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Love Fest Drabble #4

Last of my prompted drabbles!  This one is a combination of two prompts: Nicky & Alice's First Valentine (from lauriempress and regacylady) and Valentine's Day when the man's at war (from mzyra). 


It had been a rough day.  Poor Dotty had been on the verge of tears all day, and none of the kind words offered by her parents or Alice had brought her any comfort.  Eventually, Dotty had retreated to her room, and had yet to emerge.  James had purchased a heart-shaped locked for Cindy, with a picture of all three of their children tucked inside.  Cindy had even splurged and used some of their precious sugar to bake a cake, but nothing could make the day better.   It was Valentine’s Day, and there were no men around to celebrate it.  Nor was there any prospect of there being any of them around anytime soon.

After helping Cindy with the dishes, Alice excused herself to her room.  She flopped across the bed in what Rosalie would call a decidedly unladylike action.  She didn’t care.  It was just so hard some days to keep up the façade that everything would be all right and that Nick would come home to her in one piece.  She listened to the radio and heard the casualty reports.  Her husband might be somewhat sheltered from the worst of the fighting at the aide station where he was assigned, but that knowledge didn’t keep away the nightmares.

As she did when the dark thoughts threatened to win, she knelt down and pulled a box from underneath the bed.  In it, she kept Nick’s letters and several other mementos that held happy memories.  She smiled at the many letters that were on the top, but put them aside as she rummaged through some of the older items at the bottom.  A matchbook from the restaurant where they’d gone on their very first college date.  The lucky penny she’d put in her shoe on their wedding day.  Her hand then found an old Valentine that Nick had given to her the first year they’d been officially a couple.

She smiled as she pulled the card with two cherub-like children out to examine it closer.  It came back to her like it was yesterday.

***

They’d been together for nearly a year when Valentine’s Day rolled around.  The country was still locked in the midst of the Great Depression, but things were showing signs of improvement.  Still, there was little money for frivolous things like Valentines cards, and Alice was certain all she or any of the other girls might get was a homemade sweet of some sort.  So she was shocked when on her desk she found a small envelope along with a bundle wrapped in brown paper and tied with a red yarn bow.

The package held two strawberry tarts, made with Cindy’s strawberry preserves.  Her mouth watered a little in anticipation of such a treat.  She then turned her attention to the envelope.  It contained a postcard, with an adorable little boy and girl on the front, and a small puppy.  It simply read, “To My Valentine.”  It was perfect.

“I tried to find one where the girl was the redhead and the boy was the blond,” Nick’s voice said from behind her.  “But that was the best they had.”

“You didn’t have to spend money on a card for me,” she said, turning around to smile at him.  “I would have been perfectly happy with the tarts.”

“I know,” he said with a shrug.  “But I wanted to.”

“Thank you,” she replied, blushing a little.

“You’re welcome.  Someday, I’m going to buy you proper Valentine’s Day present.”

***

She put the card back in the box with a sigh.  Nick had gotten her several lovely gifts for Valentine’s Day while they were in college, but they didn’t fit his definition of a proper gift for the day.  Part of it was her own fault; she’d not wanted expensive or excessive gifts while they were still dating.  But for the few lovely hours between their engagement and hearing the reports of the bombing of Plumbbob Harbor on the news, she’d let herself wonder what lovely presents her husband-to-be might have up his sleeve.

“But it wasn’t meant to be, I suppose,” she said softly to the empty room.  She didn’t dare allow herself to think about the future as of late – the present was more than enough to bear.

A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.

“Come in.”

James opened the door.  “I wish these had come sooner, but the delivery boy had to walk to make all his rounds ‘cause of the gas rations.”

James took a step into the room, pulling a bunch of roses from behind his back.

Alice gasped.  “James, you shouldn’t have.”

“I didn’t,” he said with a bit of a smirk.  “Nick did.”

She gasped again, and rushed over.  “But how?”

“Well, I’m not certain, but I would wager he wrote to the florist directly.”

“He shouldn’t have.”

“There’s a card,” James replied simply.  “I’ll go have Cindy find a vase.”

He left the room, leaving Alice alone with her flowers.  She pulled the card from the bouquet, and blinked back tears when she saw the card was written in Nick’s handwriting.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart.  All my love, Nick.

She buried her face in the bouquet, willing herself not to cry.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, my love.  I miss you so very, very much.”

She took the card and placed it in the open box with her other mementos.  When she had another dark day, she would pull it out, and it would give her strength.  Because, despite all the hardships she faced on a daily basis, she was a lucky woman.

---

The card that Nick gave Alice for their first Valentine's Day can be seen here.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
penguingirl03
Mar. 1st, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Awwwww!!!! Okay I think Alice and Nicky are going to give Meadow and Philly a run for their money as my favorite couple in your legacy. They are adorable even when they are separated. I really hope he makes it home in one piece!
silverbelle1220
Mar. 2nd, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! They are perfect for each other in so many ways. I hope that things work out for them too.
rosefyre
Mar. 1st, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
Awwww. I hope everything turns out okay!
silverbelle1220
Mar. 2nd, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! So do I.
lauriempress
Mar. 4th, 2012 07:21 am (UTC)
It's funny, I was imagining something from when they were still children, but this is much better! I LOVE THOSE TWO!
silverbelle1220
Mar. 5th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
I tried to write a childhood Valentines, but with the Depression and Nicky being so oblivious, it didn't work. But then I had the idea for this, and it just took off. I'm glad you like it. How could you NOT love them?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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