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Valentine Surprise

Divorced. Alone. No wonder I was dreading February 14.

Valentine in the mail

That morning, a morning I’d been dreading, I could barely stand to look at the other desks in my office. The trappings of the day were everywhere—flowers, boxes of chocolates, heart-shaped cards.

I sighed. Valentine’s Day. My new least favorite day of the year. Just recently, the marriage I’d dreamed of since girlhood had dissolved, and with it my faith in the power of love.

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I started sorting my mail. That’s when I noticed a pale pink envelope.

For me? I opened it to find a Victorian-looking valentine, a red heart-shaped card with embossed white lace. Definitely not a guy card. I looked for a signature. It was from Kris, a former colleague I’d done a favor for ages ago: I’d covered her Valentine’s Day shift so that she could get married.

“Not only do I celebrate my anni­versary each Valentine’s Day,” Kris wrote, “but I also remember your kindness by doing something nice for someone else to perpetuate the love you once showed me.”

I smiled in spite of myself. I hadn’t spoken to Kris in years. She had no way of knowing about my divorce. Was this one of those little God reminders?

Lunch came. I went to the garden center and bought potted tulips for a woman in another department whose mother had recently died.

“For Valentine’s Day,” I said quietly when I handed them to her. “I thought you might need them today.”

She looked at me with surprise. Her eyes watered. She took the flowers and touched them softly with her hand. “Thank you,” she said.

Back at my desk I placed Kris’s card right where I could see it the rest of the day—a little reminder of the power of love.

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