By: Sadie Spencer (Main Character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)
I used to loathe Valentine's Day.
It all began in the second grade when my attempts to woo seven-year-old Nicholas Kunkle went disastrously awry.
For Valentine's Day that year, I crafted my own masterpiece of a card.
I may have gone a teeny bit overboard.
When he opened it, red glitter poured from the envelope and dusted his Reebok sneakers like ruby sand. He wasn't impressed.
Then one of the googley eyes I pasted onto my hand-drawn heart popped off so my creation looked more like a lopsided Cyclops instead of an expression of undying affection.
After Nicholas tossed the card aside, he tore into the pack of conversation hearts I had included in my offering.
Grams always told me that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach.
Nicholas tossed a palmful into his mouth and ended up choking until Mrs. Ebersole came and administered the Heimlich maneuver.
Nicholas wouldn't even share my brownies at lunch after that.
Jasper, being my best friend even at that tender age, tried to make things better during recess. He gave me one of those cute little boxes of chocolates - the ones with a plastic tray and four tiny, chocolate-coated candies inside. It was really sweet of him.
But when he tried to kiss me on the swings, I punched him and somehow managed to knock him out cold. This earned me three weeks of detention for injuring two boys in one day. (Jasper did try to defend me, but the evidence was all in favor of a conviction.)
After that, I swore of Valentine's Day exchanges for quite some time.
And to this day, every time I pass a display of conversation hearts...I shudder.
(To discover more about Sadie, Jasper and the time he kissed her on the swings, pick up your copy of the novel, Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)