Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cross section of an Underdeveloped Creative Lobe

Val would never in her life admit that just like most girls, receiving flowers—be it a bunch or a single stem—will have those popular effects on her. You know? Heart pumping, spirits soaring, tingling all over.

But then the day came when she received the flowers she believed she never waited for.

“Holy sh*t, I am crying!” Val manages to blurt out in the midst of a sudden surge of mixed emotions wrapped with disbelief.

“You’re crying over daisies!” Grace taunts dryly. “Where’s the dignity in that?” Grace punctuates her statement with apparent disgust.

Sometimes friends have a harsh way of lending a shoulder to cry on.

“You know what?” Val finally reveals her face smeared with what-obviously-was-not-waterproof-mascara. She takes a dramatic pause then continues, “I like daisies!” She then buries her face into her palms and proceeds on sobbing like a little girl turned drama queen, probably out of exasperation or plainly out of embarrassment.

“OK—” Grace prolongs the intelligible sound she makes hoping to draw out more information from her friend who seems to be shrinking right in front of her. For some reason, Grace appears to be enjoying Val’s alternate finest hour.

“Daisies make me smile,” Val attempts to explain without even budging from her may-the-earth-swallow-me-now stance. “Daisies make me smile when I’m sick. Daises make me smile when I’m blue.” She takes a deep breath, “God! Daisies will most definitely make me smile when I’m dead!” She finally lifts up her head.

For a fraction of a second Val and Grace stare at each other, seemingly at a loss for words over such absurdity. They could have gone silent for a few more minutes or hours had it not for Grace who finally bursts into suppressed laughter which immediately progresses into uncontrollable cachinnation.

“I’m glad you find this amusing.” Val tries to cut-short Grace’s fun but to no avail.

“Val, you received a bouquet of daisies—cute, colorful daisies and you are crying! To defend yourself you say that daisies make you smile. What’s not to laugh about?” Of course by this time, Grace was in tears—happy tears, that is.

“Yeah. Right. Some girl am I.” From her initial insane self, Val slips into her usual self-deprecating persona. “And my parents bothered to name me ‘Valentine’. Really romantic. Go ahead. Laugh.”

As if on cue, guilt crept into Grace. “I’m sorry. I’m just not used to seeing you breakdown like that. Losing it over—what again?” The guilt doesn’t stop Grace from teasing her friend.

Val frowns, not the sympathize-with-me kind of frown but more of the how-dare-you type.

Grace eventually finds the decency to be serious, “Val, somebody’s going to give you something to woo you sooner or later. Thank God he’s smart enough not to be a cliché and offer you roses.”

“Or tulips which really is trying too hard, not to mention impractical.” Val instinctively finishes Grace’s trail of thought.

Now you see why, despite how they may occasionally bicker, these two are friends.

“Looks like, this time, someone did the right thing in trying to win you.” Grace says in a voice devoid of sarcasm of sorts.

“And you say that because a few moments ago I lost it over a bunch of daisies?” Val is regaining her composure. No doubt the old Valentine is back.

“Oh come on! If you’re pathetic display of emotions isn’t proof that finally someone got to you, then I don’t know what is.”

Val raises her hands like a cowgirl being mugged, submissive but not at all weak, “All right I admit. The flowers had their effect on me.”

“Well, that’s pretty hard to miss.” Now Grace is being sarcastic. “I foresee a ‘but’ soon to grace your next explanation.”

“But! I don’t think anyone can win me over flowers.”

“I don’t know, Val. After all, you, just like your name, can be unpredictably predictable sometimes.”

Val did not attempt to protest. “Unpredictably predictable.” She repeats to herself, trying to absorb what Grace just said.

“As un-you as it may sound; you are allowed to be not you sometimes.”

“Perhaps it’s Valentine’s Day creeping in on me.” Val avails of the most convenient non-sequitur excuse. Even she knows it.

“Cheer up, Valentine. It’s your day, anyway.”

“And I’ve got daisies.”

“You’re pathetic.”

"Yes, I know."

They look at each other and laugh.

* * *

That’s how they come to me: as glimpses.

I have my characters, scene and setting. What I lack is a plot and, more importantly, a conflict. The decent kind of both.

* * *

I guess one message from my pseudo story is, “Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!”

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