A Slice of Orange


Worst Valentine’s Day EVER by Maureen Child

February 14, 2007 by in category Worst Valentine’s Day Ever Contest tagged as
The Worst Valentine's Day EVER | Maureen Child | A Slice of Orange

I was pregnant.

VERY pregnant. My second baby was due on Valentine’s day and my three year old son was making me crazy and my husband didn’t seem to understand what the big deal was.

I was tired, cranky, roughly the size of Mt. Rushmore and not feeling the love.

Naturally, the TV was playing all these fabulous commercials with skinny women getting candy and diamonds from amazingly gorgeous men and there I sat. Waiting on a baby who had no intention of showing up and trying not to shriek as my son’s bottle of glue spilled on the floor. Of course, a heartbeat later the dog “cleaned” it for me, then threw it right back up again.

When my husband called from work and asked, “What’s for dinner?” I lost it.

Crying, shouting, giving into all of the weird hormone surges within, I had a mini-breakdown. Even my son and the dog paused in their destruction derby to watch the festivities. By the time I hung up, I was spent. All I wanted to do was find a hole and crawl in for awhile. This was not how I pictured Valentine’s Day. There should be romance. Dancing. Dining.

I put my son down for a nap, tossed the dog outside and whimpered alone on the couch. My little pity party was just getting into full swing when my husband showed up, an hour early.

He had take out bags from my favorite restaurant, a big box of Sees Bordeaux, (clearly having not noticed my elephantine size), and a wary smile on his face. He walked into the living room like a man about to tiptoe across a minefield and who could blame him?

And while I sat and relaxed with a cup of tea he made for me, my husband bathed our son, fed the dog, cleaned the living room and then set up dinner. At my place at the table, there was a gaudy Valentine’s card, lovingly decorated by my son with clumpy blobs of glued on glitter—explaining the glue incident from earlier—and another, smaller card from the yet to be born baby, apologizing for being late.

My husband served the take-out dinner, cleaned up afterward and tucked our son into bed, insisting that I do nothing more than relax and watch TV. So I did. And when those commercials with perfect people doing imitations of romance came on, I paid no attention at all.

Real romance comes when you need it most. And even the worst Valentine’s day can turn out to be the best.

And when our daughter finally arrived four days later, she was worth the wait.

Maureen Child
NEVERMORE, Silhouette Nocturne, Feb. ’07
THIRTY DAY AFFAIR, Silhouette Desire, March, ’07

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With Love from Pandora on Valentine’s Day by Carolyn Williamson

February 13, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

I’d never seen a box of candy so big. Dressed in blue satin with an enormous lace ruffle, the box practically covered one side of my husband’s desk at his office.

I smiled, remembering the first time Jack gave me candy on Valentine’s day. He’d handed me a small box in a paper sack. “Thought you’d know what to do with this.”

Now, as I looked at the blue heart-shaped box, a warm feeling spread over me. Not a man to talk much or pay attention to special days, he’d remembered Valentine’s Day this time.

I slid my finger over the shiny white satin bow, wanting to tear it off and bite into a luscious chocolate morsel.

Jack had mentioned having dinner out. Maybe afterwards he’d invent some reason to drive by his office and surprise me. I wouldn’t spoil his thoughtfulness by unwrapping it now.

My reluctant fingers slid from the lace-ruffled box. I remembered he’d asked me to pick up a check. His tall slim partner, Joe Burke, breezed into Jack’s office. He pointed to the box. “Isn’t that obscene? And to think it was won in a drawing,” he said as he retreated to the outer office.

Gripping the check, I left and drove past snow-dusted lawns. The moon glistened like a lemon frosted cream. Licking my lips, I wanted to bite into something rich and sweet.

Later, at the restaurant, the sizzling steak was juicy and tender. I could hardly wait until Jack gave me the candy. I’d give my strong silent guy a kiss and a big hug.

Jack excused himself to make a phone call and returned to the table. Soon afterward he escorted me out into the chilly evening. Hunching his big shoulders into his jacket, he seemed lost in thought.

