“Tomorrow will be Valentine’s Day, I will go to see you at 7:30 in the morning.”
When Jane got Nick’s message, she felt a rush of sweet feeling rising inside her. She vividly remembered the scene the first time they met. That night in Nov, more than a year ago, Jane took Andy, her son to swimming practice. During the practice, she had been reading a novel, written by American novelist Green. It’s a Chinese version of the English book with the same cover design as its English version that Jane saw one day in BARNES & NOBLE. Jane bought this book in China years ago, but now was reading the book in its entirety for the first time.
Taking a glance of the clock on the wall, Jane put down the book. It was 6:29, the swimming practice would be over in a minute. Jane looked toward the pool. Some kids were walking towards the locker room and Andy was in the pool swimming the last a few yards. Then as she looked away, Jane glimpsed the waiting area on another side of the hallway. There as she noted more parents showed up. She saw a white man probably her age who was looking at her with a warm smile on his face. She gave back a quick smile, then looked away, with a question in her mind. The way the man was looking at her and smiling at her was not like a stranger. She wondered Have I ever met him or maybe even talked with him before? No. she didn’t think so. To her surprise, as she walked through the hallway, she found Nick standing in front of her with the same warm smile on his face. He told Jane that his name is Nick, and that he had taken his daughter Alice for swimming practice. That he had noticed the book she was reading. It was a book that he had read in the past that he liked very much. Nick said” It’s a wonderful book”. Thinking Nick’s observation of her reading, Jane blushed.
When they met, Nick and his wife were going through a divorce. Jane had ended her marriage of 13 years 3 months ago. Two weeks after this meeting, Nick invited Jane to dinner. They went to an Italian restaurant. They talked for hours. Nick was 46, Jane was 42. they have the same passion for literacy. Nick dreamed of being a teacher and a writer when he was in High school. He picked English literacy in college. But he changed his mind in 2nd college year and changed the major to Engineering science. He got master degree in engineering science and has been working as an engineer in a well-known tech company after graduation till now.
Jane got a bachelor’s degree in Chinese literacy when she graduated from Beijing University. She dreamed of being a writer too. After graduation, she had been working as an editor in a publishing company for six years until she married Andy’s father. When Jane was 29, she came to the USA with her husband. After four years’ re-education, she got her master degree in accounting and after that she became an accountant.
Nick’s dream of being a writer had gone, but never for Jane. She had written a few short stories and a novel. The novel was published in China before she moved to the USA. She stopped writing stories after the birth of Andy, but sometimes she still wrote essays. She has thousands of stable readers in her Chinese blog.
Last Valentine’s Day. Nick gave Jane roses. They kissed. Both felt being drawn into a peaceful and beautiful ocean of love. Another Valentine’s Day was coming. Looking back, they started from getting to know each other to the current situation of enjoying being together, Things just happened naturally
Valentine’s Day morning Nick came, along with him was a blast of crisp air and the fragrance from a bunch of captivating roses in his hands. Nick looked fresh. his face was slightly brightened up by the roses.
“Happy Valentine’s day to you.” Nick said softly, corners of his mouth rose in a smile.
“So pretty! Thank you!” Jane took the roses, removing the wrapping paper outside, putting the roses in a glass vase. She filled the vase with water, loosening the stems and positioning the buds. After doing this, she brought her face down, taking a deep breath, the potent scents of the roses were pleasant.
I have a Valentine’s day gift for you too, guessing what it is?” Pointing to a red box on the table, Jane said slyly.
It was a heart-shaped box with red sides, the lower half of the sides were covered with pink hearts with different sizes, the top of the box with white background on which are red and pink hearts. In the center of the top are the words” Valentine’s Day”, above are two hearts, a red heart overlapped a pink heart, with Cupid arrow through both of these two hearts.
“You never will figure out what it is!” Jane grinned with complacent.
“Ok, let me see what gift my Panda Bear prepared for me.” Nick said slowly and amusingly.
A small red paper bag has been in Nick’s hand since he came in. Putting the bag down on the table, Nick removed the cover from the heart-shaped box and a piece of red paper underneath. Afterwards a black fluffy guy came into the light.
“Wow, what is it?” Nick shouted. His astonishing voice made Jane laughed.
“It’s a Black bear!” Taking the fluffy little guy out of the box, Jane cried.” See, a Black Bear, you are my black bear!” Jane’s eyes glowed with excitement.
Nick took the black little guy from Jane, looking at him, he muttered :“Oh, Yeah, I saw that. A black bear…black bear… I am a black bear…I am a black bear, you are panda bear!”
“Yes, I am your Panda Bear, you are my Black Bear!” Jane cried. Since when did they begin using these nicknames, Jane couldn’t remember clearly, but she knew how the nicknames came from.
Waves of their laugher pervaded the room.
To find a Valentine’s Day gift for Nick, Jane had been wandering in stores for days without getting anything until yesterday, the last chance before Valentine’s Day, she went to Target after work. As in other stores, the shelves were filled with Valentine’s Day chocolate, all with incredibly beautiful designs. Jane liked them. But she expected finding something special, even though in her mind she had no idea what the special gift would be, she just wished the perfect one would jump into her sight suddenly.
