Audrey examined each card on the shelf. One banana-themed card said, “Let’s Split!”. Another illustrated a watery-eyed dog- “I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.”
The one she tossed into the cart declared, “You’re worse than a Monday. Because at least Mondays don’t manipulate me into thinking they’re Saturdays.”
Molly’s chest tightened. “Don’t you think you’re being a little… I don’t know… hasty? Luke’s so sweet and thoughtful. I can’t believe he’d do this.”
“It’s the smooth ones that get you.” Audrey brought her open hands to Molly’s face. “They lure you in until you’re under their thumb, then they-” she clapped- “squash you.”
Molly flinched and took a step back with ringing ears. “So… let me get this straight. All you found was a card?”
“Oh, so I shouldn’t worry about finding a Valentine’s Day card in his dresser that wasn’t from me? God, you should have seen it. It’s one of those pricey pop-up cards.”
Molly opened her mouth to speak but barely got a breath in.
“AND! The writing inside said,” her tone hiked up several octaves, “‘I love you, honey, and you will always be in my heart’.”
As much as Molly had her doubts, she admitted it was incriminating evidence.
“And to think, just two weeks ago we had a lovely Valentine’s Day,” Audrey said. “That jerk.”
The best part about having a designated holiday to break up on was the camaraderie. Everything from nail salons to sports stores had Dymphna’s Day discounts. Maybe they’d go to Audrey’s favorite ice cream parlor after she brought the guillotine down on her relationship with Luke. They had a More for Me sundae, with enough ice cream for two- but it only comes with one spoon. Half off for the brokenhearted.
In the next aisle, shelves upon shelves were full of neat little boxes. Candy brands donned Dymphna’s Day colors: blue and gray. It felt like walking into a rainy day. Molly took a deep breath and she could almost taste the sugar. Audrey crossed over to the big boxes shaped like broken hearts. There were two kinds to pick from: real chocolate for the good breakups, mockolate for the bad ones. Mockolate had the same packaging as chocolate, save for a single sticker you peeled off before gifting it to someone. Its contents, however, were a different story.
“Do you really think he’s ignorant enough to eat those?” Molly said as Audrey read the flavor list off the back of the package.
“Yesterday I might have said no. But now I know he’s a real idiot.” a smile played on her lips, perhaps from imagining Luke taking a nibble of what he assumed to be a strawberry cream truffle and getting one flavored like dish soap or moldy asparagus instead.
She turned on her heels, leaving Molly to follow helplessly in her wake to the checkout.
They passed a wall of Frustration Bears (stuffed teddies holding signs like “kick me!”, “throw me!”, and even “burn me!”) and Comfort Bears (who instead say “I’m sorry”, “hug me”).
Just before they get in line, Audrey’s phone belted out a romantic ringtone. Audrey whipped it up to her ear. “Hello.”
Molly’s eyes widened to perfect o’s. Poor Luke. He had no idea what he was getting himself into.
“I found the card. You lying, cheating scum.” nearby shopper’s heads turned while her voice rose and her face reddened. “Yeah, that card you hid in your dresser. You thought I wouldn’t see it?”
Molly furrowed her brows and leaned in.
“…What? From who?” Audrey said.
Her flaming fury extinguished like a bucket of water had been thrown onto it. The slow, frustrated hiss from her mouth could have been the steam.
“You should have just let me know…” she rested her forearms onto the cart and rubbed her forehead. “I’m so sorry. I take it all back, babe… Love you, see you later.”
“Soooo?” a slow smile built on Molly’s face.
Audrey slipped her phone into a pocket. “Could you help me put this stuff back? The card was from his mom.”
Megan Malone is an avid nature and animal lover who is passionate about growing as both a writer and a person with everything she does. For as long as she can remember, she’s loved creating stories! She wrote her first book at 14, and she dreams of being a published novelist someday. As well as being a regular contributor for ‘Hey! Young Writer’, she writes blog posts for ‘Young Eager Writers’. Check them out at: https://www.youngeagerwriters.org/blog.