house.  She could still see the other girls and hear their squeals and giggles as they received their valentines.  Not a single one did she get--didn’t anyone like her?  She was friendly to everyone.  She never argued, even when others were mean to her.  Feeling forlorn, rejected, and friendless, she opened the gate.

From out of nowhere, a red blur attacked her as she entered the gate.  Candy, the Irish setter was jumping up on her, almost knocking her over.  Her tail wagging furiously, Candy was licking Susan’s face.  As she felt the warm, moist tongue caressing her face, and saw the joy and love in Candy’s eyes, Susan’s eyes brightened and  her lips formed a big smile.  “Candy, you’re the best valentine of all!”

She was giggling happily as she kneeled down to embrace Candy.  Her awful day at school was completely pushed from her mind.

THE END





© Copyright 2018 Donald H Sullivan. All rights reserved.

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