The chocolate rose you gave me sat on my desk untouched. I wanted to eat it. My God, I’d married a man who thought I deserved holiday treats. We’d been dating just shy of four years, we’d been married sixteen months, and I was still gobsmacked by the sight of your stubbly cheeks every morning. Do you know how stupid I thought marriage was before you? Yes, of course you do. You’ve heard me say it often enough. But no, really you don’t know, or I think you’d have run headlong far away. You, who hate change, have no idea what you have wrought in me.
And I wanted to show you how I appreciated you. I wanted you to know what it meant that you gave me chocolate. But I was already captive to morning sickness, and so it sat as far from me as I could push it and still keep it on my desk. Just the sight made my gut clench. The smell made me gag outright.
It was a chocolate rose. I can’t remember, but I think it even had a chocolate stem. And it smelled strongly. (Everything stank when I was pregnant.) In July, when the constant nausea (‘morning’ sickness is such a misnomer) abated, I finally unwrapped it. I bit off one chocolate leaf, but immediately spat it into my hand and barely made the toilet before I ralphed. Caroline, who loves chocolate, hated it in utero. (Sam, who allowed me to eat it copiously while I was pregnant, now hates it. Small ironies.) After Caroline was born, I suddenly craved the stuff. When we got home from the hospital, I found that half eaten rose on my desk and gobbled it. Stale chocolate never tasted so sweet.
We go more for intangibles these days. Chocolate would be cruel in a year when both of us are dieting, and, quite frankly, apple exchanges are only fun if there’s bobbing involved. True love has always been about kindness and stability, and you offer me both every single day. I’m happy to cuddle you and watch the kids gorge on sugar. I wish their teachers the joy of them. Sam has already got a bad attitude this morning. You and I will spend the day busily doing other things, and that’s good. But I wanted to take a minute this morning to ask you something important.
Dear Scott, I love you. Will you be my Valentine?
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.