It’s a cold February night. People are bustling through the streets, either pulling up their coat collars or wrapping scarves around their necks, trying to stay warm.
It’s so cold today.I’m standing at my window, looking at the people moving like little dots. Standing in a heated room, I’m beginning to pity those people. Why don’t they go home? Do they plan on wandering until morning?
“Almost time to go home! My boyfriend must be going crazy.” One of the nurses breathe a sign of relief. “Still needs to work overtime on Valentine’s Day. It’s so unfair!”
“You are fortunate.” Another nurse says. “Some people don’t have anyone waiting for them.”
“You mean Dr. Shu?”
Like Sherlock Holmes, my ears perk up when I hear my name.
“Do you remember how she lost control on this day last year?”
“Of course I do.” A nurse shudders. “I’ve never seen Dr. Shu like that. Crying and yelling, like she was crazy.”
They are talking about how I was last year. They are correct. I was out of control, like they said.
“You can’t blame Dr. Shu. If my boyfriend died in front of my eyes, I would probably go crazy as well.”
“Keep it down. She hasn’t left work yet. She might hear you.”
The two nurses are too late. I heard the entire conversation through the canvas wall.
“Dr. Shu, what are you doing standing here?”
Just as I was deciding whether or not to reveal myself, another nurse exposed me. I awkwardly step out. The 2 nurses who discussed me start to blush. Their faces became redder than the bow on Valentine’s Day chocolates.
“I’m waiting to go home.” I pretend that I didn’t hear anything.
“Dr. Shu, you must have gotten too involved in your work. It’s already past time to go home. See you tomorrow. Happy Valentine’s Day!” She waves goodbye.
“Happy Valentine’s Day.” I wave back and watch the 2 nurses hurry away.
That’s fine. I was ready to go home anyway. Even though no lover is waiting
for me, at least there’s a lazy cat waiting for me to feed.
After I come home, the first thing I do is feed the cat. I forgot when I first had the cat. Probably since last year’s Valentine’s Day. At that time, I was like an abandoned cat, with eyes filled with despair. Cats don’t cry, I do. That’s the only difference.
“Better drink all the milk or I’ll skin you.” I threatened the cat. Her name is Christine, my least favorite English name. I don’t know why I named the cat Christine. Christine meowed once to let me know she heard me, but her eyes are complaining about my severity. Her eyes remind me of someone I used to know, standing in front of me with eyes of rebellions.
An year ago today, I had lunch with my boyfriend and took the opportunity to complain to him.
“Today is Valentine’s Day. Why didn’t you give me any flowers?”
He raised his eyebrow. “Why should I give you flowers? You are not my anyone.”
“Then… you should at least give me a card!” I pouted my lips, hurt by his tone.
“I know, I know. After lunch, I’ll send you an e-card.”
E-card. That sounds so impersonal, but that’s the way he is. “You have to e-mail it to me. I’ll be waiting.” I excitedly smiled and planned to sneak home after lunch to check e-mail. Even though he wouldn’t use any romantic words, I still looked forward to the card.
“I can’t stand you women. Why do you make such a big deal out of Valentine’s Day??” He grumbled while eating his food. His comment induced me to fight with him again.
“You are not romantic at all!! Don’t you watch any Japanese drama?”
“Japanese drama? I only watch Discovery Channel.”
“Your life is so boring.” I made a face at him. “One recent drama was really good. You should have watched it.”
“What’s that drama called?” He didn’t believe in the love portrayed in TV and movies. He always thought they were lies.
“It’s called ‘Story of A Century’.” I gladly answered.
“What kind of trashy plot did it have?”
“What do you mean trash?? Show some respect!” I was so angry. “That drama was very touching, and the theme song was beautiful as well. It’s called ‘Only Love’, performed by Nana Mouskouri.” I wonder if he knew who Nana was.
“Nana, I know her. A Greek singer with really expensive albums.”
“Her voice is worth it.” Even though I secretly agreed with him, I couldn’t bring myself to admit it.
“Whatever.” He glanced at his watch. “I’ll give you 5 minutes to tell me the plot. After that, I’m leaving.”
I tried hard to explain 6 hours worth of story in just 5 minutes. The drama portrayed the love stories of 3 generations of women spanning 100 years, from 1901 to 2000. Each generation was portrayed by the same actress. The story was tear-jerking.
“What’s so touching about it?” He asked, after listening to the story.
“Don’t you think each generation’s story is wonderful? If I have such great screen writing ability, I wouldn’t be a doctor anymore. I would become a screenwriter.”
“If you become a screenwriter, I bet no one would watch the show. The TV station can go out of business.” He quickly interjected.
“I’m going back to work. Hurry and send me the card!” I was so mad that I went home immediately, not even finishing my coffee.
As soon as I walked in my door, I turned on my computer and go online.
Staring at the empty in-box, I began to reminisce about how we met. Maybe no one will believe me, but my boyfriend and I were actually neighbors. Our homes were only 1 wall away. Ever since we were kids, we liked to fight with each other all day long. I still remember when I moved to the country that year. Used to the city life, I couldn’t get used to the simple life in the country. After school, I would just go home and do nothing. Whenever that happened, he would always come over to tease me