Aaron groaned from his side, and then took a long sip of his Snapple.
“Don’t start that crap,” he grumbled.
“What do you mean?” she shot back innocently. “I thought you were a hopeless romantic.”
“I am,” he growled in replied. “But that doesn’t mean I want a reminder that I’m single on Valentine’s Day.
“Does it mean you don’t want the candy I got you?” Holly asked with a sly grin as she pulled an enormous candy filled heart out of her shopping bag and waved it at him.
Aaron had been suspicious of that shopping bag ever since he had met up with Holly at the river walk. She never brought a bag on their Sunday walks, so he knew this one had to mean trouble.
And he had been right. Holly continued to wave the bright red heart at him from her bench as if she were awaiting his acknowledgement of its presence before she would stop making a scene.
“The last thing I want is a pity Valentine from my best friend!”
“This isn’t a pity Valentine, you jerk!” she yelled across the chasm between them. “I love you, and wanted to express that via candy inside an artistic heart.”
“That’s sweet,” he conceded, “but it still feels like pity. I apologize if I offended you because that was not my intent. I’m just frustrated by the fact that I’m still single.”
Holly nodded her understanding as she took a sip of her coffee. It was damn cold down by the river on this Valentine’s Day, and Aaron’s attitude wasn’t making it any warmer.
“I’m single, too,” she reminded him.
“But that’s by choice,” Aaron answered. “It’s your policy to never be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day because you’re afraid your boyfriend will give you a gift that betrays he’s way more serious about things than you are.”
“You know me so well,” she said and gave him a quick round of applause.
“I didn’t think it would still bother me, but clearly it does,” he admitted. “I’m making an effort to put myself out there, you know?”
“Plus, when you do go out, you’re usually with me. I’m very attractive, and I probably intimidate anyone interested in approaching you.”
They both laughed at that because they knew it was true.
“You need to start wearing a shirt that explains that we tried dating, you turned me down, and now we’re just friends,” Aaron suggested with a chuckle.
Holly nodded, but didn’t laugh.
“Maybe I can return the chocolates and get that tee shirt instead,” she said glumly.
Aaron, never being the brightest bulb when it came to the opposite sex, shouted back, “Don’t you dare take back my chocolate. Now I want it. Toss it over here!”
Holly did as she was told, and threw the Valentine across the path to Aaron.
“It’s funny how you change your mind about not wanting something, don’t you think?” she asked as she reached for her coffee.
“What’s that?” he asked absentmindedly as he lifted the lid off the heart and examined the chocolate.
That wasn’t what she meant, of course, but as always, Aaron was completely blind to what was right in front of him…