by Mel George
I hovered by his pigeon-hole with a Valentine's card half-hidden in my palm, shifting from one foot to the other, gut-twistingly uncertain again now I was standing here in the light of day staring at people’s mobile phone bills. Late night introspection and melodrama had brought me to this point. Last night, alone in my dark college room, I had decided that the truth finally had to come out; Valentine's Day was surely the perfect excuse, the one day that would make such a confession seem like less of a heinous crime; it was okay to say this kind of thing today, it would almost look casual, natural, right? So I scribbled this card, nothing too profound: just so you know you’re admired, and didn’t sign it. But now, standing here... if he worked out it was me – disaster; if he laughed with our friends about it around a table in the bar, I knew I would blush – disaster; if he didn’t work out it was me, if he thought it was some other girl, perhaps one he really liked, then he might go and ask her out and they might get together and fall in love and live happily ever after – disaster. As I was trying to recall the convictions of last night, the door slammed open and I jumped like a hunted hare and stuffed the card into the bottom of my bag – and that was where I discovered it a year later whilst looking for a lost pen, and marvelled with a little laugh that I had ever thought I liked that guy so much.
Mel George, author of The Storm, lives in three cities at the moment (but still likes Oxford the best). When she's not on public transport, she writes a bit and edits The Pygmy Giant.