She looked around. Cards, flowers, they were all beautiful. But they were not the one excited her. Where was it? She hadn’t much time, Andy was home already, she needs to feed him, then take him to swimming practice. She felt stressful. She walked back towards the chocolate sections, thinking to take a deep look at each box, wanting to find some special words, the words she felt directly pouring out of her heart.
Her eyes reached three shelves near the chocolate section. They were stuffed toy shelves. Apparently they had been swept earlier. Part of the shelves were empty, only a few left, some knocked upside down, scattered upon it. She caught sight of a brown teddy bear, a little white bear, a pink one, all very cute. She walked to the shelf, with a vague idea in mind and a solid hope in heart.
Jane moved her sight from top to middle, then to lower one. There he is! A black bear sitting at the corner of the lower shelf, on the cover of a red heart-shaped box, was gazing at her with eyes full of affection. Jane felt her heart almost jumping out of her chest!
She held the little black bear in hands. A red love tie was around his neck. A red love heart embroidered on each paw. The little guy looked adorable and cute. Jane squeezed his arms, shoulders and legs. The softness and smoothness gave her a feeling of coziness. She smelt it, the chocolate scent delighted her. This was what she wanted! When Nick holding it, smelling it, he will think of her with a feeling of happiness.
Nick sat the little black bear on the table, then took the red bag, from which he took out a small package wrapped with glossy blue paper.
” This is for you, my girl.” Nick’s voice came to her, magnetic and modulated, as what she felt when the first time they met.
Jane opened the wrapped paper, curiously and gently, imagining what will be inside. A delicate red bag of gauze fabric was revealed. Against the red gauze, Jane saw a cluster of small stones, pearls, and crystals in different shapes and colors. Among them, the glossy blue and purple crystal popped up!
She dropped them into her palm. Magically they were turned into a four-strings bracelet!
“Wow, what a beautiful bracelet!” Jane’s cried.
Jane worn the bracelet, observing it in different angles, catching the beauty of the crystals.
“So beautiful! But I am afraid it might be a little bit girlish, isn’t it?” Jane said, making a silly smile.
“You are a girl! American girls wear a bunch of pretty bracelets, I bought this for you, it was a combination of four single bracelets. I will buy you earrings in the future. I like your Chinese style dressing, but I would like you to have some American style accessories.
We never had conversations about dressing before. Why does Nick care about my dressing? It’s funny! Jane wondered, but she was very happy with Nick’s thoughtfulness, therefor she nodded ”yes ” with a big smile.
“Do you think the existence of Soulmate?” looking at Nick’s eyes, Jane asked with eagerness. This question had been in her mind for a while. When she explored in the Chinese literacy website, she saw some writers joking about the soulmate. In the reviews, people discussed soulmate, all in bad ways. In their eyes, “soulmate” was only an excuse for affairs beyond marriages. But Jane believed the existence of soulmate in a good way. She wanted to listen what Nick would say on this.
“Oh, of course. Many wives and husbands are soulmates. Sometimes in restaurant I saw old couples. Whenever the wife/husband took a sublet motion, the other would know what she/he wanted to do. There seemed a mystical connection between them. We are soulmate. We have similar thoughts, we always have something to talk about.” Nick blurted these out instantly, the thought seemed having been in his mind for a while.
Jane liked Nick’s comments and agreed Nicky’s identity of their relationship. She thought it the same way, but she was too shy to share with Nick.
They looked at each other in silence for seconds, Love was all around.
“We are so lucky”. Jane said fondly.
“Yes, we are!” Nick’s voice was firm.
There is a chemistry between them, they can feel each other. they can discuss on a theme , Sometimes they have slightly different comments, but the basic of their thoughts are similar. they are all kind, all motivated. They all love their kids, love their families. Taking the similarity into their sex, it made their sex extremely beautiful. Every time the energy releasing from their body was so powerful that made her think of volcanic eruption, in the hot lava love, they were melt into one person.
“I love you. I feel blessed to meet you and have you.” Nick looked at Jane’s eyes, said firmly and fondly.
Jane observed Nick’s eyes closely. They had been together for a year, she never looked at his eyes like this. Now Jane was looking at Nick’s eyes like an artist, or a researcher. Nick’s eyes were surrounded with light golden flushes. There were four circles in his eye balls. The most outside one was a thin blue circle, the inner light brown, further inner dark brown circle, circle by circle, with a black dot in the center. It’s incredible beautiful!
More than these, next to the black dot in the center, Jane saw a tiny red spot.
“What have you seen?” holding the same position, Nick asked casually, but Jane could feel a serious clue in his voice.
“Yes, love.” Nick’s voice firm, but gentle, smiles rising from the edge of his mouth.” I have another gift for you.” Taking a glimpse of the small red bag on the table, Nick said mysteriously.
“Jane, would you like to marry me?” Nick’s eyes caught Jane’s, he said slowly and softly.
“I would!” blurted out these words, Jane circled Nick’s neck. They kissed in the fragrance of the roses in Valentine’s Day…