Written by Trina Mioner
The teacher, Ms. Reed said to bring in twenty-two valentine’s day cards, one for each student in the class. She said they did not have to be store brought, that we could make our own. She gave us a list with each student’s name on it, but all I saw was the name Teddy. Mom said, I was all legs and teeth. Dad said with pride that I was his little lady. I was not supposed to like boys yet, but Teddy made me laugh like two dips of ice cream.
I told Teddy I did not like it when he pulled my pig tails, all he did was make a face, which made me laugh and stick out my tongue. “Nana nana nana,” I said, “you have a clown face.” I wanted a valentine from Teddy! I worked at the black checkered kitchen table from the time I got off the school bus until supper and then again until bath time. Mom said that is enough Lily clean up your mess.
I made hearts out of red construction paper and surrounded them with the white dollies that mom purchased from the five and dime store. Fold, cut, and paste. One for everyone in the class so that no one would have hurt feelings. All of them were the same except for Teddy’s. For him I made a big one in cursive writing. I was too excited to sleep. The next day I put on my favorite dungarees and mother put ribbons on my ponytails. All I could think of was if Teddy would like his valentine’s.
I was almost time for class to be over, we were as restless as a swarm of bees. Ms. Reed said, “kids take your cards out.” I took out the decorated cigar box from my dad and sat it on top of the lacquered wooden desk. It was my turn to be the mail carrier and pass out my hearts. I stopped at each desk and passed out a valentine like it was a treasure. I arrived at Teddy’s desk which was two seats behind mine and placed the big red heart on his desk. I stuck out my tongue and told him he looked like a goat. He smiled, made a funny face and said, “you look like a cow Lily, a big fat cow.” I knew he liked it; he liked the card.
I could not wait to get home and open his store brought card. I skipped all the way. When I got home, I dumped the card on my bed and the one from Teddy stood out from all the rest. Will you be my valentine is what it read? I stuck out my tongue and said “yucky” as my face spread with a smile that went from ear to ear. Will you be my valentine, yes or no, signed Teddy?