Be My Valentine
Cathy Pace Matthews
Janice sat looking at the heart she had just received from her husband. Janice really couldn’t see the allure of such a thing. She had never understood why the heart was so tied up with a holiday for lovers. How did the heart ever come into play in the first place?
She picked up the box that held the inexpensive silver necklace he had given her earlier. She remembered a time when she would have been happy with such a gift but not now, not tonight. In her mind it had been cheap, a poor representation of what he should have given her.
A tear rolled down Clara’s cheek as she thought about what she had found early this morning. It had been the receipt for a five thousand dollar diamond necklace that Brad had bought at a nice jewelry story last week along with this cheaper one. The receipt had evidently fallen out of his pocket unknowingly and she had found it. She wondered who he had given the other necklace to and then thought of his secretary. They had been working late a lot lately and now Clara had a feeling she knew what that work had really been.
Clara wiped the tear from her cheek when her phone rang.
“Oh God Mrs. Reynolds, I’ve been trying for an hour to reach your husband and he hasn’t picked up. Oh God, the man is going to fire me, hell he is going to kill me!” Brad’s secretary seemed to be in an honest state of panic. Clara thought she better be.
“Why is my husband going to kill you, Marie?”
“Oh Mrs. Reynolds, please tell me he hasn’t given you your Valentine’s Day present yet. I have so screwed up.”
“How did you screw up Marie?”
“Mrs. Reynolds we’re having a charity auction next week at work and your husband bought a nice silver necklace for it at the same time he bought your Valentine’s Day present. He asked me to get yours wrapped and hold on to it until today. The boxes were identical. I got the wrong necklace wrapped and gave it to your husband and your beautiful diamond necklace is here with me. Oh, I’m so sorry. I can drop it off with you tonight. Like I said I’ve been trying to get in touch with Mr. Reynolds but he hasn’t picked up his phone. He is so going to fire me.” Marie was actually in tears.
“I can promise you Marie that my husband won’t fire you. Don’t worry about bringing it tonight. Brad had to go out. There was an emergency with something and that’s why you haven't been able to reach him. His father suddenly got very sick.” Clara couldn’t believe she had been so foolish.
“Are you sure Mrs. Reynolds?” Marie was truly upset.
“Yes honey I’m sure. As a matter of fact I was on my way out the door. He just called me from the hospital and I’m meeting him there. We’ll worry about the little screw up next week. OK?” Clara just wanted to get off the phone and talk to her husband. She had acted so ungrateful when he had given her the gift.
“OK then. Again Mrs. Reynolds I’m so sorry.” Clara again reassured Marie and that she would talk to her husband and straighten everything out.
Clara hung up her phone and laid it on the table next to the heart she had received from her husband. Picking up the heart, Clara stood, went into the bedroom and opened the draw to her nightstand. She pulled out the object lying there.
The next morning Clara was found with a large bullet hole in her head, a gun in one hand and her husband’s cold lifeless heart in the other.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Edited by Shants Lucas