The Memoir of an Ex-Sweetheart

I swing my keys around my finger as I walk to Starbucks, where I work as a barista. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’m kind of dreading it. My cellphone rings just as I’m entering Starbucks. I quickly decline the call and text the person that I’ll call them back later.  I walk into warm interior of the coffee shop and I’m greeted by the smell of brewing coffee and the sound of people murmuring to each other.

“Helena Hanson!” My boss, Marie calls my name in greeting. I wave back and make my way into the employee’s room. After hanging up my coat and backpack, I pull on my green Starbucks apron and join Marie behind the counter. I’ve been behind the counter for not even ten minutes when the door opens and a brunette and a blonde walk in.

The two girls, Dinah Darcy and Lacey Lowe, wave and they make their way over to the counter. Dinah and I have known each other since we were five and have been best friends ever since. Lacey joined our group when we were ten and the three of us have been inseparable.

“Hi guys,” I say while making a coffee.

“What’s up?” Dinah asks after they order their usuals.

“Living the dream.” I smile and whip up their drinks.

I slide the coffee cups across the counter. “How are you doing?” Lacey asks in a quiet voice.

I wipe non-existent dirt off my hands and smile a sad smile. “I’ve been better.”

“He’s a jerk. You deserve so much better than him,” Dinah tells me.

“I guess,” I say reluctantly. Marie is on the register so I can talk while making drinks.

“I can’t believe he broke up with you practically a week before Valentine’s Day. He could have been a gentleman and waited until after,” Lacey comments.

“But,” I say. “I would rather be single on Valentine’s Day than be with somebody who doesn’t care.”

“Yeah, but still,” Dinah complains.

“Eh.” I give a customer their drink and turn to my friends. “I’ll be done at 5 but I can’t hang out tonight. Homework and all that stupid stuff.”

“We’re on for tomorrow night though?” Lacey asks.

“Obviously,” Dinah and I say simultaneously and I get back to work.

***

Valentine’s Day. The one day a year where guys confess their love and girls get rejected. Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorites. I love getting to wear red and pink. I find all the lovey-dovey, cutesy pie things associated with Valentine’s Day so adorable. So, when I wake up on February 14th, I’m excited. Well, more than excited, I’m ecstatic. There is only one thing I’m not excited for, I’m not excited to see my ex-boyfriend Tyler Tomson. He broke up with me two weeks ago because I “wasn’t fun” and he “found somebody new”.

After school, I meet up with Dinah and Lacey at my locker. We’re chatting about the stereotypes of Valentine’s Day when Dinah nudges me.

“What?” I ask.

“Tyler sighting,” She responds.

I turn to look but a hand grabs my arm. “Don’t look now!” Lacey whispers fiercely.

“Why?”

“Our good friend Savannah Scott has him captured,” Dinah says sarcastically.

“That jerk!” I exclaim, turning around to look.

I regret it the moment I see perfect little Savannah Scott on the arm of my ex. Her long, shiny blonde hair hangs to the middle of her back. She’s wearing a short pink dress with a matching pink purse. Her long legs seem even longer as she wears three inch heels, and still doesn’t reach Tyler’s shoulder. Savannah’s entourage of clones follows closely behind. I try not to gag. Savannah has always been rude to me and I’ll never know why.

“He dumped you for her?” Lacey exclaims as we watch Tyler and Savannah strut down the hallway. They are just about to pass us when Savannah stops and turns.

“What are you looking at?” She asks snottily, placing a manicured hand on her tiny hip.

“Definitely not you.” Dinah answers quicker than me. I’m too busy trying not to stare at Tyler. He’s much different with Savannah then he was with me. His shirt matches Savannah’s dress. He’s dressed impeccably, his shoes shined and his pants pressed. He looks down when he sees me watching him. I’ve just recovered from his breaking up with me and now I get to watch him flaunt his new girlfriend, what fun.

Before my brain can register it, I’m saying, “Tyler, can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Oh. Uh..sure.” Tyler follows me a little bit down the hall.

I take a deep breath then start. “I’ve been thinking about what happened a couple weeks ago.”

“I have too,” He adds, fidgeting with the edge of his shirt.

“I don’t understand why we can’t be friends,” I say. “When we were dating we were more friends than in a relationship. But then when we broke up, we stopped being friends, for no good reason.”

“Yeah,” Tyler says. “You know, maybe because of all the peer pressure of hating your ex.”

“I’m not saying that we should jump back in as besties, but maybe just as friends,” I say.

“Friends,” He agrees and we shake on it.

When we walk back, Savannah looks ready to burst.

“Come on,” She snaps. “Let’s go.” Savannah snatches up Tyler’s hand and practically drags him down the hallway.

“What was that about?” Dinah asks me, once they’ve gone.

“I really don’t know,” I admit. “When I saw him with Savannah and in that horrible pink shirt, I felt bad for him. But, maybe he’s happier with her than he was with me. I’m not perfect, and Savannah is the illusion of perfect, so maybe he needs something, or someone, perfect. I guess I decided that I should stop being so upset about Tyler and I breaking up. It’s not my fault or his, we just weren’t working out and now we’re friends.”

“Wow,” Lacey says. “I would never had had the guts to do that.”

“Yeah, kudos to you,” Dinah agrees.

“Why thank you.” I pretend to cutsey. “I think it’s time for ice cream and partying.”

“My favorites,” Dinah adds.

“I’ve been looking forward to this all day,” Lacey pipes up.

“Then come along girls.” I hook my arms around Lacey and Dinah’s elbows. “We have a date with Netflix.”

My friends laugh as we strut down the hallway. I smile and realize that I’m truly happy. We push open the two doors leading out of the school and they dramatically close behind us, like they would do in the movies. And, for once, it seems that my life is as perfect as it can be.

 

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