Freshman year. Cole Hall. All alone on Valentine’s Day. Roommate had a fiancé.
I knew once he arrived it was my time to go. I took a long walk of loneliness to the library, giving them time to exchange kisses, the kind that make you look like two fishes attacking food.
I love you’s are said repeatedly on Valentine’s Day. Everyone hopes to get roses that range from every freaking hue of the rainbow, chocolates with the cherry in the middle that I think are so disgusting but-it’s-the-thought-that-counts-type attitude and maybe even that stuffed animal they sell at Wal-Mart that holds the big heart that says, “I really love you because I bought the $25 bear.”
I was right. It played out exactly the way I thought it would. I was alone. When I returned to the room, they were gone. I put my things down, and thought to myself, “I have me and that’s all that matters.” As soon as that thought popped in my head, it popped out.
They were pink roses, not just the typical three because I can’t afford 12 ones, but the real deal– a dozen roses. An “I love you so much” bouquet, not the Wal-Mart bear. To top it off there was a card. This meant “I even took the time to read through five million cards to find one suitable for you.”
Classic. Just when I thought no one loved me. Just when I thought I would have to fake smile at all my friends who got gifts from boyfriends or even boy-toys. I was wrong.
Nope. It wasn’t from the cute guy in the front row of my biology class who always looked at me like “I’m dissecting you with my eyes instead of this frog.” It wasn’t from the senior basketball player I was crushing on at the time.
It was from my roommate.
I was clearly in shock, considering we had just met one another and only lived together for a month. I also didn’t get her anything, because I thought he would get her enough. I soon realized in that one moment, I was loved. Maybe I wasn’t loved by the cute basketball player, but I was loved by others, people like my parents, grandparents, friends, and family. Although they didn’t even send a card or call.
Maybe Valentine’s Day is not just a day for lovers, maybe it’s deeper than that.
Maybe it’s that little note you get in your mail box with the heart attached to it from Student Life.
Maybe it’s that little note your roommate leaves on the bathroom mirror with dry eraser marker that says “Happy V-Day Roomie.”
Maybe it’s realizing love has no price, no brand name, and no physical form.
Valentine’s Day is simply another day to say I love you. Most choose the expensive way, but in the case of the girl or guy who really was looking forward to having someone special this year, share that moment with friends, family and loved ones. Even though Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year, the library is still a lonely place to go and say, “I love… myself.”
Korie Hawkins is senior majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at email@example.com.
Edited by Inger Furholt