As we neared his office, I found my mouth watering, but he drove right past without stopping. Had he forgotten the candy?

Later I mentioned we needed milk, hoping he’d offer to go. He settled down in front of the TV and got caught up watching the Dallas Stars play the Detroit Red Wings.

“I’m going to the store,” I said.

“See you later–oh damn, the Red Wings scored again.”

On the way to Krogers I wondered why he hadn’t said a word about the candy. Then I remembered the phone call.

He’d been working late a lot. Could that candy be for another woman? I squeezed my eyes shut for a second. I didn’t want to think about that. At least he’d won it in a drawing–he hadn’t gone out and bought it for someone else–or was his partner covering for him?

A hard knot grew inside me. Jack came home every night. He couldn’t be having an affair, could he? Maybe I was living in a fool’s paradise. I clenched my hands into fists. My heart beat in a staccato rhythm.

Would I be abandoned to pay the mortgage like my friend, Betty? I swallowed. I’d do it if I had to, but I didn’t want to face the future alone.

Sure, I had a job, but that wouldn’t bring in enough to live as we had before. I shut my eyes tight against the disappointment, then opened them quickly. I couldn’t afford to have an accident now.

I wasn’t looking forward to coping with the single scene after being married so many years. I’d forgotten how to flirt, and besides I’d feel silly doing it at my age.

Looking up at the bright lights above Kroger, I brushed the tell-tale wetness from my cheeks. I didn’t want anyone asking questions.

After paying for the groceries, I managed to keep the tears at bay until the store doors swung shut behind me. Then tears came in earnest. A brisk wind chilled my wet face. Barely seeing the road, I drove with tears streaming down.

When I carried the groceries inside, Jack was still watching television. I hurried to the bathroom to wash my face. He hadn’t seemed to notice my red cheeks. But I bet he’d noticed the fifteen pounds I’d gained since giving birth to twins. No wonder he was attracted to someone prettier.

I went in the living room to say good night. Jack was engrossed in a western novel and gave me the briefest of good night kisses. Lying in bed, I blinked back tears. I didn’t want to ask him about another woman. That might be just the chance he was waiting for–to say he wanted a divorce. If I asked about the candy, I might shame him into giving it to me instead, but I wouldn’t enjoy it. At least some other woman wouldn’t scarf it down.

Or I could just let it pass and say nothing. I tossed and turned, dampening the pillow with tears. No. That was the coward’s way out. My marriage was more important than chocolates or another woman. I’d fight to keep my marriage, but if I couldn’t, I’d manage somehow.

Facing the frightening ordeal of divorce would be hard, damn hard, but it would be better than living a lie.

Jack entered the bedroom and undressed in the dark. I wondered how the other woman had touched him when they made love. My eyes burned. Bracing myself, I took a deep breath, then decided to wait until he finished showering. I tried to think what to say. Nothing I thought of seemed right. Too soon he came out of the bathroom. Even in pajamas, he looked handsome with those broad shoulders and dark hair. Why was I even thinking about his looks when he’d treated me like this?

The bed dipped as he slid in beside me. He didn’t even try to kiss me. Maybe he really didn’t want to any more. He snuggled under the blankets with his back to me.

Heart pounding, I cleared my throat. “Jack,” I began.

“Thought you were asleep.” He sounded drowsy.

I gritted my teeth. How could he fall asleep so easily? Had he no conscience?

“Jack, what are you going to do with that box of candy on your desk?”

He switched on a light and turned to face me. “What box of candy?”

He sounded surprised. Was he really–or just a good liar?

“That huge box of candy on your desk at the office?”

“I don’t know anything about a box of candy at the office.”

“Joe said you won it in a drawing.” Let’s see how he explains that.

“I haven’t heard about winning anything, but if I did, I’ll bring it home tomorrow.”

I looked into his blue eyes. They seemed as true and calm as always. In spite of my suspicions, I believed him. Slowly I let out the breath I’d been holding.

Jack put his arms around me, pulled me close and kissed me. “Love you,” he murmured. My heart overflowed with relief. Mustn’t let him know what I’d thought.

