“Will you be my Valentine?”

His hand paused above the send button on the text message he’d just typed; it was shaking, if you looked hard enough to notice.

He looked around his office. Empty. Through the open door he could see several people gathered at the water cooler, but no one was watching.

He clicked send, then tossed his phone on the desk.

Quickly turning to his computer, he got back to work, putting out of his mind the consequences of what he had just done.

Two minutes later, the phone buzzed, alerting him that a text had come in.

The consequences.

His whole body felt like a giant exclamation point. He shook it off.

I’ll check it later. I’ve got work.

And he did work.

For about forty-seven seconds.

Could be that text I’m expecting from Mr. Houghton over at Houghton Associates.

Unable to ignore the firm’s biggest client, he pushed his chair away from the computer and picked up his phone.

It was from his wife. What does Sheila want to nag me about now?

Suddenly, his body went on high alert.


But how could she possibly…

He rotated his shoulders to relieve the sudden tension. Might as well get it over with.

He clicked through to her text.

“Yes! Of course I’ll be your Valentine, Samuel! You’ve been sooo distracted lately, but then I know how your job can get when you’re closing a big deal. How about we go to Italiano’s for supper? I’ll call Debbie to babysit. She could keep the kids at her house for the night.”

Frowning, he pulled up his original text.

Yup. He’d sent it to Sheila.

He’d meant to send it to Allison. Kind of an icebreaker for the obvious attraction between them.

He returned to Sheila’s message and was surprised to find himself smiling. She’d always insisted on calling him Samuel and not Sam. With the smile, a thought dawned on him.

He grabbed his phone before the idea could leave and began tapping keys.

“Call Debbie, but instead of Italiano’s I think we’ll go through the driveway at McDonald’s and eat in the car at the harbor and watch the ships come in. I love you, Sheila.”

He found himself blushing at the remembrance of taking her to the harbor for the first time on their first date. McDonald’s included. He’d been embarrassed at his lack of funds.

But they’d stayed there in the car, talking, until 2 AM.

Scrolling to Allison’s name on the contacts list, Sam quickly punched “delete contact.”

He’d have to find a different spin class.

He wasn’t going to make this mistake again.


The End



P.S. My Barometer Mountain 52-week Photo Challenge will be posted on Monday. Unless I post it on Tuesday like I did the last two weeks. 🙂 At any rate, please check it out! No guarantees, but there may be sunshine in this picture.