It was the rare occasion when I would be in a public place on Valentine's night, a ripe opportunity for someone bearing flowers or feelings to come visit me.
Just to say hi.
Just to say, "Happy Valentine's Day."
Not even to say, "Be my valentine."
Just a visit.
And so I waited.
I waited six hours, standing on my feet in my pink dress and gold flip flops, saving my feet for the heels that would encumber them later that night.
I looked out into the mall from my retail prison, wondering who might've gotten lost looking for my store. Wondering what was taking them so long.
And at 8:59, a minute before the store officially closes, a few minutes before I usually close it, I gave up and locked the door.
Having left my car at home, I rode the escalator all the way down to the street, which was quiet.
I spent more money than I have on a steak dinner, washed down by a martini, then a pinot noir I don't remember well.
I kissed the bartender, who saved me from walking home.
And for once, I fell asleep as soon as I hit the sheets, waking up at 6 a.m. more concerned about my unrefrigerated leftovers than the emptiness beside me.
And tonight, Friday night, another date night for everyone else but me, I go back to work, to once again stand watch.
On Valentine's Day
Two Kinds of Shop Girls
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