The next morning Jack called from the office. “Honey, you must have misunderstood Joe. I didn’t win that box of candy. He did, and took it home to his wife. Don’t know why he set it down on my desk. Maybe he stepped in there and the phone rang.”

I didn’t care how the box got on Jack’s desk. I wouldn’t miss the candy. I had the best valentine of all, a loving husband.

Carolyn Williamson

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Memorable Valentine’s Day by Tina Gayle

February 12, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

“Don’t you think we should pull over and let the snow storm pass over us?” It was the third time I’d asked the same question in the past twenty minutes, but my boyfriend just smiled.

“As slow as we’re driving some people might think we’re standing still all ready.” He didn’t look at me, but kept his eyes glued to the winter wonderland in front of us.

How he kept his Pontiac Impala, “the tank”, on the road, I didn’t understand. I couldn’t see the road, just a sea of white.

Being from Texas, I’m used to Valentine’s Day being a cold crisp day with glowing sunshine. No snow, no ice, maybe some rain, but most of the time it’s a beautiful day with love in the air. Hearts and flowers decorate everything.

Did I mention no snow? Or better still never a blizzard?

“How can you see?” I asked, straining to see through the caked-on mud and dirt that covered the windshield. The wipers succeeded in shoving the falling snow off to the side, but the picture in front of us remained a dirty white field of nothingness.

He pressed the button for wiper fluid. Nothing happened.

A large truck traveling in the opposite direction zoomed past us at a break-neck speed of fifteen miles per hour. The window shook. A backlash of muddy water sprayed us with debris from the truck’s wheels. A dark veil fell over the windshield. I couldn’t see anything. My fingers dug into by boyfriend’s thigh.

Did I happen to mention it was cold?

The huge cavernous interior of the car held me prisoner, my only protector, my boyfriend’s calm composure and his steady hands on the wheel. You see, he grew up in the North. This was old hat for him.

“I’m going to pull over. I need to clean the windshield off.” He maneuvered the car to the side of the road. How he even found the side of the road I’ll never know.

My hand caused a few more bruises when the car fishtailed before coming to a stop.

“I’ll be right back.” He opened his car door slowly and left.

Alone, I began to panic. How was he going to clean the windshield off? There wasn’t any water out there. It was all frozen. The wiper fluid was gone.

I watched him out the side window as he picked up snow and threw it at the front window. I jumped when it hit. Did I mention I was terrified?

He wiped the snow over the glass with his gloves. It melted and cleaned the surface. My boyfriend was brilliant, a genius. I knew I loved that man for a reason.

When he walked back around the car and opened his door, he threw his wet gloves in the backseat. I hugged and kissed him, glad that he was back beside me.

He dug in his pocket, pulled out a jewelry box, and handed it to me. I opened it.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

My hero, my savior, the man that held my life in the palm of his hands, wanted to know if I would be his bride.

What do you think I said?

Tina Gayle had made her first sale to Wild Rose Press. Visit Tina’s blog at http://www.tinagayle.blogspot.com/

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My Worst Valentine’s Day Disaster By Emma

February 9, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Well many moons ago, I was young, silly and in love with being in
love, don’tcha know!

Love of my life and I where planning a romantic trip away for
Valentine’s Day a few years ago.

He said he would take care of everything, booking and planning of
said trip, and I like the egjet I am, let him.

I told all my friends about it, raved about said love-of-my-life,
the ohhed and ahhed and said how lucky I was.

I brought sexy underwear and sexy pj’s, packed a few little toys
and the like and away we went.

He was very cagey about where we where going, but did let slip
that no passport was needed…………..bummer.

On the day itself was so excited and was up at the crack of dawn,
ready, eagerly awaiting my romantic trip………….I was so loved
up and worshipped my man and off we went.

We went to Brighton, okay not what I was expecting but what the
heck……………….. nice hotel, romantic dinner, walks on the beach, dancing and of course room service, what more does any girl need.

Imagine my surprise when we didn’t stop at the seafront, ahh I
thought the countryside, maybe a little cottage, hmm, very nice I

Finally we turned into a field,
( you can see where this is going can’t you?) There at the other end of the field was a clapped out old caravan, very small and dingy looking.

He was beaming and grinning like a loon, so very happy for himself!

When we got out of the car, I sank straight down into the mud and
ruined my second fave pair of shoes!

Still I gritted my teeth and said nothing, ( he thought i was
overcome with emotion , well I was but not like he was thinking, I
can tell you!).

He said that his friends’ dad had offer it to him for the weekend
and he thought it was too good an offer not to miss!).

It now began to rain and he couldn’t get the key to turn in the lock
of the door, really was going well so far!

When we finally got inside, I could have cried!

It was musty and stale smelling not to mention or to put too fine
a point on it………………filthy!

Now he was beginning to see for himself, this might not have been
such a good idea after all.

We had no food, no water, no heat and no electricity and no bloody

All this time I had been very quiet and now I could see he was
beginning to get worried!

I asked him what he had packed for the trip and he said “his
fishing gear, some beer and a change of clothes”,
then asked him “what was I going to be doing, while he drank and
fished the weekend away?” are you ready for this………..yes?

Well because he had been offered the caravan for free, his
friend’s dad thought that in return he could clean and tidy it up and get
it all nicely spic and span, so he thought I being the “little lady”
could do that while he relaxed!

So there I where in the middle of the field, in a mangy caravan,
with a lunatic.

He looked at me and said, “you don’t mind do you?”.

I knew there and then he had a death wish!

Well I said we will have to go back to town and get some cleaning

When we got back to town, he gave me some money we split up to go
to various shops, and were to meet back up an hour later.

I booked into a very nice hotel, had a lovely bubble-bath,
changed and went to dinner and left the next day to go home by

Where he is I don’t know, but if he knows what is good for him he will never darken my door again EVER!


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Worst Valentine’s Day Ever by Christine Columbus

February 8, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

The sexy next-door neighbor that I had my eye on for quite some time had started inviting me down to the neighborhood bar to play bingo. No, we are not in our seventies. We are in our thirties. Honest. Well, okay I’m 41, but don’t tell anyone.

The week before we had won a hundred dollars and the next Bingo night happen to fall on Valentine’s Day. To celebrate the bar was having a $1400 coverall jackpot. “Is it going to be a date?” Cullen asked.

“It’s a date,” I said thinking more about the possibility of cashing in on kiss, if he wanted to spend the day set aside for lovers with me. He had to have more on his mind than Bingo.

The following week when I picked up Cullen I didn’t realize he had been drinking. We got to the bar and the lot was packed. Cullen assured me it would be okay to park by the big green dumpster with the no parking sign. “No one picks up garbage in the evening. “

We hurried into the bar not wanting to be late for the start of the game. We bought our card and daubers. I had on a snug white t-shirt, we a scoop neck and the swell of my cleavage was one of Victoria’s Secret uplifting bras. The game starts. There are three cards on a sheet of paper and we each have our own sheets. After the third number has been called, I look over and Cullen is just staring at me. He hasn’t even daubed his free spots. So, I tell him. “Do your free spots!” I’m twisting on my bar stool to see the TV so I can see what numbers he missed and all of a sudden, I scream. My right nipple shriveled up so tight and hard I thought it was going to pop right off my breast and then my left nipple gives a repeat performance. My eyebrows are resting somewhere behind my widows peak and my mouth is moving like a wide mouth bass trying to spit out a lure. Cullen daubed my boobs.

He got those free spots and I got bright red blobs right over my nipples, I didn’t win the 1400 dollars and I got to ride with a toothless (the reason I know he was toothless was because he grinned at me the whole time he drove me over to the impound lot to pick up my car.

Happy Valentine Day.

Christine Columbus
Available at The Wild Rose Press www.thewildrosepress.com
“Happy Meal” “Love and Coffee To Go” “Drama Queen” “Uncle Mike’s Love” “First Class Male”
Coming soon: “Hard Day On The Farm”
Visit me at http://christinecolumbus.blogspot.com/

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